Tech and Boss Reflect Future HVAC Trend

Andy Rodenhiser (left), owner of Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, spends a lot of time mentoring his service tech Ray Landry (right), who he sees as a shining star for the HVACR trade.

BOSTON - Ray Landry and Andy Rodenhiser exemplify a hopeful trend in the HVACR trade - that of a young and upcoming service tech who sees a great career and is encouraged to grow and learn by a nurturing employer. If Rodenhiser’s name and company, Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, sounds familiar it’s because he has been featured in two previous articles in The NEWS, “Rodenhiser Updates Management Software,” Sept. 4, 2006; and “Longevity Among Boston Contractors,” June 1, 2000.

During a recent visit to Boston, Rodenhiser asked The NEWS to stop and visit with Landry, who he thinks is one of the brightest young stars on the HVACR horizon.

“Ray has been with me for seven years,” Rodenhiser said. “He started working for me right out of high school.” In fact, Landry, 24, worked as a co-op student at Rodenhiser’s while he was still in high school. Landry originally went to school to learn the plumbing trade, but has since expanded his training to include HVAC, radiant heating, and snowmelt, to mention a few disciplines.

Part of his training also includes developing leadership and communication skills. “Ray was shy when he came to work for me,” said Rodenhiser. “He wouldn’t even look anyone in the eye. Now he has really come out of his shell.”


One of the reasons Landry chose Rodenhiser was because he knew he had the opportunity to pursue a number of different skill sets while he advanced on a solid career path. “Ray has a certain skill set that we like to utilize,” said Rodenhiser. “For example, he is writing proposals involving pricing on boilers, which can get pretty technical. But we give him the latitude based on his experience.

“Ray is not going to get bored here because we are not going to pigeonhole him.”

Based on his experiences, Landry tries to spread the word about a career in HVAC to others, too. “I try to encourage new hires to stay on staff,” he said. “I talked one guy into staying based on what I said about my own personal experience. It seems like everyone who comes to work here stays here. It is a big deal to enjoy what you do and to have a future.

“But a lot of other kids just see dollar signs as soon as they get out of high school.”

Rodenhiser blames the lack of enthusiasm for the HVAC trade on poor marketing by the local vocational schools and even poorer cooperation from high school counselors. “Counselors are short-changing kids because they are sending them into careers that are not going to make them happy,” he said. “Employers are responsible for spreading the word, too.”

Landry said he didn’t know anything about HVAC before he went to work at Rodenhiser’s. “If kids got our trade into their heads at age 14 they would eventually choose HVAC,” Landry added. “I couldn’t have imagined seven years ago that this is where I would be. I blame that on not being informed. There are probably a lot of people out there like me who should be in this field but aren’t.”

If young people had the encouragement from people like Landry and the support from contractors like Rodenhiser, there might not be a shortage of good, enthusiastic service techs. “We literally have a five-step chart showing new hires where they can go in our company,” said Rodenhiser. “We invest in people and turn people into leaders.”

Visit The NEWS’ archives at for more information on Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.

Publication Date: 06/23/2008

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by John Hall

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Mark Crockett
Mark Crockett vice president, Crockett Facilities Services, explains the importance of technician training, the value of being a top minority-owned company in the U.S., current projects the company is managing, and much more. Posted on April 24.
More Podcasts


NEWS 05-04-15 cover

2015 May 4

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Legislation and Regulation

What legislative/regulatory issue is most important to you as a HVAC business owner?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con