Meet James Mann, journeyman plumber at Big Birge Plumbing.
Tell us a little about your business. – At Big Birge (www.bigbirgeplumbing.com), our goal is to bring you highly trained plumbers who take pride in their work, treat you and your home with respect, interact with you politely and honestly, are prompt and efficient, and leave your home or business as clean as we found it. I can honestly say this is something our team stays true to. We have a great team and the owners, Brad and Lallenia Birge, make it feel like a family.
How did you get started in the business? – My friend’s father owned a plumbing company in Chadron, NE, where I was going to college, and needed help. I needed the money to pay for college, so it just made sense.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Finding a plumbing job in Omaha after being a journeyman plumber in Lincoln for six years. I applied to a number of different plumbing companies but, at the time, no one was hiring unless you were certified in Omaha…but I had to work in Omaha in order to be certified, so it was difficult! I got lucky and found an Omaha company that happened to need a Lincoln journeyman, so it worked out well.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Being able to get my journeyman license in Omaha because it’s one of the toughest tests.
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife Kelly owns two businesses and wears the pants in the family. We have three children: Tatum (9), Hendrix (5), and Merrick (3). We also have two dogs, a three-legged cat, a hamster, and too many fish.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Spend time with family going to the zoo, camping, or exploring outside. I’ll also take a day to watch baseball or football non-stop when the family lets me.
Who inspires you? – My dad, Ed Mann. He’s such a hard worker. He teaches during the school year in Wyoming, while still running a farm and ranch back here in Nebraska. You will never hear him complain, and he always has a smile on his face.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas Edison
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? – Drawing. I make some pretty awesome driveway chalk art.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – A professional athlete in baseball or basketball because those are the sports I had the most fun playing.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – The Dragon Lance Chronicles are the books that got me into reading. They’re still my favorite.
What is your favorite TV show? – Family Guy.
What is your favorite local Omaha restaurant? – DJ’s Dugout. We love DJ’s because it’s a great place to take all three children with their game room. They also have amazing wings.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – (402) 575-0102; www.bigbirgeplumbing.com.