The next milestone was promoting one of his long-time service technicians to service manager. His name is Sean Rusnak, and he has worked with Westland since 2003. In addition, Jeff’s son-in-law, Christian Wimmer, is a comfort specialist for both residential and light commercial sales. He’s been with the company for 23 years.

“Another milestone,” Jeff adds, “is that we are developing our guiding attitude, which is, We’re not afraid of anything.”
He attributes that attitude to the incredible success Westland has enjoyed. “We have never been afraid of being on the leading edge of technology or trying new things that can help us improve our customers’ comfort,” he says.

Adapting New Technology

For example, Jeff tells the story of how Westland became involved with a new product manufactured by York called the Triathlon. This product was a gas-powered heat pump.

“Though this product is no longer available, our local utility was promoting the heck out of it at the time. I was intrigued by it. We ended up becoming one of the biggest Triathlon contractors in the country.

“York sent me around the U.S. to talk with contractors about the product and our experience using it. We had all positive experiences with it for the first two or three years until York went into mass production. Then the product quality decreased, and they started experiencing issues.”

Similarly, Westland discovered variable refrigerant flow technology almost accidentally. While on vacation in Mexico, Jeff says he saw lines of rooftop units at the resort where he was staying. He describes this equipment as having individual galvanized housing; each stenciled with the word Multicity on it.

“I’d never seen this before, so as soon as I returned to Ohio, I began looking into this product and eventually discovered it was a Mitsubishi Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) product line.”

Westland Heating and Air Conditioning is based in Westlake, OH -- a Cleveland suburb.
Westland Heating, Air Conditioning + Plumbing is located
in Westlake, OH, a western Cleveland suburb. Established in
1985, the residential and commercial firm serves much of
northeastern Ohio and specializes in High-Performance
HVAC contracting.

Says Sean Rusnak, “Today, we’ve installed hundreds of installations of VRF systems from Mitsubishi, Daikin, LG, and Samsung. Our team is trained, and we have qualified professionals to work on all those systems. We’ve installed and serviced them in nursing homes, schools, office buildings, and more.”

“We also install them in multi-family buildings and anywhere they make sense,” says Christian Wimmer.

Rusnak adds that the company not only seeks out new equipment technologies but is also on the cutting edge of test instrument and tool tech.

“Westland isn’t afraid to invest in the proper tools, software, and computers to do the job properly,” he says. “The same is true when it comes to training. Westland has always promoted training for all our technicians and installers, both commercial and residential.”

The Training Connection

Jeff Mitchell smiles when the training topic comes up. “I may not have thought college was for me when I was a young man,” he says, “but I have always been fascinated with technology and tools and always wanted to soak up as much knowledge about them as possible. Sometimes the lessons I learned were through taking classes; sometimes, they came from hard life lessons.”

He tells a story about taking his family on a skiing vacation in New York years ago, where he decided to take a nap before heading out to the slopes. After two hours, his family woke him up and had to push him to get out of bed and out of the condo.

“I woke up with the worst freaking headache you could imagine. I felt like I was going to throw up. Once I got outside and into the fresh air, I felt a little better. Later, I noticed it smelled like exhaust fumes back in the condo. That was strange because electric baseboards heated the building.”

As it turns out, the complex had a large gas-fired hot water tank system that was having problems, and its
mechanical room was directly beneath Jeff’s bedroom.

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