STILWELL – Cherokee Nation citizen Heath Holmes is a fixture of the Stilwell business community.
Holmes, 31, is the owner of Holmes Heating & Cooling, a company he started nine years ago as a side business that grew into a full-time career. He left his eight-year job with the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation last summer to concentrate full time on his HVAC venture.
“I kind of did my job part time on the side,” he said. “It just got so busy where I had to pick one or the other, so I had to go full time. I’ve just come up on a year of doing it full time for myself.”
Prior to his HVAC career, Holmes worked for his father in the construction trade.
“I always worked with him in the summer,” Holmes said. “He was a construction superintendent, and I was kind of always interested in the heating and air part.”
Holmes jumped into the HVAC field after attending Wichita Technical Institute in Tulsa and obtaining a journeyman license.
“I went to trade school and did the few years I had to do to get my contractor’s license,” he said. “Once I was able to get it, I started my business from scratch. I knew heat and air is always going to be around.”
During his time at the Housing Authority, Homes was a contractor providing HVAC service to Cherokee citizens throughout the 14-county reservation. Now, he devotes all of his efforts to HVAC needs.
“There is no job too big or small for Holmes Heating & Cooling,” his wife, Jacie Holmes, said. “Heath always makes an effort to prioritize homes with children, elderly, handicap persons and other extenuating circumstances. Heath has also made it a priority to hire other Cherokees whenever possible. The company has employed three people, all of whom are Cherokee citizens.”
In an individual capacity or through Holmes Heating & Cooling, Holmes has volunteered free time and labor to elderly Cherokee citizens for emergency HVAC needs, donated funds to several local organizations and Stilwell Public Schools, and volunteered as a tee-ball coach and softball umpire.
For his continued efforts, Holmes will receive the business award at this year’s Seven Feathers Gala presented by the Cherokee Phoenix.
“I was a little shocked,” he said of being notified about the award. “I was shocked and I was happy. I’d seen a couple of my friends who had gotten it before.”
Services provided by Holmes Heating & Cooling include heating system and air conditioning installation, as well as repair and replacement. As a Tribal Employment Rights Office business, Holmes Heating & Cooling is allowed to seek contract work with the Cherokee Nation.
“Here lately, I’ve been doing a lot (with) the Cherokee Speaker program they have going on,” Holmes said. “A lot of the houses we’re doing right now for the Cherokee speakers, they’ve never had air. A 40-year-old house and they’ve never had air.”
Holmes and his wife have two sons, ages 2 and 5.
For more information about Holmes Heating & Cooling, which primarily services Stilwell and Tahlequah, visit tahlequahokhvaccontractors.com, Holmes Heating & Cooling LLC on Facebook or call 918-575-4107.