MARIETTA — A Marietta heating and air conditioning company operated by the second and third generations of the founders is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
The company’s roots go back to Harley Morrison, an employee of Decker Refrigeration from 1949 until 1957. Decker Refrigeration dissolved in 1957 and Morrison went on his own and established Morrison Refrigeration.
Morrison started with one employee, employee Ray Morris, at 211 Greene St.
“Harley worked day and night to establish his business,” Ken Morrison, Harley’s son, senior vice president of the company. “His customers were the small neighborhood grocery stores, restaurants and taverns.”
Commercial air conditioning at that time was a big deal with store owners proudly announcing on their door that ‘It’s cool inside,’ Ken Morrison said. Residential air conditioning was practically nonexistent, he said.
“In late 1960, Mr. Morrison made it known that he was looking to grow the company and was looking for a partner,” David Haas, president of the company said. “Edwin ‘Jack’ Haas was a wholesaler’s territory manager for the regional Carrier distributor who worked with Mr. Morrison in the early years. Mr. Morrison and Mr. Haas came to an agreement in the spring of 1961 and incorporated Morrison Inc. as partners on June 1, 1961.”
David Haas is the son of Edwin.
Hearing, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration was the mainstay of the business when in the late 1950s Harley added residential refrigerator sales, selling Amana refrigerators.
At 410 Colegate Ave., Edwin and Harley added Maytag washers and dryers and KitchenAid dishwashers. Appliances were part of the business until 1992 when the second-generation owners, Ken and David dropped the residential appliances to concentrate on heating and air conditioning.
Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s commercial and industrial HVAC in manufacturing plants being constructed in the region, such as Union Carbide, Shell Chemical and Marbon Chemical increased at a steady pace.
“In order to man these large projects with properly skilled manpower, labor agreements with the Plumbers, Pipe Fitters and HVAC Technicians Local 168 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 were signed,” David said. “These unions continue to provide highly skilled professionals to Morrison Inc today.”
Morrison Inc. employs 45 full-time people, 30 technical team members and 15 in supervisory, project management, sales and office staff.
“Field staffing levels vary due to workload, but we always retain a core group of skilled project managers, foremen, superintendents and technicians,” David said.
Morrison Inc provides services to an area generally in a 50-mile radius of Marietta, Ken said.
“Although we have completed jobs in Morgantown, Huntington and Elkins W.Va., and Athens, Cambridge, Zanesville, Caldwell and Lancaster, Ohio,” he said.
The primary areas of business for Morrison Inc. are commercial, residential, industrial and institutional HVAC/refrigeration and industrial/commercial process heat and cooling, service, replacement, maintenance and consulting.
“We developed a series of core values a few years ago, by practicing these core values, we can grow our company and thus opportunities to improve our personal lifestyles,” David said.
The core values are customer focus, Safety, Persistence, Ethics, Continuous Improvement, Continuous Learning, Performance/Data Driven, Thought and Logic, Cost Sensitivity, Opportunity Recognition and minimizing the impact on the environment, energy consumption and productivity.”
“We attribute our past success to delivering superior products and services to our customers and giving our employees an enriching trade to financially support themselves and their families,” Ken said. “Our success can be attributed to persistence, dedication, hard work and a true concern for the customer, a win for the customer, win for the employee, and a win for the company.”
Persistence is the most important of the attributes, David said.
“We have worked hard to find cost sensitive solutions to difficult problems in the past and will continue to develop great solutions to our customers’ problems in the future,” David said.
David is the president and general manager, Ken is senior vice president and Chase Hughes serves as the vice president of field operations. David’s daughter, Reagan Haas, will join the company following her spring graduation from Marietta College.
Community activities does Morrison Inc. participates in, besides local and regional boards of directors and membership in philanthropic organizations, such as Rotary Club of Marietta, Rotary Club of Marietta Morning, The Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption of Marietta, Southeastern Ohio Port Authority, Memorial Health Foundation, Peoples Bank Theatre, Marietta Tree Commission, Marietta Community Foundation, Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, Marietta United Way, Boy Scouts of America Allohak Council and financial support to many local youth sports teams, festivals and events.
Among the largest projects Morrison Inc. has been involved in include construction of new facilities expansions at various manufacturing plans, Peoples Bank, Marietta Memorial Hospital and other regional facilities.
Morrison Inc. also has Generac back-up standby generators, Indoor Air Quality products and services, duct cleaning, energy saving maintenance agreements, process heating/cooling service, design consultation and kitchen equipment service/repair/maintenance.
To celebrate the anniversary, Morrison Inc. is offering special pricing on HVAC and indoor air quality equipment, a blood drive to help American Red Cross Blood Bank, customer appreciation cookouts at selected locations and an evening river cruise on the Valley Gem for employees and their families.
The future growth of Morrison Inc. will be under the third-generation management, Chase Hughes and Reagan Haas, Ken said.
“We will continue to follow our vision to grow the company to provide opportunities for advancement and to provide a strong future for all team members,” Ken said. “And our mission: To be the region’s leader in providing efficient, environmentally responsible and cost sensitive solutions to thermal comfort and process needs.”
Jess Mancini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.