EMPORIA, Kan. - Modern Air Conditioning has been named the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year. The business is owned by Jim Kessler, Bob Burenheide, and Charlie Haag.

The business got its start in 1918 when George Groh and Sons began selling Lennox furnaces and later adding air conditoners to its product line. But in 1968, Groh’s turned its focus to its roofing business. The heating and air-conditioning business was sold to R.J. Kuhlman, Richard Kuhlman, and Humberto Felipe and renamed Modern Air Conditioning.

Kessler joined the company in 1974 as a bookkeeper but began buying stock in the company. In 1996, he, Burenheide, and Haag bought the business.

Since its start, Modern Air has continually grown. In 1968, it had eight workers, six trucks, and a small shop. Now the business’ current home takes up over 19,000 square feet with a staff of 25 employees and a fleet of 24 vehicles.

The company serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers within about 100 miles of Emporia.

Publication date:06/25/2007