Forty Years In, People First Remains Our Secret to Longevity: Meet Kimco’s Newly Promoted HVAC, Automation, and Electrical General Managers

Published on: March 26, 2024

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Kimco Controls turns 40 this year, and a core value to our success is nurturing local talent. Meet our newly promoted team members, Kris Wiens, general manager of automation and electrical, and Mark Deighton, general manager of HVAC.

Welcome our new General Manager of automation and electrical, Kris Wiens, and new General Manager of HVAC, Mark Deighton! While the two are new to their roles, they’re not new to the company and have been with Kimco for a decade or longer.

Welcome our new General Manager of automation and electrical, Kris Wiens, and new General Manager of HVAC, Mark Deighton! While the two are new to their roles, they’re not new to the company and have been with Kimco for a decade or longer.

When you identify and nurture the talent you have at home, good things happen. Our HVAC, building automation, and electrical company, Kimco Controls, turns forty this year, and one of the keys to our longevity is that our people come first. 

Two of our long-term team members became general managers at the start of this year. Our new General Manager of automation and electrical, Kris Wiens, has been with Kimco for 15 years, and the new General Manager of HVAC, Mark Deighton, joined the team a decade ago after relocating from the UK. We sat down to talk about their visions for their departments, the 40th anniversary, and what makes them excited for the future at Kimco. 

Congratulations to you both! How are you feeling about this new opportunity?

KRIS: It's exciting to take on new responsibilities. We have a great team and I am looking forward to supporting them as we continue to provide great service to our customers.  

MARK: I’ve watched the HVAC team grow from six technicians to 23, and now, to have more responsibility, it's exciting for me to allow the owners to focus on new challenges and know that there are people in place to help look after the day to day running of the department.

Kris, what is your vision for the automation and electrical department as general manager?

Quality installations and customer support are what we’re known for and continue to set us apart. We have a diverse skill set that allows us to collaborate with building owners and construction teams to design and install complex systems.  I intend to further expand our ability to support our existing clients while continuing to grow our client base. 

Mark, what is your vision for the HVAC department as general manager?

Continued growth and to continue with the quality and integrity that Kimco has always provided. This year, we might see customers being more mindful of their spending, and we’ll continue to focus on our service and customer care—which are some of the things we do best.

Are there any trends or technologies that you’re excited about right now or have your eyes on?

MARK: On the HVAC side, the industry is slowly changing to heat pumps. We would have seen that technology back home in England 15-20 years ago, and it’s starting to come in pretty strong here now. In Canada, heat pumps can be a bit more challenging due to the weather, but it excites me that the technology is growing to allow heat pumps to run in very cold weather. So we're seeing a little bit of a shift in that direction.

KRIS: It's an ever-changing industry that keeps our work exciting. It’s rare that we don't see either new engineering methods or new equipment design on each project that we are a part of. Our control systems do so much more than heat or cool a building. Our approach is to prioritize occupant comfort while maximizing energy efficiency, saving our customers money, and minimizing environmental impact. 

In the automation world, one of the trends that we're seeing is Systems integration. That’s when you integrate building systems by taking individual disciplines, for example, HVAC controls, lighting, Access, Security, and Fire Alarm systems, and tie them all into one graphical user interface. It's something that Kimco specializes in. It's not applicable to every building, but the fact that we offer HVAC, electrical, and automation services allows us to be at the forefront of this industry.

Kimco turns forty in April! How do you feel about the milestone? To what do you attribute its success?

MARK: It's exciting—especially in Canada, and maybe in Kelowna, to have that kind of longevity and to have only ever grown and improved. It's an exciting time, and we hope to continue to grow and be the best in Okanagan. I’d say we’ve been so successful thanks to the quality of workmanship and customer care coming from our fantastic team of techs and apprentices that help maintain the integrity of the company.

KRIS: It is great to be a part of a company that has a long history of customer service and quality work.  Kimco has been able to be as successful as it has been for as long as it has, thanks in large part to the relationship we have with our clients and the ability we have to service them. I believe that having the three different departments, electrical, automation, and HVAC, allows us to bring something unique to the table that not everyone can do. 

How does promoting from within and the professional development provided by Kimco help support the company’s growth? 

MARK: That’s something we excel at. The quality, workmanship, and customer care we provide are above our competitors, and we work hard to maintain that. However, it’s also something that grows from within the team. When you promote from within, they already share the same quality and vision and are involved in how we operate, what we strive for, and what we expect from our workers. 

KRIS: Promoting from within is always our first priority, and the best way to have success within the company is to give people who want opportunities the opportunity to grow. A large part of Kimco’s success has been its consistency in delivering a high-quality product. That consistency is tied to long-term factors, and when promoting from within, I think that goes hand in hand with having staff that are passionate about what they're doing.

Looking back on your time at Kimco, is there a favourite project that comes to mind?

KRIS: We've done a lot of projects with very tight timelines. We've also done a lot of very complex projects that maybe other companies wouldn't want to take on. Clients with extremely stringent specifications and restrictions like tight deadlines, funding restrictions, and locations like hospitals or Nav Canada’s DDC upgrade, where the building can't be shut down at all—24/7. 

Through that challenge comes a great feeling of accomplishment, and the team feels that as well. Those projects aren't necessarily the ones that we do day to day, but they're ones that, as a team, we have to sit down, make a plan, collaborate, and execute well. Those are projects that I think leave a mark over time. 

It’s also what keeps us from getting stagnant. Having these new challenges keeps us sharp and helps make us the number one automation provider by giving us experience in all these different situations.

MARK: We just finished a huge project at Avery Farms in Okanagan Falls with all heat pumps; that was the biggest project we’ve been involved in on the HVAC installation side. That was exciting. Going back to the evolving technologies, it was really innovative in a building that size that relies only on heat pumps. It was a great experience to help the techs learn and see them get excited about it. 

Thank you for sharing your time with us. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

Work with a people-first company that has been on the cutting edge of building automation, HVAC, and electrical technology in the Thompson-Okanagan for 40 years. See how Kimco can help.

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