On the day to day, what an HVAC professional does will vary based on their industry of employment, position, and specialty. What doesn’t vary is the importance of the work they do. Installing and maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment helps to keep the general population comfortable and healthy, especially in extreme climates. At Malco, we understand the long hours and sacrifices that go into being a successful HVAC technician. This is why it was important for us to develop a national program to recognize the hard-working individuals who represent the industry in the best light, on and off the job.
The annual Malco Trade-Pro of the Year Award celebrates outstanding HVAC professionals from across the country whose collective experience, achievements, on-the-job safety, and local involvement have made a difference in their communities. The five winners of the 2019 contest were selected from nearly 300 nominations. Not only do these technicians excel in the field, but they trust our products to perform and get the job done safely and efficiently. It was only fitting that each winner received $1,000 worth of Malco tools to enhance their existing kit. Keep reading to learn more about these five HVAC rock stars and why they choose Malco every time!
Winning HVAC Professionals
Gregory D. Burg from Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
As an HVAC installer for J-Berd Mechanical Contractors, Greg loves installing ductwork and always makes sure that he and his crew have safety gear on. His supervisor Matthew Gregor said, “Greg is the kind of worker every company wishes they had 100 of. When installing, he sets a goal to give the customers the best product he can. He’s a great teacher, and he has great patience when teaching new guys how to install. I couldn’t ask for a better right-hand guy to have on my crew.” Greg owns every Malco tool he needs for ductwork in the field. Matthew noted, “They are great tools to use every day! We love them!” When asked about the reason why they purchase Malco tools, Matthew said, “They are made to last. Malco will last you 10 times longer than any other brand. Instead of buying a different brand name over and over and over and wasting your money, just buy Malco the first time.”
Fred Magers from Paxton, Illinois
Fred is the owner of Magers Repair and has been working in the residential and commercial HVAC business for 20 years. He always uses the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for every job and makes sure that his team does the same. As a longstanding community man, Fred has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations. He is passionate about getting kids involved in the outdoors, so he currently devotes time towards a youth program at his local Pheasants Forever. Ben Magers noted that his dad Fred owns at least 50 Malco tools and has loved them for as long as he can remember. He said that Fred purchases Malco tools because of “quality, hands down.”
Nicholas Yuschak from Grand Blanc, Michigan
Owner and operator of Complete Comfort Heating and Cooling, Nicholas has been working in the HVAC trade for 20 years. He worked for his father’s company before starting his own business from the ground up. To work safely and efficiently in the field, he and his team use PPE and make thoughtful decisions when it comes to equipment. For example, when a scissor lift is the most ideal option for the job, he’ll rent and use one instead of making do with a ladder. To support the community, Nicholas’s company annually donates time and money to a local pediatrics foundation. He owns approximately 100 Malco tools, including all of his father’s Malco hand tools from 40+ years ago. He purchases Malco tools because “they are the best products in the trade in my opinion.”
John Wilcox from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
John is the lead technician for John Wilcox Plumbing and Heating, where he completes residential installation and service while using protective equipment such as gloves and goggles. He supports his community as a member of the local Rotary Club and is a sponsor of the Woodville Plantation, a National Historic Landmark. In addition, he participates in the local law enforcement car show, and his company collects money for the local Salvation Army. John has had his Malco tools since the beginning of his career and continues to buy them because “they do the job and last a long time.” He also noted, “I lean on quality tools to do my job. Straighter cuts, better seams, and easier-to-use bit runners help me do my job.”
Keith Palazzolo from Bay Shore, New York
Now a self-employed HVAC contractor, Keith has spent the last 35 years working in the trade. He teaches future trade pros through the Joint Apprenticeship Training Fund program, instilling the importance of working safely and effectively. Keith continues to support his community by repairing or temporarily fixing broken heating systems for neighbors who can’t afford to make emergency service calls. He currently owns approximately 40 Malco tools, including his very first HVAC tool, which is a single sheet metal crimper that he purchased 35 years ago. He chooses Malco because of “reliability.” He noted, “I can’t have a tool let me down or worse yet, break on me.”
Congratulations to all of the 2019 winners and nominees!
Nominations for next year’s Trade-Pro of the Year contest will open in February 2020. “We’re proud to recognize the HVAC industry’s elite contractors and technicians who not only provide top-quality service to their customers but also make a difference in their community and focus on safety on the job,” said Malco president and COO Mardon Quandt. “Each of the 2019 Trade-Pro of the Year winners is helping advance the industry’s reputation, safety, and experience, and we commend them on their dedication to the trade.” Big thanks to everyone who participated!