Former Contracting Business columnist and HVAC industry consultant, Earl L. "Bud" King, Jr. died on October 2, at his home in Bastrop, Texas. He was 72.
King was born in 1945 in Des Moines, Iowa, and eventually moved to Ottumwa, Iowa, where he met and married Alice J. Hissink in 1964. They had three children. He married Carol Stuart in 1985, in Des Moines, Iowa. They had one child.
King began his heating and air conditioning industry career with Honeywell, and later, MCC Powers (now M&M Control Service).
He and Carol formed The United Service Alliance in 1987. It was a national sales and marketing network for the HVAC industry, focused on educating its members to sell service, service agreements, and preventive maintenance in the commercial/industrial HVAC sector. The Alliance was acquired in 1995 by a group of eight contractors.
King was a regular contributor to Contracting Business, and would participate as a presenter for the HVAC Comfortech Show. His CB column, "Commercial Service Sales," provided numerous and detailed pieces of advice on how to sell system installations and service agreements to commercial HVAC customers. His writing style was to the point, and filled with logic and common sense for HVAC managers and salespersons.
In one column, he emphasized the importance of image and employee behavior to a business's success:
"How important is image? You and your employees can do a thousand 'right' things that can be destroyed by one wrong thing. My wife and 6-year-old daughter were crowded off the road by a lumber company truck. Our contractor, who was ramping up to build our new home always used this lumber company. Guess who didn't put one stick in our new home."
Earl King's hobbies included piano, especially gospel music. Other endeavors he tried included sailing, sprint car racing, hang gliding, rodeo and team roping, and rocketry.
He is survived by four children and six grandchildren.