Our Story

Matt Bourgery grew up in the suburbs of New England.

His mother was an LPN at the VA hospital in Bristol, Rhode Island, working nights so she could be at home for her children during the day. His father, a Marine officer and reservist, became a National Service Officer in the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), first in Providence, RI, but then at the VA Hospital in White River Junction, Vermont for close to 20 years. Matt graduated from high school there, and the Green Mountain State still has a firm hold on his heart. It was while in high school that Matt first began to volunteer at DAV, an experience in the value of service that has stayed with him ever since.

After high school, Matt became a part-time student at the University of Rhode Island. He used his spare time to explore Providence and Boston, when he wasn’t supporting himself and earning his tuition by delivering pizza. It was then that he met – and quickly fell in love with – Sandra Scubla, a waitress in the same pizza parlor.

Matt Bourgery & Family

Sandra came from a very different background.

Her grandparents on both sides immigrated from Italy when her parents were teens and settled in the Bronx. The Italian population was growing in the Bronx back then, and it was the right place to start a family. After her parents met and married, they continued to live in the Bronx until Sandra was about eight years old. The Bronx was changing by then, with more and more Italians moving up and out. Wanting a better life for his children, her father worked day and night to save enough money to move the family to Long Island. He was a vice president in the international banking industry, working closely with the Federal government to regulate those banks in the U.S. Sandra’s mother worked for Chase Manhattan Bank in customer service for a while, but when her sister decided to open her own women’s boutique, she decided to change careers and help her out. By the time Sandra met Matt in the pizza parlor, her family were settled in Long Island, her mother was working with her aunt at the women’s boutique, and Sandra was a Hotel Management major at Johnson & Wales University in Providence.

Sandra was drawn to Matt as strongly as he was to her.

“It was easy to tell I was in love,” Matt remembers. “I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I met Sandra. We had fun working together, then started dating.”

But finances intervened. Matt needed to find a better way to pay for his tuition and board. Taking a clue from his father’s experience, he joined the Air National Guard and flew off south to boot camp, technical school, and a year of active duty. The separation only strengthened their bond:

Sandra: When Matt left for boot camp, I felt as though someone had died. We had become such a part of one another lives.

Matt: I was very lonely, too, and didn’t want to date other girls.

Sandra: We wrote daily and spoke weekly – our phone bills were tremendous back then but we worked it out.  Those calls were more important than food!  I even visited a few times while he was in Mississippi.

Matt: My bachelor days were readily abandoned. I never looked back.​

When Matt returned, he and Sandra took up dating again.

They spent their weekends and vacations together, visiting different places in New Hampshire and Vermont, enjoying the mountains and the lakes. They even tried camping in a tent once.

Sandra laughs at the memory. “I worked in hotels, and as much fun as the tent was, a bed with a bathroom was so much better!​”

It was on one of those trips, during a hike up Mount Ascutney near Windsor, Vermont, that Matt led Sandra out on a narrow ledge and proposed marriage. To which Sandra readily agreed.

The actual event took place a couple of years later, after Sandra had graduated and Matt was entering his senior year. In keeping with her new degree, Sandra planned the entire event: a big, Italian, Catholic church wedding, followed by a bigger reception:

Matt: It was a traditional Italian reception: lots of family, everyone dancing, lots of food.

Sandra: It was the event of a lifetime! I don’t think any of the guests outside my family had ever been to an Italian wedding. The amount of food was amazing, the topic of conversation for months. Ha! We Italians don’t know any other way!​ I planned everything down to the tee, and it was an absolutely ​amazing day. Our parents couldn’t have been happier.

After a brief honeymoon…

Matt went back to classes (majoring in Chemical Engineering) and Sandra went to work in the accounting department of hotels in Providence and Warwick, Rhode Island. When Matt graduated, he immediately landed a job in Corporate America, with Siemans USA in Danvers, Massachussets, part of a process engineering team for lighting systems. Picked up by the Siemens Top Talent program, he became a Product Line Manager and then Engineering Manager. Sandra stayed in hotel accounting, finding a new job in Boston and then in Bedford, New Hampshire when Matt was transferred to Hillsboro. They seemed to have found their niche.

But it’s amazing how children and corporate plans can change the course of your life.

In 1999, Sandra gave birth to their first child, Ben. Six months beforehand, she and Matt carefully weighed the options for bringing up children while still maintaining a career. Sandra had been a young entrepreneur as a child, making, selling, and delivering candy pops along with babysitting. She also had the role model of her mother and aunt and their boutique. And she was comfortable with the bookkeeping for a small business. It made perfect sense to start up her own business at home. After some careful research and an investment in software tools and training, she founded a medical billing business, working mostly with independent psychologists and therapists who needed help filing their claims to insurance companies.

The business was a success…

And she kept it up for seven years, during which time she bore their second child, Bella. Meanwhile, Matt continued his career with Siemens, focusing on operations management and moving up the ladder. The next transfer, however, was quite a surprise: They transferred him to Berlin – not Berlin, New Hampshire, or Berlin, Vermont, but Berlin, Germany. Suddenly, life became very exciting and “interesting.” Matt remained in operations, as the technical lead on  an international team developing the production facilities for a new product line planned for Manchester, New Hampshire. Sandra shut down her billing business, and the whole family moved to Germany.

Then the global recession hit…

And just four months from completion of the project, Siemens pulled the plug. Matt and Sandra returned to the States and discovered that Corporate America had changed, perhaps permanently. After 15 years, Matt was no longer interested in following that path. Together he and Sandra went looking for a new opportunity where the combined skills, experience, and values of their upbringing and schooling could be used in running their own business in the region they had come to love during their courting years in college: New Hampshire and Vermont.

They found just the thing in Home Partners, based in Matt’s old stomping grounds around White River Junction. It was a family-run business, going strong since 1998, with long term employees and a list of satisfied, loyal clients. The owners were ready to retire and looking to sell the business intact. And it was, essentially, a service-oriented business, with unexpected similarities to Sandra’s billing business and Matt’s years as an operations manager. Instead of psychologists and therapists, or engineers and production line employees, their clients would be homeowners, painters, and carpenters. After another careful weighing of options, Matt and Sandra decided to go for it.

 

That was in 2012. Today, with most of the same experienced employees on the crew and a still growing list of happy clients…

Matt and Sandra are looking ahead to a second era in their life with Home Partners, an era that will grow the business while strengthening their commitment to service and satisfaction, both for their clients and their employees.

Matt: It’s not just about doing a great job with the painting and all of the repairs and new carpentry that fit around the painting. The story we see for Home Partners includes the financial stability and business values that will allow us to keep all of our workers fully employed right through the winter season.

Sandra: We want our people to feel that work is good, wages are decent, and it’s a privilege to be there on each and every job. We want to encourage teamwork and collaboration, with our employees and with our clients.

Matt: For Sandra and me, ownership means accountability. We want to be known for integrity, as the people who show up when they say will – and that means being honest, doing the right thing and doing it well, and if the client finds something wrong in the work, doing what’s needed to make it right.

That’s what we learned from our parents, my stint in the Guard, our first careers, and from raising our own family. It’s what we’re going to carry forward with us at the heart of Home Partners.

“The team really did a nice job. Very clean, professional, and great end result. Thanks!”

Michelle T., Norwich, VT