What’s Up, Young Boss!
This week we highlight Tony Berry of Berry HVAC & Maintenance Inc. in Columbus Ohio.
Heating and Air Conditioner Maintenance and Repair for 23 years
23 years ago, Tony Berry was a fast food worker at a Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus Ohio. During the Clinton administration, federal and state funding made it possible for Tony to return to school and improve his life trajectory. He decided to learn how to repair Heating and Air Conditioning units (HVAC) because it provided the best opportunity for him to make good money and have a steady supply of work.
Challenges for a New Business Owner
Upon completing the program, Tony was eager to find work but experienced challenges in securing contracts due to his skin color. On one occasion, Tony was tricked into recruiting an additional person for a job in an apartment building. This person was a friend of Tony and was white. When Tony introduced his friend to the apartment manager, Tony was quickly replaced by his friend and did not get to work on the project. As a devout Christian, Tony knew that God had a bigger plan for his life. Many people of color have faced situations just like this. Tony kept his head up and was eventually offered a better opportunity with St. Ann’s Hospital.
Challenges and Opportunities for Business Owners Now
When asked what challenges him now, Tony admits that the ever-changing world of technology is a lot to keep up with. In our interview, he told me, “You have to stay informed about new technology all the time.” He finds YouTube to be the greatest asset to new and experienced entrepreneurs like himself. “I can learn how to do anything from Youtube. I just ask a question and its there.” Recently he used Youtube to learn how to change the engine, spark plugs and lights in his BMW. “If an entrepreneur needs to know something, it is probably on YouTube.”
I am motivated by Retirement
Tony was also featured on our Think Like a Boss series. When asked what kept him motivated as a business owner, he replied that his desire to live comfortably in retirement was his biggest motivator. To watch Tony on Think Like A Boss, click on this image below.
Are There Still Opportunities in HVAC?
Yes, there is a great deal of opportunity in HVAC for men and women that don’t mind getting dirt under their nails. To obtain the right knowledge, a person can look into a state school or community college that offers certification in Heating and Air Conditioning. After school, a person can find employment and hands-on training working as a journeyman for 6 years. During this period, the journeyman is trained, paid and made ready for the world. Upon completing your journeyman assignment, a person can easily earn a wage of $70 an hour with an abundance of work available to them. Because many people do not like to get dirty or do physically demanding work, there is a major demand for hardworking individuals and companies that provide HVAC services.
Berry HVAC & Maintenance Inc.
If you would like to work with Tony, please call his office at 614-209-3903