This is a long post, but it’s a good read.

Two years after incorporation, Adam Monticelli and Special Operations Ductwork Inc. (SODI) have received a Disabled Veteran Business (DVB) Certification from the State of Wisconsin. View Certification (PDF)

I thought I’d give Adam a shout out here, because you probably don’t know him yet or much about SODI either. Here is a general introduction to both.

SODI first.

SODI incorporated at the close of 2018 as a yellow label union fabricator and manufacturers two products: Thermaduct, represented exclusively by Air Flow; and (non-exclusive) Koolduct, a tightly sealed, very light alternative to insulated metal ducts. Both products are recognized by SMACNA.

Adam and I are business partners, but Adam runs the show; I am a minority investor and a landlord for his shop. Tim Gonyo, a former inside salesperson for Air Flow, is now shop foreman for SODI and the mastermind behind SODI’s efficiency and quality control.

When it comes to SODI, I believe in two things: I believe in the product naturally, but even more so, I believe in Adam Monticelli.

Adam is a 16-year Air Force Special Ops veteran. I didn’t really know what that meant when I first met Adam, but then again, I had no idea “Special Ops” meant you belonged to the Air Force. (To be fair, what does any civilian really know, you know?) The job description isn’t finite, as you cannot really task for things that are real, perceived and unimaginable. Adam was tasked with it all. A day at the job meant securing airfields (and designing landing sites where there are no airfields), designing evacuation routes for embassies, coordinating air support, hostage search and rescue, training of friendly forces, and even jumping out of air planes on motorcycles. (Yes, you read that right.) He commanded a large group of men, served several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and executed the bulk of his military career with his wife, Lauren, and two small children left at home—wherever they happened to be stationed that year—with little to no communication with Adam for months on end. He knows the meaning of hard work and sacrifice.

I’ve discovered some interesting byproducts of Adam’s military experience since we went into business together. When Adam and I go into a meeting, for instance, he is immediately aware of all possible methods to get out of the room, most of which do not include the use of a door. I have developed a true appreciation for the support our Veteran’s Administration provides, because whether or not they ever utter a word, PTSD is a reality for most vets, plain and simple. We go on with our lives while vets and their families wrestle with the fallout of circumstances we can’t even fathom.

By that descriptor, you might expect Adam to be kind of a jar-head military man void of personality, but this guy is anything but. He is a true character. Adam loves hockey, enjoys throwing back a cold one or two, is fiercely protective of his family and strives for excellence daily. He is very serious about making SODI a success, and it’s been more challenging than we could have expected.

Adam will likely consider turning me into a pretzel for writing this about him, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take. He’s prefers to keep a low profile. Tough shit, Adam. In the two years SODI has been in existence, Adam has completed quite a few projects for hospitals, schools, and manufacturing. All the contractors (and their backs) have raved about the product.

If you read this blog, you know there’s always an ask.

And now, here’s the ask.

ENGINEERS: Give Adam an opportunity to review your specs and present Koolduct and Thermaduct to your team.

CONTRACTORS: SODI is always looking for opportunities, both indoor and outdoor.

I often share the reference that entrepreneurship sometimes requires us to jump out of the plane and build the parachute on the way down. Funny thing: Adam’s been there, done that. 

Until next time.


Tom Gelin
Air Flow Inc.
8355 West Bradley Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223


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