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Master Service Companies sells to Contractor Nation

KNOXVILLE – Master Service Companies owner Josh Smith has sold his interest in the region’s largest residential waterproofing and foundation service company. Smith sold his interest to Larry Janesky of Contractor Nation, formerly Basement Systems Inc. of Seymour, Conn.

Smith started Master Service Companies, initially called Master Dry, after seeing a need to help East Tennessee homeowners find solutions to their crawl space, mold, and wet basement issues. After over a decade, the business has grown to almost $30 million in annual revenue with over 180 employees. Master Service Companies has offices in Indianapolis, Ind. and Winston Salem, N.C. as well as its headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. The Knoxville-based company has been recognized by the Knoxville News Sentinel as one of Knoxville’s Top Workplaces and has won two Pinnacle Business Awards.

Founded by Larry Janesky in 1990, Contractor Nation is an international network of basement and crawlspace waterproofing contractors that sell equipment and materials to companies in their network like Master Service Companies. Contractor Nation and Janesky have secured more than 30 patents on basement and crawl space products.

Contractor Nation was the natural choice, according to Smith. “When I reflect on the most important inspirations for helping me grow this company, I think of my first interaction with Larry Janesky and the team at Contractor Nation,” said Smith. “I had no business experience, only the desire to work hard and the willingness to follow a process. The training I received was instrumental in my ability to grow Master Service Companies, and I know Larry is the right person to take the company to the next level.”

Janesky purchases the company with great confidence. “Master Service Companies has grown steadily year over year and has been able to develop training and operational processes that are among the most effective in our industry,” said Janesky. “I am honored that Josh chose me to become the new owner and am thrilled to welcome the Master Service Companies team into our family. We plan to continue growing the company, hiring additional staff, and growing our market share in the residential service industry.”

After more than a decade of helping homeowners, Smith will have a new focus: criminal justice reform. In June, Smith was named to Gov. Bill Lee’s Tennessee Criminal Justice Investment Task Force, which according to Lee is, “committed to addressing all aspects of the criminal justice system to improve public safety and reentry” in the state of Tennessee. Based on his own experience in prison, Smith has been actively involved in criminal justice reform in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as multiple countries in Central America.

Smith plans to invest millions of dollars from the sale of Master Service Companies to form a foundation that is dedicated to transforming the lives of prisoners and their families through training, workforce development, and other re-entry programs. “After more than 15 years of investing in programs that provide hope, training, and re-entry support for prisoners and their families who earnestly want a new life, I am grateful to now be able to dedicate my time, resources, and energy to that purpose,” said Smith.

Published September 10, 2019

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