Air Innovations Chairman of the Board Larry Wetzel, P.E. was recently named to the Wall of Fame by the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY). Wetzel was recognized for his long-standing leadership in manufacturing excellence, and for dedication to the success of his business and the community.
Wetzel has more than 40 years experience as owner and key manager of manufacturing companies, as well as engineer, inventor, venture capitalist, businessman and civic leader. Air Innovations’s origins derive from 1983 when he founded Clean Room Technology, Inc. Later this was merged with the French company Clestra, where he served as chairman of Clestra’s worldwide cleanroom operations. Wetzel was a co-founder of Exponential Business Development Company, which invested in and assisted start-up companies in Upstate New York. In 1996, Wetzel, with his son Michael Wetzel, P.E. as his partner, acquired controlling interest in Floratech Industries. Shortly thereafter he created an air conditioning product for the cleanroom and indoor air quality market, HEPAir®. Successful HEPAir sales led to Floratech acquiring the cleanroom air conditioning manufacturing divisions back from Clestra in 1999. In 2001, Floratech changed its name to Air Innovations to better reflect its mission.
Since then, under Larry and Mike Wetzel’s leadership, sales, profits and employment increased 15-fold. Today, Air Innovations is the 113th fastest growing privately held manufacturing company in America according to Inc. magazine. Later in 2011 Air Innovations will celebrate its 25th year of business.
Wetzel attributed Air Innovations’ success “on its focus on products and services that utilize our expertise in refrigeration and air conditioning, and on meeting and exceeding our customers’ perception of quality, price and delivery. He explained that, “Over 60% of our business is one-of-a-kind product solutions, thus the origins of our corporate name.” And he thanked “Air Innovations employees, consultants and suppliers who team with our customers for the success of all parties.”