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What's The Deal With These Contractors of Excellence?

Something different, that's all. A new twist on how we recognize outstanding heating and air conditioning contractors.

For many years, Contracting Business presented an annual “Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year” award to an outstanding heating, ventilation and air conditioning contracting business.

About five years ago, nominations that we received really slowed down. Perhaps you didn’t have time to complete an entry form, which, admittedly, did request lots of information. Or, perhaps you think a Twitter or Facebook post brings you all the recognition you need, which is not the case; but, to each his own.

Susan Lakin

The good news is, I happen to believe presenting commendations to multiple outstanding contractors is more realistic than splitting hairs between two or three great firms, just for the sake of handing out an award, in what is indeed an award-heavy industry. And I must admit, it used to hurt to have to choose one outstanding company over two or three other companies of equal quality.

And so, this year, we’re presenting special commendations to three HVAC “Contractors of Excellence.” Each has something special that makes them a standout.

Standard Heating and Air Conditioning was founded in 1939. A Trane sales engineer named Tom Kime bought the company in 1996, sold it in 1999, and bought it back again in 2003. His son Tyler is now running the show, and they are on a roll in Birmingham, Ala. Tyler brings a financier’s point of view to the business, and has not ignored the importance of training, working with a team of qualified managers, market focus and —surprise! — doing what you say you will do! Funny how customers appreciate that! You can find the Standard story HERE.

Father & Son: Tom and Tyler Kime



Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Ai
r almost closed its doors. Then, owner Mary Jean Anderson called Nexstar, and thus began a transformation. Today, the company that was once $1 million in debt is now a $30 million powerhouse, with plans to reach $50 million in sales by 2023.

The rescue was possible thanks to the coaching and excellent programs Nexstar provided, but also because Anderson followed Nexstar’s methods to the letter, never lost hope, and had a strong faith and a strong team to sustain her.



Brilliant facets to this gem of a company include many annual community service activities, as well as spur-of-the-moment responses to those in need, like helping Hurricane Harvey victims. CLICK HERE for Mary Jean Anderson’s story.

HomeServe Energy Services, a subsidiary of HomeServe, recently acquired South Jersey Energy Services Plus, and took on the challenge of serving 62,000 homeowners in South Jersey. Its success is based in training, responding to technicians’ comments and using technology to improve service and response times. Read about HomeServe HERE.

These successful HVAC companies are models of best practices, strategic implementation of new ideas, and smart decision making, to take on the sometimes harsh realities of business management. I hope their stories inspire you to greater things.

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