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This year, the Dealer Hall of Fame Award was presented to three recipients: David Hutchins, Ralph Peters, and Tom Rechtin.
“The Carrier Dealer Hall of Fame was created to recognize and honor dealers who exhibit enthusiasm, loyalty, and courage in their work and who embody the same leadership philosophy as Willis Carrier, the founder of our company and the inventor of modern air conditioning,” said Bob McDonough, president, Carrier Residential and Commercial Systems. “The three men honored this year exemplify compassion and commitment to their employees, communities, loyal customers, and to Carrier. It is our honor to recognize them with this prestigious award.”
Although thousands of dealers across the country sell Carrier brand products, fewer than 1,500 meet the high standards defined by the company to qualify as a FAD, and among those, only three are being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year:
David Hutchins started Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating in 1975 with a small home equity line of credit, one employee, and one truck. During the past 36 years, he has grown his business to become one of the leading HVAC dealerships in Florida. He currently employs a team of 52 employees and manages a fleet of 30 trucks.
Hutchins attributes much of his success to taking care of his customers, employees, and his community. Hutchins follows the principles of former President Harry Truman and states, “If you make a good living in your community, you owe something back to that community.”
To date, Hutchins and his employees have logged numerous hours of local and national community service. The National Home Builders Association, Relay for Life, Scouts of America, Key Training Center, and local Chamber of Commerce are just a sampling of the organizations supported by the Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating team.
Ralph Peters was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1955 with the dream of owning a business. That soon became a reality when he and his cousin, Charlie Peters, borrowed $500 each to open Peters Sheet Metal, a tiny storefront in Quincy, Ill. Furnace and boiler installations were added to the business a few years later. A larger business expansion began in 1975 when Peters became a Carrier dealer.
Today, Peters Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service commercial and residential HVAC dealer with seven locations and more than 250 employees, serving customers in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Peters retired in 1995, but the company is still in his family. It’s currently owned and operated by the sons of Ralph and Charlie, and a third generation is now also working in the business.
Retirement didn’t stop Peters from working. He is an active ambassador for the company he founded and the Carrier brand. Peters also is very active his community, at home and abroad. He is the past president of the Quincy Optimist Club and has taken several missionary trips to Haiti to build homes and bring much-needed medical supplies.
Tom Rechtin started working in the HVAC industry in 1954. He worked his way up the ranks before owning and operating his own business in 1971. Since then, Rechtin’s company, Tom Rechtin Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric Co., Bellevue, Ky., has expanded its services beyond the HVAC industry and grown considerably.
The formula for continued success is involvement, influence, and accomplishment, according to Rechtin. Throughout his professional life, he’s earned acclaim as a leader, businessman, and teacher. Rechtin has numerous awards and recognition for his work and for his teaching in the local business community and within the HVAC industry. Most notably, he received both the state and national Contractor of the Year Awards twice.
Today, at age 75, Rechtin is still very active in the company, but his son Tom Jr. has taken over the day-to-day operations of the company.
Rechtin remains a staple of the local and state business community. He is on the board of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, president of the Association of Greater Cincinnati Heating and Cooling Contractors, and a member of the Kentucky State Licensing Board.
In addition to the Hall of Fame Award, Carrier also presented 170 active dealers with its President’s Award. According to the company, the award is presented annually to an elite group of Carrier dealers who exemplify the company’s model for operational excellence, business effectiveness, and delivering the best in cutting-edge technology to consumers. Carrier rewards dealers who are committed to providing excellent customer service and are dedicated to the Carrier brand.
“The President’s Award is designed to encourage self-analysis and reward dealers who have excelled in customer relations,” McDonough said. “This year’s winners demonstrate impressive abilities at achieving and maintaining customer satisfaction while delivering exceptional customer value and successfully positioning the Carrier brand in their local markets.”
For more information about the Carrier Hall of Fame and President’s Awards, visit www.residential.carrier.com/dealers/index.shtml.
Publication date: 06/27/2011