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Third-generation plumber honored for construction work

  • Tonya Reed, owner of Henry Plumbing Company, was named Woman of the Year by the Coastal Georgia National Association of Women in Construction last month. Reed, who first joined the organization seven years ago, currently serves as president and also received the award in 2014. (Katie Nussbaum/Savannah Morning News)

Tonya Reed cut her teeth in the plumbing business.

“I grew up in a plumbing truck and backhoe and thought every kid had those things to choose from,” said Reed, who owns Henry Plumbing Company at 1209 East 59th St., with her husband, Todd.

Last month, she was recognized for the second time by the Coastal Georgia National Association of Women in Construction as the Woman in Construction of the Year. Reed, who first joined the organization seven years ago, currently serves as president and also received the award in 2014.

“I was just so honored. There are so many other ladies that do so much, so it was quite an honor to be selected,” she said.

Founded in Fort Worth, Texas in 1953, NAWIC quickly grew to include chapters across the country with a common goal of providing its members with opportunities for professional development, education and more.

“Support is huge in NAWIC. That’s what we’re there for is for support,” she said.

Henry Plumbing was founded by Reed’s father, uncle and grandfather and now, as the third generation with more than two decades of experience Reed handles the residential and remodeling side and her husband, Todd, runs the commercial crews.

The company, which will celebrate 50 years of business next year, does everything from new construction, remodeling and repairs to airlines for automotive shops.

“We do a wide variety of things that people don’t think about when they think about plumbing,” she said.

“We do large projects — one of our largest recent projects was the new Veterans Administration center behind Savannah Mall — to the smallest leaking faucet.”

No matter the scope of the job Reed also puts that same support and opportunities to work with her employees, assisting with training and education costs.

“We just had two of our longtime guys get their State of Georgia Journeyman license, and we assist with the expense for that because that definitely makes us better as a whole,” she said.

“… We value our employees so much, and we try to make a difference in their lives, too. It’s wonderful to see someone young and inexperienced go on to become a licensed plumber. It’s not an easy feat at all. It’s a big accomplishment and, even if they don’t stay with us, if we’re a good foundation for them that’s rewarding, too.”

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