Story of Peninsula Heat

Story of Peninsula Heat

In 1996, Port Angeles based Peninsula Fuel was bought out, and its heating division was slated for closure. That's when HVAC specialist Ken Lofstrom found himself facing an important decision: snatch up a personal flotation device, or build an outright lifeboat.

In founding Peninsula Heat Company, he built the boat...

The nautical atmosphere of the Olympic Peninsula had drawn him and his family here in 1994, and when news of the “restructuring” came, Ken had already laid the groundwork for a solo career. As a third generation HVAC specialist, he carried with him an extensive education, years of experience, and a fully equipped custom sheet metal shop.

Seeing a crew of good people heading toward unemployment around him, as well as a customer base on the verge of abandonment, Ken changed heading. With just two weeks notice, he worked day and night to transform the defunct division into something capable of standing on its own. That division closed on the 15th of September, and the Peninsula Heat Company opened the very next day.

Over the last 20 years, the company has shown steady growth almost every year, despite a tough economy. “The staff is very proud of what they do,” says Ken, a spry man with brilliant blue eyes. “They're proud of their own personal quality, of being part of a team with good credentials.”

People's desire to be a part of a group is why good companies become great. The people of PenHeat have come together as a result of a professional reputation that is common knowledge in the community. Most of them sought out Peninsula Heat on their own, hearing that it was a great place to work. A personable place, without big corporate pressure or rigid bureaucracy. But a company that expected and fostered the best, nonetheless. And when hiring new staff, Ken and his crew have their eyes out for not just those with talent and expertise, but also the ones who want to be part of a group. “It's no different than assembling a sports team,” Ken says. “No one throws the ball to a jerk, no matter how good he is.”

Ken's values blend family life with company life, and this balance guides both his expectations of employees, as well as his approach to customers. Peninsula Heat Company aspires to elevate both customers and employees, to support our community at large. “Happy customers. Team strength. That's more important than profit,” says Ken Lofstrom. “Success is just the stipend of doing the right thing.”