Architect Mechanical: strength to help out

Pat Niccum and Corey Anderson of Architect Mechanical accept the St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Business of the Year Award April 24 at Jax Cafe. The award was established in 1993 to recognize an outstanding business located in or serving the community of St. Anthony. (Samara Bilyeu-Anderson/Bulletin)

The story of Architect Mechanical, the St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Business of the Year for 2014, as its president and founder Pat Niccum tells it, began humbly, and on wheels.

“I think we started 16 years ago with just two guys in a van,” Niccum says, adding that he first started the company with his brother-in-law. “We went with the ethic that if you do what you say you’re going to do and get lucky along the way, things will work out.”

Things continue to work out for Niccum and his current partner and vice president, Corey Anderson, at their commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning company.

As St. Anthony City Manager Mark Casey explained in a nomination of Architect Mechanical, “Even though they expanded and remodeled to a new location in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession, they never had a dip in gross sales or had the need to reduce employees. Since 2011 they have seen constant growth and are on the cusp of dramatically increasing their business and employment numbers.”

Niccum says he’s compelled by the success to pitch in with local efforts.

“I feel it’s something a person should do, if you have the ability, the good fortune to be successful, you should give back,” Niccum says.

Both Niccum and Anderson live in St. Anthony. Niccum says living in the village, it only made sense for him to move Architect Mechanical, which had been headquartered in various cities over the years, to St. Anthony in 2008 to be closer to his daughter’s school.

Niccum sits on the city’s planning commission and has long been involved with his daughter’s softball activities; Anderson is a commissioner with the St. Anthony Sports Boosters for the Huskies hockey program.

Among Architect Mechanical’s donations as a business: $2,000 to the Chamber’s Adopt a Family program in 2012, which effectively doubled the size of the program. This year, the company also made a significant donation to the St. Anthony-New Brighton Endowment Foundation.

“There are businesses in our community who hear about a need, raise their hand, and say ‘We can help,’” Wendy Webster, director of St. Anthony-New Brighton Community Services, said as she presented the award. “They offer to help time and time again without public recognition because, in their opinion, it is the right thing to do.”

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at or 651-748-7824.

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