Joy Cetton is making a name for herself in South Florida as a young, female business owner.
Joy Cetton is making a name for herself in South Florida as a young, female business owner.

Joy Cetton is something of a rarity in the HVAC industry. Not only is she a female business owner, running Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.-based Precision Refrigeration with business partner Brian Petlyar, she’s also doing it at age 25.

So, suffice to say, she’s turning quite a few heads in South Florida.

“I love watching people’s reactions when they find out that I’m the owner,” Cetton said.

“Sometimes we interview people here that are older than me, and that are men, and sometimes I feel like I do get funny looks. People do stereotype.

“But sometimes it does have its benefits. People see a woman’s face, see the sensitivity, and some people gravitate toward that more.”

Cetton got her start in the industry by working for her father, who is a residential contractor. But after college and gaining some experience, she began working for a commercial refrigeration company before branching out on her own, opening Precision in 2012.

“I gained a lot of experience there, but I wanted to leave to do something for myself. I didn’t want to have a position because it was passed down from my family. I wanted to go on my own and do something that wasn’t handed to me,” Cetton said.

“At the beginning, it was good. Everyone knows that sometimes working with family is difficult. I always felt like because I was the daughter, people in the office would treat me differently. I didn’t like that feeling. It just got to a point where I didn’t want anybody around me to feel this was a position I got because of my dad, because people are very quick to judge.”

A Fast Start

Business has accelerated rather quickly at Precision. After opening its doors in October 2012, the company has already amassed more than 100 customers. “We’re slammed to the point that we don’t have enough vans or technicians,” Cetton said. “Sometimes I just can’t believe it.”

That has played a big role in keeping Cetton very busy on a day-to-day basis. “I do all the billing and try to get all the billing out before the mail comes. I help a lot of the guys with the warranty work,” she said. “I go to the supply houses and fill out the warranty work. I do all the collections, all the quotes. I’ve been very busy.”

Business partner, Petlyar, has been sincerely impressed with Cetton’s drive and passion. “She’s the ultimate multitasker, she can juggle 10 tasks at once and never drop the ball,” Petlyar said. “I depend on her heavily and am never disappointed. She also has a great sense of humor, can roll with the changes, and is very quick at what she does, which is great because we’re crazy busy.”

That sense of humor has rubbed off on not just Petlyar, but the entire staff at Precision, as well.

“She’s very self-sacrificing and has an amazing work ethic,” said Katherine Carter, marketing manager. “She works long hours and you will still find her wearing an easy smile after a long day. She’s pragmatic, down to earth, and you always know where you stand. She inspires everyone in the office, as well as the technicians.”

In fact, Cetton has already made a large impact on Carter in the short time they’ve been working together. “I was telling my neighbors last weekend that I’ve had two bosses or mentors over the years that really were awesome; the first was 87 and the second is 25,” she said. “My two favorite people are the oldest and the youngest employers I’ve ever had. Joy is easy-going and very focused. The hours go by so fast that I’m always surprised when the day is over. I think it’s because she loves organization and our daily tasks and jobs all follow an easy pattern. We’re growing quickly and being on a winning team is a great feeling.”

Precision’s market, South Florida, is saturated with refrigeration companies. That leaves Cetton in the unenviable position of trying to make an impact in a market with many more established businesses. Still, she believes Precision has made great progress and is happy with how things have transpired so far.

“We’re taking it day by day, trying to get more customers, trying to grow,” she said. “In Florida, there are so many refrigeration companies. It’s ridiculous. So we’re constantly trying different things. We’ve found that offering competitive rates has worked extremely well for us.”

Cetton is trying to make a dent in the market by going above and beyond with customer service, something she said is a big priority.

“Customer service is key,” she said. “And we try to be available to these people 24/7. The customers like that they can call, get an answer, and actually talk to a person. We don’t have an answering service; everything comes to my phone or my partner’s phone. They like to know they can speak to someone whether it’s at night or in the morning.”

That drive for service is what’s going to keep Cetton going strong as she looks to continue to build her brand, and boost her company’s business as well. “I just want to keep on growing, continue gaining customers, and do everything we can to retain their business. It won’t be long and we’ll have to double the amount of vans we have.

“I want people to know Precision Refrigeration and recognize it as a reliable name. That’s my main goal. Even though there are a lot of companies here, I want our company to be recognized amongst the more well-known businesses. I want to be the best.”

Publication date: 4/29/2013 

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