METUS Elite Diamond Contractor Gerald Davis Receives Veteran Business Owner of the Year Award
Left to right: Gerald Davis, Owner, Superior CO-OP HVAC; Laura Mann, Board President, McNulty Veteran Business Center; Amy Amoroso, Director, Veterans Business Outreach Center Region 2; Kathy Caruso, Executive Director, McNulty Veteran Business Center.
Congratulations to Gerald Davis, owner of Superior CO-OP HVAC, and Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS) Elite Diamond Contractor®, who was an honoree for 2023 Veteran Business Owner of the Year Award by the McNulty Veteran Business Center. He received the award during a celebration held Nov. 2 in Troy, N.Y.
Since 2014, the McNulty Veteran Business Center has helped veterans, service members and military spouses start and grow their businesses. The center has served as the host organization for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Veterans Business Outreach Center, covering New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
We recently sat down with Gerald so we could share his background and learn how he’s successfully growing his HVAC business and serving customers in eastern upstate New York and Vermont.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, including your business location?
I served in the U.S. Navy from 1982 to 1988 aboard the USS Seattle and the USS John F. Kennedy naval ships. Together with my wonderful wife of nine years, Kathleen Harris Davis, we have two dogs and two cats, three of which are rescues.
I work in renewable energy and own Superior CO-OP HVAC in Cambridge, New York. The 10-year-old company specializes in air source heat pumps and cold-climate heat pump technology. I moved to this area − oil and propane country – because people here need help lowering their very expensive utility bills.
How long have you been a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractor?
More than five years. About three years ago, I decided to offer and install Mitsubishi Electric products only. The first year I did so, the company was able to break $1 million in sales, which was a huge milestone. I’ve been in the HVAC business for 25 years, and it wasn’t until I went exclusively with Mitsubishi Electric HVAC solutions that I was able to achieve $1 million-plus in sales.
The other thing that helped me grow my business is writing a business plan four years ago. That plan has been key to helping me exceed my goals.
Before the business plan, I was reacting. When I wrote a formal plan that included expanding my business, I pushed my own limits and received an SBA loan so I could get some working capital to grow. This was during COVID when low-interest SBA loans were available. Since then, we have grown to be about an 18-employee company.
In January 2023, I opened a second location – Adirondack Heat Pumps in Ticonderoga, New York, and I’m close to reaching $1.4 million in sales.
Why do you think exclusively selling Mitsubishi Electric products enabled you to hit and/or exceed the $1-million-a-year mark?
When installing all types of products – such as oil or propane furnaces and boilers − I was really an HVAC handyman. I wasn’t the specialist that I am now. When deciding to convert to Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Air Conditioning products only, I attended the company’s training sessions, immersed myself in product knowledge and learned to become that expert. It changed my life. I was able to excel faster than I could have imagined.
Going all-in on Mitsubishi Electric improved the whole work environment and how the entire company does business.
Do you focus on HVAC systems for a particular type of residence?
Superior CO-OP HVAC’s focus is to convert every home into renewable energy and cut New York’s carbon footprint. Vermont, too. So, we’re ready for the avalanche of business that’s coming from not only New York, but Vermont as well, converting away from oil and propane systems to all-electric heat pumps and helping customers shave 50% to 75% off their heating bills.
We’re listed as an approved contractor for Cold Climate Heat Pumps by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Clean Heat NY, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Central Hudson. Contractors must be approved and participate in offering rebates and incentives, including ones offered through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Can you share a success story that helped a customer save significantly?
In early February 2023, we converted an accountant’s 4,000-square foot home in Ticonderoga from an old oil boiler to Mitsubishi Electric Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) technology because it can provide 100% heating capacity at 5◦ F and continue operation down to -13◦ F without auxiliary heat. We also installed a 50 gallon hybrid heat pump water heater. We decommissioned his oil system so it could not operate and removed all the window air-conditioning units from each room. This house was completed three days before the cold snap of -20◦ F.
Not only did he reward us with a five-star review, but he continues giving us referrals, claiming he’s saved over $8,500 so far this year.
Do you use renewable energy in your home?
I converted my home from an oil boiler, propane furnace and central air conditioning to nine zones of Mitsubishi Electric H2i heat pump and a 50-gallon hybrid heat pump water heater in 2019. My total utility and fuel bills were over $11,000 a year. After my conversion, it dropped to $6,000.
In 2022, I had a solar system installed covering 100% of my yearly electricity with a backup battery system. Last year, my utility bills dropped to only $43 a month.
So, I live this dream, showing others that it’s possible for them as well.
Many of my employees have converted their homes to H2i heat pumps as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Unlike other contractors, our business model is to convert houses completely away from fossil fuel. As I understand it, fossil fuels will be out in the near future, and most homes in New York will be converting to heat pumps.
Converting my house and telling my story has really enabled my business to grow and succeed.