Tech of the Month: January, 2019
Name: Russ Miller
Title: AirComfort Certified ProTech
Why He’s Tech of the Month: Russ Miller started in the HVAC industry almost 25 years ago.
“I had a friend who was working for a company, and they needed some help,” he said. “At the time, I had just gotten out of the military. I didn’t have any experience, but I was hired.”
Therefore, Miller learned as he worked — his experience was all gained from on-the-job training. After about 10 years at that business, a large, 60-plus-person commercial company, he switched jobs to a smaller place that ultimately ended up getting bought out to become AirComfort Heating & Cooling, serving Columbus and Fremont, Nebraska.
Miller is the lead installation tech at the Fremont location. He holds a Master’s license and works as an installer, service tech, and sheet metal fabricator.
“I kind of do it all,” he said. “We’re a pretty small company … it’s more personal at a smaller company. I like working with the guys, passing on the knowledge to some of the younger guys who started out like I did.”
“He can handle literally anything that’s thrown at him,” said Steve Simmons, AirComfort’s owner/general manager. “Even our competitors routinely compliment him on his work. He is excellent with our clients and routinely receives five-star reviews for any interaction with them.”
Simmons said Miller has been a key part of the acquisition of AirComfort.
“Russ was a key employee of the previous owners,” he said. “When we purchased the company six years ago, Russ was a shining light of how to make the often difficult transition to working for new owners … with grace, integrity, and a desire to succeed in whatever he does.”
During the transition, the new owners were making a lot of changes. Miller was always there, Simmons recalled. And he was always supportive.
“They are in the process of growing the company, so they hired quite a few new employees … just learning new ways of doing business, stuff like that,” Miller said. “It’s kind of hectic, not knowing anybody.”
Throughout it, Miller went the extra mile.
“He is always willing to … take after-hours calls, help train new staff, and learn new ways of doing our job better,” Simmons said. “Russ always finds a way to make it a good thing. He never has a bad attitude or fights change. He is often a cheerleader of ‘getting ’er done.’ He always has a smile and is great to work with.”
A longtime industry veteran, Miller plans to keep working in the HVAC field “as long as my body lets me,” he said. “I’m going to hang it out, see how the business goes and grows, and go from there.”
Publication date: 1/14/2019