COLUMBUS, Ohio — Bryant® Heating & Cooling Dealers of central Ohio are proud to announce the donation of a new Ford Fiesta to an inspiring client breaking through barriers and achieving success with the Dress for Success Columbus program after the nonprofit was recognized as a Bryant True Hero. Bryant, a brand founded in Ohio more than a century ago that has grown into a national heating and cooling solutions provider, partnered with its distributor, The Habegger Corp., in selecting Dress for Success as a True Hero in the central Ohio region.

Bryant recently launched a successful program dubbed “Women in HVAC” that seeks to promote the positive and often unheralded impact women have in an industry largely populated by men. As part of that movement, The Habegger Corp., which distributes Bryant’s heating and cooling systems across the Midwest, along with its central Ohio Bryant dealers, started a relationship with Dress for Success, aspiring to aid women in succeeding in the workplace.

The Bryant True Heroes program allows Bryant dealers to give back to their communities by honoring local heroes who work to create stronger communities, and, too often, go unrecognized for their service. In this case, the Bryant distributor has nominated Vicki Bowen Hewes, chief executive officer for Dress for Success Columbus, and her staff as True Heroes in the greater Columbus area.

This automobile donation is a reflection of the longstanding relationship between Bryant and The Habegger Corp. as well as the brands’ shared pride in the Dress for Success program.

Columbus-based Ricart Ford, which helped facilitate the donation by selling the automobile at cost and including a three-year service plan with the purchase, has made a significant investment in hiring and promoting women.

“Elena Ford of Ford Motor Company is vice president of Global Dealer Consumer Experience and is a great example of woman leadership in business,” said Rick Ricart, spokesman at Ricart Ford. “She has paved the way for women in business by demonstrating the value of workplace and consumer value.”

Ricart employs 117 women — 22 percent of its workforce — at its dealership in Columbus. This is a 3 percent increase over the previous year, and Ricart predicts a continual growth of female employees for the upcoming year and beyond.

Hewes expressed gratitude for the shared commitment to women in the workplace and her organization’s ongoing work in the central Ohio region.

“Our mission is to empower underserved women to achieve in work and in life, and the innovative partnership forged between the Habegger Corp. and Bryant has been transformative for our organization and the clients we serve,” said Hewes. “This ground-breaking donation from Bryant and Ricart Ford truly changes the life of the woman and her family. Lack of reliable transportation is a significant barrier to the women we work with and dictates where our clients work, secure child care, and access a myriad of other resources. These tremendous supporters coming together to help a woman in need is more than we could have ever dreamed and we are extremely grateful.”

The recipient, Leeza Crosby Edwards, was selected through a needs/impact-based process. She shared her excitement for how this donation will impact her family.

“I am so shocked and grateful! I broke into tears when I learned the news,” she said. “This is a life-altering gift for me and my family, and I want to thank everyone involved for providing this amazing gift.”

Ken Habegger, regional manager, Habegger Corp., shared his excitement for the enduring commitment of Dress for Success and Habegger Corp. for women flourishing in the workplace.

“The project is one of those rare opportunities when you set out to do something good and you achieve something great. It humbles me and our entire family of Bryant dealers across central Ohio to see the massive impact we’ve had in this recipient’s life with this automobile,” he said. “We anticipate a long and fruitful relationship helping women across Ohio achieve their full potential and hope this noteworthy woman inspires others to strive for better in their personal and professional lives knowing there will be organizations like Dress for Success there to help them achieve.”

For more information, visit

Publication date: 12/21/2016

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!