INDUSTRY HISTORY

Charles D. Jones & Co.

Our company founder Charlie Jones began in the service business in Kansas City in 1939. He was one of few men around the country at that time who sensed there was a need for wholesale distribution of heating supplies, so he set up shop as a distributor with three employees and a modest inventory. His hunch was right on target. Contractors preferred to buy wholesale from one knowledgeable source. The system proved to be highly efficient and our business grew.

In 1972, Charles D. Jones Co. expanded its operations west, first opening a branch in Denver and then expanding throughout Colorado. Over the years, we have grown to 18 branch locations in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. We handle equipment for heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning installations for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. We represent more than 300 manufacturers with over 10,000 line items.

Munch’s Supply

In 1956, Willard Munch was an electrical contractor in Chicago’s south suburbs who grew tired of traveling to the city to buy supplies. Seeing a need, he talked to other electricians in the area and realized they shared his frustration. Soon after, Mokena Electric Supply was founded. While still working his full-time job during the day, Willard set his sights on becoming the primary source for quality electrical supplies for contractors in the area.

A/C Supply

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, AC Supply has been in operation since 1959 and has four (4) warehouses in Tarrant County. Each location provides a full service source for air conditioning, industrial, mechanical, ventilation and refrigeration materials from the top industry manufactures.

AC Supply’s founder, Bill F. Boyd, started a ductwork supply company that has transformed into the dominant air conditioning supplier in the western DFW Metroplex. Now being led by three generations of the Boyd family, AC Supply continues to operate with a vision that places customers first. To achieve this vision, A/C Supply is committed to creating a family environment that encourages and promotes personal and professional growth for employees.

AC Supply’s legacy has grown over the last three decades under the leadership of Randy Boyd, President of AC Supply. Randy’s corporate philosophy has been based off three pillars: 1. Give First, 2. Educate 3. Provide Access. These cornerstones have created a firm foundation and developed a family of employees who value great customer service, product knowledge, and good timing.

As the third generation of employees rise in the ranks, they are proud of their corporate heritage and are lucky to have AC Supply’s nearly 60 years of legacy to provide knowledge and support as they evolve into the distributors of tomorrow.

Johnson Supply

Corken Steel Products

The Corken Steel Products Company was founded in 1955 by four brothers. They found an empty lot, put up a metal building by themselves, and began distributing metal roofing products. After a few years, they started offering heating & air conditioning products, and put an addition onto the existing building. A few years later, they purchased a second building to give Roofing and HVAC their own dedicated branches.

When Corken Steel opened its doors in ’55, the mission was to provide customers with better service than they’ll find anywhere else, at any time. Well, some things never change. We’re still family owned & operated. We still provide the bend-over-backwards, roll-up-your-sleeves kind of service. Only difference is, now we do it better than ever before.

Today, the company has 15 locations, 7 fabrication shops, and 275 employees. It’s been quite an adventure.

Midwest Refrigeration Supply Co.

In 1945, our founder great-grandpa Edward, had a vision that wholesale refrigeration would benefit society and create jobs for our WWII veterans.

And it continued to grow. Edward’s son, James “Grandpa”, expanded Midwest’s footprint.  Eventually, Grandpa had a desire to move the business to beautiful Northern Michigan to pursue his passion for fishing and hunting.

In those Northern Michigan olden days, you had to travel uphill in the snow both ways of course and we were doing just that by exclusively selling refrigeration.

Since card playing during the winter was getting old, John Edward “Dad” decided to shake things up. In 1990, he began establishing vendor relationships in the HVAC trade. This decision was visionary and is the main reason we are still one of the longest family-run HVAC/R wholesalers in Michigan.

Coburn Supply Co.

For nearly 85 years, Coburn Supply Company has remained a family-owned distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, electrical, waterworks and HVAC products and services.

Founder Albert J. Coburn, a New Orleans native who began his career as a plumbing and heating contractor, approached opportunities with nerve, imagination and persuasiveness. His strong commitment to fair play, hard work, family and faith influenced his career and continues to impact the lives of almost 1,000 employees who work at Coburn’s today.

By providing real solutions and stellar customer service, Coburn’s has remained a top distributor of quality products since first opening in 1934 in Beaumont, Texas. Today, Coburn’s has more than 50 locations and three centrally located distribution centers serving Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. In addition to its physical stores, Coburns.com provides product availability for customers everywhere. While the company has grown, it is still run by third and fourth generations of Albert Coburn’s family. The family business shares the same vision it started with and has never lost sight of the main reason the company exists: its customers.

cfm Distributors, Inc.

 

Peirce-Phelps

In 1926, three MIT engineering graduates, W. Grant Peirce Jr., J. Trevor Peirce and Charles M. Phelps, decided to start a company based on the hottest new technology product of the time—radios. The three founders started a distribution company to bring this technology to the market and quickly trained and built an extensive dealer base throughout the Mid-Atlantic market. From the first moment of the company’s birth until today, Peirce-Phelps has been dedicated to bringing the highest quality products, produced by the industry’s leading manufacturers, to the customers in our market.

O’Connor Company

Since our founding in 1920, O’Connor Company has grown to serve Midwestern HVAC dealers as a premier supplier and source for their technical needs. Our family owned business is now in its third generation and continues to conduct business with the same desire for excellent customer service and quality relationships that was established by our founder Joe O’Connor. Joe started the business in Wichita, Kansas, representing manufacturers of steam and hot water heating equipment, controls and accessories. O’Connor Company grew as it built a reputation for handling quality products and having some of the best engineers and support people in the area. In the 1930s, the company expanded product lines, and a branch office was opened in Tulsa. Joe’s son-in-law, Bob Piller, joined the company in 1949. Under his direction, the company expanded from its commercial and industrial roots into the growing light commercial and residential HVAC markets. Lynn Piller became the third generation to join O’Connor Company in 1979. Under his direction, the company has continued the tradition of fair dealing with our customers and superior representation for our manufacturer partners.

In the 1990’s, we added branches in Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines. In 2017 O’Connor Company was acquired by Munch’s Supply and is still ran as a separately held entity under the O’Connor name. Our alliance with Munch and continued growth has positioned O’Connor Company to become an industry leader—representing the most respected manufacturers with a knowledgeable and dedicated workforce.

APR SUPPLY Co.

 

Refrigeration Sales Corporation

Refrigeration Sales Corporation (RSC) was founded by Warren Wightman Farr Sr. in 1945, shortly after World War II. Business operations included service and repair of refrigeration equipment, as well as the retail sales of various refrigeration appliances.

In 1949, Warren Sr. was approached by Willis Carrier (the recognized founder of air conditioning) to convert the business to pure wholesale of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration products. While wholesale was a relatively new endeavor, and it would mean getting out of the familiar contracting business, Warren Sr. decided to take the risk and make the change to his business operations. To reduce this risk, he negotiated exclusive representation of the Carrier product line for 23 northeastern Ohio counties including Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown areas.

In 1975, when Warren Sr. retired, Warren Farr Jr. (Hap) assumed family leadership of the company. Branch stores were added to diversify RSC’s product offering. In the mid to late 1980’s RSC acquired Bryant Northern Ohio Distributorship and expanded the Carrier Franchise into Columbus and the mid Ohio market.

In 2000, Warren Farr III, grandson of founder Warren Farr Sr., was appointed President of RSC and in 2009, assumed the role of CEO. In 2010 RSC began its expansion into the Pennsylvania market with the acquisition of its Pittsburgh location, 1 year later the Cranberry location was also acquired.

MEIER SUPPLY CO.

Meier Supply began in 1957 when Frank M. Meier and his son Frank A. Meier Sr. purchased the Refrigeration Division of WA Case and Son as it was going out of business. The company was founded on a simple yet effective approach to doing business which was, “Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

61 years later and Meier Supply recently became 100 percent ESOP which means every employee is an owner and it shows in their hard work and dedication. Meier Supply Company continues to be proactive in identifying market trends, maintaining their position at the leading edge of HVAC&R distribution, providing expert technical knowledge, and supporting the needs of their customers. Today, Meier Supply has 17 locations and 155 employees.

Neuco

Neuco began officially in 1963 carrying only one product line. Today, Neuco stocks over 275 distinct HVACR product lines, including Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Siemens, and Danfoss, among many others. We also stock a wealth of replacement parts from OEM’s such as Carrier, Trane, Lennox, Rheem and York.

 

South Central Company

In 1976 William, John, and Joel Sasse purchased the assets and controlling interest of South Central Company.  Sales in 1976 were approaching two million dollars and there were two locations, Columbus and Bloomington.  The product mix at that time was approximately 50 percent heating and air conditioning, sheet metal and associated supplies and 50 percent plumbing, pipe, valves, fittings, and industrial supplies.  South Central Company was started in 1953 by the Sasses’ grandfather, Mr. William C. Loesch.  In May of 2006 the Sasse brothers entered into an agreement with the G. W. Berkheimer Company to have South Central Company become a wholly owned subsidiary.  Some noteworthy events along the company timeline include:

The Sasse brothers’ Great-Grandfather, Christopher Loesch, was a tinsmith.  In 1916 he opened his tin shop on Fourth Street in Columbus close to where now is The Fourth Street Bar.  He built things out of metal, fabricated nice tight furnace fittings, and passed this tinsmithing skill and legacy on to his sons William and Henry Loesch.  The Loesch brothers worked this trade until 1953 when William felt a need leave that partnership and begin, at age 57, a new business venture wholesaling supplies related to the sheet metal, duct/pipe/fitting, and registers to contractors in Central and Southern Indiana.  Thus the name he chose, South Central Company.  It was not unusual in the beginning, nor today for that matter, for some wholesalers to adopt a name geographically reflective to the area in which they serve.  Henry Loesch continued in the tin shop/furnace business and that business continues this day as “Loesch Heating and Air-Conditioning”, a good South Central customer and operated by the Sasse’s second cousins.  One of the Loesch brothers stayed dealer/retail, the other one went wholesale.  It remains that way to this day! Bill Loesch personally drove all over central and southern Indiana, as far south as the Ohio river, to ask for business and serve his customers.

Duncan Supply Co.

History takes us back more than 80 years to 1932 when Russell Kenneth Duncan, founder of Duncan Supply Co., quit his job with Frigidaire to pursue his dreams to open his own business. He and his brother Ralph saw an opportunity in the growing refrigeration industry and started Duncan Brothers Refrigeration Repair Company. It was the first, and soon became the largest, independent service business in Indianapolis, prospering in spite of the Depression.

In 1936, Russell and his wife Mildred sold their interest in the company to his brother to concentrate on wholesale refrigeration parts distribution. The new business, Duncan Supply Company, was relocated in 1940 and was incorporated 7 years later. Russell K. Duncan was named President, Haslitt Lucas, Vice-President and Mildred M. Duncan, Corporate Secretary & Treasurer. Edwin E. Hunter was hired in 1937 to do the accounting and paperwork for the small but growing company. It was Ed who helped the company survive through Russell’s health issues, two heart attacks within a five-month period. Edwin retired as Duncan Supply’s Executive Vice President in 1986.

EMERSON

Emerson was founded in 1890 in St. Louis, Missouri, as a manufacturer of electric motors and fans. Over the past 100-plus years, they have grown from a regional manufacturer into a global technology solutions powerhouse.

In 1890, two Scotland-born brothers, Charles and Alexander Meston, see a tremendous business opportunity in developing a reliable electric motor. With the financial backing of John Wesley Emerson, a former Union army officer, judge and lawyer, they establish The Emerson Electric Manufacturing Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

Moving into 1892, the fledgling company builds its business around AC motors and manufactures the first electric fans sold in North America.  Under new president Herbert L. Parker, Emerson develops a reputation for quality products. Net sales total nearly $60,000.

 

Kulthorn

In 1960 the three Simakulthorn brothers identified and set out to meet Thailand’s pressing need for compressors. Armed with little more than their considerable engineering skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, and unquenchable drive, the brothers founded the Kulthorn Group to distribute and manufacture compressors throughout the country.

Kulthorn quickly established a relationship with a U.S. based compressor manufacturer in Southeast Asia, and by 1978 served as its exclusive distributors in Thailand. The brothers’ ambition fueled their dream of improving the overall quality of life for people not only in their homeland, but around the world. Taking advantage of a government grant, the Simakulthorn family expanded their manufacturing capabilities and began building reciprocating compressors in 1979. The first such manufacturer in the country, Kulthorn by 1986 had produced more than 1 million AE compressors.

It was at this time that the company began exporting Compressor Series Kits to other compressor manufacturers in North America, Kulthorn’s first step toward embracing that huge market.

 

Mueller

In 1917, Mueller Metals Company opened as a commercial brass forging operation in Port Huron, Michigan. Its purpose – to provide munitions products and other defense items to support the U.S. and allied forces’ WWI efforts. At war’s end, the company made the successful transition to peacetime, supplying copper, brass, and aluminum products to many businesses, including those in the plumbing and fledgling HVACR industries. Its Streamline copper tubes and fittings changed these industries and remain the standard today. Later renamed Mueller Brass Co. and known today as Mueller Industries, Inc., the company is now a global operation with many companies and capabilities under its umbrella. Since those early days, the company continues to play an important part in so many lives around the world, manufacturing products for homes, automobiles, appliances, hospitals, and the military and aerospace industries, to name a few. We are proud to celebrate with others our company’s rich and diverse history.

EWC Controls

In early 1961, EWC Incorporated was formed as a manufacturing company of power transformers for military and commercial use.  Today, EWC Inc., transformers are located on smart guided missile systems, helicopters, airplanes, the Space Shuttle and many other applications.  The successful growth of that business allowed EWC to expand its manufacturing capabilities and enter the HVAC industry.

Our vast experience in the designing and manufacturing of military components and power transformers for all applications led us to form EWC Controls in 1988.  Today homeowners, wholesalers and contractors rely on our vast expertise and experience to provide the most reliable comfort solutions for all forced air zoning applications.

DiversiTech

For almost 50 years DiversiTech Corporation has been the world’s largest manufacturer of equipment pads. DiversiTech is also the leading North American manufacturer and supplier of accessory components and related products for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) markets. DiversiTech originated and is still headquartered in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area. DiversiTech’s mission to its customers is to simplify their work.

TRION

With the three founders, “Bud” Meyers, Paul Aikenhead, and George Landgraf, Trion was formed. The name of the new company would be “Trion”, a combination of “tri” for the three founders and “ion” for the ionization process that charges and traps particles moving through an electronic air cleaner. The first plant, founded in 1947, was located in McKees Rocks, PA. In 1964, Meyers opened his second production facility, Middlestates Metal Mfg. Corp., in Middlestates, NY. A 100 percent owned subsidiary, Middlestates gave Trion additional manufacturing area and an exceptionally high quality painting facility.

By 1966, it had become obvious that expansion was required, and the company decided that the area of Sanford, NC was ideally suited to its needs. For Trion, North Carolina has meant room in which to expand, an alert and skilled labor pool, and all other benefits that accompany immigrating industry with room and attitude to accommodate it.

It is all too evident that the problem of air pollution is going to get much worse before it starts to get better. Consequently, the need and the market for electronic air cleaners can be expected to grow at an ever-increasing rate. As Bud Meyers, Founder, put it in 1972, “Ours is one of the few industries in the world where we can honestly say we wish the market didn’t exist; but, as long as the problem of air pollution is with us, Trion air cleaners provide an immediate and individual solution to the air pollution problem.”

TIMKEN

In 1890s, Henry Timken, a carriage maker in St. Louis, Missouri, recognized that heavy freight wagons had a difficult time making sharp turns. To solve the problem, he applied a tapered roller bearing design that could handle both radial (weight) and thrust (cornering force) loads. The results were encouraging and provided several customer benefits. First, the application ran more smoothly, reducing repair and replacement costs. In some cases, the bearings improved wagon performance so much that fewer mules were required to pull them. Finally, better cornering meant less chance of losing a load of goods. Always focused on customer benefits, Henry quickly realized that the tapered roller bearing could improve product performance in many other applications as well. Henry and his sons, H.H. and William, founded The Timken Roller Bearing and Axle Company in 1899, building the foundation for a global enterprise that today helps keep the world in motion.

Throughout the years, Timken has contributed to customer success through a clear vision, industrial focus, advanced processes and global growth. Following are key examples of how Timken has moved global industries forward since 1899.

BACHARACH

Founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 1909, Bacharach continues to pioneer technology in clean-tech solutions for precision instrumentation in gas and refrigerant leak detection, combustion and emissions analysis instrumentation, and energy management for commercial and industrial applications.

Growth from its close customer relationships, advances in technology, quality products and skillful workforce, Bacharach’s inventions and brand are respected as industry leading.

Bacharach products make the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industries safer, cleaner, and more energy efficient, enabling customers to increase productivity, reduce costs, and protect lives and the environment.

GREGORY & APPEL

In 1884, John J. Appel and Fred Gregory opened their insurance agency in downtown Indianapolis with a rented office and a $7 desk. Today, with 130 employees and growing, Gregory & Appel Insurance is a leading independent insurance agency in the United States.

We’re proud of our history and our uncommon position in this industry. Unlike many large firms, Gregory & Appel has grown organically, rather than through mergers or acquisitions, which means our success is directly tied to your success. As a privately held, independent firm we’re free to focus on our employees and our clients.

Since the beginning, G&A has been family owned and today is also employee owned with 28 employees holding ownership in the company. Our philosophy remains the same today—investing in people.

PACKARD

Packard has been a dominant force in the HVACR industry since 1959. As a master distributor, we bring wholesalers and OEMs innovative, high quality products that include top industry names and our own exclusive private-label lines. We have regional offices and independent manufacturers’ representatives from coast to coast, but we have chosen Kennesaw, Georgia for both our corporate office and our main distribution center. Customers in the Midwest are served through a fully stocked distribution center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Packard takes pride in being a customer focused-employee owned company and service, selection and satisfaction will always be top priority.

MALCO

In the mid 20th century, forced air heating systems began to replace coal-fired gravity heat furnaces in homes throughout the Midwest. Mark W. Keymer, a young steel supply salesman, saw this change as a unique opportunity. He developed a few specialized hand tools for fabricating and installing the “new” ductwork that forced-air heating systems used. The tools featured extra linkage between handles and jaws to produce compound leverage, making common, repetitive operations like crimping or seaming much easier.

While Malco was a second job for Mark Keymer in the early 1950s, soon a partnership formed to service the business full time. The partnership was also the origin of the fledgling company’s name.

ECOER

Ecoer was founded in Fairfax, VA in 2016 by Louis Ing, President of Ecoer Inc.  He developed Ecoer as a result of seeing a need in the HVAC industry.  He wanted to bring real innovation to the industry utilizing the best and latest technology available.  Louis aligned himself with a strategic partner, Inhand Networks, in order to accomplish his vision.  Through the use of Inhand’s industrial IoT and AI technology, Louis was able to develop an affordable high efficiency inverter heat pump system, incorporating smart technology.  Over the past 2 years, Ecoer has grown having multiple locations in 3 countries- Headquarters, Technical Support Center and Warehouse in the US, Software Development Facility in Japan, and Product Quality Control and Manufacturing in China.  Ecoer uses TCL in China, to help manufacture their equipment.  Ecoer partnered with TCL because they are a $15 billion publicly traded company that manufactures various technologies, as well as, other Air Conditioning Brands.  Ecoer’s Mission Statement is “Make our home Green and Smart”.  We are on a mission to do just that!

ROBERTSON HEATING SUPPLY CO.

The Robertson Heating Supply Co. slogan says it all: “Service that Satisfies”! We do everything we can to serve our customers at the highest possible level. We have the products and services to meet our contractor or builder’s need.  This is the philosophy we have used over the past 84 years of being in business and is what our founder, John Robertson instilled in his family. RHS (as we are known) serves as a plumbing, heating, HVAC and kitchen product distributor with 30 locations throughout Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and Michigan (including five retail showrooms). The family-owned business is in its four-generation working to ensure the highest standards.

The success of our business can be seen by the growth we have experienced which John Robertson started from a barn in 1934 selling stokers, with two more moves and expansions to our current location which boasts a Distribution Center (DC) that is 217,000 sq. ft. with over 15,000 sku’s of inventory. We pride ourselves with our in-house Print Shop that prints everything from training flyers, letterhead, monthly promotions, price service catalog to offering printing services to our contractors; an Engineering staff that helps with troubleshooting, quotations and technical and sizing support; and an IT Department that keeps RHS abreast of the newest in technology, including online ordering and barcode system for inventory management. 

Although “Heating” is in our name, it didn’t take John Robertson long to see that adding plumbing products would round out his vision for servicing both plumbing and heating contractors and this venture has added to the success of Robertson’s.  We have great partnership with both our plumbing, hydronics and HVAC vendors and appreciate their support in our continued growth.  Please visit our website at www.rhs1.com to see all our product lines, our value-added services and locations.

SUPCO

In 1945 two naval engineers from NY discovered how to non-invasively repair “a sealed unit” compressor.  This led to the development  & manufacturing of the patented Bullet® Line Tap valve.  A manufacturer from day one, Sealed Unit Parts Co., Inc (SUPCO) became dedicated to innovative manufacturing of HVACR and Appliance replacement parts and test instruments.  Some of these included “The Original” two-wire Super Boost® A/C hard starts,  the “3-‘N-1” Relay, Capacitor, Overload refrigeration hard start, the M500 LED Megohmeter, the MFD10 Digital Capacitor Tester and the industry’s very first electronic vacuum gauge.  

Expansion to proprietary manufacturing facilities abroad, acquisitions of Climate Technology Corporation (CTC), A-1 Components and Cam-Stat®, plus the development of a connected line of test instruments, has kept SUPCO dedicated to being the innovative leader and “The Right Choice” in the HVAC, Refrigeration and Appliance markets.

GUSTAVE A. LARSON COMPANY

The Gustave A. Larson Company was founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1936 as a supplier to the refrigeration trade. Gus Larson immigrated alone at the age of 16 from his home in Gothenburg, Sweden in the early 1900s. While working as a refrigeration mechanic in Chicago, he saw the need for local refrigeration parts depots. He founded the Gustave A. Larson Company as a refrigeration parts jobber in 1936 at a small storefront in Madison, Wisconsin. As the Company flourished, he quickly opened up branches throughout the State of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay, Wausau, and Eau Claire, and Rockford, Illinois. By the early 1960s, he was operating 20 locations in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Florida.

Still family owned and operated, we have grown to be the Midwest’s leading wholesale distributor of Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) equipment, parts and supplies. The Company now has 53 locations serving customers in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.