Alex Austin: Co-owner and President


I started my plumbing career in the 70’s in Glasgow, Scotland where I met my wife Heather. I received my City of Guilds (Plumbing Certificates) and after a couple of years Heather & I decided to move to Portland, Oregon. Trying to get into plumbing in the states was difficult, not only learning the codes, but getting people to understand what I was saying in a heavy Scottish accent. But I took the tests and received my Plumbing License in the State of Oregon, followed soon after by one for the State of Washington. I later obtained an Oregon Boiler’s License. At this time I was mostly working in the commercial and construction fields on housing and apartment projects and for companies including Safeway, Winco and Albertsons.


After spending 28 years in Oregon and raising 2 children, Heather and I decided to move to Kailua-Kona (where we had spent our 25th Anniversary) with our good friends of 26 years, Tony and Lani Welsh. I had gotten Tony started in the plumbing field, and it seemed like a great idea to start a business in Kona. I obtained my Hawaii Contractor’s & Plumbing License in 2006 and now enjoy working here and living a new lifestyle and hobbies such as fishing and scuba diving.


Tony Welsh: Co-owner and Operations Manager


Born in Everett Washington, I was raised in Portland Oregon, where I met my wife, Leolani, in 1980. From Oahu, she traveled extensively with her father and family, an air traffic controller at several bases on the mainland. She spoke of Hawaii often, and though she didn’t care for the gray skies of Portland, never complained.


My first trip to Hawaii was without her, 20 years after we married. I was on the Big Island to discuss business with her brother in Hilo and was not impressed with the weather, it rained for 3 days. When I asked, “where’s the Hawaii on Magnum PI?” he drove me to Kona. That’s all it took. I was there only 2 days, but the image was burned into my mind. Returning home, I informed Leolani that we were going to live in Kailua Kona. It didn’t happen over night, but we were on a mission. Now we have returned to her home and I have found a new place to call my home; the Big Island.


My business partner Alex Austin and I worked together in Portland for about 13 years. I left that company to start my own plumbing business and spent the next 6 years prying Alex away from the company he had been with for almost 20 years, to start a plumbing/contracting business in Kona. It can be hard to give up security like that but he was excited about the prospect of living and working in Kona.


We arrived in 2006 and started Plumbing Strategies, Inc by walking the streets and meeting people. A wonderful quality about Kona is the power of word-of-mouth advertising (the coconut wireless). We learned “the secret to success” early on. Return phone calls, show up on time, do quality work for a good price and you’ll be successful and won’t have to advertise. People on the Big Island are hungry for service and professionalism, and we pride ourselves on providing both.


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