The Molnar and Beesley family names are a bit legendary at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeastern Michigan. Over their past 40 years as members, their contributions to the cause are numerous and hard to measure, but it is fair to say that without them the strides ABC SEMI has made would not have happened without their commitment and generosity.
“I cannot imagine ABC without the Beesley and Molnar families,” said Keith Ledbetter, President and CEO of ABC SEMI. “They have given their time, talent, and resources to see our academy and association flourish. Frankly, we are still reaping the rewards from the seeds they have planted, and I am proud that both are still actively engaged in our membership.”
Loren and Linda Beesley, who started Flo-Aire, moved the historic farmhouse they are in to 15761 Eureka Road in Southgate, west of Dix-Toledo Road, in the 1970s. Like their unique headquarters, Flo-Aire is a huge part of the fabric of the community. In 2017 business partner Robert Molnar joined their company connecting the two celebrated families together in business. According to Ledbetter, they shared that commitment to the industry, ABC, and the trade school.
“Flo-Aire shares a passion for the construction trades and an old-school work ethic, which springs from the Beesley and Molnar families’ legacy,” said Ledbetter. “They helped launch the CTE (now Southeast Michigan Construction Academy) program here at ABC and they send all their apprentices through a four-year program. The Molnar family was instrumental in building an entire new wing to our trade school and responsible for revitalizing our program here. The difference it has made for our students is immeasurable.”
Molnar, who served as Chairman on the SEMCA Board said the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, trade is a unique combination of plumbing, electrical, gas, piping, and mechanical trades. He said that specialization prompted Flo-Aire to pay the $3,000 annual tuition so their apprentices aren’t burdened with debt at a young age.
“We want our employees to know we are invested in their success as well as the business’s,” Molnar said. “We place a high value on the expertise and commitment our team has in doing their jobs. If we can help them grow and excel in their craft then everyone benefits—especially our customers.”
Molnar said repeat business, recommended from one generation to the next, is their biggest source of clients. And the reputation that they have established is what sets them apart from their competitors.
“We have customers that are in their nineties, their original heating system was installed by Flo-Aire, and it is the only company that they want to work on their home,” he said. “They support us because we are not just in the community, but a part of it. Our employees are all local people who you can trust in your home—we hire for character. If they are good people, and we can work with them, then we can teach them the skills.”
Molnar credits his father and grandfather for instilling the commitment to the trades and seeing the true value of a skill learned and mastered over the years. He was raised to appreciate the value and importance of a hard day’s work and that nothing truly worth having is given, it is earned.
“We have worked very hard and taken the risks necessary to succeed in life,” said Molnar. “My father and his father before that have shown me that if you want something you must be willing to work, and work hard for it. I see that in the company we run, the people that work for us, and the association (ABC SEMI) we belong to.”