Larry Wilson has always had a mind for machines, from dismantling and reassembling his grandmother's toaster as a child, to stints as a computer repairman and commercial kitchen-equipment builder. Today, Wilson installs and repairs the inner workings of air conditioners, furnaces, and thermostats. The mechanical savant also travels throughout east central Kansas to install air cleaners, replace air filters, and tune up lukewarm water heaters.
Longtime friends and experienced technicians who both moved to Kansas from nothern Idaho, the owners of Renovation MD travel to homes to remodel, repair, and retain living spaces inside and out. Indoors, the staff patches up everything from electrical wires to long-abandoned jigsaw puzzles. Outside, they mow overgrown lawns, construct screened porches, and install James Hardie–brand siding.
On a fateful day in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, a hitchhiker arrived at The Howdy Come In––a rest stop owned by Ben and Eva Winter––carrying only his clothes and a suitcase full of cabinet-making tools. The Winters decided to hire him to build a chifforobe for their new baby, Bobby, and were so impressed by his craftsmanship that they decided to go into business with their new friend. Soon the partners were selling new and refurbished furniture out of the Winters’ dairy barn under the name Winter’s Furniture Store, and they eventually moved to a storefront in the city of Emporia, where they could share their high-quality wares with more people and fewer confused cows.
Today, the family business is run by the Winters’ son, Bob, who oversaw its expansion into two showrooms in Topeka and Lawrence and gave it a new moniker––Discovery Furniture. His merchandise buyers select fine furniture from around the world, filling the design floors with trusted name brands such as Broyhill, Aspen, and Flexsteel. As a member of the Furniture First buying group, Winter is able to pass along the savings of buying stock in volume along with a guarantee that he will meet or beat any competitor’s advertised price within 75 miles. Interior designers on staff can help customers determine which pieces, styles, and colors best fit their needs, and most of Discovery’s furniture can be custom ordered in any style, color, or fabric, catering to customers who know what they like and like to match their upholstery to their clothes.
At each Mosquito Squad location from Maine to California, professional exterminators help stop the spread of diseases such as lyme disease, malaria, and West Nile virus by eradicating infestations of ticks and mosquitoes. The exterminators provide both commercial and residential services, including barrier sprays to keep the grounds protected for up to 21 days and misting systems to provide continuous protection. The bug zappers back each service with a money-back guarantee, which promises clients a complete refund should mosquitoes return to re-infest the home's backyard or sneak inside by pretending the family dog is a Trojan horse.
As extended families assemble for summer barbecues that spill from kitchens to living rooms to backyards, Larry Knight stands ready to ensure indoor areas remain frosty. The owner and chief service technician of Air By Knight has swooped into many Fourth of July parties to rescue sweaty relatives from busted air-conditioning units and flaming tires rolling haphazardly through lawns.
Air By Knight's 24/7 service policies show Larry's commitment to customer service: all the company's service calls are handled by Larry himself or his business partner, an old friend.
While installing or servicing HVAC equipment at a home or business, Larry also works at building a relationship with his clients. He thinks of them as family, and it was family—an uncle in Texas—who first taught him his trade, in which he is now a Kansas Master Mechanical and certified in three categories by North American Technician Excellence.