Several uniformed military men in a restaurant experienced first hand the heart of John Hentkowski. When he saw them having lunch, he secretly told the server that he wanted to pay for their meals – and was adamant about remaining anonymous. That’s who John was.
Driven by his genuine love for people and his sincere desire to “give back”, John was more than a name on a list of volunteers. He actively served on many boards – both within the HVAC industry as well as the local community. The organizations he blessed ranged from Habitat for Humanity to Easter Seals…from the Delaware Food Bank to the Boy Scouts of America. He was a founding member of the Delmarva Heat Pump Association, was active in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the New Castle (DE) Chamber of Commerce, and the New Castle County Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
John was a 33 year member, past president and District Governor of the Rotary Club of Newark, Delaware, and worked diligently for many years with their Polio Plus Incentive to eradicate the disease around the world. He and his wife exhibited Arabian horses, and he served as Chairman of the Eastern Amateur Arabian Horse Show Circuit. John even had a heart for the local feral animal population, and whenever possible, he’d catch them and see that they got the necessary medical attention, spayed or neutered.
In 1968, John was working at a small heating company in addition to working at Sears® when a friend offered him the opportunity to start his own HVAC business. John soon founded Hentkowski, Inc. Heating, Cooling & Electrical. His business took off quickly, and by 1978 Hentkowski, Inc. has outgrown its building and needed to relocate. The larger building afforded John the ability to expand into residential new construction, custom homes, commercial, and complete building restorations.
John’s eye for HVAC design, his attention to detail, and his pursuit of perfection catapulted his business forward. And by the mid 1980’s, he’d worked with several HVAC equipment manufacturers searching for one that shared his sense of pride, determination, and vision.
In 1986, John finally found the perfect match with Carrier and its regional distributor, Peirce – Phelps… and for the next 25 years, the relationship thrived.
Hentkowski, Inc. was the First Carrier®Factory Authorized Dealer company in Delaware, and was only the second company in the nation to have 100% of its mechanics NATE® certified. Hentkowski, Inc. has also received three Carrier President’s Awards. The Better Business Bureau of Delaware awarded John the Edward Rush Award for outstanding Family Owned Business. His leadership qualities and his innovative ideas made him the epitome of the ideal Carrier® Dealer.
While John strived for perfection, he also understood that achieving it was impossible. He believed that putting forth the effort to reach towards perfection would result in success.
John Hentkowski passed away suddenly December 21, 2010. His professionalism, his enthusiasm, and his devotion to the Carrier brand had a profound impact on everyone in the Peirce-Phelps family… from sales, credit, technical support and parts branches. John’s wife, Micki, has taken over the reins of the company, and together with their daughter Barbara, sons John Jr. and Stephen, and several other family members, they continue John’s legacy today.