Comfort Systems is excited to announce the promotion of Chad Heitman to the role of General Manager. Chad has worked in the Wichita office for the last four years as a project manager. Longtime former GM, Dale Poort will tell you the wheels of this transition were put into motion from the first day Chad walked in the door.
Chad’s Path – From Pre-Law to General Contracting to HVAC
“I started swingin’ hammers in high school,” Chad says, as he reminisces about his first introduction to the construction world. Throughout high school and college he built homes in the Wichita area. This experience was instrumental in giving him hands-on knowledge about foundation, architecture and even design.
Chad received a degree in Political Science, but after graduation, his internships at law firms left him disillusioned and eventually his calloused hands were drawn back to the familiar world of general contracting.
“I learned a little more about the architectural aspect of the building process,” Chad explained. “Eventually I became involved in the concept, design and development of homes, churches and multi-million dollar projects. I loved it.”
Serendipity At Work
After years as a successful general contractor, the industry suddenly flat-lined in 2008/2009 leaving Chad with a thick resume and a brain full of knowledge, but nowhere to apply it.
On a cold day in January, Chad drove to an interview at a company near the Comfort Systems office. Driving away, he noticed a Help Wanted sign on the building and decided to find out more. At the time, Dale was looking for a project manager, who might also be able to take his place in the company when he felt the time was right to step back.
During the initial interview, Dale immediately spotted traits in Chad that he knew would make for stellar management material including self-motivation, communication skills, a positive attitude and a track record of getting his hands dirty to get the job done.
“Teach Me. I Want to Learn Something New Every Day.”
Entering the heating and cooling industry, Chad had a wealth of knowledge about wood, brick and steel construction, as well as a working knowledge of electricity and plumbing from all his years on the job site, but he knew there would be a learning curve. He welcomed it. He continues to welcome the opportunity saying, “I go on ride-alongs with my technicians and I tell them, ‘teach me, I want to learn something new every day.”
Chad’s Plan For the Future of Comfort Systems
As the new GM, Chad is adamant about continuing and even improving upon the mentorship and team-building atmosphere of the local office. Comfort Systems doesn’t just hire technicians, they invest in them. “These are just good people,” Chad explained. “From the office staff to the techs, to the people at the executive level, they just have good morals and really get along well. It’s a unique situation and I’m proud to be part of it.”
Moving forward, Chad is excited to introduce more automation into the Wichita HVAC service area. Recently the company delivered mini iPads to all its technicians. The company is now using software that allows its employees to enter all the data into the iPads which saves time and creates less paperwork. Comfort Systems is currently the only heating and cooling company in Wichita to use this technology.
“I’m glad Dale saw this potential in me and I’m extremely happy that I continue to have his blessing and support.” Chad Heitman
Chad lives with his wife and two daughters in Wichita, Kansas.