Gemaire Distributors employees gathered at the Deer Creek Country Club in Deerfield Beach, FL on November 14, 2019 to celebrate Gemaire Distributors’ 50th Anniversary. The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring hot hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Gemaire President Zac Linde proposed the welcome toast, recognizing the accomplishment of reaching the 50-year milestone and thanking everyone for attending.
Watsco Senior Vice President Barry Logan provided some background about Watsco and what a large part of their business Gemaire has been. He summed it up by saying “Three words can describe my feelings about Gemaire: gratitude, humility and respect.”
Mike Branson, President – Air at Rheem Manufacturing, described the relationship between the three companies. “Barry was talking about three words and I have three words in my mind that I’ll use to describe what makes the Rheem/Gemaire/Watsco relationship so special. The first is absolute integrity. Integrity in the way we do business with our supplier partners, with our customers and with each other. The other thing that makes us strong is initiative. We’re very competitive and want to win. The last is innovation. Always investing in technology, ways to serve customers better and ways to help our employees. Those are the things that have made us successful.”
Mr. Branson introduced Gemaire President Zac Linde as the next speaker and presented a special award from Rheem commemorating Gemaire’s 50th Anniversary.
Zac Linde complimented the employees during his presentation, stating “The thing that I have loved the most about being with Gemaire is the culture. The culture of customer service and focusing on our contractors that do the heavy lifting to service the end users. I cannot thank the people in this room and those that couldn’t be here enough for doing the hard work every day, focusing on taking care of our customers.”
Past presidents Ken Connell, Steve Rush (via video), Steve Combs and Ken Perkins related some of their experiences during their tenures with Gemaire and representatives from the various Gemaire divisions (Mid-Atlantic, Florida, Texas, and Heating and Cooling) spoke, rounding out the formal presentations.
Kari Hamilton, Gemaire Vice President of HR and Kristina Poakeart, Gemaire Director of Marketing and Analytics, emceed the event and closed the ceremonies with recognition of employees’ length of service milestones. George Ezzell, currently Gemaire Distributors Director of Technical Services, was recognized as Gemaire’s first employee with a career spanning 50 years with the company.
Dancing and more celebrating concluded the evening.
Gemaire Distributors was founded in September of 1969 in Boca Raton by Quincy Carvel II, Carl Sherr and Manuel Leon as a distributor of Rheem HVAC products with 1 location and 4 employees. In 1970, Ken Perkins purchased Carl Sherr’s interest in Gemaire. With the help of their partner, Rheem Manufacturing in Fort Smith, Arkansas, it has grown from that small company in Boca Raton to what Gemaire Group is today…North America’s largest Rheem Distributor, with over 800 employees in 90+ locations from coast-to-coast. Over the years, Gemaire has also grown from being primarily an equipment Distributor to now being a supplier of most all HVAC related products, parts and supplies.