Carrier Corp. recently presented its annual Dealer Hall of Fame Award and President’s Awards at the 2011 Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer (FAD) conference in Las Vegas, NV.

This year, the prestigious Dealer Hall of Fame Award was presented to three recipients — David Hutchins, Ralph Peters and Tom Rechtin.

The coveted lifetime achievement award is presented annually to only a select few industry-leading contractors chosen by a Carrier management committee. Nominees must have a minimum 20 years association with Carrier as their primary brand. They must also be a FAD, and be far enough along in their careers to warrant the recognition of lifetime achievement.

“The Carrier Dealer Hall of Fame was created to recognize and honor dealers who exhibit enthusiasm, loyalty and courage in their work and who embody the same leadership philosophy as Willis Carrier, the founder of our company and the inventor of modern air conditioning,” said Bob McDonough, president, Carrier Residential and Commercial Systems. “The three men honored this year exemplify compassion and commitment to their employees, communities, loyal customers and to Carrier. It is our honor to recognize them with this prestigious award.”

Although thousands of dealers across the country sell Carrier brand products, fewer than 1,500 are committed to meet the high standards defined by the company to qualify as a FAD, and among those, only these three are being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year:

David Hutchins - Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating,
Crystal River, FL

Hutchins started Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating in 1975 with a small home equity line of credit, one employee and one truck. During the past 36 years, he has grown his business to become one of the leading HVAC dealerships in Florida. He currently employs a team of 52 employees and manages a fleet of 30 trucks.

Hutchins attributes much of his success to taking care of his customers, employees and his community. He humbly follows the principles of former President Harry Truman and states, “If you make a good living in your community, you owe something back to that community.”

To date, Hutchins and his employees have logged numerous hours of local and national community service. The National Home Builders Association, Relay for Life, Scouts of America, Key Training Center and local Chamber of Commerce are just a sampling of the organizations supported by the Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating team. Hutchins’ business practices, community involvement and loyalty to his employees have made him a true Carrier dealer – and local business – success story and a great role model for HVAC dealers nationwide.

Ralph Peters – Peters Heating & Air Conditioning, Quincy, IL
Peters was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1955 with the dream of owning a business. That soon became a reality when he and his cousin, Charlie Peters, borrowed $500 each to open Peters Sheet Metal, a tiny storefront in Quincy. Furnace and boiler installations were added to the business a few years later. A larger business expansion began in 1975 when Peters became a Carrier dealer.

Today, Peters Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service commercial and residential HVAC dealer with seven locations and more than 250 employees, serving customers in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Peters retired in 1995, but the company is still in his family. It’s currently owned and operated by the sons of Ralph and Charlie, and, a third generation is now also working in the business.

Retirement didn’t stop Peters from working. He is an active ambassador for the company he founded and the Carrier brand. Peters also is very active his community – at home and abroad. He is the past president of the Quincy Optimist Club and has taken several missionary trips to Haiti to build homes and bring much-needed medical supplies.

Tom Rechtin – Tom Rechtin Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric Co., Bellevue, KY
Rechtin started working in the HVAC industry in 1954. He worked his way up the ranks before owning and operating his own business in 1971. Since then, Rechtin’s company has expanded its services beyond the HVAC industry and grown considerably.

The formula for continued success is involvement, influence and accomplishment, according to Rechtin. Throughout his professional life, he’s earned acclaim as a leader, businessman and teacher. Rechtin has numerous awards and recognition for his work and for his teaching in the local business community and within the HVAC industry. Most notably, he received both the state and national Contractor of the Year Awards twice.

Today, at age 75, Rechtin is still very active in the company, but his son Tom, Jr. has taken over the day-to-day operations of the company. Rechtin remains a staple of the local and state business community. He is on the board of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, President of the Association of Greater Cincinnati Heating and Cooling Contractors and a member of the Kentucky State Licensing Board.

In addition to the Hall of Fame Award, Carrier also presented 170 active dealers with its President’s Award. The award is presented annually to an elite group of Carrier dealers who exemplify the company’s model for operational excellence, business effectiveness and delivering the best in cutting-edge technology to consumers. Carrier rewards dealers who are committed to providing excellent customer service and are dedicated to the Carrier brand. Winners go above and beyond the call of duty in the industry with a dependable, consumer-focused work ethic.

“The President’s Award is designed to encourage self-analysis and reward dealers who have excelled in customer relations,” McDonough added. “This year’s winners demonstrate impressive abilities at achieving and maintaining customer satisfaction while delivering exceptional customer value and successfully positioning the Carrier brand in their local markets.”

For more information about the Carrier Hall of Fame and President’s Awards, visit http://www.residential.carrier.com/dealers/index.shtml.