Savannah may be the coolest place on the planet, but it’s all fun and games until the AC breaks.
The favored folks at Tri-Star Mechanical won’t let you sweat it out any longer than necessary. Their team of factory-trained technicians is on call 24/7 to figure out whether your compressor is fried or if you just need a new filter, and should we ever experience winter again, they can fix the heat pump, too. (Tri-Star also provides a full range of plumbing services, which are needed in every kind of weather.)
While they see plenty of AC emergencies this time of year, Tri-Star co-owner Tersh Blissett says consistent visits are best way to avoid a total HVAC meltdown.
“We try to encourage people to schedule yearly maintenance to prevent the worst,” he advises. “You don’t want to wait until it happens.”
Tersh started out as an HVAC technician in 2005 in his native Springfield, earning his state license and working in the field. He founded Tri-Star Mechanical three years ago with local contractors Tim and Rachel Phillips, and the firm has grown to 16 employees, servicing residential and commercial sites with an emphasis on the restaurant industry and a reputation for being on time and on point.
Rachel serves as the company’s human resource director and does her best to hire techs who can simultaneously change out ducts while interacting with customers.
“Most people either have a technical mind or a free spirit,” she muses.
“It takes a combination of the two to provide the best customer service.”
Tri-Star invests hours of training in each employee, and what’s on their resume may not matter as much as their attitude.
“We also do our best to hire veterans,” adds Blissett, whose wife is active in the National Guard. “Even if they don’t necessarily have HVAC experience, most are willing to work hard and put in the time and extra effort it takes.”
The value placed on putting their team members first is reflected in their second honor as Savannah’s best place to work. In addition to training and generous benefits, the company’s open door policy creates a foundation of trust and high regard.
“One of the owners is always there, and we can always go in and talk about what’s going on,” says Josh Branham, one of Tri-Star’s loyal technicians.
“They respect us.”
Community involvement is also part of Tri-Star’s corporate climate, and employees regularly participate in fundraisers for Ronald McDonald House and St. Baldrick’s, which hosts its yearly head-shaving event to benefit childhood cancer.
“That’s why my hair’s this short,” laughs Josh, running his hand over his shorn scalp.
“I’m glad to do things like this. I would have never known about it if it weren’t for work.” —Jessica Leigh Lebos
Runner-up: Old Savannah Tours