Sunset Air is not a high-pressure sales company. They focus on providing support and educating customers on their options for the heating, cooling, and efficiency of their homes. The only heat you’re going to feel from Sunset Air’s residential project managers is the heat blowing through the registers they’ve recommended, and the only icy chill you’ll get will be coming from your own air conditioning. The project managers of this four-decades-old local company are real people, with an incredible breadth and depth of knowledge of the products they offer. The longevity and successes of this company can be attributed to many things, and you can be sure that one of them is their project managers.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with a few of Sunset Air’s most senior residential project managers. Project managers are the first smiles the customer sees, and the last goodbyes given when the project closes. They coordinate the job, order the equipment, problem-solve and more while providing the high level of customer service that Sunset is known for, including going above-and-beyond the scope of the work.
Take Jim Westall, for instance. Jim has been with Sunset Air for three decades. “I have enjoyed 30 years of employment working for a company that allows me to use my own style, knowledge, and personality to help make myself and Sunset Air successful,” he says.
Jim shares that over the years he’s organized golf tournaments and food drives for the company and even though the Sunset Air family business has grown to over 200 employees now, they still keep their core values of honesty and integrity close at hand.
The team at Sunset Air gives back in more ways than food drives. Jim mentions a 2018 heatwave when a terminally ill customer desperately needed cooling in their home to be comfortable. “We were able to clear the schedule for the install the very next day,” he says, “and sent our warehouse staff to pick up equipment at the distributor in Fife. The family was so appreciative. It was a small thing for us to do, but so meaningful on their end.”
Steve Westall, Jim’s brother, joined the company on July 11, 1995. He says he’s able to recount the date clearly because of the 7-11 convenience store. Steve started in the Service Department doing repairs and installation for the first 10 years of his employment. “I feel like it gives me a great background,” Steve shares, “of what might be best for the client and their home.”
Aside from collecting vintage Volkswagens and hanging with his dog, Sammy, Steve is a team player who will work a weekend if needed.
“I remember one Saturday I was working in the office,” he says, “and we had received the wrong furnace for the day’s ‘no heat’ job. I took immediate action and contacted our distributor who has an after-hours person on-call for Sunset Air. We had our Shop Steward drive up to Fife and pick up the correct furnace while our installer went to the job to get started. At the end of the day, we had a very happy and warm customer!”
Jesse Cherry started at the tail end of the last century, 1999 to be exact. He says he was attracted to Sunset Air because they are locally owned with a great reputation for quality work and customer service. It’s easy to see why these values are important to Jesse when he shares a story about a client who’s made an impact on him.
“We have a longtime customer in Yelm and her multiple sclerosis was getting worse,” he says. “She was struggling to keep up with moving portable air conditioners around her house, and she called me, really stressed out, in the middle of a very hot summer. We were able to re-arrange our extremely heavy workload and get an installation team out there the very next day and give her some comfort.”
Jesse also reports that he works side-by-side with many great people who have the same mentality as him: the customer is always first. After chatting with these three gentlemen from the Lacey office, I didn’t have to be told that, I could see it for myself.
Sunset Air also operates a shop in Grays Harbor County, in the natural resource-rich town of South Bend. Dan Weber, a life-long resident of the county, knows the harbor intimately and has been serving Sunset Air’s customers in the area for 12 years. Dan works as a project manager and branch manager, and before Sunset Air was a small business owner for two decades. He spreads his extensive knowledge of great customer service over two counties, as Sunset Air serves not only the Grays and Willapa Harbors, but also operates all the way to the coast in Pacific County.
The communities are smaller, close-knit, and have a penchant for taking care of one another. Dan says they’ve helped people out in the past, especially the older folks of his community. He tells about a time when his community rallied together to help a family out who needed support through a trying time.
“The owner of a local roofing company contacted me, and asked if we would help out,” Dan says. The roofers had installed a roof for free for a family where one of its members had terminal cancer. “We installed a ductless heat pump for them for basically nothing,” Dan shares. “The person was always cold and we wanted to do what we could to help make them comfortable.”
Dan donates his time to a local camp in the area, YMCA Camp Bishop, and says “knows this is dear to me,” and makes a monetary donation too.
Sunset Air cares about their customers. But they care about their employees, too, and that’s why they stick around.
Whether it’s a heat pump, a generator, a gas fireplace, a ring doorbell, new windows or doors, or even an energy efficiency audit, every project manager Sunset Air employs is ready and willing to help.
Jim said it perfectly when he was detailing about the company, and he surmises everything well: “I consider myself to be of high integrity,” he says,” and I could not work for a company that does not share that value.”
5210 Lacey Boulevard SE, Lacey
110 W Robert Bush Drive, South Bend