The story of Advance Air & Heat Company is probably pretty typical of the all-American small business. Pursuing the freedom and financial independence of self-employment, Roger Lamy founded Advance Air & Heat with money borrowed from his in-laws in 1986. Roger was technician, service manager, and CEO all by himself, while his wife Barbara took care of answering phones and doing the books. The corporate offices consisted of one desk located in the corner of the dining room of Roger’s family home in the tiny little town of Freetown. Through hard work and sheer will, Roger grew Advance Air into one of the leading HVAC/R contracting firms in the SouthCoast.
After nearly 45 years in the industry, Roger is looking forward to spending more time traveling and vacationing in – you guessed it – Florida. (I think it’s an unwritten rule that if you live in Massachusetts, you must retire to Florida. It might be a Blue Law). So, now Advance Air will boldly go where many small businesses have gone before…to The Next Generation. Namely, me and my brother Chris.
You’ll have to excuse the blatant and unimaginative Star Trek: The Next Generation references here. As I was writing this, I couldn’t keep the images out of my head. Much to my chagrin as a child, Dad was a huge Star Trek fan and I guess it stuck. It would also be prudent to note here that my brother is not aware that I’ve represented him as Captain Picard. The lesson here is – beware of she who controls the social media.
A little bit about the next generation owners of Advance Air…
Chris joined Advance Air 18 years ago as an apprentice and has since filled nearly every job description available. He is one of the most well-rounded field technicians and he has also served as Foreman, Service Manager and Estimator. Currently his main jobs include estimating and managing the direction of our Building Automation Dept.
I joined Advance Air in 2002 after a former long-time employee was arrested for embezzling company funds, leaving the company in financial difficulty. It was a difficult time, but also an inspiring one. The company really pulled together to overcome the challenges of the theft and became a stronger company as a result. Over the last ten years my role has been to modernize the company with new technologies, implementing systems to increase overall operational efficiency, improve the accuracy of our estimating, and provide better customer service. I am also currently pursuing HVAC licenses so that Advance Air can apply for women-owned business certification through SOMWBA within the next few years.
Both Chris and I are excited and honored to have the opportunity to carry on what our father created. We look forward to continually improving the standards of integrity, quality and excellent service that our customers and employees have come to expect from Advance Air. And we promise never to actually wear those Star Trek: The Next Generation uniforms during the work day. Really. No one needs to see that.