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James River Air Conditioning Named Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year

Feb. 26, 2013
James River Air Conditioning has proven that creating a customer experience that truly makes the customer happy, and doing that every time they’re called, will bring a business to the top.

James River Air Conditioning, Richmond, VA, has been named the national winner of the 2013 Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year Award.

James River Air Conditioning in Richmond, VA, was founded in 1967 by Hugh E. Joyce and was initially a Trane Authorized franchise. “Trane had a dealer development program that was called the Trane DDP,” Hugh A. Joyce, president and owner of the company explains. “My father, Hugh E. Joyce, was part of that program and was very successful with it. You can trace many great contractors in America today back to a Trane DDP.”

Hugh Joyce, front, with the leadership team at James River Air Conditioning.

Joyce’s father ran the company until 1995 when he sold the business to his son. Joyce had graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in marketing and finance. He wasn’t familiar with the technical side of the business at that point, but focused on the sales and marketing.

The company serves the Richmond, VA, area and surrounding cities in central VA and still sells and services Trane equipment, although it has grown to be a multi-line dealer. “We carry Lennox, Trane, Carrier, Rheem, and we’re also working on our own brand, ‘James River Select’ which will be an Amana product,” Joyce explains.

To read more about James River Air Conditioning, see this feature article by Associate Editor Kate Kelly.

James River employs some of the top technicians in the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical fields. Ongoing training keeps them at the top of their game.  

The company also encourages all employees to become certified through North American Technician Excellence (NATE).  “Our goal is to get 100% of our technicians NATE certified,” Joyce says.

“We’re a service and replacement business. We believe you have to have multiple lines to offer a plug-and-play option that fits and works best for the customer. If I’m only working with one manufacturer, then I may be limited in giving the customer the best solution,” Joyce says.

In addition to running the everyday affairs of this growing business, Joyce makes time to give back to the community. One of his current ads shows Joyce surrounded by dogs with the saying “Hugh let the dogs out.” It offers that if a customer purchases any system, a donation will be made to the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The list of organizations that James River Air donates to and helps ranges from Habitat for Humanity to Toys for Tots. To see the extensive list of organizations, go to the community service page on the site

To read more about James River Air Conditioning, see this feature article by Associate Editor Kate Kelly.

ABOUT THE AWARD originated the Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year Award concept in 1986. The Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year represents an elite group: a forward-thinking class of HVAC contractors who are dynamic and professional in every aspect of their business. They constantly seek new ways to improve their businesses through quality contracting, and they strive to maintain the highest levels of customer service. See this link if you want to nominate your company or a colleague for 2014.