GAINESVILLE - Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. was founded in 1946 by L.D. Lawson initially supplying fuel oil for heating needs. The air conditioning service soon followed as Lawson became an Authorized Carrier Dealer and installed Hall County's first AC unit at the Diana Shop, a ladies apparel store on the Square in Downtown Gainesville, in 1947.
Lawson is now operated by Lawson's daughter Debbie Lawson Davis and her husband Vince Davis. In 1994, the company was recognized by Carrier Corporation as a nationwide Distinguished Dealer for outstanding performance. In 2009 Lawson achieved the esteemed honor of being named a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, earned by exhibiting extensive training and certification of technicians and managers and a commitment to quality. This classification is reserved only for top Carrier Dealers in the nation, and Lawson is the only CFAD dealer in Northeast Georgia. In April 2014, Lawson Air was recognized by Carrier Distributor Mingledorff's Inc. for its 65-year partnership.
A luncheon was held recently to celebrate the company's affiliation as a distributor of Carrier products. Mingledorff's is one of the Southeast's largest wholesale distributors of HVAC equipment, parts, and supplies and the largest Independent Distributor for Carrier Corporation in the nation. Mingledorff's and Lawson's business relationship goes back decades as recalled by Bob Kesterton, Chair Emeritus of the company.
"L.D. Lawson and Lawson Air Conditioning represented almost all of North Georgia in the late 1950's," Kesterton said. "I never had any doubt about their integrity and qualifications as an AC contractor and supplier of our products. We had a beautiful business relationship spanning 65 years. Lawson is a rock-solid dealer and one of the few that can accommodate both residential and commercial clients with top quality service. Over the decades, I can't remember a single customer complaint."
Bob Kesterton has retired and his son David now serves as company president.
"L.D. Lawson was a pioneer in the industry," said the younger Kesterton. "We are celebrating a 65-year partnership today because Lawson's management team has played a leadership role in the industry. L.D. served as a mentor to me, and many, who are in business today, started at Lawson Air Conditioning Company. Lawson remains an important partner. In the last 15 years, our company has grossed over $21 million in commercial and residential products installed by Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing."
The celebration also included recognition of the two longest serving Lawson employees, Ralph Crowe and Ralph Crumley. Vince Davis, President, Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, thanked the two employees for their ongoing dedication and service.
Crowe began working with Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing in 1964, after serving in the Army. He joined Lawson as a pipefitter and for the last 50 years has served as sheet metal fabricator, HVAC installer, job foreman and now serves as HVAC superintendent for all Lawson's commercial projects. He has trained countless number of workers who moved into foreman positions. "If you listen to Ralph," Davis said, "you'll learn how to be successful. He knows the industry inside and out."
Crumley has been with Lawson for 30 years. After serving in many capacities, he is now superintendent of the company's sheet metal shop. Crumley was recognized for his "outstanding loyalty and skills" in providing training to new employees. He began in the sheet metal shop using only hand tools and became a "true craftsman." Today he manages other employees on a high-tech plasma table that cuts metal with compressed gas via computerized measurements. Davis described Ralph as a "gentleman and friend."