North Central / Regional Reports

Michigan Contractor Holds Grand ‘Reopening’

October 7, 2003
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From left, Dave Lennox, Pyro owner Dave Schmidt, and WHMI on-air personality Tim Brown prepare for a live broadcast from the grand opening event.
HOWELL, Mich. — Pyro Heating & Cooling Inc. held a special grand opening in late September at its new location. The event marked the move to a new building for Pyro from its former location, which it had occupied since 1985.

In attendance at the event — which was open to the public — were representatives from Lennox (including spokesperson Dave Lennox), local radio station WHMI, which did four live broadcasts during the afternoon, Pyro employees, and customers. One man proudly boasted that he had been a Pyro customer for 30 years.

Owner Dave Schmidt said the move to the new building (including a 4,600-square-foot warehouse) was an absolute necessity. “We had to get out of downtown,” he said. “There are a lot of condos going up and traffic was getting tough to handle. It was becoming a real event to load up our vehicles and get them out to the jobsite.”

Schmidt employs 25 workers and runs a dozen service trucks. He is especially proud of his service techs, whom he calls the “best marketing source.”

“They are skilled at being honest with the customers,” he added. “Our service department has been responsible for 50 percent of our replacement sales in the last two years.”

Schmidt is also proud of his sales assistant, Jennifer Martin, who constantly stays in touch with the local media and tries to get Pyro as much exposure as possible.

“I am relentless,” Martin said. “I just keep calling and calling [the media]. I told the local newspaper that I’d give them a half-page glossy advertisement if they covered our story. I reminded other people of the significance of the grand opening because Pyro is the oldest heating and cooling contractor in town.

“The Chamber of Commerce has a monthly newsletter and we were able to get our story in that, too.”

Debbie Platt, general sales manager for WHMI , added, “Dave is a longtime customer of WHMI. He gets value-added perks [e.g., live broadcasts] because Dave continues to keep his name out front and he offers solutions to his customers’ problems.”

Publication date: 10/13/2003

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