Joel Bertsch does things the right way, step by step without bravado or shortcuts.
And that's not blowing hot air.
“I believe in treating people right and good things will come,” said Bertsch, owner of JA Bertsch Heating & Cooling. “We're a community business that truly is interested in helping our friends and neighbors.”
The 53-year-old oversees a growing company that serves residential customers throughout the Inland Northwest.
“While we've seen incredible growth in the area, it still has the feel of a small town,” he says. “If there is a need, I don't hesitate to drop everything to help.”
That action and attitude show why he's the quintessential small business owner in North Idaho — honest and hard-working.
“I am a third generation contractor and lifelong Coeur d'Alene resident,” he said. “I am a direct person. Everyone knows where they stand with me.”
Bertsch also prides himself with being attuned to the changing marketplace. He says the influx of people from California has brought new expectations from consumers.
“Air quality is becoming a big deal,” he says. “We do a lot of indoor air quality systems and duct work because people have more struggles with asthma and allergies.”
Bertsch believes in giving back. Whether it's supporting youth sports teams or the Kootenai Humane Society, he opens his wallet.
He recently replaced four furnaces at the Kootenai Humane Society and covering the $11,000 tab for equipment and manpower.
He donates money raised from selling scrap metal from the old heating and cooling units and water heaters to the Orange Heart Fund, Dick Phenneger's group that helps Vietnam veterans affected by the pesticide Agent Orange.