It’s more than “AC” folks!
Appleton Campbell, in business for 47 years, still locally owned and operated, handles heating, plumbing, air conditioning, and electric, both repair and new install, in over 13 counties.
A trusted regional presence, now headed by Mike Appleton, the grandson of founder Jim Appleton, the company relocated in May 2020 to a new commercial building in Warrenton and is now poised for smart growth. It’s a quintessential American ‘can-do’ story, with a value-driven work ethic behind it.
Not surprisingly, there’s also a fourth generation on board at the company. Mike’s son Michael, 31, offers a strong leadership presence both in the office and out in the field.
He had just started working there in 2007 when a strategic decision was made by the company to shut down “new construction,” eliminating its status as a subcontractor in order to focus intently on homeowners needs for residential service, repair and replacement.
The prevailing intent was to work directly for the client, provide trusted personal service, assess their needs, educate them on their options, and execute the work expeditiously and professionally.
Appleton Campbell promises to offer no hard sell, no surprise charges, an up-front flat rate, and a true 100 percent guarantee. If a technician misdiagnoses the problem, the added cost is the company’s, not the customer.
Michael and service manager Jason Anderson, want their clients to be satisfied from the first call to the after-service follow up, for the optimal customer experience start to finish.
Just as an example, a customer call to replace a water line Appleton Campbell had installed 11 years before. When they dug it up, the line had plastic fittings, instead of brass as industry standards recommend. So, the company replaced it at no charge.
With 90-plus employees (55-60 in the field) and a fleet of 65 plus trucks, serving an area of some 75 towns and cities, it’s a busy operation.
Appleton Campbell recruits from local high schools and community colleges, and partners with the federal Department of Veteran Affairs to also provide possible candidates. The training, including classes, meetings, videos, slide shows, and skills practice, is held in-house for apprentices and helpers. There is further schooling out of state, followed by ride-alongs with experienced lead techs.
Service support, both remote and on site if needed, is provided by Jason Anderson and each individual trade manager he supervises (HVAC, plumbing, and electric). Trucks are stocked with common parts and pieces, but all other inventory is delivered daily from distributors or manufacturers to warehouse space at Appleton Campbell.
Kathy Godfrey, the public relations manager related that technicians (in best practices mode) have moved snakes from under houses, carried in groceries, and removed big tree limbs as a courtesy to their clients.
Jason, an Air Force veteran who also served in the Air National Guard (with temporary deployments to Saudi Arabia and Egypt), has been with Appleton Campbell for 11 years.
There are birthday parties, holiday celebrations, donuts & coffee, ice cream, yoga classes, trade-athalon contests before work (winners receive a set of expensive power tools), and a culture where transparency and clear communication is encouraged across all levels of employment, the better to create a collaborative spirit.
The company also offers competitive wages, paid training, paid vacations/holidays, truck/gas/uniforms, medical and dental insurance, and a retirement plan.
When queried about working with family, Michael said with a big grin, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
One day recently, Michael was offered a chance to go in on a lottery ticket at work. “No thanks,” he answered simply. “I’m doing what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
All and all, it’s a nice gig for everyone at Appleton Campbell.