Who We Are

Back in the beginning, Ezra Carwile sowed the seeds of his dream in just 180 square feet. With the army behind him and training, thanks to the GI Bill, Ezra worked in the field for 8 years before he and friend Woodrow Jackson took that first leap out of the sun porch of a house on South Dixie. Cookeville was a town of about 6000 then, and air-conditioning was in its infancy. Most people had refrigerators and stoves, so the intention was to become a service company. “But in no time at all,” says Ezra, “contracting took off. People knew us, asked us to do more and more, and we just accommodated them.”

It wasn’t long before wife Lucille joined the company as bookkeeper. “When Ezra went out of town, we were just children ourselves,” she recalls. “I hadn’t worked since we were married, and this would change, paycheck or not. I had faith in Ezra and went along. I felt so good when I saw my first paycheck (five years later)!” 

The next year brought the Foodtown project. “We did everything except the floor and roof,” recalls Ezra. It also heralded the move to Spring Street. “It was a big leap of faith then – rent on 1000 square feet and 20 employees.” 1963 saw their first “really big” job, Mansfield Tire & Rubber. That was a 10-month job that opened doors and helped us move more into commercial work. “We took our next big leap of faith in 1966 when we bought and redid the building on 15th. From then on the jobs just kept coming.”

Gary started working his way up when he was 11, sweeping the floor for 50 cents a day. But it wasn’t until 1974 that he came on as a professional. “He graduated from TTU with a degree in mechanical engineering and, even though I’d always hoped he’d work with me, I told him he’d get no special favors as the boss’ son.” “In 1976 Lucille went in the hospital, and I stayed by her side. By faith, Gary just took the ball. He learned 5 years’ worth in those 8 months.” “This is what I’d always wanted to do,” says Gary. “I have a strong desire to do what’s right and fair, solve problems for people, and work with a team. I’ve never changed goals.” “He’s solid,” says Janice, “always drawing the best from people.”

As a young school girl, Janice started by playing “solitaire” with the checks on the floor with her Mom – putting them in order. After receiving her degree in marketing from TTU, she worked in retail management and buying for four years.“I learned how every area has to work together from communications to buying to production. When Gary and Daddy offered me the job as administrator I was ready to come home, to work for myself, to apply what I’d learned. I knew it would be difficult, though, stepping in as the boss’ daughter, having a brother as a boss, too. But I had faith.” “She’s been a tremendous asset to the business,” says Gary. “She is dedicated and hard-working. Like Daddy, she believes in doing things right the first time…and she does.”

Now over 55 years later, two more bosses’ kids have joined the workforce. Josh Carwile, son of Gary, spent summers working out in the field, getting an education on how the job goes. After college, Josh decided to come on full-time as a Project Manager and has grown to the position of Vice President. Erin Carwile, daughter of Gary, joined the team in 2006 and is now responsible for Human Resources, Billing, Marketing, and anything else we throw her way. 

Along with almost 100 employees, Carwile Mechanical has grown into the full-mechanical contractors we are today. Handling anything from a multi-million dollar new design-build to checking your sink for a clog. As Gary always says, "We are big enough to accommodate, but small enough to appreciate."

Our Core Values

Improve the Quality of Life
Grow in Knowledge & Understanding
Have & Maintain the Vision

Meet Our Team

Gary Carwile
Gary W. Carwile
Chief Executive Officer

Gary is the son of founder Ezra Carwile. After graduating from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, he joined his father and became heavily involved in the operations of Carwile Mechanical in 1974. After Ezra’s retirement in 1992, Gary was promoted from Senior Vice President to President. He is responsible for providing strategic leadership by working with managers to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.

Janice Hodum
Janice Carwile Hodum
Chief Financial Officer

Janice is the daughter of founder Ezra Carwile. After spending some time in retail purchasing, she joined Carwile Mechanical Contractors, Inc. in 1982. Working beside her father, learning the ins and outs of the office functions, Janice has progressed into the role of Chief Financial Officer responsible for managing the financial risks of the corporation. She is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing.

Josh Carwile
Joshua R. Carwile

Following in his family's footsteps, Josh became the third generation to join the Carwile Mechanical team, coming on board as a Project Manager in 2003. He is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in History. From growing up working summers out in the field to running projects, Josh now oversees the estimating, planning, coordination and control of all projects. He also participates in executing the long-range goals and strategies of the corporation.

Mark Caldwell
Mark A. Caldwell
Operations Manager

Upon earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1994 from Tennessee Technological University, Mark was hired by Carwile Mechanical as an Industrial Project Manager. In 2005, he was promoted to Operations Manager.

Earl Keith
Earl M. Keith
P.E.; Engineer/Pre-Construction Manager

In 1985, Earl earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and then went on to earn his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. Soon after, he joined Carwile Mechanical as a Project Manager, working closely with the estimating process. In 2005, he moved into his current position overseeing all estimating and design build projects.