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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Local business owner passes the torch to new owners

Friday, December 28, 2012

Davis and Son, LLC, in Monett, is changing hands at the end of the month. New owners, Jay and Erica Biloki, are pictured above, at left, with retiring owners Shirley and Virgil Davis, at right. In business, since 1978, Davis and Son has provided heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical service to Monett area residents and businesses for 34 years. [Times Photo by Jared Lankford] [Order this photo]
After 34 years in business, Shirley and Virgil Davis, of Davis and Son, LLC, are passing the torch to new owners, Jay and Erica Biloki.

The move coincides with the demolition of part of the business property, located at 305 N. Central, and refurbishing the main office, starting on Saturday, Dec. 29.

The Davis family moved to the Monett area from Columbia, where they had previously been in business in the heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical industry. Their son, Greg, was the youngest to earn a journeyman's license in Columbia, and moved with his parents to Monett to start the family business.

Virgil, who was originally from Jasper, and Shirley, who lived in Cassville, decided to make the Monett area their home when they returned from Columbia.

"We've been out days, nights, in all kinds of weather," said Virgil. "We've had a lot of night calls."

The couple is retiring from the business to attend to some rental properties in need of remodeling.

"I hope to travel some," Shirley said, "but we have no current plans."

Turning the keys over to Jay, an employee for the past two years, is the culmination of talks between the two that have been ongoing since 1995.

"I worked here from 1995 through 1997," Jay said. "We talked about me buying the business 'one day.' After I moved to southern California, I kept in contact, and two years ago, Virgil said it was time. I moved my family back here and have been working in the business ever since."

Jay said Virgil has given him a lot of training and encouragement during the early years of his career in the industry. Upon moving to California, he completed his education and certifications.

"It's a continuing process," Jay said. "We complete training and education to meet the changing trends in the industry. There are plenty of extended education courses to keep our employees current with changes in the industry."

Some notable oddities in the plumbing industry include commodes that will automatically raise and lower the lid when a sensor indicates an individual assuming the position, and another that incorporates a fish tank in the back of a commode's holding tank.

"I've seen them," Jay laughed. "It's expensive, but people buy it."

"If they make it and people buy it, we install it," Erica added. She will serve as office manager for the business, taking the reins from Shirley.

Jay plans to keep the one-hour service area radius that has become the standard for the business.

"I don't plan on a whole lot changing," Jay said. "I will continue to maintain a staff of qualified service technicians, and Virgil will still be around to offer his knowledge, consulting and moral backup. We will keep the name, Davis and Son, because of the history and great reputation the business has here in the Monett area."

For more information, call Davis and Son at 235-6688.

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