“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Why We Are Who We Are
At the age of 14, I began working in the Air Conditioning and Heating industry. I gave it any time I could; after school, on weekends, all summer long throughout high-school.
After graduating high school, trade school, and working several years in the HVAC industry, I decided to start my own business. In 1980, I started Buddy’s Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. in my mom’s garage. It didn’t take long before mom’s garage was full. Soon, I knew I needed to move on to something a little bigger (and of course Mom agreed). From there, it was a couple years before I was able to save enough money to build a facility. In that waiting period, I married Mechelle Thibodeaux. By 1987, we had welcomed our son, Clay, into the world and moved into our current business location. Katherine, our beautiful daughter, followed in 1989.
As our children began to grow up and Buddy’s grew in size, Mechelle quickly became a solid partner in the business. She was my greatest support and was always there for me. In 1998, Mechelle was diagnosed with brain cancer. After 4 years of battling, she went home to be with the Lord in 2002. This was a major test for me, and in turn, the company. The time and effort required to care for Mechelle had pulled me away from the business. So with her no longer by my side, I was left to repair the damage with a hurt and grieving heart. In my grieving, all my employees really stepped up and supported me. Because of their dedication, the company continued to prosper.
Bill Greene was one such person who brought so much strength to me and Buddy’s. Bill was my operation manager for 25 years. Bill brought Buddy’s a solid foundation that we could firmly build on. In the process of time, he also became one of my best friends. In 2015, just prior to his retirement, Bill passed away very suddenly. We miss him greatly.
Even though there has been devastation, it is through hardships like these that I gained a greater appreciation of the commitment, loyalty, and dedication that our staff displays every day. Today, many of the same employees that have stood with me for 25+ years continue to be the source of our success.
This is why we are who we are.
How We Are Who We Are
The business was started from a customer base primarily located in West Baton Rouge. Even though Buddy’s was a new company with a young owner, the good word spread and we were able to cover more ground. Today we are privileged to serve 5 parishes in the Baton Rouge area: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, Iberville and Pointe Coupee parishes.
Buddy’s was built on a few simple, yet powerful, philosophies:
Customer satisfaction is the top priority – Throughout our history, we have always had an A+ rating with BBB and I believe that is largely due to our constant effort to satisfy our customers.
Follow-up with the customer after any service we perform – It may be considered a thing of the past but follow-up is one of the most important aspects of a business like ours.
Always leave things better than before – Leave it better than it was when you came and you’ll probably be invited back again.
Focus on, not how big we are but, how good we are – Size is not maintained if it’s built by cutting corners. That’s why we focus on doing it right the first time.
Minimal debt is the goal – It has always been a practice at Buddy’s to have minimal debt. Today, Buddy’s is a debt free company, and has been for many years.
Because of these principles, the future looks bright for Buddy’s. Strong leadership, Conservative financials, dedicated staff, and our customer base of thousands of loyal customers give us lots of reasons to look forward with expectation. No matter what we encounter, I, alongside this amazing staff, will continue to overcome obstacles and serve our customers in a way that exceeds expectations. What a blessing it is to live in America. The freedom needed to prosper and live (while serving our community with support and employment) is, for me, fulfillment of the American Dream.Thank you for taking the time to read about my business. Philippians 4:13 reminds me daily that it is only through Christ that we are able to do all things. It is the only reason Buddy’s exists today.