Thursday, October 11th, 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Marketing Innovations Panel
Panelists discuss strategies, including embracing new technology, for more efficient business marketing
About Larry Taylor (Panel Moderator)
Larry Taylor, former president of AirRite Air Conditioning, Fort Worth, TX, may be the ultimate HVAC industry success story. His 53-plus years of professional experience have been nothing, if not diverse. He began his career in the HVAC industry as a 1970 graduate of the HVAC program at Oklahoma State Tech. He started in the industry in 1971 as a service technician at TDIndustries and worked his way up through the ranks, becoming a technician supervisor, branch manager, vice president, and, eventually, the owner of AirRite Air Conditioning, Inc. in 1990. Taylor likes to joke that it only took him 53 years to become an overnight success.
Larry later sold the business in 2012, but not before growing it into one of the most respected in the HVAC industry. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including serving as the Chairman for ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America). He has also received over 15 industry honors and awards that include ACCA Sprite of Independence in 2002, Contracting Business Hall Of Fame in 2013, The NEWS Legends of HVACR Award in 2017 and is a founding member of notable organizations like Comfort Institute, Service Nation, and Texas Home Energy Raters Organization.
In 2013 Larry began his service as CEO and President of Better Business Bureau of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Inc. after serving on the BBB Board, where he held the seat as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Throughout his diverse career, one thing has remained constant- his passion for moving businesses forward through ingenuity, innovation and implementation.
Larry’s dedication to building a better business community is evident, and his commitment to future generations of business owners through a servant leadership model can best be summed up by quoting the final words from his favorite poem, The Bridge Builder, by Will Allen Dromgoole, “He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”.
About Shawn Henson (Panelist)
Shawn Henson is a newer member of the trades with five years of experience. Originally Shawn spent 15 years as a Fixed Operations manager in the automotive field for numerous automotive manufacturers including Audi, Nissan and Ford.
Shawn was a five-time “Award of Excellence” winner for Nissan in the fixed operations category. Starting a career in trades as General Manager for a plumbing company in 2013, Shawn has established himself as a leader and an out-of-the-box thinker in growing business in the trades.
At the end of 2016, Shawn partnered with Trevor Abernathy and formed Your Plumber. In the first year of business they employed creative and unique marketing techniques and consequently were able to break two million dollars in sales. As a result of their success, Shawn Henson and Your Plumber won Service Nation Alliance’s 2017 Expeditious Advancement Award.
In 2018, Shawn added HVAC to his business and changed his company to Your Home Services. After only a year and a half in business, Shawn has successfully built his company up to 18 plumbing and HVAC service and install trucks.
About Crystal Williams (Panelist)
Crystal Williams is the Marketing Director for her family’s company, McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning in Lufkin, Texas. Her family has owned and operated this business since 1974. Since Crystal joined the team, McWilliams and Son has expanded to three locations with over 40 employees. Much of this growth began when McWilliams and Son, under Crystal’s leadership, implemented a strategic company plan that focused on an aggressive advertising campaign of targeted marketing, high community presence and employee engagement and retention.
In 2016, McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning received the Ron Smith Trailblazing Award, given by Service Roundtable, for their innovative marketing, systems and processes. In 2017, McWilliams and Son won the Small Business of the Year Award presented by the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce.
Crystal is a 2005 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Marketing. She is a busy wife to Ray, and a mom to two boys, Ray (11) and Carter (8).
About Ben Stark (Panelist)
AN ACCIDENTAL PATH TO EXTRAORDINAORY SUCCESS: My entry into the HVAC world was largely accidental – early in my career I worked in the maintenance industry. Deciding I needed to pursue a career that would offer me a living, I invested in a six-week course in HVAC training, going on to complete my community college degree at night while working in the field during the day. After five years, I was ready to venture out on my own so I invested in learning how to become a successful business owner, not just a contractor.
I trained to become a good judge of character and surrounded myself with a hardworking team of people I could trust. Then I built several successful businesses over the course of my career. In addition to my practical knowledge of electrical and plumbing systems, I became adept at creating easy to follow blueprints for success while, as a consultant, vigilantly acting as an operational and financial steward to improve the bottom line and realize organizational objectives.
A COMMITMENT TO HELPING OTHERS ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS- The HVAC industry afforded me the opportunity to exceed my personal goals and I am committed to help others achieve similar success. Through the development of Best Practices classroom training, One-On-One consultation, and Interactive on-line training, clients have access to the formula for achieving and surpassing their goals.
About Abe Romero (Panelist)
Abe Romero is the Vice President of Marketing at Service Nation Inc., an organization helping service contractors improve their business and financial performance, leading to a profitable exit strategy.