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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, HVAC systems have been at the center of concerns such as indoor air quality and the need to minimize potential exposure. At the local level, HVAC installers have increased their efforts to keep equipment and supplies clean, and technicians are wearing gloves and masks as protection to keep customers safe. Many HVAC companies have also sought to give back to local communities hard-hit by the pandemic. As an industry, HVAC has remained committed to maximizing service to communities, and to each individual customer. Pandemic response For example, Johnson Controls has been part of the pandemic response from the beginning. The company first responded to the developing crisis in Wuhan, China, where local personnel worked to fulfill urgent needs for new hospitals. Local personnel worked to fulfill urgent needs for new hospitals As the pandemic evolved, Johnson Controls also implemented local and regional contingency plans across the globe to ensure employee safety and customer support. “As a global company, we have been addressing this crisis from the very start and are proud of our frontline leadership responding in every corner of the world,” says George Oliver, Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO. He pledged the company will do whatever is needed to keep essential products, services and personnel up and running. Helping Hospitals Johnson Controls’ products and services in the HVAC category are essential to hospitals and operating rooms and are a necessary component for operation of almost all the Critical Infrastructure Sectors recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Properly ventilated buildings are critical to improve air quality and prevent the spread of disease and secondary infection. According to Johnson Controls, it is essential to maintain systems and keep them in service where people continue to live and work. Industrial refrigeration is also vital in markets ranging from food and beverage processing to the petrochemical industry. Here is another example of the HVAC community’s involvement in responding to the COVID-19 crisis: AAON, a semi-custom commercial HVAC equipment manufacturer, provided 50-ton customized HVAC units for the Stony Brook Temporary Hospital on Long Island, just east of New York City. The Tulsa, Okla., company provides 44 of the units, totaling 2,200 tons of HVAC apparatus, which equates to the cooling capacity of more than 700 single-family homes. Aiding the pandemic AAON worked around the clock to make the equipment and ensure the units arrived in New York City on a tight timeline. AAON’S New York sales office had called President Gary Fields to inquire about the company’s ability to meet the hospital’s need. A 1,038-bed temporary hospital to treat non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic was constructed A 1,038-bed temporary hospital to treat non-COVID-19 patients during the pandemic was constructed at Stony Brook University. The Army Corps erected four temporary tent-like structures near the university’s athletic fields as part of the New York State initiative to relieve local hospitals during a spike in patients due to the pandemic. Ultimately, like many temporary facilities built in response to the pandemic, the hospital was not used. However, the facility will be ready in case it is needed for a second wave of the pandemic.
Aaon, Inc., announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the company to make up purchases of shares of the company’s common stock. This is in accordance with a pre-arranged stock repurchase plan adopted by the company and also in accordance with the guidelines specified under Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as well as from time to time in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions at prevailing market prices, depending on market conditions. Repurchases of stock Repurchases under the company’s 10b5-1 plan will be administered through an independent broker and will cover the repurchase of shares commencing April 5, 2019 and expiring March 4, 2020. Repurchases are subject to SEC regulations as well as certain market volume, price and timing limitations as set forth in the 10b5-1 plan. All shares repurchased, whether through the 10b5-1 plan, open market or privately negotiated transactions, will be restored to the status of authorized but unissued stock. Norman H. Asbjornson, CEO, stated, “We are pleased our strong capital position allows us to provide value to our stockholders through the stock buyback program.” Gary Fields, President, stated, “We believe our current financial strength and expectation of accelerated growth in the future support the stock buyback program at this time. We also believe that the stock buyback program provides a meaningful way to continue delivering value to our stockholders.”
AAON, Inc. announced that Norman H. Asbjornson, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of AAON, Inc. (the “Company”), will transition to the role of Executive Chairman, effective May 12, 2020. The Company also announced that Gary D. Fields, President, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer (in addition to his current position of President), also to be effective May 12, 2020. As Executive Chairman, Mr. Asbjornson will lead the Board and continue to provide the full benefit of his vast experience, knowledge, leadership and guidance to support Mr. Fields as he expands his role at the Company. Mr. Asbjornson said, “Our Company has many accomplishments to be extremely proud of over the course of its nearly 32-year history. Of the many notable achievements, however, one that ranks near the top of my list is how we have been able to successfully create and maintain a meaningful ownership mentality among all levels of employees at our organization. This was something that I set out to accomplish from the earliest days of the Company’s existence, and I firmly believe a significant amount of the success we have experienced can be traced back directly to our unwavering commitment to this philosophy.” Leadership team at AAON Mr. Asbjornson continued, “I could not be more pleased with the leadership team we have assembled at AAON. During the course of Gary’s tenure as President of the Company, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership talents and the unique qualifications necessary to propel the Company to new heights well into the future. I have very much enjoyed working alongside Gary since he became President in November 2016, and I look forward to continuing to do so as he assumes this new role and leads AAON into its next chapter of continued success.” Gary’s knowledge of the HVAC marketplace and outstanding leadership skills make him the perfect choice as AAON’s next CEO." Mr. Fields said, “It is truly an honor to assume the role of CEO of this amazing organization. As the Company’s Founder and visionary who set the stage for the Company’s success, Norm Asbjornson molded AAON into one of the most respected, innovative and successful manufacturers in the HVAC industry through his intellect, business acumen, sheer will and determination. I welcome the opportunity to guide AAON and our tremendously talented, loyal and hard-working employees as we continue to build on the solid foundation and strategic vision set by Norm.” Ken Lackey, independent Board member and Chair of AAON’s Governance Committee, said, “The Board has been engaged in succession planning for several years and this transition is truly a win-win for the Company and its stockholders. Having served on AAON’s Board since 2007, I have witnessed on many occasions the immense value that Norm’s experience and entrepreneurial intuition provide the Company. His transition to Executive Chairman will enable the Company to continue to leverage this tremendous resource, while also helping Gary as he charts his own course as the second CEO in AAON’s history. Gary’s knowledge of the HVAC marketplace and outstanding leadership skills make him the perfect choice as AAON’s next CEO. We believe Gary’s leadership and ability to execute on the Company’s strategic plans will enable AAON to continue creating meaningful value for our stockholders for many years to come.” Lowering the average age of the Company’s management team Mr. Fields will report to the Board of Directors. Mr. Asbjornson, as Executive Chairman, will also report to the Board Mr. Asbjornson said, “The leadership changes which have been taking place at AAON over the past few years are now essentially complete for the present time, with transitions occurring at many management positions across various levels of the Company. These leadership transitions have occurred through elevating individuals from within our existing ranks, which has allowed these individuals to bring several years of experience at AAON to their current roles, while simultaneously significantly lowering the average age of the Company’s management team. The experience and tireless efforts of this talented group of managers has already provided tangible results. In the first quarter of 2020, AAON recorded the highest levels of net income and revenue ever achieved in its nearly 32-year history. These are extremely positive developments for the Company’s long-term success which I believe should instill great confidence concerning the Company’s ability to continue producing results that meet or exceed its past performance.” Mr. Asbjornson concluded, “To the stockholders, dedicated employees, sales representatives, customers and countless others who have supported AAON every step of the way since 1988, please know that you have my deepest gratitude for all that you have helped us accomplish to date. I have extreme confidence that with your continued trust and support, AAON’s future will continue to be marked by clear skies and an unlimited ceiling.” In his new role as President and CEO, Mr. Fields will report to the Board of Directors. Mr. Asbjornson, as Executive Chairman, will also report to the Board of Directors. Since November 2016, Mr. Fields has served as President of AAON and was elected as a member of the Board of Directors in 2015. Mr. Fields has over 35 years of experience in the HVAC industry. Before joining the Company, Mr. Fields was an HVAC equipment sales representative at (and from 2002 to 2012, a member of the ownership group of) Texas AirSystems, the independent HVAC equipment and solutions provider in the state of Texas.