David Hutchins, Ralph Peters and Tom Rechtin are the latest contractors to win Carrier Corp.’s Dealer Hall of Fame Award.

“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 Bob McDonough, president of Carrier’s residential and commercial systems division. “The three men honored this year exemplify compassion and commitment to their employees, communities, loyal customers and to Carrier. It is our honor to recognize them with this prestigious award.”

David Hutchins of Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating in Crystal River, Fla., started his company in 1975 with a small home equity loan, one employee and a truck.  During the past 36 years, he has grown his business in Florida and currently employs a team of 52 employees and manages a fleet of 30 trucks.

Hutchins attributes much of his success to taking care of his customers, employees and his community. Hutchins said he follows the principles of former President Harry Truman and states, “If you make a good living in your community, you owe something back to that community.”

To date, Hutchins and his employees have logged numerous hours of local and national community service. The National Home Builders Association, Relay for Life, Boy Scouts, Key Training Center and the local chamber of commerce are a few of the organizations supported by Bay Area Air Conditioning & Heating.

Ralph Peters of Peters Heating & Air Conditioning in Quincy, Ill., was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1955 with the goal of owning a business. That soon became a reality when he and his cousin, Charlie Peters, borrowed $500 each to open Peters Sheet Metal, a tiny store in Quincy. Furnace and boiler installations were added to the business a few years later. A larger business expansion began in 1975 when Peters became a Carrier dealer.

Today, Peters Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service commercial and residential HVAC dealer with seven locations and more than 250 employees, serving customers in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Peters retired in 1995, but the company is still in his family. It’s currently owned and operated by the sons of Ralph and Charlie, and, a third generation is now also working in the business.

Tom Rechtin of Tom Rechtin Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric Co. in Bellevue, Ky., has been working in the HVAC industry since 1954. He started his own business in 1971. Since then, Rechtin’s company has expanded its services beyond the HVAC industry and grown considerably.

The formula for continued success is involvement, influence and accomplishment, according to Rechtin. Throughout his professional life, he’s been a businessman and teacher. Rechtin has numerous awards and recognition for his work and for his teaching in the local business community and within the HVAC industry. Most notably, he received both the state and national Contractor of the Year Awards, twice.

Today, at 75, Rechtin is still very active in the company, but his son Tom Rechtin Jr. has taken over the day-to-day operations of the company.

Rechtin is still a part of the local and state business community. He is on the board of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, president of the Association of Greater Cincinnati Heating and Cooling Contractors and a member of the Kentucky state licensing board.