In all his years as an HVAC technician, Russ Miller has never got tired of two things about the job: helping people, and getting to work with his hands.
Miller, who works as a Certified ProTech for AirComfort Heating & Cooling in Fremont, recently received national recognition for his work as the lead installation tech at the company’s Fremont location.
“I kind of do it all,” he said. “We’re a pretty small company … it’s more personal at a smaller company. I like working with the guys, passing on the knowledge to some of the younger guys who started out like I did.”
Miller was named Tech of the Month by national HVACR industry magazine AHCRNews, which to AirComfort Heating & Cooling’s knowledge is the only time an HVAC technician from Nebraska has received the recognition.
Miller, who is originally from West Point, fell into his career path after serving in the armed forces more than 25 years ago.
“I had a friend who was working for a company, and they needed some help,” he said. “At the time, I had just gotten out of the military. I didn’t have any experience, but I was hired.”
Miller says it was a learning experience, with all of his knowledge gained from on-the-job training.
He now holds a Master’s license and works as an installer, service tech, and sheet metal fabricator.
“He can handle literally anything that’s thrown at him,” said Steve Simmons, AirComfort’s owner/general manager. “Even our competitors routinely compliment him on his work. He is excellent with our clients and routinely receives five-star reviews for any interaction with them.”
Simmons said Miller has been a key part of the acquisition of AirComfort, as he was the only technician who stayed on when Simmons and his business partner Bart Bosco took over the business in Fremont after running similar operations in North Bend, Schuyler and Columbus.
“Russ was a key employee of the previous owners,” he said. “When we purchased the company six years ago, Russ was a shining light of how to make the often difficult transition to working for new owners … with grace, integrity, and a desire to succeed in whatever he does.”
AirComfort now has two locations serving Fremont and Columbus. In Fremont, their offices are located at 2645 N. Broad Street.
Simmons said that throughout the transition of ownership, Miller acquitted himself quite well and continues to be one of his most reliable employees.
“He is always willing to … take after-hours calls, help train new staff, and learn new ways of doing our job better,” Simmons said. “Russ always finds a way to make it a good thing. He never has a bad attitude or fights change. He is often a cheerleader of ‘getting ’er done.’ He always has a smile and is great to work with.”
A longtime industry veteran, Miller plans to keep working in the HVAC field “as long as my body lets me,” he said. “I’m going to hang it out, see how the business goes and grows, and go from there.”