Member Spotlight: Chris Geschickter

BY Emily Frost
12/1/2020 - HVAC News

The HARDI member spotlight serves as a regular feature through which the association highlights stand out individuals in the HVACR industry and their companies. For our December Member Spotlight, our Content Manager, Emily Frost, spoke with Chris Geschickter, Human Resources for Johnstone Supply (Kenilworth). We highlight Chris for the work he puts into ensuring Johnstone Supply is a safe and enjoyable place to work!

Chris Geschickter
Human Resources
Johnstone Supply (Kenilworth)

In this interview, Frost and Geschickter discuss the initiatives Johnstone Supply (Kenilworth) has in place to ensure it is a safe and enjoyable place to work! Check it out!


No time to watch the video? Check out the transcript:

When we spoke earlier, you mentioned Johnstone Supply offers so many benefits and fun activities for employees. What are those benefits and how did they begin?

We are a family owned business so before the pandemic we had a lot of fun events in the 2 years I’ve been with the Johnstone Team here in New Jersey. We still try to do fun and morale boosting things, but it just takes more time and effort to think through. Some of the things we’ve done post-pandemic are:

  • Friday T-Shirt day for a worthy cause. October we gave out pink shirts to our team members to wear in honor of breast cancer awareness. In September we gave out t-shirts for hunger awareness, and sold t-shirts so the proceeds could go to our local food banks who are overwhelmed these days
  • We try to include extra fun and inspiring stories and messages in our monthly newsletter
  • We’ve had some record months in large part because our team members worked so hard over the summer, so we gave out an off-cycle bonus to say thanks.
  • We ordered appreciation lunches for our team members individually wrapped so the appropriate distancing can be maintained.

Those are just a few of the things we worked hard to still offer in these challenging times. All of these things come with important messages communicating appreciation for team members exemplifying our core values. Communication is critical.

What are your employees’ reactions to these benefits?

Our team is highly engaged and they are hard workers, so we see that every day. The individual “thank you’s” here and there make all the difference and ensure we know they feel appreciated! 

What impacts have you seen as an organization from these offerings? Increased retention, happier employees, etc?

I am sure the offerings have helped with retention and happier employees although we didn’t put any formal metrics in place. Given the present-day situation, there is just a sense of gratitude for working with the team so they have jobs while keeping their families safe. We have seen record revenue numbers as well, which is a general testament to the character of our team regardless of the offerings. 

How do you keep employees in the loop when it comes to the many policy changes due to COVID?

Great Question! It has been an incredibly intense and fluid situation keeping up with regulations and guidelines this year. We as an executive team met daily for the first few months working together to stay updated and talking through proper protocol to keep our people safe. We have a central repository on our website for communications as well as a texting application, as well as regular emails to keep everyone updated. We also held live or virtual meetings depending on the regulated gathering numbers. It is a daily focus.

How do you keep employees engaged and connected with the company while working remotely?

We are a contractor and vendor-facing business so we do not have too much opportunity for working remotely. We have a few positions in store support we have been able to afford some remote work, and have ensured that our work-phone-app and business email are set up appropriately to reach each other as often as needed. We look at this pilot program regularly to ensure it’s working efficiently and effectively.

Fun question: What is the best present you have ever gifted someone? What was their reaction?

I’d have to say that My wife Joanne and I put a lot into Christmas presents for our two children so watching the kids’ reactions on Christmas morning is priceless!

Check out our previous Member Spotlight posts here!

To nominate a member for a future Member Spotlight, contact Emily Frost at

image001-1Emily Frost
Content Manager