Carrier recently inducted Avon Park resident and business owner Kenny Long into its Dealer Hall of Fame at the 2013 Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer conference held in Las Vegas.
Long owns and operates Long’s Air Conditioning Inc., a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer in Avon Park.
Carrier, the world’s leader in high technology heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, is a part of UTC Climate, Controls and Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
This lifetime achievement recognition is presented annually to select industry-leading contractors nominated by distributors and chosen by a Carrier management committee. Nominees must be a Factory Authorized Dealer and have a minimum 20 years of association with Carrier as their primary brand.
“The Carrier Dealer Hall of Fame was created to recognize and honor dealers who exhibit enthusiasm, loyalty and courage in their work and who embody the same leadership philosophy as Willis Carrier, the founder of our company and the inventor of modern air conditioning,” said Chris Nelson, president of Carrier’s residential and commercial systems. “Kenny Long exemplifies compassion and commitment to his employees, his community, his customers and to Carrier. It is our honor to provide him with this recognition.”
Other noted qualities among recipients are vision to seize opportunity, a focus on continuous improvement and personal and professional integrity. Although thousands of dealers across the country represent Carrier brand products, fewer than 1,500 surpass the high standards defined by the company to qualify as a FAD and among those, Long is one of only three dealers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
The other two inductees are Tom Hawkins of Hawkins Air Conditioning and Refrigeration in Abilene, Texas; and the late Bob Bell of Bell Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning in Des Moines, Iowa.
Long’s history with the HVAC industry began in 1960, when he joined the Marine Corps and completed courses in accounting, bookkeeping, air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical work.
In 1964, Long purchased half of his father’s business and he and his wife, Freda, started selling residential and commercial central air conditioning systems in central Florida. In 1973, he purchased the remaining half of the company and renamed it Long’s Air Conditioning Inc.
In 1974, Long’s Air Conditioning became an official Carrier dealership when Jim VanLandingham, owner of Carrier Florida, offered Long an exclusive territory in Highlands and Hardee counties. This partnership resulted in Long’s Air Conditioning becoming the largest dealer in the Ridge Area of central Florida, which holds true today.
Long’s Air Conditioning is routinely one of the first dealers in the country to embrace and implement new Carrier products and programs. In 1994, Long’s Air Conditioning installed the first-ever Carrier air conditioner with Puron non-ozone-depleting refrigerant.
The Longs also are very involved in the community and have donated air conditioning systems to local churches and other organizations, as well as all of the labor needed to construct more than 170 Habitat for Humanity homes.
They’ve been active with numerous committees and organizations, including the Highlands County Board of Examiners, Highlands County Code Enforcement Board, Avon Park Airport Committee and Avon Park Rotary Club.
The Avon Park Chamber of Commerce honored Long’s Air Conditioning with the Business of the Year Award and presented Long with the Citizen of the Year Award.
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