When it comes to keeping employees happy, Conditioned Air Corp., Naples, Fla., does it better than most.

How? Through a wide range of incentive programs including the Green Olive Program, SHARE Plan, ATTA Bucks, the Above and Beyond Award, and more, all designed to reward employees’ hard work.

The Green Olive Program, based on an airline cost savings by eliminating olives, recognizes HVAC cost-saving measures that have no affect on customer service. The ATTA Bucks program is for employees who garner positive feedback from customer surveys. Above and Beyond is for employees who exceed expectations, while the Sincerity & Honesty Affords Rewards for Everyone (SHARE) program grants all employees a share of company profits. These programs, in addition to its Conditioned Air University for ongoing training, a focus on steady workloads, clearly defined pay increases, and broad-based medical benefits helped distinguish Conditioned Air Corp. as The NEWS’ Best Contractor to Work For in the South region.


Conditioned Air has been in business since 1962. The present ownership purchased the company in 1993. Today it has more than 250 employees, including 183 service technicians and installers.

Its core values center on integrity, respect, safety, purposeful effort, and exceeding expectations.

“The mission of Conditioned Air is to provide products and services in an honorable way that exceeds the expectations of each and every one of our clients within an industry whose reputation is tarnished with mistrust and deceit,” said Theo Etzel, CEO and owner.

According to company president Keith Walker, Conditioned Air hires for personality and trains for skills. So while the company partners with local trade schools, and advertises on industry-specific websites, Walker said the company looks for potential techs who are “friendly, communicative, and who can sign off on our mission statement.”

Walker said the company supplements customary supplier and wholesaler programs through its own Conditioned Air University, specifically designed for its installers and technicians. The curriculum, which contains nearly 18 specialized courses, focuses on proper installation methods, servicing and technical troubleshooting, maintenance, communication skills, and safety.

“Additionally, our technicians are highly encouraged to pursue North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification,” said Etzel. “Conditioned Air provides the study materials at no cost to the employee and, upon confirmation of certification, the employee’s hourly pay rate is increased by 50 cents, which adds up to more than $1,000 a year.”


“Conditioned Air has experienced 70 percent growth over the past seven years,” said Carol Papesh, partner, senior vice president, and CFO. “Our growth is due in part to an increase in maintenance agreements. We currently have almost 11,000 maintenance agreements in place that keep our technicians busy through the seasonal months.”

Many of the cleverly named incentive programs fit into the commitment the company has to engage its employees in considering employment at Conditioned Air as a career and not a job, said Walker. “Our company culture encourages employees to make suggestions on improving processes and procedures. And we are an open-book management company. We share full financial information and performance data with all employees, down to the net profit. This encourages a total-team approach to our business and shows trust between all.”

For seven-year employee Ernesto Alicea, all the internal dynamics are just part of the varied aspects of the company. Alicea said the amount of knowledge within the company is of benefit when techs and installers are in the field.

“If you are at a job site and you are stuck on a situation, you can call and get help over the phone,” said Alicea, who currently serves as field supervisor. “If you need an extra pair of hands on a site, you can get that as well.”


For service techs and installers on job sites, as well as those within the Conditioned Air buildings in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota, Fla., the focus the company places on safety and health is extremely important.

“At Conditioned Air we take workplace safety and responsible be-
havior very seriously,” Etzel said. “We have a very progressive safety program in place that encourages individual responsibility and group, or team, responsibility to decrease workplace accidents and heighten safe work practices.

“Wellness is among the most vital investments that a company can make. We aren’t only investing in the physical wellness, safety, and mental health of our employees, but are also taking preventive measures by creating a healthier environment through our wellness-check-up reward benefit for annual physicals.”

The accomplishments of Conditioned Air as a well-respected contracting company and a good place to work have not only been recognized by The NEWS’ Best Contractor to Work For honor. The company has also received a Super Service award from Angie’s List, recognition from the Uncommon Friends Foundation
for its ethical practices, and was recognized with the prestigious 2010 Contractor of the Year award from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

Just The Facts: Conditioned Air Corp.

Contractor: Conditioned Air Corp.

Owner: W. Theodore Etzel III

Locations: Naples and Fort Myers, Fla.

Years in Business: 51

Bulk of Market: Residential

Total Sales for 2012: $28 million

Total Employees: 252

Total Service Technicians and Installers: 183

Average Hours Employees Spend In Training: 41

Benefits Beyond Medical/Dental Insurance: Optical, 401k, long-term disability, group term life insurance, AFLAC plans, wellness check-up rewards, profit sharing

Industry Association & Contractor Group Members: ACCA, ABC

The NEWS Selected This Contractor Because: It has varied incentive programs, its own Conditioned Air University for ongoing training, a focus on steady workloads throughout the year, a clearly defined pay increase policy, and broad-based medical benefits including wellness-based incentives.

Publication date: 1/20/2014 

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