Last November, Cindy Fickenscher and Steve Beets started operating their Kenosha HVAC company out of their dining room.
Just a few months prior, the pair had decided to start their own business after learning that Bob Wieske, owner of Wieske Heating & AC, was planning to retire.
“I said, why not, let’s just do it,” Cindy recalled.
Cindy, who retired from Gateway Technical College in 2017, said they began to reassess their professional lives after Steve’s employer changed ownership last summer.
That, combined with the ongoing pandemic and the news of Wieske’s upcoming retirement, pushed them to start their own business.
With two other coworkers from Steve’s previous job, Jason Musselman and Melanie Crogan, they “were like a car with four wheels”, each bringing their unique skills to keep the entire business running.
Bob, who will be turning 64 in August, said that his HVAC business, which he started in 1976 after high school, was getting too strenuous for him. While he said he “appreciates all the work the people of Kenosha” gave him, he couldn’t keep doing the seven days-a-week schedule.
Wieske planned to retire at the end of the year, but “bills were due,” Cindy said, so they began taking over for a few of Bob’s customers early, working from home while the office space was being renovated. On Jan. 1 they officially purchased Wieske’s HVAC business, and Bob retired.