Richard Hiteshew: Family First
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
VALLEJO — When asked what motivated him to start his own HVAC business, Richard Hiteshew says he just wanted to have more time with his family. “After several years working as a technician, I was fed up with my job encroaching on my family life. The final straw was when I had to work on my daughter’s fifth birthday, even though I requested the day off weeks in advance. I came home to my wife, Krissy, and told her I was going to start my own company. She said it was a great idea. Considering that we had a house payment, two kids and a third on the way, it was a pretty risky decision. Looking back, it was the best decision we’ve ever made.”
Since founding A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc. in 1996, Richard says family continues to be an integral aspect of his career. “In addition to Krissy and myself, three of our four kids work here. Our oldest daughter, Kasey, is the office manager; our son, Nick, is an engineer; and our youngest son, Austin, is just getting into installation. Plus, my older brother and nephew work here.” Additionally, Richard makes a point of extending the family dynamic to his entire staff. “We’re very family-oriented here,” he affirms. “It’s practically a requirement for our employees to go with their kids on the first day of school.”
A resident of Fairfield, Richard spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “I love outdoor activities like camping, hunting, fishing, boating and four-wheeling,” he details. “I also like going to car shows and showing off my ’55 Chevy. I got it from my brother when I was 16 and I still have it!”
In regard to a professional philosophy, Richard espouses the importance of honesty. “I always try to be honest, whether I’m dealing with an employee or a customer,” he explains. “If a customer is unhappy about something, I would sooner give them their money back than leave them feeling like they’ve been taken advantage of. As far as I’m concerned, reputation is everything, and I want everyone to think of A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air as a company they can trust.”
When asked what he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Richard says he’d spend more time doing the things he enjoys most. “I would stay busy with car shows and outdoor activities. I’d also get more involved in charity work. Krissy and I are very passionate about giving back to our community. Take our company’s A-1 Give Back program: if a customer mentions a nonprofit to us, we’ll donate five percent of their bill up to $100. It’s very rewarding to be able to make a positive impact on our community.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Napoli Pizzeria in Vallejo.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Any holiday that gives me a day off of work!
Q: Music or talk radio?
Q: What kinds of music do you like?
A: I listen to everything from old-school country to rap. The only thing I can’t stand is elevator music.
Q: Pancakes or waffles?
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