The award was made during a gala event hosted for Carrier customers attending the 2003 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo here.
“Bill Bodinus has spent his life educating and advancing the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry," said Skip Mungo, president of Carrier distributor Temperature Equipment Corporation (TEC), of Chicago. “It is with great honor that I present him with this first Willis Carrier Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Born in Chicago on Feb. 24, 1909, Bodinus began his industry career in 1926 as a mechanical draftsman for the Chicago architectural firm of Thielbar and Fugard. In 1930, Bodinus worked in Carrier’s Chicago office, working among “top flight” air conditioning application engineers. However, these engineers did not have extensive refrigeration experience. They looked to the 21-year-old Bodinus for assistance with applying carbon dioxide systems to air conditioning.
Over the next 45 years, Bodinus would become a Carrier sales legend who would directly influence the use of air conditioning and refrigeration in the candy manufacturing, cold storage, and packing house industries. In 1975, Bodinus retired from Carrier and, with Stanley B. Bellis, purchased the old Carrier plant in Skokie, Ill., to produce specialty sheet metal. Together they renamed the business the E.H. Gustafson Co.
Approaching his 94th birthday, Bodinus still regularly comes into his office.
“Bill Bodinus is a living legend in the HVAC industry,” said Todd Bluedorn, president, Carrier North America Commercial. “Through his numerous contributions, wisdom, and experience, we can all still learn from him, and we wish him continued good health and prosperity in this business for as long as he wants to contribute.”