DES MOINES, Iowa (January 7, 2020) — Effective January 1, 2020, Jason Gassmann, president of Bell Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., is now sole owner of the business after purchasing it from his father, Chuck. Gassmann has been with Bell Brothers for 18 years, becoming president in 2017 when his father made the transition to CEO.
“I’m lucky to have had all these years to watch my dad and learn all the facets of the business,” Gassmann said. “You need to know the ins and outs of every part, so that takes time.”
Gassmann’s involvement in the business started in high school when he would run errands and help out on various jobsites. After college, he returned to focus on new-construction sales, then eventually took on a vice president role overseeing the residential division as well as sales and marketing.
Gassmann says his father leaves big shoes to fill — particularly with his extensive expertise in commercial and construction project management. But when his father’s role changed, Gassmann saw opportunities for a thoughtful restructure and promotion of key team members to help fill those shoes.
As a result, Steve Terry has been promoted from service manager to vice president of construction and service, and Aaron Stanton has been promoted from customer care supervisor to service manager.
“Steve has done a tremendous job of building the service department over the last few years — he’s a natural fit,” said Gassmann. “And Aaron is an extremely talented guy who’s very driven and has earned a lot of respect.”
Beyond succession planning for key leadership roles, Gassmann is also focused on recruiting the next generation of HVAC professionals by continuing to invest in their in-house HVAC Apprenticeship Training Program — originally created in 2015 and the first of its kind for the Des Moines area.
“I believe there’s a shelf life on leadership — me included. So, a huge focus for me will be to continue to attract and retain the best professionals in the industry, from entry level up to senior leadership,” said Gassmann.
Vision for the future
A growing emphasis on technology is also part of Gassmann’s strategy. Immediate investments include a new website and a new digital tool that sends a text message to customers the night before their service call with a picture of the service tech or installer, as well as reviews from existing customers. New service offerings like duct cleaning and Aeroseal duct sealing also show Gassmann’s eye for the future.
Gassmann says his focus on technology and top talent are two key ingredients in maintaining the metro’s best customer experience, but ultimately it comes down to the business philosophy that’s been in place since the company’s founding.
“There is a culture here that dates all the way back to Bob Bell,” Gassmann said. “We care about each other and our customers, and we believe in the simple philosophy of offering excellent service at an honest, fair price. We take service personally.”