PEWAUKEE, Wis. - This year marks the 65th anniversary of the Gustave A. Larson Company. Founded by Gus Larson in 1936, the company has been family owned and operated for 65 years and is presently under the leadership of Andrew Larson, President, and Scott Larson, vice president of finance, Gus' grandsons.

Larson began as a small storefront in Madison, Wis., with just 2 employees. Sixty-five years later, it has 23 branches in eight Midwestern states with almost 250 employees. Each branch carries an extensive inventory of equipment and replacement parts to serve customers' needs. The Larson Company, a leader in customer service, maintains a $25 million inventory and an in-house truck fleet that replenishes the branches nightly. A state-of-the-art computer system links all 23 branches with the corporate offices and Distribution Center in Pewaukee.

In the April 24, 1940, issue of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration News, the success of the Larson Company was attributed to members of an organization who were "committed to technical competence, responsive to customers' needs, friendly, willing to work hard, active in the industry and active in the community." Today, that same formula for success still holds true, according to the company. The sales team is focused on helping customers troubleshoot system issues and answer technical questions. Each person on the sales team has an hvac technical college degree or equivalent industry experience.

The company was awarded the coveted Distributor of the Year award at Mitsubishi's National Distributor Meeting in Key Biscayne, Fla. May 7-10. The award was presented by Bill Rau, Mitsubishi's Vice President and General Manager.

This award is based not only on overall sales growth but on other factors such as training, inventory accuracy, knowledgeable sales personnel, technical support, branch displays of Mitsubishi products, and product manager support.