Looking Back At Forty Years With Pride: Milestones of HVAC, Electrical, and Building Automation Excellence

Published on: May 13, 2024

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We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in forty years. In honour of our fortieth anniversary, we look back on some of the HVAC, electrical, and building automation milestones that make us particularly proud.

People, passion and pride! The Kimco team marks the 40th anniversary of the HVAC, building automation, and electrical company in Kelowna.

People, passion and pride! The Kimco team marks the 40th anniversary of the HVAC, building automation, and electrical company in Kelowna.

Kimco Controls marked our fortieth anniversary in April. Looking back, it’s hard to fathom how far we’ve come from that small partnership company in 1984 to three regional offices and over 70 employees leading the way in HVAC, electrical, and building automation technology in the province. 

In honour of this accomplishment, we’ve compiled some milestones that make us smile when we think about the company we’ve built and the people who have helped build it. 

Our Company

Kimco Controls was born in 1984 as a local partnership company that worked as a companion service to a mechanical contracting firm. Our people are dedicated, talented, and hardworking, which laid the foundation for the significant growth we experienced in the following forty years. 

Through renovations, moves, ownership changes, and expansions, our passion has remained consistent. 

With that, Kimco grew to become specialized in three vital and intertwined sectors: HVAC, Electrical, and Building Automation that we are today, serving the Thompson-Okanagan from three regional offices. 

Key milestones: Regional expansions and service enhancements
  • We upped our game as an electrical service company in 2017. That’s when we expanded our services to offer larger projects, EV chargers, and solar power services. 
  • In 2019, we opened our Cranbrook office. This move helped us to better serve the Kootenay region, where we had already been active for 30 years. This office, however, allowed us to provide a higher level of service while also increasing community involvement and providing more local jobs.
  • Our Penticton office opened in 2020. Since then, we’ve been thrilled with the progress made in the region. We’ve been able to support the booming wine, brewery, and cidery businesses that make the area so special. 

Our People

Our people-first philosophy is the secret to our success as a company and the vehicle that has carried us through forty years of growth. 

A big part of putting people first is focusing on relationships within our team and with our clients. This creates meaningful connections through what we do and keeps us invested in the quality of our service.

We also believe in promoting from within, and the knowledge and institutional culture that passes down within the company. Mentorship is embedded in the way that we work within our team. 

Beyond internally, we work to train others within the industry and remain active with Okanagan College’s HVAC and electrical advisory committees, and the Women in Trades organization. 

When our peers succeed, we all succeed. 

Key milestones: Company growth, promoting from within, employee longevity 
  • 70 employees and growing. We had 28 employees in 2012. By 2021, our team grew to 70 employees. Today, the number hovers above 70 without ever sacrificing our service quality. 
  • We’re people first from the top down. All three of Kimco’s current owners, Mark Hartwick, Mark Janssen, and Ken Watt, started at Kimco as employees themselves before purchasing the business together in 2012.
  • Promoting from within is an ongoing tradition. The practice of nurturing internal talent continues at Kimco, and longtime employees Kris Wiens and Mark Deighton were promoted to general managers in 2024. Hear more from them on the blog.
  • Longevity is the norm at Kimco. 41% of the Kimco team have been with us for 5 years or more, and the longest-running active team member has been with us for 26 years.
Our people have been the key to success for our commercial automation company since the beginning.

Our people have been the key to success for our commercial automation company since the beginning.

Our Community

The Kimco family extends to our community. That’s why we’re proud of how we work to uplift those around us. 

We believe that when someone needs a hand, you offer one. 

When a team member brings a cause to us, we’re always ready to say yes. We don’t get bogged down in complicated processes or limits to our giving—what’s important to our team is important to us.

Key milestones: Organizations we support, donating our time
  • Community is part of the backbone of Kimco. We’ve supported some amazing local causes, including BC SPCA, Boys and Girls Club of the Okanagan, Mamas for Mamas, Royal Canadian Legion, JoeAnna’s House, Rutland Youth Soccer Association, and the Cranbrook Bucks. 
  • Committing time and skills. Giving back is about more than signing a check. For example, one of our community initiatives came to life in 2018 when our team helped build Maple Springs Camp by donating both our labour and the materials. 

Our Expertise

Being able to specialize in three distinct yet related fields is one of our biggest accomplishments. 

We’ve specialized in commercial HVAC installation, repairs, and maintenance since the beginning and have included building automation and electrical services as a specialty of ours for 30 years. 

To this day we continue to learn, develop, and grow our industry knowledge to stay at the top of our game. 

Key milestones: Delta Controls, professional development, and associations
  • A professional network. Kimco has certifications from and/or is a member of 12 different professional associations, including the Industry Training Authority, BC Construction Association, and ASHRAE. 
  • Evolution of automation. Kimco became a Delta Controls distributor in 1987 and continues to use Delta’s building automation technologies to this day. This long-lasting professional relationship has continued to grow over the years as we have both kept pace with innovations and industry advancements. 
  • Professional development. Investing in our staff through ongoing training in new technologies.

Our Projects

A Kimco project makes people’s lives easier and more comfortable. It also makes buildings run more efficiently and with a lower environmental impact. 

We work to bring the latest in HVAC, building automation integration, and electrical technologies to industries spanning education and government, commercial and residential, and more.

Our skilled teams have tackled thousands of projects with varying levels of complexity. Time, budget, and space limitations have never stood in the way of us applying our expertise and getting the job done right. 

Key milestones: New industries, uninterrupted retrofit, 100s of schools
  • The challenge of a lifetime. One of Kimco’s most notable feats in the industry was for Nav Canada’s Air Traffic Tower in Kamloops, B.C. Our team completed a full retrofit of outdated equipment with the latest automation technologies without any interruption to the building services and maintained temperature thresholds in all areas—the challenge of a lifetime. 
  • Supporting a new industry. Our first Cannabis facility project was in 2017. We have since completed over 10, Including the cutting-edge Valens Labs in Kelowna, B.C., which is a leader in cannabis testing and research. 
  • Education meets efficiency. Kimco Controls has serviced over 100 schools in the Okanagan. Some of these projects, like the HS Grenda middle school in Lake Country, B.C., were designed with input from the community. 
  • World-class wineries. Our home is known for its high concentration of world-class, award-winning wineries. We’re proud to be trusted by many Okanagan winemakers including the award-winning Mission Hill Winery and Quails’ Gate Winery, among others. 

Here’s to another forty years of excellence in the industry! We can’t wait to see what the next four decades have in store. 

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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