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Newsmakers in business, May 4
Employees of Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing celebrate the company’s 65th year. Pictured are, from left, Lawrence Vandiver, Scott Holland, Brad Gooch, Mike Marien, Ralph Crumley, Debbie Lawson Davis, Vince Davis, Kim Rich, Ralph Crowe, Jim Henderson, Ottie Rich and Matthew Poole.

The Times publishes news on management hires and promotions, major awards and other newsworthy accomplishments involving local businesses Sundays on the Business page and Send information, including photos and contact information, to You also may use regular mail at Newsmakers, The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503.

Eagle Ranch names Greer as development director

Eagle Ranch, a home for children in crisis in South Hall County, has named Kelly Greer as director of development.

Greer will help lead community outreach and fundraising efforts. She served 16 years as the publisher of Gwinnett Magazine.

“Kelly’s deep knowledge of Northeast Georgia is a huge asset to Eagle Ranch,” said Eagle Ranch founder and Executive Director Eddie Staub. “It’s great to have someone who has been part of the fabric of this community join our team.”

Greer replaced Jan Ros, who retired after more than 20 years in various roles with the ranch. In her new role, Greer will be responsible for helping to share Eagle Ranch’s mission throughout Northeast Georgia as well as overseeing fundraising events and activities.

“I am excited to share this amazing resource with our community,” Greer said. “We are offering help, hope and restoration to local children and families who are struggling. It’s a great calling and a cause that is relatable to so many people.”

Greer earned a bachelor of science degree in business from Virginia Commonwealth University. She helped develop and launch Gwinnett Magazine in 1997. She also served as vice president of Tillman, Allen, Greer marketing and communications firm.

Founded in 1985, Eagle Ranch provides home life, counseling and education for children on a 270-acre campus in southern Hall County. For more information, contact 770-967-8500 or visit the website.

Lawson AC & Plumbing marks its 65th anniversary

Gainesville-based Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing Inc., founded in 1946 by L.D. Lawson, recently was recognized by Carrier Distributor Mingledorff’s Inc. for its 65-year partnership.

A luncheon held April 17 celebrated Lawson Air Conditioning’s service as a Carrier distributor.

Mingledorff’s is one of the Southeast’s largest wholesale distributors of HVAC equipment, parts and supplies and the largest independent distributor for Carrier in the nation. Mingledorff’s and Lawson’s business relationship goes back decades.

“L.D. Lawson and Lawson Air Conditioning represented almost all of North Georgia in the late 1950s,” said Bob Kesterton, chairman emeritus of Mingledorff’s. “I never had any doubt about their integrity and qualifications as an AC contractor and supplier of our products. We had a beautiful business relationship spanning 65 years. Lawson is a rock-solid dealer and one of the few that can accommodate both residential and commercial clients with top quality service. Over the decades, I can’t remember a single customer complaint.”

Company President David Kesterton said his company has grossed more $21 million in commercial and residential products installed by Lawson in the last 15 years.

The luncheon also recognized two of the longest-serving Lawson employees, Ralph Crowe and Ralph Crumley.

Crowe began working with Lawson in 1964 as a pipe fitter and for the last 50 years has served as sheet metal fabricator, HVAC installer and job foreman, and now serves as HVAC superintendent for all Lawson’s commercial projects.

Crumley has been with Lawson for 30 years. After serving in many capacities, he now is superintendent of the company’s sheet metal shop.

The company initially supplied fuel oil for heating but later added air conditioning, installing Hall County’s first AC unit in 1947 at the Diana Shop, a ladies apparel store on the Gainesville square.

Lawson is operated by L.D.’s daughter Debbie Lawson Davis and her husband, Vince Davis. In 1994, the company was recognized by Carrier Corp. as a nationwide Distinguished Dealer. In 2009, Lawson was named a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, reserved only for top dealers in the nation.

Lawson is based at 865 Dorsey St., Gainesville; 770-536-2301, website.

Turner, Wood & Smith join exclusive BAN network

Gainesville-based Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance has joined Benefit Advisors Network, the nation’s premier national network of independent employee benefit brokers and consulting firms.

Turner, Wood & Smith, founded in 1905, operates throughout North Georgia with 34 employees. It also works in the property and casualty arena serving commercial, auto and home insurance clients.

“We are very excited about joining Benefit Advisors Network,” said Rob Fowler, executive vice president. “Integrating our expertise with a terrific network of leading experts in benefits, health care and related services on a national scale will provide us a competitive advantage. More importantly, our clients will benefit greatly from the expanded resources.”

BAN members are screened for membership to ensure they distinguish themselves through knowledge of the employee benefits industry, ethical approach, business acumen and strategic vision. BAN limits membership to the top tier firms per geographic market.

“We really believe the business planning tools and client resources will enhance our firm’s continued growth, particularly over the next three to five years,” said Turner, Wood & Smith President Joe Wood Jr. “We appreciate the high quality services that BAN membership adds to the arsenal of customer solutions that we currently provide to our clients.”

Turner, Wood & Smith’s offices are located at 100 Brenau Ave. For more information, call 770-536-0161 or visit the website.

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