For the first time, in a couple years (due to COVID), we were able to host our annual Hottel Company Picnic to celebrate our 77th anniversary! It was a day filled with tons of fun, games, food, and award winners. Hottel would like to thank the staff members and volunteers who worked hard to plan and organize this event:
- Jeff Hottel, President
- Dan Batt, Safety Director
- Diane Colville, Human Resources
- Roberta Nelson, Accounts Payable
- Ashley Jones, Commercial Service Division
- Mike Hollidge, Account Manager
- Cindy Vivar, Receptionist
- Kevin Drittler, Commercial Service Division
- Stacy Argyros, Comptroller
- Ryan Miller, Warehouse
We had tons of winners throughout the entire day, but we would like to first highlight those employees who won Harvey Awards for demonstrating outstanding performance, teamwork, and who continuously go above and beyond.
Joel Knight, VP of Commercial HVAC Service and Projects, presented a Harvey Award to Cathy Turner, Commercial HAVC Service Division. He also awarded Alberto Monterrosa, Commercial HVAC Projects, with a Harvey Award!
Leo Pineda, Plumbing Division, was proud to present Fabresio Meza, Plumbing Division, with a Harvey Award!
The three games that we chose this year were a big hit! The first being Hole in One Golf for a day off work. Although many people took their shot at making a hole on one and missed, there was one winner! Congratulations to Mike Hollidge, Account Manager, for winning a day off work.
By popular demand, we decided to bring back Dizzy Bat Relay Race! Teams of four (4) would line up as one at one end to run down the lane, spin three (3) times around the bat, then run back to tag in the next team member. There were many close races, but Chad Wells and Josh Lindauere with his two daughters were the Dizzy Bat Relay Race Champions!
The last game was Divisional Tug-O-War! Each division formed team of five (5) to see who will become the champs. The Commercial HVAC Service Projects were declared the Champions!
Along with the games, we had a couple contests that were open to everyone to enter and win. The first being a Dessert Bake-Off Contest that was won by Alison, who is the daughter of Carlos Hernandez, Plumbing Division!
Then there was the Photo Booth Contest that had four (4) winners! Congrats to the employees below who dressed up as Harvey Hottel and his brother Clearance Hottel:
- Joe Ko, Mechanic
- Mario Soria, Mechanical Division
- Jose Figueroa, Mechanical Division
- Rick VanBruggen, Mechanical Division
AND lastly, we had great raffle prizes this year both for the kids and adults! Congratulations to those lucky winners and we hope that you will be able to attend next year to participate in more games and prizes.
The Academy of the Holy Cross needed a solution to renovate a lower level of the school that addressed the already low ceilings. After consulting with them we decided a VRF system could be installed in an exposed ceiling and painted black. This produced a modern look and feel for the renovated space. Our design included a system that addressed both the space heating and cooling requirements as well as increased ventilation air, which is a critical design element for a healthy learning environment.
Our Mechanical Division has been working closely with Holy Cross on a complete renovation of the HVAC System in the lower section of the school. Hottel is getting the area ready for a VRF system to be installed. When asked, Ed Dayhoff, Director of Facilities, said that he originally reached out through the website contact us page and was called within 24 hours.
“The biggest reason why I chose Hottel was their response time. They called and followed up with me within a day or so. Ken and Dave are the ones I have been working with throughout this project. I wish all companies were that easy to have come out.” Our guys are working hard to stay on track with getting this system installed by the time school is back in session!
We are please to share with everyone that Harvey W. Hottel, Inc. was featured in ABC of Metro Washington for our longtime membership. Check out the link below!
Harvey Hottel has been affiliated with ABC for 50 years and has found it to be a valuable membership. “The networking events enable us to meet potential customers and even competitors in a friendly environment, assisting us to discuss the issues and be active within the industry. The second thing is the proactive advocacy they provide within local and federal government issues. They stay on top of issues that affect us and are active within that community to promote business practices that greatly affect how we manage our company.” Hottel.
Thank you to everyone who participated in National Construction Safety Week! Safety is 100% team effort and we couldn’t have been successful without your support. We had a lot going on throughout the week including starting the week off with a safety breakfast, where three Hottel employees were presented with Safety Awards, which also included a Kask Hard Hat Helmet with a Visor and a gift card.
The first recipient was Leo Pineda from our Plumbing Division! Leo is always concerned with the safety of his coworkers and is not afraid to stop work to mitigate a hazard or to inform a client and management of any issues of concern.
John Wilson, Parts Driver for Commercial Projects, was another recipient! Last year he drove 31,000 miles with no customer complaints, accident free, and has great hazard recognition on job sites.
Lastly, Ralph Murphy completed his OSHA 10, OSHA 30, and First Aid CPR on his own before Hottel began offering classes. Thank you Ralph for gaining the knowledge to keep yourself and other safe.
Leo, Raplh, and John have all made safety a priority be recognizing potential safety hazards, following protocols, and keeping their fellow coworkers safe. They have worked closely with Hottel’s Safety Director, Dan Batt, on creating plans for unique situations that allows maximum safety measures to completion of jobs.
Hottel would also like to give a special thanks to Dan for educating the entire company on safety protocols and practices. He put together Safety Week and organized the breakfast with help from office personnel who made this possible: Roberta Nelson, Diane Colville, Anita Barnsley, and Ryan Miller.
DAILY TOOLBOX TALK WINNERS FOR SAFETY WEEK:
In addition to the breakfast and awards, Dan sent our daily Safety Toolbox talks followed up with a trivia question. The first person to answer correctly received a prize! Congratulations to Javier Gonzalez, Douglas Ciciliano, Josh Lindauere, and Arnold Monterossa for being the daily winners. Chad Wells of Hottel’s Custom Homes Division, was the Grand Prize Winner and receiving a Kask Hard Hat Helmet with a visor!
We look forward to National Construction Safety Week next year and to have even more activities, engagement and prizes!
Fu Pan recently accepted a promotion for Project Manager for Commercial Service Projects.
Last November, Bret Nielsen was promoted to Commercial Service Manager and Fu Pan was promoted to Project Manager for Commercial Service Projects. Both Bret and Fu have worked for several years in the Commercial Service Division with Joel Knight, VP of Commercial Service and Projects. Under Joel’s guidance, Bret and Fu are learning how to become effective managers, improve communication, handle new situations, and optimize time management. Bret stated that he is learning that not everything is an emergency, and prioritization is key.
Bret Neilsen (right) teaching Samantha Negal (left) during an in-house training session
In their new roles, Bret and Fu are striving to support their field technicians to enhance their job experiences, which will ultimately better serve Hottel clients. Since they both have firsthand experience in the field, Bret and Fu have ideas for problem-solving challenges as they arise. As a starting point, they are encouraging everyone to continue open and honest communication about any job site issues.
Bret and Fu had the opportunity to attend The Unified Group, a national organization for HVAC professionals. This progressive group provides forums dedicated to service excellence, education, and customer service. The forums provide a place to share information, and, “It’s a necessity being able to talk to other companies and knowing that you’re not the only one in a situation. I was able to hear thoughts and possible solutions to challenges that I am now facing,” Bret explained.
Fu also expressed the importance to learn and collaborate with other professionals. He said, “There is always a learning curve with a new job and more responsibilities. But, I am looking forward to getting past some of these hurdles, and once we get past them, to see what things will be like a year from now.”
Congratulations to Bret and Fu in their new roles at Hottel!
Regardless of the equipment you use for the cooling season, maintenance should be performed regularly. This not only helps with proper heat transfer, which maintains a comfortable environment, but it also reduces utility costs, along with wear and tear on equipment.
Tips for Spring HVAC Maintenance
1. Visually inspect outdoor unites and clear out any unwanted debris, and ensure that there is no dirt or biological build-up hindering airflow.
2. Replace air filters regularly. You can also look into upgrading your HVAC filters. New, high efficient pleated filters contain and electrostatic charge to attract dust particles and bacteria, and trap them inside.
3. If you have a chiller or cooling tower, check for pressure drops across the condenser, evaporator, or heat exchanger, to see if the system needs to be opened and cleaned.
4. Look into your UV and NBPI Systems to see if they are still functioning as intended. Don’t have either of these systems? Then inquire with us to find out what our customers have been doing to improve air quality, to see if it would be a good fit for your facility as well.
These are just a few steps that you can take to maximize your efficiency, improve comfort, an increase air quality. If there is anything that we can assist you with, just give us a call!
As a company, we always encourage supporting those who are less fortunate. Especially with the pandemic continuing on for the near future, it’s even more pertantant that we continue to do what we can in our community. Throughout the months of December 2021 and January 2022, we held a donation drive for Montgomery County Homeless Shelter.
When we went to drop off all the donation items, many of the shelter residents contributed and thanked us personally for the generosity. For a little more inspiration:
Mr. Cortez moved out of the shelter into a home recently. He’s part of the new Rapid Rehousing Program for both men and women from the shelter who need moderate support for the next year to regain full independence and never return to homelessness again. He has so many smiles and told MCCH to tell EVERYONE who helped, “You have given me reason to hope again. This help makes me think I an get the life back I had before I lost my home. I won’t forget this ever!”
It’s nice to have some normalcy back with most CVOID restrictions lifted. We had the opportunity to sponsor a hole in Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s Annual Golf Tournament in June 2020. From Hottel (starting left to right) in the picture below is Bret Nielsen, Joel Knight, Dave Kantner, and Ken Fennell.
Huge thanks for everyone from Saint Sophia’s for hosting this event. It was great to see members of Saint Sophia’s and other members of the community, such as Father Steven Zorzos, Deacon Panayiotis Steele, Janice Calomiris (President of the Board), George Wallace from WTOP Radio Sports, and Eleni Planzos who organized this event.
In 2019, customers turned to Hottel to install geothermal heating and cooling. However, due to setbacks and space constraints it was agreed that the next best solution would be installed, which was the Daikin Life VRV Heat Pump System. After calculating the homes heat loss/gain, Hottel determined that the existing 6-tons of equipment could be replaced with a single 5-ton Daikin Life VRV unit when paired with a gas furnace for backup heating. It’s a great alternative to Geothermal.
“We are very pleased with the system. It is super quiet and very efficient. In the summer, the system is powered entirely by our solar panel array and we don’t receive an electric bill. I have been impressed with the heating performance of the heat pump, even in sub-freezing temperatures. We have the gas furnace option for the coldest days, but the heat pump seems to cover more of the heating needs. Our gas bills in the winter are quite modest and electric bills are very reasonable.
We initially considered a geothermal system. After weighing the high initial costs and uncertainty of results for well-drilling, along with the regulatory challenges in DC, you offered the Daikin Life VRV Heat Pump System as an alternative with nearly the same efficiency as geothermal. I am pleased by our choice and with the quick and easy installation process.
I appreciated your advice about insulation. My wife, Judith and I added blown fiberglass in our attic to R-60. We are in the process of replacing some old drafty windows as part of our effort to get as close as possible to net zero.” – David Gilmore
Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP) plans to open two new waterfront restaurants soon in Old Town Alexandria. Barca Wine and Bar and Ada’s on the River will be their flagship restaurants, chosen out of a list of ten restaurants. Barca, meaning “boat” in Spanish, will be a wine, tapas, and charcuterie bar. Barca’s will include an outdoor extension that offers seating on the pier. Ada’s will be a larger restaurant, serving woodfire food such as steak, seafood, and grilled vegetables. These establishments will be designed with a relaxed, California-vibe atmosphere in mind.
When this project began in 2019, ARP hired Gage Construction Company to oversee the restaurants’ construction. Lance, Gage’s Senior Project Manager, had already decided to use Harvey Hottel for Plumbing, even though other companies had submitted bids. Lance felt confident in Hottel’s work because of previous project experience. Gage Construction and Hottel worked together on Joe Theismann’s Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. According to Lance, the Thiesmann project was very challenging because the restaurant only closed for four days during the four-month construction period. Daryl and Leo, from Harvey Hottel, scheduled teams to work odd hours, so that the work could be completed with minimal disruption to the restaurant. This began the great working relationship between Gage Construction and Harvey Hottel employees.
Barca Wine and Bar and Ada’s on the River came with a different set of challenges for the Hottel teams. The project was both a design build, requiring a great deal of coordination with all of the other contractors. “We ended up working with Leo (Hottel Field Superintendent) very closely and really teaming up on getting everything done. Also, the other contractors worked well with us. The ceiling looked like spaghetti; it was so jam packed. It took a lot of coordination. Again, working with Harvey Hottel there’s never been an issue. We have asked a lot from Hottel on both projects, and they always show up with a smile on their face,” Lance described.
The smaller Barca restaurant on the pier was a challenging project for Hottel, because there were significant modifications. During the design process, everyone realized that the containers were set too high and needed to be lowered. Due to the fact that there was limited room underneath for plumbing, 12-inch holes were drilled through the concrete to have the traps countersunk into the holes of the pier. Daryl, Manager of Hottel’s Plumbing Department, mentioned that they had done this before, but not on a pier in the middle of water! It was a cool and unique learning experience.
Lance made a point to bring up that there were some challenging issues that Gage Construction really looked to Hottel for their expertise. Specifically, the design originally had all the gas lines for the outdoor heaters in an accessible trench, which was not possible because there was so much concrete. Gage, Hottel, and the other contractors brainstormed for a creative way to run gas lines. Fortunately, everyone worked together to form a new design that was approved, allowing the project to move forward. Lance noted, “That is typical on how we work together, and you need to have that creative problem solving with whoever you work with. Our personalities also work well together and that’s a huge reason on why I keep going back to Hottel. It’s because I know what they are capable of.”
Lance, Daryl, and Leo have built a strong relationship and now friendships, which is what allows them to work so well together. They are not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get involved. Additionally, Daryl emphasized on how many of these jobs would not be possible without Leo on the team. Leo and the other guys will work whatever hours needed. As Daryl concluded, “Leo and his team had completed everything by end of day. Leo goes above and beyond to make sure these projects go well. He is a very smart man and deserves a lot of credit.”