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85 Years of Leadership: Meet The NEWS’ Oldest Subscriber

September 19, 2011
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Lou Bindner
Lou Bindner, founder and chairman of Climate Engineering Inc., entered the HVACR industry in 1947.

Congratulations to Lou Bindner, founder and chairman of Climate Engineering Inc., Denver! Bindner bravely entered, and won, The NEWS’ contest to locate our oldest current, long-term subscriber. (We call him brave because it seems relatively few people like to admit their age.) “My birthday is close to that of The NEWS,” Lou said, “Sept. 28, 1925.” The NEWS’ is Sept. 11, 1926.

“At my tender age, 86 this coming September, I will be running a distant second to most of those really old fossils out there,” he joked.

Bindner entered the industry in January of 1947, “fresh out of Northwestern U. as a sales engineer with Worthington Corp. in Chicago. After a training period, I became part of their AC&R sales group (irreverently referred to as the Ice Cream Department).”

That was when he was first exposed to The NEWS. “I read every issue I could get my hands on,” he said. “Being a rookie in a fledgling industry, I devoured every bit of practical information I could get my hands on and The NEWS was one of those sources.

“Talk about primitive times,” he continued: “Even our offices in a downtown high rise were not conditioned, except by those dependable breezes off Lake Michigan.” They were high-rise offices with operable windows; they “actually opened and allowed an occasional executive to jump after some uncertain moments spent standing on the ledges outside the windows,” Bindner said, adding, “Those ledges were put there so they would have a chance to reconsider.”

During the Korean War, the Navy recalled Bindner and many others to active duty for the period of 1952-53. “The NEWS was kind enough to keep up with the USS Missouri’s wanderings about the Pacific and back,” he said. We mailed issues to him via his APO.

He moved to Denver in 1954, “with The NEWS following me,” and worked for Carrier and Trane before founding Climate Engineering Inc. in 1965 with Len Johannes. There were four employees including the principals, and two service trucks driven by Johannes and Paul Bower.

Today the company’s primary activity is still the sale, installation, maintenance, and repair of air conditioning and refrigeration systems in commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. HVAC maintenance and service are the backbone of the company. Eric Bindner is the current CEO.

“I am still at my desk and have just finished the July 11 issue of The NEWS, including your article on page 52 concerning the 85th anniversary,” said Lou. “Congratulations!”

Publication date: 09/19/2011

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