Meet Mitch Haddon

Alumni Profile

Given the choice of pursuing a four-year university degree or moving straight to the workforce after attending Reynolds, Mitch Haddon, armed with his Reynolds associate’s degree, decided to enter the workforce. That move, with hard work and mixing with the right people who were able to mentor him, led Mitch to work his way up the ladder. Today, as President and CEO of ColonialWebb Contractors Company, he is at the top of his game leading his company to great success.

After a year at Virginia Tech, Mitch decided to regroup and make some changes. He knew that maintaining a focus on education was important. Having worked summers for Colonial Mechanical, and with a father in the business, he had a sense of mechanical contracting. At the time, Reynolds offered an HVAC associate degree, so it made sense to enter that program. The scheduling allowed him to work full-time at Colonial Mechanical while attending Reynolds in the two-year program.

After graduating from Reynolds, he faced a crossroads — return to Virginia Tech, go to Old Dominion University, or continue working full-time at Colonial Mechanical. He had the wherewithal to consult the owner of the business, who had faith in Mitch’s success at whatever he did. He advised him to go with what he was most happy doing. “I loved working for the company and learning from the best, so I chose to stay at the company,” Mitch recounts.

That decision paid off in a big way.

“I was fortunate. I was part of a company whose owner really believed in growing the business and this company grew a lot and gave me a lot of opportunities to learn new things and take on new responsibilities. And to do something different the next day than I did the day before.”

When asked about his thoughts on attending Reynolds, Mitch said, “Having a local source of higher education at a reasonable price and offering degrees that are immediately marketable save people. Reynolds helped save me from wandering too much during those critical years post high school. I was able to get back on track quickly, get a degree, put a little money in the bank, and really kick-start a career! I am so fortunate!”

Mitch Haddon, older man with a big smile, stands overlooking the HVAC warehouse of the company where he is the CEO. There is a quote of his on a red background - “It's about perseverance. It's about keeping your eyes open and ears open to find that opportunity that you're really going to love.”Mitch knew that working and going to school at the same time was the best choice for him. It helped him to focus and gave him the opportunity to learn how to navigate “the world of work.”

He credits instructor Robert Sass with teaching the theory, while also applying that to real-world applications, which had a huge impact on him.

Drawing from the time he spent at Reynolds, along with his involvement with the Reynolds Foundation Board, Mitch has gained a real sense of the challenges that many face. Challenges like how to attend school and hold down a job while taking care of all the other responsibilities one may have. How to focus on academics while raising a family. How to focus on completing your degree while finding a path — not just to a job — but a career that you’ll love. “It's about perseverance. It's about keeping your eyes open and ears open to find that opportunity that you're really going to love,” said Mitch.

His resume and accomplishments include more than 43 years with ColonialWebb, (known earlier as Colonial Mechanical,) along with his work serving the community. He has put in dedicated time serving on boards with organizations like VCU Pauley Heart Advisory Board, American Heart Association, ChamberRVA, and Maymont Foundation, among many others, including serving as a Board Member and Past President of Reynolds Community College Foundation Board.

Mitch attributes “Intensity, focus, and finding ways to be around and learn from really smart and successful people – inside and outside the industry,” as his secret to his success.