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Spotlight - Rusty Vaughn, Texas Air Systems

image Rusty Vaughn, Owner, Texas Air Systems, Irving, Tx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tell me a little about your family?
    I’m married to my lovely wife Susie.  We have two daughters. In addition, we have two grandchildren which have been a huge blessing. I never understood the impact that grandchildren would have on your life but, wow, they are wonderful.  They are the core nucleus of the family.  Everyone is blessed, healthy and loving life.

Are any of your family members involved in the business at all?
    Our two children are both doing their own thing separate from Texas AirSystems. Our oldest daughter’s husband is the head football coach at Lewisville.  So, our family is part of the Texas Friday night lights each fall! Our youngest daughter is in the real estate business so she’s indirectly related to the residential construction industry. 

How long have you lived in Dallas?

    It’s funny that you have these benchmarks and milestones in life that you never forget. I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday but I could tell you that on June 20th, 1980 (one of the hottest summers on record) I moved to Dallas/Fort Worth. I put all of my worldly possessions in a 10-foot-long U-Haul trailer behind a small Buick company car and I left Arkansas for the opportunities and skyscrapers of Dallas, and it’s been quite a journey.

How long have you been a part of Texas AirSystems?
    I’ve been involved in the air conditioning related field since 1979 and I worked my way from filtration and then the temperature controls end of the business. I was with one of the major applied equipment manufacturers. They were then known as York international. I joined Texas AirSystems in 1995, some 24 years ago.

What peaked your interest in this industry?

    Well I’ve always been mechanically inclined. I’ve always been a gear head and enjoy cars, boats, motorcycles and anything that has an internal combustion engine. I’m not an engineer by trade as my degree is actually in marketing. This fact leads me to an interesting tidbit related to my second HVAC-related employer, MCC Powers, now known as Siemens.
    I was approached by them to go to work for them, but they only hired degreed engineers for salespeople. They didn’t discover until the very end of our interview that my degree is in marketing.  I left that interview thinking, “Well so much for that opportunity.”
    A week or so passed and they called me back to come back in for a second interview! Always working to maintain a sense of humor, I told them that I’m happy to come back but haven’t received an engineering degree in the last week. We both laughed and he said that’s exactly the reason we want you on our team.  They extended me an offer right on the spot if I knew that I would be a “guinea pig” as it related to the new job. The rest is history and it’s been a wonderful career.

What has made Texas Air Systems successful over the years? 

    It’s our people.  We’ve been blessed to earn a great reputation, nice facilities and a wonderful Texas market but, without question, our people make our business. Without them we’re nothing. It’s all about the people! That’s our secret sauce (guess it’s not a secret any longer).

How many employees do you have?
    I came over in the spring of 1995.  Dan Ruehs and Stan Perry were the two principles of the firm at the time. They are dear friends to this day and I owe a lot of my success to them. A few years later 9/11 occurred as we were buying Dan and Stan out. Talk about bad timing. It worked out though. I was the 18th employee of Texas Air. When we purchased the company from Dan and Stan, we had 36 people with offices in Dallas and Fort Worth. Now I’m pleased to tell you that we have offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, along with a separate joint venture effort.  We’re currently north of 325 employees as of April 2018.  That doesn’t include the joint venture.

You mentioned to me that it’s your 40-year anniversary?
    Yes! We had a big celebration in March for 40 years as Texas Air Systems.  We’re very pleased and proud of this accomplishment. All this year we will have several celebratory events as a result. 

What do you enjoy most about being in the construction industry?

    I love the gratification of watching the projects come together. From a personal standpoint, what I really like is the change of pace. I wear countless hats here. One day I’m out in the field. I personally delivered equipment to a jobsite recently. The next day I may be behind the desk doing paperwork. I really like the variety. I love going down the road with the family and seeing structures that we played a part in. It’s been nice to see those marquee projects that we were involved in years later. It’s both humbling and gratifying.

What are you most proud of?

    MY FAMILY. Health. Everyone is doing good. I love my grandkids. That’s all that matters. When I’m no longer in this business, like Dan Ruehs, I just want to play with my grandkids and cars!

Speaking of, I believe you’re a big fan of NASCAR, right?

    I’m a big race fan, all forms of racing.  I used to race motocross in Arkansas so I always had interest in racing. Interestingly enough, a long time ago I was involved in Denton County politics and was on the city council in Highland Village when Texas Motor Speedway was potentially coming to North Texas. Long story short, I became involved with the group that was trying to bring the speedway to North Texas. To this day Eddie Gossage, the President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway is a dear friend. This made me naturally love Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR. In addition to the actual racing, they established and maintain a children’s charity (SCC – Texas) which I was honored by serving on that board for many years. Our youngest daughter’s sixth birthday party was at Texas Motor Speedway back in the day and all the kids got to ride their bikes around the track. Years later my daughter even worked in the NASCAR circles after college for several years.

Any other hobbies?

    I love the lake. We’ve lived on or near Lake Lewisville for 30+ years. I’m a boat enthusiast. I have several boats, cars and motorcycles. My goal is to have ridden a motorcycle in every state in the union.  I’m down to seven more states until my goal is accomplished. But I still love my career in the HVAC and construction industry and will be doing this until my health tells me otherwise.  -ja


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