Wilmington-headquartered Green Dot Heating & Air is undergoing a rapid expansion with new locations outside of the area.
The HVAC services company has recently closed on a seventh acquisition to expand from its Wilmington base, which has two locations: its headquarters at 3303 Merchant Court and a second space for its installation and sales departments at 204 Antilles Court in Dutch Square.
The business started in early 2020 by partners that include Chris Jones, CEO; Greg Nelson, president; and Wesley Tyler, COO. The group developed at the time a rollout strategy to begin acquiring heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies across the Carolinas to roll into a single brand, Jones said.
“It’s an opportunity to buy very good businesses that didn’t really have an exit plan until we arrived. And we are buying the smaller companies,” Jones said.
Jones said another goal is to develop a business model that provides opportunities and a stable career path in the industry. The firm has 75 full-time employees in North Carolina and South Carolina, with 32 of those workers in the Wilmington area.
“We wanted to create a platform where you can make this a career, you can advance, you can step into leadership roles, and all sorts of different things, and at the same time, really professionalizing an industry that we think a lot of. I don’t think the trades have necessarily been given the credit for all the wonderful things they do for every one of our communities," he said. "I think the trades have been looked down upon."
Salary ranges in the HVAC industry, such as for a skilled service technician, can range between $50,000 and close to $100,000 a year, he said.
“It’s a highly skilled trade … there is such an opportunity for people who have a gift with their hands and gift with understanding electronics and refrigeration and airflow," Jones said. "If your mind works that way, you can create a wonderful life for yourself and a wonderful career.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked more business and job opportunities in the HVAC industry, Jones said.
The company mainly focuses on HVAC residential systems, while also doing some light commercial business, he said.
Green Dot has opened other locations in the Seabrook/Kiawah area, Charleston, Columbia and Mount Pleasant in South Carolina.
“We are actively looking at additional acquisitions," Jones said. “We think we can get to $100 million in revenue on an annualized basis by the end of 2025.”
The business is moving at a fast pace with its acquisitions and is looking to triple the size of the company by late 2022.
“We just really are trying to create something special. Something unique in this industry. Something that for the most part really doesn't exist in the marketplace, which is a large residential-focused, singular-branded company across North and South Carolina,” Jones said. “We want to be the biggest in the state.”