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Rooted in tradition and bound by shared values, family businesses possess a unique quality that sets them apart: the power to continue a legacy. The passing down of a family business from one generation to the next is the key to a successful business due to hard work and commitment to a common purpose. Few know this better than the Silva’s, a team of dedicated family members who work together to drive their family-run business forward.
Nearly 35 years ago, the late Tony Silva started Silva Building Specialists, a commercial cleaning and janitorial service for the greater Houston area. Today, Tommy Silva, his son, has taken over as President of the company, with many additional family members holding high-level managerial positions in the company.
“I’ve been in the business all my life; the whole family has,” Tommy explains. “Family members fill all the executive positions. There are no outsiders whatsoever.”
This family bond isn’t just a tagline; it’s the very fabric that has woven the success story of Silva Building Specialists. The Silva family’s connection to the commercial janitorial world dates back generations, with each member learning the business’s ins and outs from an early age.
“Before opening Silva Building Specialists in 1993, my father held the position of Senior Vice President at a Fortune 500 janitorial company. He guided all of the siblings through the ranks in the corporate world and subjected us to extensive training,” Silva says. “Commercial cleaning services have always been at the core of our family.”
As the company’s president, Tommy is supported by a team of dedicated family members who each contribute their unique expertise. The Silva family includes nine members actively participating in the company’s operations — a testament to the strength of family bonds.
At the top of the hierarchy is Tommy Silva’s mother, Patsy Silva, CEO of Silva Building Specialists. Tommy’s two sisters, Sheree Silva and Jennifer Silva Nicholas, act as Vice Presidents of the company. Tommy’s son, also named Tommy Silva, is the Vice President of Operations, while his daughter-in-law, Haley Silva, is the Account Representative. Tommy’s daughter, Taylor LaShae Silva, is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and his brother-in-law, Lee Nicholas, is in Customer Relations.
Tommy contributes the company’s success to the family’s tight-knit bond and their ability to use their respective areas of expertise to elevate the company as a whole. He explains that his father set the stage for success, and after his passing, Tommy and his family held all the necessary knowledge to continue his legacy and increase the company’s growth.
“When I took over the business, we brought it from a $5 million company to $10 million in two years,” Silva says. “Our family has been creating this company from the ground up for a long time.”
Thanks to the Silva Family’s commitment to quality, their success has skyrocketed. Not only do they have an extremely loyal customer base, but their employee retainage is something worth noting.
“Our average customer has worked with us for ten years. That’s a long time when you’re cleaning a facility,” Silva says. “Our average retainage of an employee is 15 years. We are in an excellent position.”
For over 30 years, Tommy’s father ran and operated Silva Building Specialists, teaching his children the lay of the land and giving them the tools for success. With three generations of Silvas currently working for the company, their goal is to continue this legacy in honor of their father and uphold the highest level of quality and service in the world of commercial cleaning.