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Watson Air Conditioning celebrates 40 years (by Bo Bolton - printed in the Monroe Journal

Conrad and Diane Watson dreamed of a business of their own that would serve the needs of others and provide a better way of life for them and their young twins. Having graduated from Repton High School and receiving an associate degree from Southwest State Technical Institute in Mobile where he discovered and married Diane, they together possessed the tools to do just that.

After working for another company for 11 years Conrad and Diane started in the shed of his father in Bermuda, AL 40 years ago. Conrad Watson Air Conditioning, Inc. has grown into a successful local business serving Monroe, Conecuh and surrounding counties.

When the business opened, 90 percent was residential and 10 percent commercial. We haven't forgotten where our roots started and that service is our foundation and that our customers and employees are our most valuable assets.

Conrad borrowed $6,000.00, bought a used van and received the Carrier dealership and started to work with his wife, Diane Watson as the bookkeeper, who is still active in the business today, but spends most of her time in volunteer work in the community and her church.

About a year later Conrad hired Donald Drinkard as a part time employee. As the business grew Donald came on fulltime and eventually was part owner. Donald was forced to retire after 30 years of service due to health problems. Nick Tatum, who has been at Conrad Watson Air Conditioning for 26 years purchased Donald's shares of the business. Nick, a graduate of J.U. Blcaksher High School and Ed Reid Technical College, began his service with Conrad Watson Air Conditioning, Inc. as a very good service technician, salesman and installer. Nick now serves as President of the company and largely is responsible for day to day operations.

Despite the down turn in the economy a few years ago the business has weathered the storm, thanks to its faithful customers and employees, and has been able to increase business by expanding its sales and service area in the southern half of the state from Montgomery to Mobile.

Over the years the business has grown to 17 employees and has been designated as a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, which is a designation for only a small percent of all Carrier dealers in the United States. Conrad, Diane and Nick feel that we have been very blessed and fortunate to have good customers and employees and looking forward to the future and what lays ahead for Conrad Watson Air Conditioning, Inc.

Again we would like to thank everyone for the last 40 years.