40 Years for Hunton Group
Richard O. Hunton, the forerunner, founded the Hunton Group in October 1981 as a subsidiary of the Trane Company. Houston Trane was then located in southwest Houston on Landsbury Drive and consisted of three divisions, Commercial Sales, Service, and Parts. However, from the start, Mr. Hunton envisioned that the Company would ultimately become the dominant supplier in the HVAC market for Southeast Texas.
The Company started out with 75 associates and total sales in the first full year of operation of $28 million. Early 1983, the Building Controls division was formed and on January 1, 1984, the Company was purchased by Mr. Hunton as an independent operation. During the early years (1983-1989) the Houston economy was in a downward spiral and sales of commercial equipment decreased sharply; however, revenues from service and parts continued to grow in each succeeding year. As a result of unfavorable local economic conditions, management had to develop long-term growth strategies to reposition the Company for opportunities that would develop when the economy turned around.
The Company continued a pattern of slow steady growth during the mid-eighties by prudently increasing its resources (financial, manpower, and technology) to match the growth it was experiencing, revenues more than double by 1986. In 1988, the Company began planning for a new acquisition into the residential market and in 1990 Houston Trane acquired the exclusive distribution for Trane Residential & LCU products in S.E. Texas and constructed a new headquarters in Westchase in order to consolidate all divisions.
In 1993 the Existing Building Systems division was added and in 1994, an in-house financing company (Vical Financial) was formed. At the end of 1994, total sales exceeded $60 million with 115 associates, and the original vision of being the dominant HVAC force in SE Texas had been realized. Hunton Group is the only major supplier of HVAC equipment in Southwest Texas that remained intact from 1981 to the present; all others either had major reorganizations or ownership changes.
In 1997, due to its significant amount of international business involvement, Hunton Trane changed its name to Hou-Tra International and established a Specialty Products group to supply major non-Trane components for central chilled water systems. In 1998, HVAC Mechanical Services, Inc. was purchased by Hou-Tra International and merged with Hou-Tra’s aftermarket services division to form a new division – a full service, turnkey solutions provider for commercial, institutional, and industrial markets.
In 2002, Hunton Distribution was formed as a separate company by merging Residential equipment sales, Parts, Supplies, and Vical Financial. At the same time, Hunton Distribution expanded its territory to included West Texas, Oklahoma, and Eastern New Mexico with distribution locations in Houston (2), Lubbock, Abilene, Oklahoma, and El Paso.
Beginning in 2004, Hou-Tra International changed its name to The Hunton Group, consisting of Hunton Trane, Hunton Trane Services, and Hunton Specialty Products on the Commercial Solutions side; and Hunton Distribution and Vical Financial on the Distribution side. By 2006, sales were $250 million with over 350 employees. Hunton Group then formed Hunton Energy, a development company for coal gasification production using emerging and tested technologies. Then in 2007, Hunton Distribution built a new 121,000 square foot headquarters and warehouse. In 2007 and 2008, Hunton was the #1 Evapco distributor in the United States. It was also in 2008 that the Company sales increased to $300 million with over 400 employees.
For the years of 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012 the Company received the Trane Pacesetter award for being #1 in sales for Trane in both applied commercial and residential products. Hunton Energy received the TCEQ permit in 2009, for its Freeport gasification plant (one of only two permits issued in the USA for gasification plants) and 2010, marked the birth of Convergentz, an independent controls company specializing in building integration with open protocols.
In 2012 the Company completed Houston’s first “Smart Building” retrofit at Pennzoil Plaza and acquired Advanced Home Technologies (AHT), a design and installation contractor for home entertainment and security systems. In 2013, Convergentz sales exceed $15 million and received a contract to renovate controls for the National Archives in Washington, DC. Hunton Services and Convergentz completed the renovation of the third high-rise office building in downtown Houston along with a $2 million retrofit of the George R. Brown Convention Building Open System Controls.
In 2017, Hunton Distribution consolidated locations in response to changes in the market. We closed our offices in El Paso, Lubbock and Amarillo so that we could more fully serve the Houston and Oklahoma service hubs.
In 2018, Hunton Distribution proudly opened our 3rd location in the Greater Houston Area. This facility is an impressive 76,000 sq./ft of warehouse space conveniently located in southeast Houston and goes a long way toward providing more efficient and more convenient ways for our customers to do business with us. In 2019, Hunton Distribution sold the Oklahoma City office to keep its focus on southeast Texas.
To this day, it is the continued goal of Hunton Group to be the preferred provider of efficient and sustainable indoor environmental systems and services for commercial, industrial, and residential customers and to earn this trusted position through understanding, innovation, and technical and operational excellence.
“Our ultimate goal throughout the family of Hunton Group companies, is seamless service and 100% customer satisfaction,” says R.O. Hunton, Chairman & Founder. “We have structured our organization to better coordinate our considerable knowledge and people resources to help make our customers’ jobs easier and to bring real added value to the table.”
In 2019, Hunton Trane and Hunton Services won the Trane Pacesetter award and in 2020, the Hunton Group won the Houston Chronicle’s Top Workplace Award for the 8th year and won National Top Workplace. Convergentz is proud to be a part of Hunton Group of companies since 2010.
For more information: www.huntongroup.com