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    Mike Devito Cropped
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    Mike Devito Cropped

    Devito Leading Air Comfort to Continued Growth and Service

    July 19, 2021
    Begins a new era of mechanical systems solutions to commercial customers in and around the Chicagoland market.

    BROADVIEW, Ill. — Air Comfort Corporation has promoted Mike Devito to the position of president, to coincide with the launch of a new nationwide partnership with Orion Group a California-based commercial facility service business. Air Comfort joins Oklahoma City-based Jackson Mechanical Service and San Antonio-based Texas Chiller Systems as the third Orion partner company.

    Air Comfort was founded in 1935 as an engineering company and equipment distributor. It has grown to become one of the Chicago area’s top HVAC providers serving clients in commercial real estate, data centers, food processing, healthcare, industrial and manufacturing. 

    Devito’s experience in the HVACR  industry began in the United States Navy when he maintained refrigeration and mechanical systems on a guided missile cruiser and a replenishment tanker. He studied boilers and steam propulsion while serving. Four years later, he was hired in the parts department at Air Comfort, and then
    expanded his role into the Chicago Pipefitters Local 597 union. His 30-year tenure with the company gradually expanded his responsibilities as he worked his way from service technician to sales engineer to vice president. July 16 marked his official 30-year anniversary.

    “Being named company president is a result of all the hard work I’ve put in through the years, and I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Devito said. “I look forward to leading Air Comfort’s future as one of the largest mechanical contractors in the Chicagoland area. Air Comfort has 86 years in the business, and I plan to focus on continued growth and providing quality solutions for our clients. We invest 5,000 hours each year in training with our field employees to give them the tools they need to be the best problem solvers, and back up every solution with exceptional customer service.” 

    Air Comfort's service radius includes Illinois, north to mid-Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and the St. Louis region.

    Air Comfort technicians follow a five-year apprentice program which Devito said molds them into "phenomenal journeymen, ready to move out into the field to manage their own customer base." Training includes ride-alongs with veteran techs; manufacturer courses; and extra night classes offered by UA 597.

    Air Comfort was the Contracting Business2014 Commercial HVAC Contractor of the Year.

    'In every role he’s held, Mike has demonstrated strong leadership qualities as well as a tremendous commitment to make Air Comfort better.' - Tim Smerz

    Devito succeeds Tim Smerz, whose family has owned and operated Air Comfort for three generations. Smerz plans to stay involved with the company’s strategic direction as chairman, particularly as Air Comfort is now launching the nationwide partnership with Orion Group. This transaction gives Devito another avenue of company growth through additional training and development resources. 

    “In every role he’s held, Mike has demonstrated strong leadership qualities as well as a tremendous commitment to make Air Comfort better,” Smerz said. “In the last five years, he’s led our efforts to build a stronger team and has really charted our course to even greater success. Mike is the ideal choice to lead the company forward into the next chapter, and I’m confident he’s going to do a phenomenal job."

    "Air Comfort has a reputation for exceptional customer service and it all begins with the team of great people they’ve assembled," said Isaiah Brown, co-CEO of Orion. "Together, we plan to grow the business by investing in the team through training and development, ensuring that Air Comfort is always home to the best technicians and leaders in the Chicagoland area."

    Devito, in an interview with Contracting Business, said customer requests are most often related to cost reduction, which Air Comfort does its best to honor.

    "Customers will ask us to come up with different ways to reduce costs at their facilities, and we try not to increase them. We try to find different ways to stand out, not being a company that comes back wanting more money each year, for the same services."

    On the COVID-19 front, Devito said client requests for indoor air quality solutions and assurance of occupant safety have become most frequent. One one occasion, they held a Zoom indoor air quality session for 70 clients.

    "They turn to us as the experts, which we believe we are. We've had some successful meetings and educational sessions [over Zoom]. Even if we don't get work from every customer, we're here as a resource," he said.