Weather brought to you by

The Inside Story

 November, 27th 2017     Comments     Views

The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 4th Quarter 2017
The annual AHR EXPO is the single best opportunity we in the HVAC industry have to see, touch and experience the equipment and programs vital to success in our business.

The EXPO started as the ASHRAE show. It has grown and continues to grow. The products we sell and service are evolving and improving. We need this annual show to keep us current on what to expect. 

I know that it is hard for contractors and dealers to attend events in far-away cities. This is exactly why the AHR moves from Chicago, to Orlando, to Atlanta, Las Vegas and other major cities. It is usually held at the end of January. 

Your HVAC Insider has been a part of this show since 1992. We have a booth where you can pick up current copies of our 15 newspapers and visit with reporters to tell your story. We will be taking your photos and publishing your images nationwide. You can prove to the world that you were there.

A few years ago the three biggest names in HVAC decided to boycott the show. That didn’t last long, they are back and very impressive.

I always suspect that when big companies hire MBAs or so-called financial whizzes, they really don’t have any idea about the nuts and bolts of real business. To these pencil pushers all advertising, trade shows and marketing programs are a waste of money.

In the short fifty-five years that I have worked in the news business, I have seen multiple  companies slide down from number one to just another brand. That’s what happens when you take your leadership position for granted.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 3rd Quarter 2017
Dear reader, thank you for your patience. Things happen sometimes, and even really bad things happen once in a while. This writer was a victim of a violent crime this month, and it is difficult right now to focus on writing a column for this issue. So, I thought it would be uplifting to present some of the kind letters that have been sent from our loyal readers. I hope you enjoy them.

“MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! I agree 100% Jerry, keep telling it like it is!” - S.M.

“I always enjoy your articles and agree with you on so many issues. I totally agree with you on the refugee article! The current president, Obama, is trying his best to ruin our country. He has done a lot of damage but we can still recover if we can win the next election. I pray for our country and hope the people can finally see that we need to change directions in order to remain the best nation in the world. Please keep up the great articles and I will keep reading and enjoying them. Thank you for the service you provide to our industry!” - R.W.

“Hi Jerry. Just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your article on the European refugees. I too hope that Donald Trump can break the cycle of do-nothing career politicians! Obama has really damaged our country and I keep hoping enough people will wake up! Your article gave me hope that there are a lot of us out here thinking the same way.” - S.M.

“Hey Jerry... Just finished reading your latest INSIDE STORY. I agree with you 100%. I am proudly a supporter of our new President, Donald Trump. Next time you are driving up or down 1-75 stop for a visit. I have finally recovered from the last four years of medical setbacks. Very happy to be back on the road selling. Just closed on three multi-housing rehab jobs in Atlanta last week. Will be furnishing HVAC equipment, water hearers, appliances, bathroom fans, radiation dampers, etc. for 856 apartment units. Great way to return - best therapy ever.  More great prospects lined up and waiting. The Old Man has still got a few rounds left in his chamber. Great job covering the AHR Show, as usual. Keep up the good work. Thanks for all you do for our industry.” - B.M.

I will close with one last letter, a “letter to the editor” submitted to a community newspaper that elected not to print it. While not one of our readers, this lady states her truth so well.

“Dear Editor:  So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. One man, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.” 
“Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like that man why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get  down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.” 

“They had waved good-bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.” 

“Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini, and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.” 
“When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German-American or the Irish-American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.” 

“And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work, and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.”

“And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.”  


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 2nd Quarter 2017
There are a few companies that are trying to Make America Great Again. Honeywell invested $300 million building a new plant. Daikin is investing huge amounts of money building a massive manufacturing plant just outside Houston. These companies and others are seeking to grow their business worldwide beginning here in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Sadly there are many parasites in government who fear for their future. If the truth is told there are millions of folks who care nothing about we who work for a living. They care about their free special insurance, their protected jobs and their retirement programs. Many in government do care about we the people. My father was one of those. He served our country during WWII.

He was a fire fighter in the Navy at Pearl Harbor. He returned to Tyler, Texas and was a “fire fighter” for the city. He was burned, blown up and never thought about quitting the department. He was a station master, a Lieutenant when he retired.

There are millions of people like my dad who serve in dangerous, hard jobs. Our military people do not always get the respect they deserve. Their retirement pay is a joke compared to federal employees. Politicians are the worst. Imagine going to work for a company and being paid a large lifetime pension for serving four years, a single term.

The deadbeats who do not want our new President to clean out the unnecessary overhead are lying their faces off trying to discredit Trump.

As I have stated in past editorials, Trump is not a politician nor a saint. He is a businessman. Would you rather have a community activist running your company or a very, very smart business professional?

As I have said many times, I am a retired old man. I have been a news man for 55 years. I do not know all the answers, don’t understand every question. But I try to find out the truth. And the truth is what we will print.

When I was asked to publish a trade paper for HVAC only, by the wholesale distributors in Georgia who were supporting our builder paper and our Retailing News editions (room air) I said yes.

My first week calling on distributors, one man in particular put me on the spot. He was president of a great HVAC company. He sat me down in front of his desk and said “What do you know about HVAC?” I took about two seonds and replied “How to turn it on and off. What do you know about newspapers?” He smiled and said “How to read them.” At that moment we became friends. He made a deal with me to buy page two of our HVAC Insider paper. That company has owned page two since January 1991. We didn’t sign a contract. We shook hands. Of the 685 customers we have served in this industry, I have never required a signed contract. As my dad taught me, a deal is a deal is a deal. If I cannot trust a man or a company, we do not want their business. The reverse is also true.

I am putting my trust in Donald Trump.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 1st Quarter 2017

The Las Vegas AHR Expo was reputably the largest show ever. It was big enough that I got lost at one time on the show floor.

They told us that more than 60,000 HVAC professionals were in attendance. I believe that was a conservative number; it was jammed. The positive attitude expressed by the crowds gave us hope for our future.

What surprised me was I was the only one at the show who was wearing the red “Make America Great Again” hat. I lost count of the number of people at the show who came to our booth or that I saw, as I walked the floor, who expressed their great approval of my red Trump hat.

I understand that some companies might not approve of one of their employees who would wear a cap, shirt or even socks that promoted any politician. They wouldn’t want to offend anyone.

News flash: showing support for the newly elected President shouldn’t offend any patriot. As I have stated on many occasions, “The biggest business on earth is the United States government.” I want the best businessman at the helm. There are many others who qualify, but none are professional politicians.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 4th Quarter 2016

America Wins!

As the presidential election was drawing to a close, I hoped that I would never have to see H. R. Clinton again. This had been the ugliest political campaign in memory. Now the real work begins.

All the promises made with no intention of keeping them, the lies, false accusations and media attempts to sway voters are moot.

It is now time to roll up our sleeves and go to work making America Great Again.

It is my hope that President Trump will use his great skills as a negotiator and convince our allies and enemies that the United States is a formidable enemy and a life saving friend.

Not so long ago (1959) I joined the Army and proudly wore the uniform of an American Soldier. We were honored and respected world wide. I served my last 6 months stationed in Germany. It was a time of posturing and empty threats. I saw the Berlin wall when it was new. I was offered a double promotion to reenlist. And, my wife and son would be flown to join me living off post. 

It was tempting but I wanted to do something else. Returning home to Tyler, Texas I convinced our local newspaper to hire me as an apprentice. Fifty four years later I am still trying to learn my craft.

The Obama years were hard for our trade papers. The people with the real money were determined to keep it. America’s global industries were fearful of expanding their state side operations. Plant expansions were cancelled, advertising and marketing programs were cut dramatically. Many of our peer group simply folded thir tents and went away. We stayed and struggled to remain the contractors newspaper. 

Your HVAC Insider News lost money for four years. The good news was that Cindy and I didn’t spend our income during the Bush years. We saved every cent and never once bounced a check. We made payroll weekly and on occasion sold our retirement gold coins and transferred money from our personal savings account to the corporate general fund.

As we continue to work at bringing you the news and events important to you I trust that our industry leaders recognize the great value we bring to their marketing efforts.

During the political mud slinging we have suffered one thing stands out from the fray. The American workers put their trust in Donald Trump. All the media tricks and false “News” reports failed. We have voted to put a very, very successful business person in charge of the world’s biggest business, the USA government.

Term limits for the political parasites is a start. We must also stop sending our wealth to every despot with their hands out.  America has a full time job restoring our standing as the number one customer on earth. 

When Obama took office he made a strong point of the three trillion dollar national debt. Now that his misleading the nation has resulted in a $30 Trillion dollar debt, it’s going to take a lot of work to dig us out of this hole.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 3rd Quarter 2016

On Business

How can a “genius” be so dumb?

No, I have not “seen it all.”

Yes, I have served as a news man since 1962. I have worked with many good, smart businessmen during these past 54 years. I have seen companies come and go.

Distributorships doing $36 million a year I have seen close their doors because the MBAs running the company had no idea where the money they were juggling actually came from.

When someone is asked to increase profitability, these bean counters don’t consider improved customer service or upgraded products. They manipulate cash flow. Wrong!

It has become popular for big companies to pay their bills 60 or 90 days after receipt of invoice. This is the dumbest trick ever dreamed up by someone whose experience is sitting at a desk shuffling paper.

These same companies are demanding that their customers pay quickly. The bean counters believe that the volume will continue indefinitely. Was this their training?
In order to create customer loyalty, companies need to offer that improved customer service with expert knowledge of add-ons and upgraded products that will improve efficiency and help them increase their bottom line.  This leads to an increase in sales and a solid reputation in the industry.

On Politics
This is a “political” column which you might not want to read. You might disagree. You have every right to disagree. This is the United States and until power-mad politicians manage to cancel our Constitution, you and I have freedom of speech and the press.
Despite the efforts of our left wing activists, ACORN, Democrats, socialists, and well-meaning, politically-correct, self-righteous but easily-herded citizens, the United States shall remain the one bright shining light of freedom.
Perhaps we have grown too comfortable with the many things we take for granted. We see documentaries about starving people and the struggles most of the world endures. The unreported truth is that much of the misery is caused by the “leaders” of these countries. Despots who live in luxury while their subjects starve to death.
There are those who would have us level the field and become poor and submissive sheep. Who do we blame? We can only blame ourselves. In the modern world of PC we have elected “leaders” who are not fit to lead a troop of boy scouts. Actors and pompous blowhards who would have themselves become dictators of the USA. Beware of those who would declare martial law. Their premise for such drastic measures might be riots led by the illegal immigrants who are actually invaders. The planners of this would have local towns set up housing and provide food, medicine and jobs for these illegal aliens. I would consider these factions as cells of terrorism. A few church, school and business bombings would create hysteria allowing such martial law measures to be accepted by the cowering population.
The trouble with these plans is convincing our military to shoot their parents or siblings. I believe that said soldiers would turn their rifles on those who would have them commit such atrocities. 
There is a movement now to persuade all military personnel active or veteran to get out the vote and send the Washington crowd packing.
I would suggest that all politicians would be subject to the same social security and medical programs as they have set for the rest of us. Letting a crook serve in the Washington bureaucracy should NOT qualify them to lifetime exemptions and huge “retirement” benefits. Send them home to real jobs.
I would suggest term limits for both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court.
Let’s make America Great again!


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 2nd Quarter 2016

The disgraceful actions of our past leaders in their refusal to support the overwhelming choice of American Republicans tells me just who and what they really are. I have been a Bush supporter since the first one took office. Our company prospered during eight years of number 2. Now I would not vote for either man for any position. They are now classified as JAPs (Just Another Politician).

I never liked Romney but voted for him just because he was a Republican. He now couldn’t be dog catcher in my town.

Who will Donald choose to be his running mate? There are hundreds of Americans more qualified to help run this country than the lame brain professional political leeches we have suffered.

It’s time to clear house and I believe that’s exactly why the professional bought and paid for politicians are so afraid of Trump.

Ronald Reagan had many of the same qualities and experiences as does Trump. Neither man needed the money or security of the job. In my opinion Mr. Reagan was the greatest leader during my short life time (74). His focus was to serve America.

As I listen more and more to Donald Trump I hear him say what I believe in. We can make America great again. Our business leaders have been tricked by negotiators from other countries, other cultures. How else can you explain a $19.3 trillion deficit... was it stupidity, inexperience or crookedness?

There’s been talk on social media that Obama could be planning a third term. I don’t know just how this charlatan could convince our military and law enforcement to support such a constitutional breaking event. I would not support him so maybe this put me on an enemy list. No, I am not an enemy. I served three years in the Army and I have worked as a newspaper man for 54 years. I pay my taxes and maintain a debt free corporation and personal life. If I thought that my country really needed me I would volunteer to serve. I might be the oldest private soldier since the Civil War.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 1st Quarter 2016

Welcome Back Home

While attending the AHR last month we were invited to a dinner meeting with General Electric. Our friends at GE announced that they were bringing production of GE Zoneline PTACs back to America. They will be manufactured in Louisville, KY. Hurray! When the move is complete your HVAC Insider will travel there and publish a large feature story about the people and facilities involved.

I have worked with several different product divisions of GE since the very first trade newspaper we published some 47 years ago. They helped me start these papers with their advertising and support. At the trade show I visited with GE reps who remembered me calling on GE back in the day. I haven’t forgotten them either.

No Apology…

I have received several phone calls and e-mails from readers congratulating me on our reporting of world events. I simply reported what I had seen on TV and on the internet. One complaint was made by a contractor in South Florida. According to him I am a racist and Hitler would be proud of me. I am, according to him against Jews. I’m glad that my beloved grandmother wasn’t here to hear such drivel. Being Jewish isn’t racial, it is religious. We come in all colors and speak many languages. He was referring to an editorial which I had written about the invasion of Western Europe by so-called refugees from Syria. The pictures which I saw were of military aged healthy young men traveling by the tens of thousands accompanied by a few civilian refugees. These thousands of invaders have been raping European women on orders from their leaders. They have committed many crimes and left the biggest trash trail in history. They wouldn’t be welcomed in Rocky Plains, Georgia. How about in your town?

See you next year in Vegas.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 4th Quarter 2015

I have seen multiple videos of refugees from the middle East flowing into Europe. They leave in their wake filth, trash, mayhem and fear. The so-called refugees are strong, healthy, able bodied young men who are more than able to hold jobs, but will not work.

The trash they leave everywhere should be enough for their so-called host countries to declare them as invaders, not poor pitiful people running from terror. They bring terror as their trademark. Their leaders speak of taking over the nations of Germany, Sweden, France and England. They boast that these young men will inseminate the women of Europe and eventually dominate through sheer numbers of their followers.

The current administration in Washington has offered to take in thousands of the same militant murderers that are bent on destroying Europe. Of course they would really love to take over the United States.

If we can elect leaders like Donald Trump to lead us through these troubled times, we stand an excellent chance of leading the rest of our allies back to the freedoms and liberties which the invaders openly state they will destroy.

I have noticed that the radical ISIS has not targeted China or India. Perhaps the two plus billion Chinese and Indians are not as easily fooled by them.

Our United States has 4.47% of the world's population. We were a unified Christian nation and despite the efforts of our Washington idiots should remain as such. 

I believe that the majority of middle East citizens want no part of the madness that has taken root there. We have close friends from Morocco who have raised their children to be Americans and leaders. Their work ethics are superior and they would not take anything from anyone by force or trickery.

While we as a nation continue to struggle with 20 million plus illegal refugees from our own hemisphere, our President wants us to make legal millions of criminals and terrorists we do not want, need nor have a place for. They would be given legal standing, be able to vote in our elections and probably fill our prisons to over flowing.

I have no doubt that once they discover how to get free money from our various levels of government, they will complete the drain their benefactor has run up to $20 trillion dollars in debt. Why should he care.

Do you agree or disagree? We would like to know.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 3rd Quarter 2015

I suspected that America’s smart money was being quietly invested around the globe. Big money was acquiring smaller companies that could be merged with their existing successful operations. I did not see a lot of capital investment in new facilities, at least not here at home.

This has been six years of hard times for the advertising/ marketing companies that serve heavy industry. A number of publications such as ours have quietly gone away. One offered to sell me his mailing list. I already had a better list.

Your Insider papers have survived because we were careful during the glory days. Some folks didn’t like President Bush. He got blamed for all of America’s problems. It seems silly now that Barry Soetoro could campaign about a three trillion $ federal debt and six years later brush off his deficit of more than $18,349,557,501,600 (is that what 18 trillion looks like?).

I hope that America can come to it’s senses and elect a businessman as our next president. Our experiment with a community organizer has failed miserably.

The biggest investors in the American HVAC industry have been Japan and Korea. Daikin bought Goodman and is investing heavily in their Houston facility. Samsung bought Quietside and quadrupled their Ft. Worth facility.

These international companies have confidence in the United States, why don’t we?

Our once proud national government, the same one that impeached Nixon for covering for his men, has lost it’s fortitude. Lies are the new way of conducting America’s business at just about every level of government.

The younger Bush is making a run for the top job. His father and big brother did pretty well as President. Maybe Jeb can measure up. He did a pretty good job as Florida’s Governor.

I personally favor the ultimate entrepreneur, Donald Trump. He has earned billions of honest dollars. He made good decisions and not so good, but he wasn’t afraid to step up and stay ahead of the game. Trump is confidence.

I don’t know who will be his running mate. Rick Perry would be my first choice. There are several others who would do much better than the ones who are mucking up the government presently.

Our industry should be rocking with the heat of this summer. Contractors are working overtime and distributors are working to make sure that their customers have the product when they need it.

I hope that we have the confidence to strengthen our local businesses during this rush.

Thank you, Jerry Lawson


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 2nd Quarter 2015

I hope that you enjoy reading our monthly HVAC trade papers. We work to bring you news that effects your business in your home markets. I developed a format for our papers based on a community newspaper. I began my news career 53 years ago in my home town of Tyler, Texas.

I had served in our Army for three years and was ready for a career. I found a good one. I worked in Tyler then on to Marshall, TX (our family home) then to Dallas Morning News (big time).

A national magazine brought me to Atlanta and after 9 months of broken promises I quit. I didn’t have another job so I created one. I started a trade paper for the TV and appliance business in Georgia. That did well for many years.

I was asked to publish a trade paper for HVAC only. It sounded like a job offer to me and the HVAC Insider was born. Nowadays it’s all we do. On one of my first calls the president of a local distributorship asked me bluntly “What do you know about HVAC?” I replied honestly, “Not much. What do you know about newspapers?” He grinned and we began a 24 year business relationship. That company has been on page 2 for the past 288 editions.

We now publish 15 monthly regional papers. We would do more but it is hard to find people who are willing to work for their check. I’m told that many of you have the same problem.

A new twist, or scam, has been going around that the newspaper business is over. “Social Media” is the thing of the future. HA! I can’t imagine a service technician carrying a laptop around in his truck to read up on the latest events, people and products that effect his business. Our tab size paper fits well in his glove box or briefcase.

We print more than 120,000 copies of our papers and mail them to licensed contractors, distributors, reps and manufacturers. My annual postal bill is around a half million dollars.  That’s right, I pay over $500,000.00 a year to deliver free trade papers to you.  We pay our printer close to that amount and he appreciates us.

Social Media? We do put every page of every paper we publish on our web site. We don’t know who accesses this service, but I consider it as another way of keeping our readers informed. If a Florida HVAC person wants to find out about the industry back home, he can read the New York or New England issue on line.

We do not charge our advertisers any extra for this service. Their ads are there for the whole world to see.

If social media was the answer I could save well over a million bucks a year. But my conscience would not let me. So I will continue to print and mail these Insiders.

A deal is a deal is a deal.


The Inside Story

By Jerry M. Lawson, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, 1st Quarter 2015

Conventions and national trade shows come and go. Some actually get better with age, some simply disappear.

Cindy and I first attended an ASHRAE show in Chicago in 1991. We were new to this industry and had to explain ourselves to just about everyone we met. Boy how that has changed.

I had been covering trade shows for the appliance, electronics, furniture and floor covering industries since 1970. Retailing News (my first publication) was founded in 1969. The CES (consumer electronics show) was a big national event back in those years.

Everything changes with time. I have been a newsman since 1962. The world has changed drastically since then. Before that I had the honor of serving in the US Army for three years. Talk about change. I did get to see the Berlin wall when it was new.

This year, the show in Chicago was an international event. Manufacturers from around the world were vying for a piece of America's HVAC market. I walked the show and it made me think of a massive flea market. Hundreds of small booths vying for attention. Not as many contractors as we wanted to see. What would draw the technicians and dealers to the show? No one was selling product. No real pricing, no show specials were being advertised. Yet it had the feel of a world market. Perhaps there is room for another show, a world HVAC flea market. How many working class HVAC contractors, installers and service techs would come to such an event?