A. O. Smith announces service award scholarships

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Ashland City, Tenn. — A. O. Smith announced the winners of the two $2,500 Charlie Wallace Service Award Scholarships for students in plumbing and HVAC programs.

A. O. Smith partnered with the Plumbing-Heating-Colling Contractors Association (PHCC) Educational foundation in April to create the scholarship. The foundation directs the scholarship program and is responsible for selecting the award winners.


Kester (l) and Kreutzer

The 2016 scholarship recipients are students Noah Kester and Michael Kreutzer.

Noah Kester of Colonial Heights, Virginia, is working for his family’s plumbing company Colonial Plumbing and Heating. A recent high school graduate, Kester started school this fall at John Tyler Community College, Chester, Va., where he has begun a two-year Business Management degree program. Following his completion of the program, Kester wants to manage his father’s company.

“I hope that this scholarship will allow me to learn more and allow me to obtain a higher position in the plumbing and HVAC community,” said Kester. “This scholarship will greatly improve my ability to learn more about the art of managing a business.”

Michael Kreutzer of Ulysses, Kansas, graduated from high school in May and is attending Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kan., in the fall where he will be studying Business Management. When he graduates from the university, Kreutzer’s career goal is to return home to his father’s company, Tatro Plumbing Co., and become the fourth-generation plumber to work in the family business.

“Plumbing is one of those things that just seems to make sense to me,” said Kreutzer. “I look forward to learning more in this profession.”

The scholarships are awarded in honor of Charlie Wallace, the chief operating officer of PHCC’s Quality Service Contractors enhanced service group. Wallace retired in March after serving in the plumbing-heating and cooling industry for 17 years.

“Sponsoring a scholarship that recognizes the lifetime of work that Charlie Wallace has dedicated to our industry is a true honor for us. Charlie has touched so many folks in the plumbing and HVAC industry over the years that it’s great to be able to pay his effort forward,” said Jeff Storie, director of marketing at A. O. Smith. “These students have set high goals for their careers and we are excited to be able to support them in this way.”

To qualify for a PHCC Educational Foundation scholarship, students must submit a detailed application including a letter of recommendation from an active member of the PHCC—National Association and enroll in a plumbing-heating-cooling related course of study or apprentice program such as business management, construction management or science specializing in mechanical construction or mechanical engineering.

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