- Jan 28, 2020
The Chamber is pleased to announce the winners of the Annual Business Awards, honoring members who have excelled in the areas of business practices, corporate citizenship, and service to the Chamber. The award winners, profiled below, will be recognized at the Annual Meeting and Dinner on Monday, March 2.
AA Service Co.
Corporate Citizen of the Year
The Corporate Citizen of the Year is recognized for promoting a spirit of giving and community involvement.
For the owners of HVAC specialists AA Service, the connections between the community and their business are truly personal. After 55 years as a Northbrook business, AA has developed a multigenerational customer base built on long term relationships. Those relationships extend to AA’s support for the non-profit causes that are near and dear to their customers’ hearts. The company’s widespread generosity and active involvement in local organizations made AA a great fit for the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award.
AA Service has roots in Northbrook going back to 1965, when Irv Hirsch started his heating and cooling service company in his garage. The company grew through the years with an emphasis on personal service and business integrity. Those values are now embodied by Irv’s sons Larry and Al Hirsch, and by Glenn Weintraub, who became their business partner in 2003 and had been a longtime family friend and one-time employee. Operating from a converted hangar in the Sky Harbor district, the company provides 24-hour service with a team of approximately 80 employees.
Despite that growth, the company retains a small-town philosophy of personal community involvement. Local charities of all types know that they can rely on AA for sponsorship support. AA Service donations have backed fundraising events for the North Suburban YMCA, Hunger Free Northbrook, the North Suburban Special Recreation Association, Cancer Wellness Center, and a variety of churches and synagogues. The company supports multiple Northbrook Baseball teams and helps provide a safe graduation celebration through its sponsorship of Glenbrook North’s Grad Night.
Many of those sponsorships began with a suggestion or request from a customer. “A good cause is a good cause,” explains Glenn. “We’re local guys who raised our families here. When a customer or someone in the community approaches us, we try to help out whatever the organization is.”
“Glenn Weintraub and the folks at AA Service have provided an outstanding example of commercial leadership with a philanthropic face for our community,” says Howard Schultz, President and CEO of the North Suburban YMCA. “We at the YMCA are grateful to them for over 10 years of support for our Ken and Alta Thiel Strong Kids Scholarship Dinner. We want to congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”
In addition to donations, AA Service also actively participates in the Village’s Earth Day and Fourth of July festivities. One of the best opportunities for including their employees in community service has been the Chamber’s annual Meal Packing Event, where AA staffers join other Chamber members to package pasta meals for Illinois hunger agencies.
Chamber involvement has been a major commitment for AA since 2003. Along with the company’s consistent financial support of fundraisers like the Golf Outing and Auction & Taste, AA has provided exceptional leadership to the organization: Glenn served on the Board of Directors from 2012 through 2019, including a term as Board Chair from 2017 – 2018. As Chair, he dedicated many hours to addressing issues with the building and maintaining the Chamber’s marketing partnership with the Village. The company also welcomed Chamber members to its headquarters for a Business After Hours event in 2017.
Their commitment to the community comes back to the personal connection between AA Service and its customers. A story from the company’s history illustrates the point: in 1999, the Hirsch family sold the company to a corporate consolidator. However, by 2003 they had bought back the business in response to appeals from longtime customers who missed the reliable, trustworthy service they had always enjoyed from AA.
“When you have customers for 30-plus years, you’re their guy,” reflects Glenn. “People know they can call us — they even have my personal cell phone. You don’t walk away from those types of relationships.” That loyalty to their customers and a commitment to leadership have made AA Service Co. a model of corporate citizenship.