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Robinson Heating & Cooling: Standing tall on its own

New location, logo marks new chapter in the company’s long history

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November 3, 2022

DE PERE – For nearly a half-century, the Robinson name has been well-known in the Northeast Wisconsin heating and cooling industry.

Working under the parent name Robinson, Incorporated, the heating and cooling division of the business has provided residential, commercial and industrial HVAC services in the region since 1975.

Recently, two-long time employees took the reins of the heating and cooling portion of the business and branched out on their own, separate from Robinson, Inc.

“The ownership of Robinson, Inc. actually had reached out to the two of us to see if we would be interested in purchasing due to the fact that as Robinson, Inc. grows and focuses on manufacturing, they weren’t able to continue to spend the time putting the efforts into the Robinson Heating and Cooling division,” Co-owner Mike Taicher said.

Taicher and fellow Robinson, Inc. employee Eric Selissen, both in management positions within the heating and cooling division took up ownership on their offer and Robinson Heating and Cooling was created.

“We were in some management roles already, and they had reached out to us to see if we were interested in purchasing it so we could continue to make daily decisions, continue to grow the business and keep the history going of what we had for so many years and continue to move forward,” Taicher said.

With a combined experience of more than 50 years in the heating and cooling industry, Selissen and Taicher said the move was a no-brainer.

“We looked at this as an excellent opportunity to not only advance our careers going forward as owners but to also secure the futures of the employees that work for us as well,” Selissen said. “Knowing that keeping that great Robinson tradition going, and giving that stability to the employees, that ‘Hey, we’re not going anywhere.’ It’s just a different change of rules for Mike and I ourselves, but we continue to do the best we can to offer everything we can to the employees they had before as part of a big company.”

Taicher said even though there has been a transfer of ownership, the same experienced team of highly trained technicians, installers, project manager and estimators will continue to deliver in HVAC products and customer satisfaction.

“We would like to get it out to the community that basically we are still going to maintain and provide good quality customer service, we’re going to do with the same quality products,” he said. “We don’t want the community to see much of a change other than us continuing to support the community we do business in.”

Selissen said there was some accepted apprehension from employees in the beginning.

“Obviously, there’s some apprehension that can take place, especially from some employees that have been around the company for a long time,” he said.

However, Selissen said he and Taicher spent a great deal of time and effort to help alleviate any concerns employees may have had about the transition.

“Mike and I spent a lot of time prior to the announcement of the ownership change to ensure the benefits would be in place – seniority would still be there,” he said. “If they were a 30-year employee of Robinson Incorporated, they were going to be a 30-year employee of the new Robinson Heating and Cooling.”

Selissen said they did a lot in the beginning to help eliminate any apprehension there may have been.

“We said ‘hey, we want to make this a great place for everybody to continue to work and finish their careers out,’” he said. “That was important to us when becoming the new owners.”

Selissen said he and Taicher personally sat down with all employees.
// Selissen, left, and Mike Taicher are the new co-owners of Robinson Heating and Cooling. Submitted Photo

“We personally sat down with every employee at one point and had great discussions,” he said. “And we said, ‘grade us, as well. How are we doing?’ And we’ve gotten good feedback. People are happy with how things are going.”

Same name, new logo
Taicher said he and Selissen retained the Robinson name because it is an established brand that customers know and trust.

“Contractors and consumers alike value consistency, and we want to assure all of our commercial and residential customers our commitment to quality will not change,” Taicher said.

Selissen said the logo, however, was a different story.

“It’s to help identify or give us our own identities as well,” he said. “Robinson Incorporated has its trademark logo, which it has had for many years. And now this was our way of saying okay, ‘This is the new Robinson Heating and Cooling going forward.”
Selissen said he and Taicher agreed the logo needed to include the letters RHC.

“Mike and I knew right off the bat that RHC was something we wanted to incorporate in the logo itself,” Selissen said. “There’s a little flair of the old Robinson versus the new Robinson with how the lettering is done in the name Robinson Heating and Cooling – we wanted to incorporate some of that. We are proud to carry on the Robinson name in this next chapter of our company’s proud history.”

New location
The transition also included a need for a new space – now located at 1649 Sand Acres Dr. in De Pere.

“We obviously looked at a few different locations before finally picking this one,” Taicher said. “This particular building was already set up with some office space and a shop-type atmosphere connected to it. So, it worked well for our fabrication shop, our warehouse, our parts inventory and our offices all under one location – including a parking lot for all our employees.”

He said this is the first time in his 23 years with Robinson that he’s been able to have all those things in one location.

“So, obviously getting a new building, our own building – it offers a lot of efficiencies and it’s a lot nicer we’re keeping everything under one roof,” Taicher said.

A tenured team, the next generation
Including themselves and three high school apprentices, Taicher said Robinson Heating and Cooling has 34 employees – noting that the majority of the employees in the Robinson, Inc. heating and cooling division made the transition with the new ownership.

Looking toward the future, Taicher said the company looks to grow in efficiency, expertise and employees.

“We would like to continue to grow as far as getting better at what we do, getting more efficient at what we do and bringing in younger employees, so we have a new generation (entering the trade),” he said. 

Taicher said they take any opportunity they can to connect with area high schools and technical colleges to help guide and inspire the next generation.

“Put our name out there that we are interested in taking on youth apprentices… and show them what this trade is all about,” he said. “(Show them) the type of career it can provide them going forward, should they stay with it. Whether they stay on as employees and learn hands-on through the trade or decide to go off to a tech school to learn a degree, we’re there to help support either way.”

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