Tell me about World’s Greatest Heating & Air.
We are 90% residential. We do maintenances, repairs, replacements and duct balancing and cleaning. We do Aeroseal, which is kind of like Fix-a-Flat for your duct work; it fixes leakages. We do indoor air quality, which is one of my personal favorites, because it changed my life. My daughter has allergies. I have multiple allergies. So, I’m a big proponent of indoor air quality.
We are not upsell-focused like many companies. A lot of companies will bonus their employees off of sales and higher ticket averages. We don’t do that. We give bonuses to our employees on client satisfaction, completion of work and no call-backs.
We educate homeowners to be sure they know all of their options instead of just the most expensive options.
We even take this one step further. We refuse to quote replacements inside the home. Facing large replacements or repairs combined with different variables, like having a newborn baby or caring for an elderly parent in the home, can create urgency and emotional decision making. We want a cool-down period so homeowners can review all aspects of the solutions we offer. We want them to be absolutely sure that our solution is the best one for them and their family.
Also, I recommend mid-sized companies. The reason for that is you’re large enough to handle the workload if it is 100 degrees in the summer or if there’s something going on that one person or two people can’t get out to. We like to have enough staff that we can get to you and not make you wait for three to four weeks.
Then, with the large companies, we’re seeing a lot of corporate people pressing those sales and pushing for sales, and it’s not necessarily pushing for the best thing for the client.
How long has the company been here in the Duval/St. Johns area?
We have been here for a little over a year. We’ve had other HVAC companies, and we went into a partnership — so that freed me up to come down here and open this business.
Tell me about your team.
My husband is the technical guru. He’s been doing it since he was 14. He has two licenses in Florida, one in South Carolina and one in Georgia. He also has a general contractor’s license.
And then we have two in our main management team. We’ve got Darius Brown. He’s been with us for about 10 years. He’s awesome. And we have Jesse. He hasn’t been with us for as long, but he sees the vision. They both relocated here with us [from Georgia] because they believe in what we’re doing.
How did you come up with your sci-fi theme?
My husband and I were brainstorming, and we thought: What if we just said, “We’re the greatest in the whole world, we’re the best of all time?” And then we thought: Wouldn’t it be funny if it was not just the world? Maybe the whole universe. Maybe we’re the best in the whole universe!
It kind of spiraled out from there, and we had a graphic designer create the cast of characters. The purple color was picked by my daughter Eden. She’s 5. At the time her favorite color was purple.
Do you have any advice for the average homeowners regarding maintaining, updating or replacing their current HVAC systems?
One of my biggest things is: always get multiple estimates. Obviously, I want to be one of them. I would love that. But always get multiple estimates. Because no matter how close the company controls their process, they’re going to have people who forget to check warranties. And we’ve gone behind people and they were facing these large repairs, and we’re like, “We can fix this for $200. You’re still under warranty. What was this other company talking about?”
Not everybody is going to know or be able to quote you a solution that’s going to solve your problem. You want to make sure you know exactly what’s going on before you spend thousands of dollars on some repair. Because a replacement may not fix your issue.
Know your options, always.
What is your background, and how did you get into this line of work?
I am a Georgia girl, born and raised. I graduated with a degree in psychology and moved into training and development for almost 10 years. I transitioned into marketing and business development with our other HVAC brands as we expanded and opened new branches.
What do you like best about what you do?
I love being a woman in a male-dominated industry. Last time I checked, our industry was only 3% female. When you get into management and ownership roles that number goes down to less than 1%.
After learning that, I created the Women of HVAC paid internship program. We are launching it here March 1.
They go through and for one week they work each position in heating and air, so they learn all about the system. They learn how to do maintenances. They ride with technicians.
You don’t have to have experience. You don’t have to have a college degree. All you have to have is grit: courage, strength of character, being able to keep going when things get hard.
Most women I know have these qualities already. They just need to be told that you can do this, too. It can be a very lucrative career with pathways to management and ownership, but most importantly it can provide stability for their families. I’ve seen lives completely changed through this program.
What do you like best about living here on the First Coast?
It’s the people. The first time we visited we knew immediately that we were home. I’m a Southern girl, so I always thought I knew Southern hospitality. But the people here are so warm and welcoming, it’s different from anywhere else in the world.
This is truly the best place in the world to live! That is why we offer free service calls, with a repair, to all St. John’s County police officers, firefighters and teachers. We are so thankful for them keeping us safe and teaching our children that we wanted to say “thank you” to them by offering our free services!