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Arnold Palmer & the True Heroes of the HVACR Industry

Arnold Palmer & the True Heroes of the HVACR Industry

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 09: Arnold Palmer hits out a bunker during the Par 3 Contest at the 2008 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2008 in Augusta, Georgia. . Image Credit: Andy Lyons, Getty Images Sport

Just prior to sitting down to compose this article I read a news report that golfing-great Arnold Palmer had just passed away at age 87. It was obvious at the opening of the Masters that he was ailing, so it came as no surprise, but it is sad nevertheless. Not only is his passing a great loss to the game of golf, but in my opinion, a more significant loss to society in general. He was a person with true character, conviction and honesty. In addition to his prowess on the golf course, he also was a very successful businessman – founding Arnold Palmer Enterprises involved in owning and designing golf courses.

Over the years I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing and working with many people in the HVACR business whom I would put on a par (no pun intended) with the likes of Arnold Palmer. I won’t list them by name, for which I’m sure you and they are thankful, but also for national security reasons and their own safety. I’m not at liberty to divulge the details, but suffice it to say that many of the people you know in this industry are also undercover TSA agents. They work at non-descript, but well known, wholesale distributors by day and lead an entirely different life by night searching for illegal liquids, aerosols and gels. In my opinion, these are the true heroes of our industry, willing to put aside their daily responsibilities for the good of all mankind, including you and me. Frankly, I don’t know how they find the time, but that is what true HVACR wholesale distribution dedication is all about.

I know that many of you, perhaps right this minute, are taking time away from your business responsibilities to read this article in hopes of yet again gleaning another small bit of knowledge or insight that will propel your earning and career potential even more.

Being able to provide that service to you over many years has been difficult at times and nearly impossible at others and has taken its toll on my pea brain. But, as my mentor, Peter Gaddinkis, infamous HVACR distributor in a small mid– western town near Doodle Ville, Indiana, told me, “Son, you only go around once in this life, so keep inside the line…”

Speaking of my pea brain, I have realized it’s perhaps time for me to hang up my writing britches and cover up the old laptop. Like with anything else, one knows when they have reached the end of the road in an endeavor. I have loved writing this column over the years, providing updates on my pet caterpillar, Curly, and my viewpoint on many varied subjects to anyone who was totally bored out of their minds and, hopefully, at the same time, providing a little humor along the way.

My heartfelt thanks to all who took the time to comment on an article here and there, and for sending old fruit and recommendations for mental health facilities.

There still are many on-going adventures for me, including serving on a distributor advisory board, an HVACR Technical College advisory board, plugging away at my dear wife’s to-do list, travel, part-time electrical department employment at Lowe’s and, of course, working to be a fraction of the golfer and gentleman that Arnold Palmer was.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank this magazine, and especially my editor, Candace Roulo, for putting up with me.

I’ll catch up with you somewhere along the road and many thanks once again for your friendship.

Ciao baby, Don Frendberg

Don Frendberg is president of Phase 3 Insights.
Contact him at 614/208-6801 or [email protected].

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