PEWAUKEE, Wis. - The Gustave A. Larson Co. marked 70 years in business July 11.

Founded in 1936 by Gus Larson, the company has been family owned and operated since the beginning. Currently, Andrew Larson is president of the company while Scott Larson is executive vice president. Both men are the grandsons of Gus Larson.

The company began as a small Madison, Wis., store with just two employees. Seventy years later, the company has 44 locations in 14 states with almost 400 employees. The Larson Co. maintains a $55 million inventory and an in-house truck fleet that replenishes the branches nightly.

The company attributes its success to employees who are professional and service oriented. According to Larson officials, each person on its sales team has an HVACR technical college degree or equivalent industry experience. The company also offers education programs to its employees to keep them on track with changing technology in the industry.

"We don't sell anything - our customers do," said Andrew Larson. "As a result, our focus is on helping them maximize their success."