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Introducing the 2023 Difference Makers Across the Rheem Family of Brands

January 3, 2024
Introducing the 2023 Difference Makers Across the Rheem Family of Brands

As another year draws to a close, the Rheem family of brands is celebrating all of the ways its partners gave back to their communities this year, both big and small.

Started in 2022, the Rheem Difference Maker Award recognizes Pro Partners who go above and beyond to support the causes they care about. Winners earn a $10,000 donation from Rheem to the charity of their choice.

This year’s Difference Makers helped support a range of local causes to help improve their communities and the lives of the people in them. Here are just some of the ways the 2023 Rheem and Ruud Pro Partners are stepping up for to make change across the country.


2023 Rheem Difference Maker Award Winners

Altman’s Cooling & Heating and P&K Altman’s Foundation

After a tragic family accident, the Altman family started P&K Altman’s Foundation in 2020 as a way to give back to their community in Titusville, Florida.

“Giving back is not just a thing we have done at Altman’s for years, but since we established the P&K Foundation, it is our daily focus,” says Kayla Pyles, co-founder and director of the P&K Altman’s Foundation and office manager at Altman’s. “Our community is the reason we have been so successful for over 40 years and to give back to the same community that keeps our doors open is so rewarding.”

From scholarships to fulfilling teachers’ wish lists and other community events, Altman’s Cooling & Heating raises funds to meet the needs of their community to honor the family members they lost. As a Difference Maker Award winner, the foundation will continue to that legacy.

The $10,000 will be used to first and foremost, give back to our community through education, students, teachers, and the schools in our community. This money will allow us to sponsor seven students, whether they are graduating high school or going into the nursing program for college,” Pyles says. “Not only that, but this money will also help us with our annual adopt-a-teacher event. We have been able to adopt over 200 teachers the past couple years by gifting items off their wish list to help them have a successful year back in school. We understand that teachers hold the key in molding the future generations to come and helping set up their classrooms for a successful year helps the students have a wonderful school year in return. We are so grateful.”

Altman’s co-owner Gary Altman agrees.

“We have always taken pride in our partnership with Rheem as well as being part of Pro Partner since the day it began. For over 40 years we have put everything into running a successful business, but it is more than that to us,” he says. “Winning the Difference Maker Award means more than what could be put into words for all of us at Altman’s Cooling and Heating. It is an honor, a blessing, decades of hard work paying off, and showing that our team at Altman’s is more than what we see in it. Being picked as the winner of this award shows that we are in fact true difference makers.”


TE Certified Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling and The Drake House

TE Certified Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling of Roswell, Georgia, is tackling homelessness one month at a time. TE’s enduring partnership with The Drake House works diligently to provide essential support to women and children facing homelessness around Atlanta and empower them to achieve economic independence and long-term stability.

“These women and children remain an integral part of our community, having graced our schools, enriched our businesses and selflessly bolstered the wellbeing of our community, says Josh Brooker, CEO and founder of TE Certified. “We understand that supporting them is not a matter of obligation but a testament to our shared humanity.”

TE Certified has worked with The Drake House for years, providing monthly donations as well as doing what they do best—delivering comfort.

“We’ve taken direct action by personally enhancing the living conditions of the women and children in the organization’s care. By implementing state-of-the-art electrical systems across residential buildings, installing tankless water hears, and upgrading HVAC units, we’ve provided pristine, secure, and inviting spaces for them to rest and dine comfortable as they work toward building a better future for themselves,” Brooker says.


2023 Ruud Difference Maker Award Winners

Wooldridge Heating & Air and Brook Hill Farm

Wooldridge Heating & Air is a big name in Lynchburg, Virginia. Owner and CEO Dana Marr’s dad, Leonard Wooldridge, started the business out of their home. Helping the community is all she’s ever known.

Outside of heating and air, Wooldridge works with Brook Hill Farm to help support people in need throughout the Lynchburg area.

“It’s about giving back to the people that give and support our business. We have a great group of employees with servant hearts,” Marr says.

Brook Hill Farm is a nonprofit horse rescue and therapeutic riding organization that provides rehabilitation to both horses and the community. Its programs provide support to veterans, seniors and those with disabilities, as well as academic education for students having a hard time at school.

“We have had 139 kids come through our school program, and we have a 100% graduation rate and seven PhDs,” says Jo Anne Miller, Executive Director of Brook Hill Farm. “All these kids were failing school when they started.”

Through donations and events, Wooldridge provides essential support needed to keep Brook Hill’s rehab and educational programs running.

“We are blessed to receive the Difference Maker Award. 100% of this award will go for scholarships for at-risk youth to participate in equine therapy, helping them develop life skills to be successful at school,” Mille says. “Receiving the Difference Maker Award was really important because 90% of our population is below the poverty line, so immediately that goes directly into scholarships to be able to fund more kids to be part of our program.”


Arlinghaus Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Arlinghaus Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning of Erlanger, Kentucky, has giving back baked into its core values. “It is an integral part of who we are,” say owners Brian and Heather Arlinghaus.

Each quarter Arlinghaus supports a new initiative to extend their impact in the community and beyond. In 2023, Arlinghaus hosted more than 25 golf outings to raise money for local projects, took part in a local school donation drive, helped their local historical society preserve their community, donated HVAC systems to those in need and supported groups such as I Have Wings, which provides financial and emotional support to those fighting breast cancer.

“Our mission statement is about exceeding expectations, and that is exactly what we do with our daily support for the community that we work and live in,” they say. “We are beyond honored to be able to bring more essential necessities to women fighting breast cancer with this $10,000 donation to I Have Wings.”


Thank you to the 2023 Difference Makers, and all of the Rheem and Ruud Pro Partners, for stepping up and making an impact in your communities.