Jim Abrams, founder of AirTime 500 and president and CEO of VenVest, has announced the launch of One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating®, a national HVAC franchise-based organization. The new franchise promises customers on-time service with the slogan, “On time every time, or you don’t pay a dime.” Like VenVest’s other franchise-based company, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing™, One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating franchise owners will share the same software, systems, processes and procedures. “Branded franchises that have a true connection or meaning with their customers create a large and very dedicated base of customers,” says Abrams. “By driving our concept home, consumers who want service on time will think of One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating and give member contractors their business.” Alan Mintz has been named president of the new franchise. Mintz previously served as senior vice president corporate development with Blue Dot Services, Inc., western regional vice president for ARS, and as owner/operator of HAVSCO Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., in Cleveland, OH. To recruit franchise owners, Abrams and Mintz have already met with HVAC executives who have bought into, and embraced, the AirTime 500 business model and service mission. AirTime is a membership organization for residential HVAC contractors that receive proprietary tools, management expertise and marketing systems from VenVest experts. Beginning August 15 non-AirTime customers will also be approached. Mintz and Abram expect at least 50 One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating franchises by the end of 2003. VenVest also announced the purchase of four HVAC businesses operating under Union Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of EPCOR Energy, Inc., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The four residential HVAC businesses have combined sales of more than $24 million Canadian ($20 million U.S.), Financial details of the acquisition were not been disclosed. In conjunction with the purchase, VenVest has created a new joint-venture company called AirTime Canada ULC. Vaughn Goettler, previously the president and CEO of Union Energy, will serve as chief executive officer and Bruce Cook, previously the chief operating officer of Union Energy, will be AirTime Canada’s president and COO. The four businesses that are now part of AirTime Canada ULC are: • Boonstra Residential Heating and Cooling, Hamilton, Ontario • Mr. Furnace, St. Catharines, Ontario • 21 Degrees, Kingston, Ontario • Furnasman, Winnipeg, Manitoba While each business will retain its name and identity, AirTime Canada will apply VenVest’s AirTime 500 approach in providing HVAC services to its combined 101,211 customers. AirTime 500 is VenVest’s membership organization that provides residential HVAC contractors with access to proprietary techniques, strategies, tools and training to leverage its expertise, marketing systems and buying clout. It was founded in October 1998 by Jim Abrams and John Young. Headquartered in Sarasota, FL, VenVest is a holding company whose various operations primarily provide services to residential plumbing and HVAC contractors, including the AirTime 500 and Plumbers Success International programs, the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and One Hour Air Conditioning franchises, the BuyMax buying group and its training arm, New Millennium Academy.