0
Votes

Getting To Know ...

Brian Johnson, Greater Springfield Chamber’s Business Owner of the Year.

photo

Courtesy Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce In December, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce recognized Brian Johnson, owner of Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, as its Business Owner of the Year. Johnson is shown here with his wife Amanda, who also works in the office of their family-owned business.

For Brian Johnson, owner of Commonwealth Cooling & Heating in Lorton, the key to community involvement is customer service.

"Nobody is going to work harder for my business then me, and I think that is really important to remember," said Johnson.

That outlook is perhaps what inspired Johnson’s colleagues in the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce to name him their Business Owner of the Year at their annual banquet in December.

Here, Johnson offers a little bit about himself and reflects on the role that the small business owner can play in the community.

<b>

Number of years in the community. </b>20 years.

<b>

Family. </b>Brother is a Metro Transit Police Officer; sister is owner of White Bench in Middleburg, an upscale home décor store; wife works in the office for Commonwealth Cooling & Heating; son is playing machine pitch baseball with the South County Little League and daughter is in the Wonderful Terrible Two's.

<b>

Education. </b>Master license for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

<b>

Your first job. </b>Sheet metal fabrication for residential and commercial ductwork.

<b>

Activities/interests/hobbies. </b>Boating, golfing, entertaining friends and family and contributing to our community.

<b>

Favorite local restaurants. </b>Pane E Vino.

<b>

Community concerns. </b> I hope that people really get out and support their local small business during these tough economic times.

<b>

Tell us about your business. </b> We are a small family owned business that specializes in residential air conditioning, heating, hot water heaters, humidifiers and air purifiers. We are a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer. To become a dealer, you have to attend yearly training classes and our technicians need to be NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified. This ensures that only the highest trained professionals earn the title Factory Authorized Dealer. To learn more, visit our Web site at commonwealthhvac.com.

<b>

What do you think about being named Business Owner of the Year?</b> I was incredibly honored because we were nominated by a group of our peers. To actually be recognized for just doing our regular day-to-day job is amazing. We have always felt that our work ethic and dedication to our customers was something special and this award validated that.

<b>

What role can small business owners play in the community? </b>I think one of the most important things about dealing with a small business is customer service. It seems to me that customer service is not what it used to be. The do-whatever-it-takes to satisfy a customer attitude of old has been replaced by take it or leave it. This is even more apparent when you are dealing with an owner of a company that no longer deals directly with their customers. Nobody is going to work harder for my business then me, and I think that is really important to remember. I want to always have a face-to-face relationship with my customers. I want to know what they are saying first hand. And with the support of our local customers we are able to give back to our community. The South County Little League has become very important to us. We sponsor a team every year.

<b>

What goals do you have for yourself and your business? </b>I would like to establish a well-known, quality business, in our community. I want people to know right away who to call when they need help with their heating and air conditioning equipment. I want them to know that not only do we carry quality equipment, but we have a knowledgeable staff that can handle any problem. I want them to know that we will take care of them, because without our customers, we would not be where we are today.