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A Service Story

May 16, 2024
All award photos courtesy NCI
Tom Johnson, center, of TM Johnson Bros., accepts the NCI Chairman's Award from NCI CEO Dominick Guarino, left, and President Rob 'Doc' Falke.

NCI Names the ‘Best of the Best’ During 2016 Summit

April 26, 2016
NCI's Contractor of the Year awards go to those HVAC contractors who have implemented Performance-Based testing, and create and follow a Performance-Based culture, and have achieved stellar results.

During the National Comfort Institute (NCI) Summit 2016, held April 10-13 at the Savannah Hilton DeSoto in Savannah, GA, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) contractors were recognized for excellence in Performance-Based Contracting™.

There were three Contractor of the Year Awards, the Annual Training Award, the brand new Implementation Award, the David Debien Award, Vendor Partner Award, and last, but not least, the Chairman’s Award. During the closing banquet and awards ceremony, NCI President Rob Falke and Chairman Dominick Guarino recognized a number of companies in these categories.

For the Contractor of the Year awards, participants must:

  • Implement Performance-based testing
  • Create and follow a Performance-Based business culture
  • Have a strong service department which is service agreement based
  • Engage in selling system renovations
  • Make training a part of the company culture.

Contractor of the Year Awards are presented in three categories:

  • Small Category – Companies under $1.5 million in gross sales
  • Medium Category – Companies with $1.6 to $3.9 million in gross sales
  • Large Category – Companies with $4 million plus in gross sales.

2016 Contractor of the Year - Small Size Category

Winner: So Cal Air Dynamics, Northridge, Calif. – John Ellis, accepting.
Runners-Up: WB Steward and Son, Woodbury Hts., N.J.; Canco Climate Care, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

John Ellis, center, accepted the Contractor of the Year award in the Small Company Category on behalf of So Cal Air Dynamics. John is pictured here with NCI CEO Dominick Guarino, left, and NCI President Rob 'Doc' Falke.
2016 Contractor of the Year - Medium Size Category

Winner: Basnett Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Littleton, Mass. -- Rob Basnett accepting.
Runners-Up: Ball Heating and Air Conditioning, Biloxi, Miss.; Star City Heating & Cooling, Lincoln, Neb.

Dominick Guarino, left, and Rob 'Doc' Falke, right, with Rob Basnett of Basnett Plumbing, the NCI Contractor of the Year in the Medium Size Company category.

2016 Contractor of the Year - Large Size Category

Winner: Schaafsma Heating and Cooling, Grand Rapids, Mich. Company President Kevin Walsh was not in attendance.

Runners-Up: Thomas E. Clark, Silver Spring, Md.; Indoor Comfort Team, St. Louis, Mo.

Kevin Walsh, second from left, and the team from Schaafsma Heating

The NCI Training Excellence Award. NCI looks for companies with the following attributes:

  • Training is part of the company culture
  • The company provides employees with constant internal and external training and education
  • The company has well-designed training facilities conducive to learning
  • The company shares knowledge and training with other NCI members.

2016 Training Excellence Award

Winner: Pippin Brothers, Lawton, Okla. – Mark Pippin accepting.
Runners-Up: Masterworks Mechanical, Craig, Colo.; Davis Services, Spartanburg, S.C.

Mark Pippin receives the NCI Training Award from Rob Falke, left, and Dominick Guarino.

NCI presented a new award — The Implementation Award — which has the following criteria:

  • The company regularly delivers measured performance in every aspect of its business
  • There are visible benchmarking/scoreboards with up-to-date performance results posted
  • The company has strong leadership
  • The management team sets ethical standards, with humility
  • The management team is constantly looking for ways to improve
  • The entire team is willing to embrace change.

The winner and runner-up of the inaugural NCI Implementation Award are:

Winner: Lakeside Service Company, Brighton, Mich. – accepted by John and Tom Boylan.
Runner-up: WB Steward and Son, Woodbury Hts., N.J.; Pippin Brothers, Lawton, Okla.

John and Tom Boyaln, center, accept the NCI Implementation Award from Dominick Guarino, left, and Rob Falke, right.

NCI’s David Debien Award is presented in memory of Houston Contractor David Debien who, despite a life-long battle with diabetes which eventually took his life, dedicated himself to non-stop learning, developing and teaching strong technical skills, and teaching others in his company to test and measure HVAC system performance.

The requirements for this award are:

  • The individual must have strong technical skills, especially in air-side and combustion testing
  • They must perform diagnostic testing on service and installation projects
  • The winner is one who teaches others in his/her company to test and measure performance
  • This person is a constant learner, always seeking to improve their knowledge.

2016 David Debien Technical Excellence Award

Winner: W.B. Steward & Son, Woodbury Hts., N.J. – accepted by Don Steward.
Runner-Up: So Cal Air Dynamics, Northridge, Calif.; and Pippin Brothers, Lawton, Ark.

Don Steward, center is the winner of the 2016 David Debien Technical Excellence Award.

NCI’s vendor partners are also recognized for their participation in the NCI Members Reward rebate program. Known as The Preferred Partner of the Year award, the criteria are as follows:

  • This vendor partner must exhibit strong support of the NCI membership with special pricing, discounts, or rebates
  • They seek to constantly improve their member relationships and offer member benefits
  • They promote NCI training and membership to its customer base
  • The vendor-partner assists NCI training around the country by providing hosting locations.

2016 Preferred Partner of the Year

Glen Baker of R.E. Michel Co., second from right, accepts the Preferred Partner of the Year award. He is pictured here with Steve McAleese, Dominick Guarino and Rob Falke.

Winner: R.E. Michel Company, Baltimore, MD – Glen Baker (second from right), Vice President of Sales, accepting.

NCI’s highest award is the annual Chairman’s Award. This is presented to the one company that meets and/or exceeds the following criteria:

  • Strong supporter of NCI and our shared mission
  • Implements all aspects of NCI’s methods in service, sales, and installation
  • Excellent sounding board for NCI’s leadership – provides great feedback
  • Great contributor of ideas, energy, time.

2015 Chairman’s Award

Winner: TM Johnson Bros, Cambridge, Minn. – Tom Johnson accepting.

Tom Johnson, center, of TM Johnson Bros., accepts the NCI Chairman's Award from NCI CEO Dominick Guarino, left, and President Rob 'Doc' Falke.

To learn more about Summit 2015 and access many of the photos taken during the event, please visit the NCI website by CLICKING HERE.