Back in 1864, as the end of the Civil War drew near, Frank Millard, a young, ambitious New Yorker, packed his bags and moved west, settling in Burlington, IA. Here, Millard established a lumber and supply business on the banks of the Mississippi River. Eventually, this business would come to involve six generations of Millard's family.
In the 1890s, J.A. MacArthur, Frank Millard's son-in-law, led the young firm into the coal industry. MacArthur possessed a keen business sense and tremendous foresight. This, combined with an unwavering commitment to quality in goods, service, and work force, forged the way to the company's future success.
The generations that followed, along with an extended Millard family made up of highly trained technicians and a talented administrative staff, have shared Millard's vision. Each generation has recognized the need to embrace change. This has enabled the company to broaden its products and services, and evolve into the multi-faceted organization it is today. From its humble beginnings with three workers, Frank Millard & Co has grown into a modern, progressive company that now boasts approximately 150 employees
Entering the HVAC Business
Frank Millard & Co. provided coal and oil for heating throughout the early days of the 20th century. In 1945 the company opened a sheet metal shop, and in 1948 entered the HVAC industry in earnest by becoming a Carrier dealer.
The company now has numerous departments including HVAC (Frank Millard & Co. is still a Carrier dealer, and was one of only 13 dealers nationwide to win the original Carrier Distinguished Dealer Award), plumbing, pipefitting, electrical contracting, roofing, sheet metal fabrication, painting, refrigeration, energy services, and general contracting.
Proud to be Union
Frank Millard & Co. has working agreements with seven different labor unions. The company is committed not only to selling the finest equipment and services, but to hiring the best possible employees available, and is proud of its union affiliations.
Employees from all areas of the company have the opportunity to improve Frank Millard & Co. Representatives from all departments meet monthly in an open forum. Any idea that may improve the organization is encouraged to be brought forward for discussion.
Updated training for all employees is a major priority of the company, and today's management team prides itself on keeping its employees on top of any changes or new technology in their particular field of expertise.
A High-profile Image
Maintaining a high-profile image is an important part of Frank Millard & Co. For the past 35 years, all 100+ of the company's vehicles have been painted turquoise, or what has come to be known in the region as "Millard Blue". The company also maintains a high corporate awareness through its sponsorship of numerous high-profile area events, such as Burlington's annual week-long summer music festival.
Frank Millard & Co. has worked hard to present an atmosphere where safety awareness is at the forefront. The company has won numerous safety awards, including first place nationally in its laborhour-category in the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors'National Association Safety Statistics Evaluation & Awards Program in both 1999 and 2003.
Today and Tomorrow
Today, Frank Millard & Co. is a diversified, $16.5 million company. Its HVAC mix is approximately 75% commercial and 25% residential, the vast majority of both businesses being replacement and service.
“One thing is for sure,” says Mac Coffin, company president. “There aren't too many companies where you can trace the family history all the way back through six generations. We're in business for the long term. We want to keep the heritage going.”
While Frank Millard & Co. has changed dramatically in some regards, it remains dedicated to serving the people of Southeastern Iowa and West Central Illinois with the finest products and services and the best workforce possible — just as it did 140 years ago.