At plants manufacturing products such as oil and gas, plants generating energy, and wood mills producing paper and other consumer goods, one of the most critical pieces of equipment is a steam boiler, which generates heat and energy.

“People don’t see the mechanical side,” says Luis Alvarado, the operations manager for CORE Boiler and Mechanical Services in Prairieville. “There’s a lot of equipment required to operate these facilities.”


CORE specializes in boiler erection, repairs, and maintenance, but it places just as much emphasis on customer service and building relationships with clients, according to Paola Alvarado, the company’s president.

In addition to boiler repair, CORE offers services such as piping fabrication and installation, specialty welding services, furnace and process heater rebuilds and repairs, mechanical work, boiler services ranging from single tube repairs to complete retubing, maintenance and repairs on HRSG units, and much more.

“We don’t have a sales team, and we don’t have a large customer base,” Paola says.
“The customers we have sustain us through referrals because of the exceptional service and professionalism we provide. They know that when they’re in a bind, we are the people to call. Whether it’s day, night, weekends, or holidays, we’ll have a crew there the same day to get them back online.”

Paola, an industrial engineer, founded the company in 2019 alongside her husband, Luis, and Kerry Ponthier, a longtime friend. CORE has experienced rapid growth, with approximately 40 employees, but during busy periods, it can employ up to 120 people to handle emergency service.

While many of CORE’s clients are local, the company also conducts international work,
including projects in Panama.


Transparency with customers and hands-on involvement in projects have been crucial
in establishing a successful company from the ground up. “We started from nothing, and fortunately, with our ethics and hard work, we were able to grow the company from zero to $8 million in sales last year,” she says.

Paola and Luis met on a job site and are both deeply passionate about their work. Just as relationships have proven to be key to the company’s success, the couple’s relationship has also been an asset in their management roles at CORE. “We understand each other’s strengths and position ourselves to maximize them,” Paola says. “Where we’re weak, that’s where we support each other.”