From Innovative Roots – The Nexstar Network

The Nexstar Legacy Foundation was created by members of its for-profit sister company, the Nexstar Network. Nexstar Network is dedicated to the business education of service contractors in the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical service and repair industry.

The Nexstar Network maintains founding core values—integrity, quality, value, member profitability and customer satisfaction. Nexstar supports members with an array of tools and programs such as internet-delivered information, instructor-led schools, member mentors, business coaches, and special events.

The Nexstar Legacy Foundation

A new vision was created In 2005, that of giving back through a rewarding industry. This led to the founding of the Nexstar Legacy Foundation, a 501(C)3 not for profit organization. It offers an endowment base and scholarship program.

Scholarship Program

To give back, the foundation first needed to grow. The endowment began in October of 2005 with $34,000 in donations. To date the endowment has grown to $200,000, with the help of numerous donors.

The scholarship program was the foundation’s first effort. Designed to provide educational funding for trades people and to bring new talent into the home service industry, the scholarships provide funds to students interested in the plumbing, HVACR and electrical trades. The scholarship program started in 2005 and has awarded over $200,000 to more than 40 students.

Troops to Trades
In 2013, the foundation created Troops to Trades, committed to attracting talented veterans, National Guard and Reserve members to the skilled trades.  Troops to Trades offers training grants, scholarships, and help in career placements in the plumbing, HVAC and electrical industries.
Explore The Trades Logo
Explore the Trades

Explore the Trades, began in 2014 as a campaign to drive students, ages 15-25, into the PHCE service industry through education of students, businesses and schools. Explore the Trades advocates education and outreach to potential employees to build awareness about these careers. It provides recruiting materials for educators and employers. Career resources include a job board, trade school map, and license information.

Founding Board Members

John Ward, owner of Nexstar member company, Applewood Plumbing & Heating, Co. was elected the first president of the foundation. John was the spokesperson for the foundation at the Minneapolis Super Meeting. He has been the most passionate to start this charitable organization. John summarizes this opportunity by saying, “Now I have the opportunity to give back to all of those who have given so much to me.”

Keith Broyles, owner of Nexstar member company, Broyles Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Inc., was elected vice president. Keith Broyles had been president of the Nexstar board of directors who is a very successful businessperson. Ward calls Broyles, “the smartest guy I know. He is kind, calm and genius.” Ward likens Broyles to Donald Trump for his mastery of negotiation.

Brad Martin, owner of Nexstar member company, Scottco Service Company, was elected treasurer. Brad is also a former president of the Nexstar board of directors. Another highly successful businessperson who owes much of his success to mentors he met within the Nexstar Network. “Brad’s organizational skills, ethics, vision and big heart will be one of the cornerstones of the Nexstar Legacy Foundation,” describes Ward.

Sandy Swartzberg, principal with the law firm, DeWitt Ross & Stevens, was elected secretary. Swartzberg has been the legal counsel for Nexstar since its inception. He has witnessed firsthand the changes Nexstar has made in members’ lives and has become a strong advocate for the group’s beliefs and sense of purpose. This will be Swartzberg’s way of giving back to an industry that has shown him the power of success through ethics, education and self-help.

Frank Blau Jr. was designated the honorary chairperson of the foundation by the newly elected board of trustees. Frank Blau is a founder of Nexstar and is now retired. He serves as the honorary chairman of the board of Blau Plumbing, Inc. which was acquired by two of his sons.

Greg Niemi, Ex Officio. President of the Nexstar Network, Greg serves on the foundation board as ex officio and provides a valuable link to the Nexstar company. He is one of the founders of the foundation.

A foundation trustee is a non-paid position. The board of trustees will meet two to three times per year to administrate the operations of the foundation. The foundation has been designated as a non-profit foundation for educational and charitable purposes. The Nexstar Legacy Foundation is a publicly supported corporation organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and has received 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.

Other Nexstar Legacy Foundation founders are:

Tony Flaminio, Controller for Nexstar Network, Tony serves on the foundation board as Treasurer.

Marla Coffin, Vice-President of Nexstar Netowrk, Marla was instrumental on helping to start the foundation, but currently does not serve on the board.