Each year, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) recognizes excellence in the HVACR industry by presenting its “Contractor of the Year” award to the company that best represents the ideals of the profession. The 2013 honoree is Pioneer Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. (Pioneer), of Knoxville, Tenn.
David Dugger, PHCC’s 2012-2013 president and the chair of the association’s HVACR Apprentice and Journeyman Training Committee, presented the award in October during PHCC’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nev. Gordy Noe, Pioneer’s president, accepted the award on behalf of his company.
Pioneer was launched 32 years ago as a one-truck/two-man operation. It has since grown to more than 33 full-time employees utilizing a fleet of 27 vehicles. The company services and installs HVAC systems from one to 100 tons, both residential and commercial, including heat pumps, geothermal, gas furnaces, air conditioners, home generators, and more.
Noe makes a point of investing in personnel, service vehicles, inventory and communications equipment, which enables Pioneer to provide best-in-class routine and emergency services. Under Noe’s leadership, the company has implemented many innovative practices, such as bar coding parts, prefab and electronic dispatching, which have increased productivity, customer satisfaction and job quality.
Noe is a strong proponent of geothermal systems as a way to create a healthier planet. His commitment to “green” practices includes running all company diesel trucks and excavating equipment on bio-diesel fuel. He has plans to run all service vehicles on propane soon.
When it comes to serving the industry, Noe is very active. He is the current president of the Knoxville, Tenn., chapter of PHCC and has been a member of the PHCC of Tennessee for five years. He regularly participates in an annual career day to encourage youth to consider a PHCC career, and has lobbied for important HVAC issues with various lawmakers.
Within the local community, Noe supports area high school vocational classes by donating Pioneer’s used equipment. The company participates in various PHCC apprenticeship classes, trade shows, code committees, etc. It also provides trucks, equipment and/or manpower for such worthy causes as a free food program for the needy and the Salvation Army. Each year, Pioneer gives away a heating and cooling system to a needy deserving family, selected from customer nominations. Noe and the company have received many distinctive awards for their business accomplishments and support of the community.
Each nomination for the PHCC “HVAC Contractor of the Year” is evaluated by a committee of PHCC members who judge accomplishments in six areas: professionalism, merchandising skills, management skills, innovative HVAC practices, trade involvement and community service. The winner is honored at the association’s annual meeting, and receives a check for $2,500 and a commemorative plaque.