75 Years of New York City Comfort

Lane Associates

There are not many commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors that typically respond to emergency calls within two hours in the bustling hub of New York City. Lane Associates can. In addition, this company remains at the forefront of the latest technology and earth-friendly applications, building automation, paperless reporting, fleet tracking, and much more.

Through seventy-five years of quality work from its service department, Lane Associates has earned its reputation for excellence. This industry leader attributes its success to its people who solve long-standing HVAC issues that other companies might deem impossible. Even the speed at which its people in the field can communicate gives the company a head start. Field mobile devices are connected to backend accounting software, allowing the company to process worksite information, project history, and media between project contributors in a matter of seconds.

The company is the go-to provider of all services related to commercial HVAC-R installations, building automation systems, repairs, maintenance, design and build. From its base in Long Island, New York, this professional group serves clients in roughly fourteen counties from strategically positioned satellite offices. This service area covers New York’s five boroughs, including all of Long Island, as well as Northern New Jersey, Rockland, and Westchester Counties.

Its vehicles are equipped with GPS devices, saving effort and precious time. This ensures that all service calls – but especially emergencies – run smoothly. Such reliability has secured its growth, allowing it to make two acquisitions in the past two years.

It is also the drive behind clients’ recommendation of its services. Like when a local synagogue recently contacted Lane Associates requesting its assistance with a five-year, lagging fault on its Mitsubishi HVAC system. The company solved the issue in no time.

“We collaborated with the manufacturer, bringing it up to the standard it was meant to remain at when it was installed,” says Partner and Service Manager Steve Liuzzo. There have been no further problems with the system.

Similarly, a well-known medical facility in Brooklyn had a system with a long-standing tripping fault. Lane Associates’ experts fixed the problem swiftly, and there have been no reported recurrences at either facility. “We are very fortunate and proud to have outstanding Installation and Service teams. Through their professionalism and dedication, they have earned the trust and respect of our customers,” says President Michael Star.

Lane Associates’ clients understand the long-term value of regular maintenance and quality repairs to extend the lifespan of machinery and prevent breakdowns.

“We are very proud of our customer base. We service major retail chains, churches and synagogues, financial institutions, medical facilities, office buildings, and museums, to name a few. We have a ninety-seven percent retention rate, which speaks volumes for the level of our expertise in the HVAC field. For us, going in and correcting problems is what we do best,” says Steve.

The company is structured to ensure optimal and speedy service. Its service division delivers technical support and preventative maintenance, as well as emergency and repair services. Its construction division replaces units, designs projects and performs installations and system upgrades. There are also the controls and engineering divisions.

Having this company with its established relationships, in-depth knowledge, and understanding of local government’s requirements is indeed invaluable. Lane Associates has been in the industry for long enough to be a master at guiding clients through all Department of Transportation, Department of Buildings, Department of Health, and other standards.

The company did not start out as an HVAC services supplier. It began as Lane Refrigeration, a refrigeration installation and service provider, later becoming an installation and maintenance contractor during the supermarket boom during the 1940s and 1950s. Growth continued, and rapid expansion in the temperature control field followed. Founder Louis Calderon’s son, John Calderon, took over the business in the mid-1960s.

Diane Star began working at Lane part-time while in High School. Diane worked her way up in the company, becoming the accounting manager and John Calderon’s right-hand before becoming a partner in the company. “In 1973, we were among the first HVAC companies around to have a computer. It was an IBM System 3/Model 10 installed filled the entire ten-foot by ten-foot front office, we called her Big Bertha. It was driven by keypunch cards,” Diane says. “We have been progressive ever since.”

Having grown up around this industry, Diane’s son Michael knew he had a strong interest in the field of HVAC. Michael studied Mechanical Engineering at Binghamton University. Upon his graduation in 2004 he joined Lane Associates as a project manager. In 2005, John appointed Steve Liuzzo as another business partner, so the service department was in the proper hands for succession. In 2014, John retired. Michael Star took over his shares and has, with the help of this talented group of people, grown the company into what it is today.

The company takes as good care of its people as it does of its clients. Of its nearly fifty employees, sixty percent have worked for the company for over five years, and ten percent have been there for more than a decade. “Our people genuinely care about our customers. Every one of them is a dedicated, talented, team player. We couldn’t hope for a better bunch of people,” says Michael.

Lane Associates prides itself on promoting and improving the HVAC industry through thorough training and allowing employees to gain valuable, hands-on experience. That is why the company supports high industry standards and works hard to provide quality work.

It holds memberships to the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) under which it is certified as a Star contractor. The certification is by no means simply another piece of paper, either. The prestigious qualification is only granted to member companies with proven safety, dependability, and quality.

There have been many substantial projects over the years, but the one that stands out for both scale and technological advancement must be its contribution to the recent renovation of the world famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue, New York. The St. Patrick’s Cathedral geothermal project was part of the greater overall renovation and included installing a complete, invisible HVAC system which is programmed to alert the company of pending issues so that potential problems can be avoided.

“Being a part of the cutting-edge St. Patrick’s Cathedral geothermal project was amazing. We had the pleasure to work with a team of professional owners and contractors. We were extremely proud to be a part of it,” says Michael Star.

“Thanks to its dedicated sales team’s efforts in attracting new markets and industries, combined with the trust we’re earned from our clients, our service department has doubled over the last five years.” Moving ahead, Lane Associates has its eye firmly on three goals. It wants to position itself as a premier HVAC contractor, be more competitive, and secure great career prospects within the company.

Building the Next Generation

As thousands of experienced workers retire across North America every day, it is small wonder many industries are concerned about the future. It has been a decade since the oldest members of the baby boom generation started leaving their jobs, removing from the workplace decades of experience and skills that are tough to replace. The situation is so dire that, when younger workers are not available or knowledgeable enough to take over, retired staffers are often called back to work on a part-time basis.

November 14, 2019, 6:05 AM EST