Westbrook had its beginnings in 1949 when Westy Westbrook came to Orlando from Miami to organize the Service Department of what was then Hill-York of Orlando. Under Westy's leadership, the Service Department of Hill-York Orlando became the dominant part of the Orlando operation and Westy was soon named General Manager. From there, the company continued to thrive, affording Westy the opportunity to buy out Hill-York's interest in the Orlando branch in 1954. The name was changed and thus began Westbrook Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc.
Fast forward to 1970, when Owen Matthews began calling on Westbrook as a Trane Engineering Sales Representative and a close working relationship with Westy was begun. By 1979, Owen joined Westbrook as Vice President of Construction and later became its President in 1980. Owen, a Registered Professional Engineer, enhanced the already strong reputation of the firm in the design/build market. Owen bought the controlling interest in Westbrook in 1982 and took on the additional role of CEO of the Company. As for Westy, he began to work a reduced schedule until his formal retirement in 1988.
Over the years, the hallmark of the Company has always been its relationships and its people. Westbrook has always been one to attract high quality, long-lasting professional relationships, as well as solid customer and client relationships. For example, Westy sold the first maintenance contract in 1949 for Hill-York of Orlando to Lloyd's Furniture on Orange Avenue. This was contract number one, and that contract remained in effect until Lloyd's closed in 1996.
In 1989, the Board of Directors of Westbrook Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. recognized the Company had grown to the point that their customer's needs could best be met by forming a separate company to address the service end of the business. This left Westbrook Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. free to pursue the larger construction projects that were becoming a bigger part of their business.
Accordingly, in January of 1989, Westbrook Service Corporation was formed to pursue the traditional service work for which the parent company had become so well known. Over the years, Westbrook Service grew well beyond being just an HVAC company by adding complimentary service disciplines such as Plumbing/Gas and Electrical to its offerings. In June 2004, after recognizing the common element of service between the two companies, they were merged, thereby incorporating all of the service offerings into one company. That merger gave rise to the Westbrook Service Corporation we know today. In combining the two companies, Westbrook has been able to optimize the talents and abilities of each to ensure that their customers receive the very best that they have to offer in all areas. Today, the Company is led by Jon Thurman who took over as President in 2001.
Lester T. Westbrook, better known as "Westy," was the original owner and namesake of Westbrook. Westy loved hot weather, the ocean and saltwater fishing in the Keys. But most of all, Westy loved Doris, his wife, best friend and partner. They were inseparable. Wherever you saw Westy, "Mama" was close by.
Westy was a tenacious fellow and an astute businessman. Once he set his mind to something he would not be swayed. Failure was never an option for him. His knowledge, judgment and expertise went far beyond his elementary school education with people from all walks of life and professions seeking his counsel. Westy was a problem-solver and had an extraordinary ability to focus on a problem with laser-sharpness. He could see situations clearly and had little trouble expressing his sometimes strong opinions. You could bet that those who sought to get the best of him would soon realize who they were up against.
Westy was exceptionally kind to those he liked and had a real gentlemanly way about him. Though kind and pleasant, Westy also had a quick temper and would not hold back much from anyone whom he felt might deserve it. He was a man that most people liked and everyone respected. On June 20, 1997, Westy died of a heart attack while napping peacefully in his favorite chair at his home in Ashford, Alabama. His pipe was still in his hand.