Meet Norm Matheis: Specialty Heating & Cooling’s Owner

Check out what makes Specialty Heating & Cooling a little different than your average heating & cooling company! Get to know Norm, our company’s owner & operator, in this short interview. You’ll soon see what makes us stand out!

Q: Give us a little background information on Specialty Heating & Cooling. What guiding principles were put in place then that you still follow today?

Norm: Specialty Heating & Cooling was founded in 1985 when the economy was coming out of a deep recession. There had been no work for months and since the home building was still not yet going strong I decided to start the company as Specialty Heating and Fabrication, which relied more on metal fabrication work than residential HVAC.  We also did commercial kitchen installations for a supplier. We contracted to install the kitchen facilities at the Beaverton Nike headquarters, Boeing in Seattle, and the airport in Maui, among others. We did custom metal fabrication for a sign company & produced the step stools for Oil Can Henrys, too. It was a fun time.

After a time, I started went full time into residential and light commercial HVAC. My wife and brother started working with me in the office and in the field. And now, here we are nearly 30 years later having survived 3 recessions! We went from one pickup truck and a garage at our home, to a well-established company with 27 full time employees.

Just like when we began, today we pride ourselves on trying to do the best job we can. More importantly IF something goes wrong we take care of it.

Q: Norm, share a little more about your background and maybe a couple of fun facts about you!

Norm: I spent many years in the food service and hospitality industry. I was going to school for restaurant and hotel management while working at Portland Golf Club and Columbia Edgewater. This is where I learned what customer service is at its best – I believe this is why we take it so seriously here at Specialty!  Just about the time I was done with school my father in-law suggested I look into the sheet metal industry. Not what I had ever intended! I remember him telling me, “Late night hours away from home are not good for a marriage, son! I think you need to look into HVAC.” I went into the local 16 union apprenticeship for 4 years and graduated as journeyman in 1981. And….the rest is history.

Q:  What makes Specialty Heating & Cooling stand out from other companies in the area that offer similar services?

Norm: I am very proud of our team at Specialty! We are the only Carrier dealer in the Northwest region to win the Carrier presidential award 6 years in a row. Much of this is a credit to our customer satisfaction ratings and sound business practices. We always try to do the right thing, while doing our best to find a solution for our customer needs. We are never pushy when it comes to sales, either. The customer is presented with various choices and they can select what fits for them.


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