SANTA ROSA − Following a string of underwhelming occupational experiences, Charlie Nelson had begun to grow disillusioned about his professional future. Fortunately, after being hired as a sales representative for an HVAC service company, he found an opportunity to take things to the next level. “While visiting a jobsite, I would sometimes sit and watch the guys install the equipment,” he recounts. “After a while, I thought to myself, ‘I could do this,’ so I asked the company owner to train me to be an installer. After doing installations for a couple of years, he sent me to school to become a service technician. From there, the obvious next step was to branch off and start my own company, and that’s how Next Level Heating & Air Conditioning Inc was born.”
Today, Charlie says his favorite part of his job is pleasing his customers. “I enjoy seeing the smile on a customer’s face when the job is complete, whether it’s a simple repair or a large installation. When someone has been through a cold winter’s night without their heater, they really appreciate it when you warm things up for them again, and that makes me feel good.”
A lifetime resident of the North Bay, Charlie resides in Santa Rosa with his wife, Sarah, and their five children. “I enjoy the down-to-earth character of the people here,” he says. “Pretty much everywhere you go, you can say, ‘Hi’ to a complete stranger, and they’ll say, ‘Hi’ back. I also love the mild climate…even though it’s not really ideal for my business,” he laughs.
Outside of work, Charlie keeps busy with a variety of family activities. “My kids all play baseball, and I coach their little league teams,” he says. “It takes up a lot of my time, but there’s no greater joy than seeing my kids progress and gain more confidence with each passing season.” In addition to team sports, Charlie and his kids enjoy building and playing with remote-controlled hobby cars, as well as outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling and camping.
In regard to his professional career, Charlie espouses the importance of putting his customers first. “The customer is at the core of everything I do,” he affirms. “When I walk through someone’s door, I consider it my job to not only provide a high-quality service, but to become friends with that person as well. It all comes down to the customer’s best interest, and I think that’s reflected by the repeat business I receive.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Charlie says he’d take his family on a big vacation. “We’ve always wanted to go to Europe, so we’d probably go over there for a few weeks and do some sightseeing.”