With Father’s Day approaching, it’s got me thinking about how blessed I am to have the Dad I have. Twenty-six years ago my father started Advance Air & Heat Company because he wanted to be able to give the gift of a college education to each of his children who chose to pursue one. As a direct result of my father’s hard work and sacrifice, I was able to graduate from a four-year college without the burden of a single student loan. This great gift has allowed me to have a financial head start that very few college grads have these days. For that, I am forever grateful.
Today, several (and I’m not telling how many) years later, I have been given another incredible opportunity – to own and run the great company my Dad built, alongside my brother Chris.
As you may have heard before, Advance Air was started in the dining room of my childhood home, with one man and one van. My Mom answered the phones and handled the billing, all while readying us kids for school and trying to referee our shouting matches. Early customers probably heard my brother, sister and I hurling such taunts and insults as “booger-breath” and the classic “I know you are but what am I?” while trying to place their service calls. Though my sister decided to become a flight attendant and leave the family business, my brother and I can still be heard throwing taunts around the office. Neener, neener, neener is still a great favorite of ours.
Over the last ten years, I have had the great pleasure (and let’s face it, sometimes great pain) of learning the HVAC-R business. One of the greatest privileges has been getting to know the team that my father put together over the years, from the technicians to the management team and office staff, they are collectively and individually some of the best folks I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. It is a group of excellent character, impressive skill and genuine caring. With the help of my brother and this great team, I hope to carry on the traditions of quality and integrity that have defined Advance Air for these past 26 years.
So as I look forward to Father’s Day this weekend, it is with the knowledge that though I can never fully repay the gifts that my Dad has given me, my wish is to lead my life and the company in such a way as to make him proud. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.