GCP Member Feature: The Vallejo Company

Updated: Jan 28

Like most kids, Katharine Yaroshak (Katie) spent her childhood digging in the dirt. But unlike other kids, her digging involved construction equipment. Little did she know she was laying the foundation for her future as a successful business owner.

In September 2013, Katie acquired The Vallejo Company (Vallejo), a small Cleveland based, underground utility construction company, from its retiring owner Pete Vallejo. At the time, Vallejo was a 14-person Heavy Highway Trucking company with a very small Waterline division. Immediately under new ownership, the business expanded to include a Gas Line division and became certified as Female Business Enterprise (FBE), DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) and CSB (Cleveland Small Business) among many other small business certifications. Today, Vallejo has a team of 68 across five divisions: Water/Sewer, Trucking, Gas, Boring, and the newly launched Asphalt division.

Katie’s relationship with GCP began with her acquisition of Vallejo in 2013, starting with a COSE membership. In late 2019, Katie acquired a new building from Cuyahoga County as a new headquarters for Vallejo and is working on consolidating three locations to the new central building. Simultaneously, she was introduced to Nicole Stika, Vice President, Energy Services with the GCP, who introduced her to GCP’s Energy program and conducted an energy audit of the newly acquired building. The energy audit highlighted several opportunities for improved efficiency and cost savings. Following introductions to several GCP-member contractors, Vallejo completed a multi-phase HVAC project, replacing the outdated, energy inefficient Boiler system with new radiant and several standard forced air residential furnaces powered by gas. This system was expertly designed by Geisel to be very efficient and has so far proved to be so. A comprehensive plan for LED lighting throughout the building was completed by Green Systems, which resulted in a large decline so far in monthly electric energy expenses. GCP also introduced Vallejo to Big HR to assist with the company’s growing team. Additionally, GCP connected Vallejo to the teams at Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Department of Economic Development City of Cleveland for additional incentive and loan programs.

GCP introduced me to so many programs that I didn’t know existed. I’m so glad we were able to take advantage of them ~ Katharine Yaroshak, The Vallejo Company

Vallejo’s priorities for 2020 include continued growth of their divisions, creation of a new website, and growing of the team. Katie remains focused on identifying additional verticals for Vallejo’s continued growth.

The Vallejo Company Energy Roadmap

The INGEAR team has worked closely with The Vallejo Company during their relocation to their new central headquarters, which started with an energy audit.

The scope of the audit adhered to the guidelines developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for a Level 2 audit, which provides an "Energy Survey and Analysis" to identify and provide the savings and cost analyses of all practical energy efficiency measures that meet the owner's/operator's constraints and economic criteria, along with the proposed changes to Operation and Maintenance (O&M) procedures. Utility analysis was performed based on historical energy bills which may cover consumption data as well as peak demand.

As such, the Vallejo building is primarily a 1-story building and originally constructed around 1963, and comprises approximately 33,370 square feet. The audited building systems included envelope, lighting, cooling, heating, domestic hot water, miscellaneous equipment, and operational/maintenance procedures.

Out of the hundreds of Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) considered, 13 rose to the surface as candidates for implementation.

The GCP auditors evaluated the total annual energy usage and costs by system and the cost per square foot. The report then revealed many recommendations for reducing cost and energy usage starting with low to no cost recommendations such as programming heating and cooling setpoints, reducing plug load, and reducing lighting utilization levels. From there, more capital-intensive recommendations such as lighting and HVAC upgrades were recommended. With the assistance of GCP’s Energy Contractors Network, many of the recommendations were implemented to provide a nearly 50% reduction in energy use.

“The GCP energy audit was a critical step for The Vallejo Company as we began our process of upgrading our building and making informed decisions about how to prioritize the recommended and necessary measures, such as lighting, HVAC, insulation, and more. It was an invaluable part of our process of making our building as energy efficient as possible and provided us a long-term roadmap,” says Katharine Yaroshak, President, The Vallejo Company.

Planning a retrofit, upgrade, expansion, or new construction? The GCP Energy Team may be able to assist with your energy audit. All FirstEnergy customers with nonresidential buildings greater than 10,000 square feet qualify for a no-cost energy audit.

For more information on Vallejo, you can find them on Facebook.

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Cleveland, Ohio 44115

(216) 592-2208