It has been two years since Ken Goodrich acquired Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning Repairmen. After extensive management reorganization and redirecting focus towards customer service and quality installations, the Tempe, Arizona-based company successfully celebrated its 75th anniversary this year.

“Goettl is an industry icon,” Goodrich said. “It brought refrigerated air conditioning to Arizona, one of the hottest climates in the world. It has contributed, added, and built some of the processes and technologies that the Southern climate uses today. It’s just part of Arizona’s heritage. So, I’m proud we were able to save the brand and restore it, and I’m really proud of how the team has rallied around its rebirth, redirection, and future plans to become the premier company in Arizona.”

And now that Goettl is on track to meet its goals, Goodrich has set his sights on fostering the success of another Arizona contractor, Sonoran Air in Phoenix. Goodrich acquired the company in August and it is now operating under its new name, Sonoran Air Conditioning.

According to Goodrich, it was the talent at Sonoran that caught his interest, not its work in the residential new construction sector.

“With the Sonoran acquisition, we are redefining the direction, capitalizing on our strengths, and working on the synergy between Goettl and Sonoran,” Goodrich said. “We have restored them both to profitability in just 120 days. Now, the direction’s going to be, how do we take the customers that Sonoran creates via its new construction model and make long-term customer relationships with the Goettl service model?”

Dan Burke, chairman of Goettl’s board of advisors, said the company has done very well, especially considering the economy. “I’m the former president, so I have some perspective. We’ve had double-digit growth, so I’d say we’ve done very well and provided a lot of opportunities for people who would not have had in another entity,” Burke said. “And that’s primarily due to Ken’s leadership. He’s always looking for good people, but he provides the energy and the drive, and, in many cases, the finances to pursue opportunities.”

Burke attributes a large portion of the company’s success to Goodrich’s ability to identify peoples’ strengths. “He really has a skill to see, even in a company that has problems, the strengths of that leader or manager that would add something to our team — for example, they have some background or experience that would strengthen us. He has a talent for recognizing those things and trying to put together those teams. That’s really important when you’re combining companies.”

Most of Goodrich’s experience has been in acquiring, integrating, and developing HVAC service and plumbing companies. With more than 26 years in the industry, Goodrich said he’s acquired more than 60 businesses. At first, it was just to gain customers, but, as time progressed, things changed.

“I had no interest in the brand, fixtures, people, etc., but, as time went on, I saw value in the business to capitalize on the brand recognition in the markets they had,” Goodrich explained. “Throughout the process, I learned how to grow our human capital — people. And, today, all of my key present and former people either own or operate their own contracting businesses. That experience in acquisition strategy evolved into acquiring companies for the people — the raw talent that I can mold into champions. At the end of the day, it’s about the people.”

Publication date: 12/22/2014

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