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Recognizing excellence in today’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning profession — and in those building a future career in the industry — the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) presented its HVAC Contractor of the Year award to Howard Arata of Nevada’s HTA Plumbing and Mechanical. HVAC Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Nolan Pridgen, a second-year apprentice in the online HVAC apprentice program through PHCC of North Carolina. Both honors, sponsored by Rheem, were presented this week during the PHCCCONNECT2020 Awards Ceremony, a virtual event this year.
HVAC Contractor of the Year
Representing Rheem Manufacturing, Randy Roberts, vice president of sales and marketing, noted Arata’s achievements, both as the owner of HTA Plumbing and Mechanical and as an active champion of the industry through involvement in PHCC of Nevada. “Howard has served in every volunteer leadership position in the chapter over many years and currently serves as the president,” Roberts said.
Under Arata’s leadership, PHCC of Nevada has been innovative and resourceful by providing education, support and assistance to the association and to the state’s construction industry, especially during the “trying times” of the pandemic, Roberts said. He added that Arata has served as a mentor to many contractors and associate members, “helping them navigate through this time.”
Arata’s company, HTA, also actively participates within the PHCC chapter, providing instructors for the apprentice program, facilities for chapter events, and supplies for competitions. “They also installed a large evaporative cooler in the chapter’s warehouse area to make the summer months more enjoyable for events and activities,” Roberts said.
Arata has been a vital part of the Las Vegas plumbing and mechanical industry since 1986, working for local contractors before starting HTA in 1999. His company now employs about 150 people in two locations.
HVAC Apprentice of the Year
Recognizing the outstanding skill and achievement of those enrolled in an HVAC training program, the PHCC HVAC Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Pridgen, who was sponsored by GSM Services in Gastonia, North Carolina.
During the ceremony, Roberts described Pridgen as “always on time, always on the move.” According to his supervisor, “Nolan is the most enthusiastic and competent apprentice ever assigned to his team.”
Pridgen entered the apprentice program immediately after high school, then completed the first year in seven months, and was named the program’s Apprentice of the Year. “Nolan has a great attitude toward work,” Roberts said. “We can expect a bright future from this fine, young industry professional.”