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 Spirit of Independence in 2002, Contracting Business Hall of Fame in 2013, The NEWS Legends of HVACR Award in 2017, and the 2014 list “The Most Influential People in the HVACR Industry”. He is a founding member of notable organizations like Comfort Institute, Service Nation, and Texas Home Energy Raters Organization. In 2013, he 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!”.
A common theme emerges when industry peers talk about Larry Taylor. He’s an outstanding contractor, a great businessman, and a loyal friend and mentor. But, he’s also a devoted family man who has never lost sight of what’s important in life. Perhaps that explains the ever-present smile and always-upbeat attitude.
Steve Saunders, CEO of Tempo Partners, Inc, and Tempo Mechanical Services, Irving, TX, says young technicians can learn much about how to build a career and a life by looking at Larry Taylor. “Larry started as a service technician, worked his way through the ranks, then stopped being a technician and became a businessman,” Saunders says. “He learned to work on the business, not in the business. He’s entrepreneurial. Larry has always studied the trends of the present and turned that into a good vision about the future.”
After purchasing the near bankrupt AirRite Air Conditioning Co. in 1990, he began the task of remaking and retuning a failing company to be competitive in the new marketplace and to take advantage of new trends in the contracting world.
Seeing the future changing allowed a shift in marketing, managing, controlling and operating a multifunctional business. He began purchasing companies such as H&G Mechanical, CloudAire Air Conditioning Co., GISCO Air Conditioning, AMPLE Air Conditioning and creating HERS Raters of Texas a HERS Raters Company in certification with RESNET for home energy auditing and rating capabilities.
In addition to just growing, purchasing and creating businesses, he realized the key for success would be tied to people. As such, he continued to immerse himself in education, training and development of people and involvement in the industries and communities his organization would live and grow in.
Serving on Board of Directors and committee chairs for ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) on local, state and national levels, IE3 Media, BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association), Fort Worth South Community Organization, Apartment Association of Tarrant County, National Association of Remodelers Industry Tarrant County, founding COB of TXHERO (Texas Home Energy Raters Organization), BBB (Better Business Bureau of Tarrant County) BOD and CEO, North Lake College HVAC Advisory Board, Tarrant County College HVAC Advisory Board, Texas State Technical Institute HVAC Advisory Board, Dallas Mobile Crime Watch Committee, Advisory Council for American Home Shield Preferred Contractor Network, Shafer/Explorer Full Service Software Systems, Advisory Council for Emmerson Manufacturing and Consultant for Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration “THE NEWS”.
To support the growth and training opportunities for his companies and industry, Larry was a founding member and investor of Service Nation/Roundtable and the Service Nation Alliance, founding member of Comfort Institute, founding member and COB of Texas Home Energy Raters Organization, Business Coach and Facilitator for Service Nation Alliance, ACCA-MIX Group program participant and facilitator.
Believing the best way to learn is to teach, Larry has presented workshop presentations to ACCA, BBB, Comfort Institute, EEBA, State Chapters of ACCA, Service Roundtable International Conferences and Master of Ceremony at Inaugural Service World in 2016.
Under his leadership and strong belief in training, not only for himself and his team, AirRite led Lennox Dealers in the number of hours an organization spent with on-line training over the last 3 years he owned AirRite. This includes the Lennox Organization itself within their on-line learning system.
Understanding the need for stability in business and operations, led him to begin purchasing land and buildings to plan for future growth. This led to owning over 2 acres where AirRite was located. By continuing to develop property for AirRite, turning some of the old houses into learning labs and leasing other property/buildings provided for stability and continued growth opportunities for the businesses.
After retiring, his drive has not diminished. The purchase of a 30-acre plot which is currently under development along with an 11-acre plot with rental house and barns have provided an outlet to avoid boredom.
Even after his retirement, the hunger for growth, knowledge accumulation, spending time with family and friends continues to fuel his energy. Larry does not consider himself as retired but rather just a change of directions with the opportunities to give back some the experiences of his career and continue being a “Bridge Builder”.
One of his favorite quotes “A bend in the road is only dangerous if you fail to make the turn” keeps him focused and turning the wheel.