Friends since high school, GAC Services’ owners Tony Petrolle, Richard Biava and Bill Wetzel turn a prosperous friendship into a successful business.[Gaithersburg, MD] – It’s been eight years since business owners Tony Petrolle, Richard Biava and Bill Wetzel took over GAC Services (previously named Gaithersburg Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.), a residential heating, cooling and electrical company in Gaithersburg, Md. Since their transition, the long-time high school friends haven’t looked back. GAC Services was recently announced as the 2015 recipient of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Residential Contractor of the Year!
The ACCA is a national organization comprised of over 60,000 professionals in the indoor environment and energy services industry. The Residential Contractor of the Year award is given to a single company that exemplifies industry standards for professionalism and the design, maintenance, installation, testing and performance of indoor environment systems.
National and industry recognition is nothing new to the company. Before being awarded the ACCA Residential Contractor of the Year, GAC was named to the 2010 Inc. 5,000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America. GAC also earned the 2013 Bryant Dealer of the Year award and is an eight-time recipient of the Bryant Medal of Excellence.
But their success was not an easy feat. Economic conditions and operational reengineering were constant challenges as the three friends planned to expand and improve GAC’s customer experience. Their dream was to turn a typical mom-and-pop company into a professional business providing careers and opportunities for their employees in addition to becoming the best customer centric heating and cooling business they could be.
This task proved to be difficult for the group. “There has been challenges at every turn,” said Petrolle, President at GAC Services. “Even things that we expected to be easy ended up needing more thought and took longer to do.”
GAC’s Vice Presidents explain, “There isn’t one area of the business that hasn’t been touched or reengineered, from improved training, communications, planning, process enhancements, getting the right personnel and investing back into the business,” said Biava.
Walking through our organization, it is evident that this isn’t a typical contractor. “We reinvented ourselves in order to become a leader in the home services industry,” continued Wetzel.
Petrolle says the close friendship, complementary skill sets and trust between the friends helped turn the one time family business into the nation’s best residential contracting company.
“The dream was bigger than just one of us. We couldn’t have gotten to where we are today without each other,” he said. “Our focus and direction along with constant effort from our great employees is what has gained GAC national recognition over the last few years.”
After taking over the company in 2007, the partners implemented a unique business model that more than quadrupled their company’s size. Their success is a result of their dedication to training top-notch HVAC technicians and electricians and time spent streamlining GAC’s sales processes. Additionally, the partners decided to increase their marketing budget, even when competitors weren’t.
“It is important to build the GAC brand and create awareness. Build the name and provide honest, reliable service. We also learn from any mistakes that come up so they don’t ever happen again,” said Biava.
So what’s next for the nation’s top residential contractor? The owners agree, “More of the same.” The partners hope to use their current business model to continue their growth and improve the comfort of Montgomery and Frederick County homeowners.
GAC’s end goal starts with the mission the three friends set out to accomplish eight years ago, saying, “We want to be recognized as a company that builds long-lasting relationships through professional, honest and reliable solutions that meet our customers’ comfort and energy needs.”
About GAC Services
Formerly known as Gaithersburg Air Conditioning & Heating and GAC Cooling & Heating, GAC Services is a full service heating, cooling and electrical contractor providing Montgomery and Frederick County residents with improved home comfort since 1970.
227 E. Deer Park Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20877