For Jeff, it’s hard to separate the business from the personal. He has been in the noise control business for more than 30 years now, and some of his customers are also his friends. Ask him how he’s managed to maintain such long-term associations and he’ll repeat a simple formula: treat people honestly, price fairly, and deliver on time.
Noise control wasn’t always on Jeff’s radar as a career choice. He got a degree from the University of Maine in geology and imagined he’d be putting it to use selling oil rigs. Instead, he took a series of odd jobs here and abroad: everything from carpentry and door-to-door sales in Australia, to apple picking and ski instruction in New Zealand.
He eventually returned home to Massachusetts to marry Sara (they now have two grown children, Alexandra and Matthew) and to a more conventional career selling insurance, when an opportunity arose to join his father-in-law’s budding noise-control business. The job meant a pay cut, and the timing – on the cusp of a recession – was less than ideal, but he took the leap. When his father-in-law passed away unexpectedly a year later, Jeff was well prepared to take over the business.
Today, Jeff continues to run SVA, Inc. with the same customer-focused service his father-in-law established, which he describes simply as “honesty and mutual respect.” Although the world of noise control has changed dramatically over the last several decades, there are some things that never change. “You do good work,” says Jeff. “You deliver on time and you deliver what the customer ordered. If there are problems, you fix them. It’s as simple as that.”