About Our Team
Duane Gentry– President/Team Leader
Duane Gentry is the president and “team leader” for Gentry Heating and Cooling. A third generation leader, he brings many years of experience to the company. After undergraduate and graduate school, Duane spent 10 years working for larger corporations. In 1997 he returned home to run the family’s business. He holds a North Carolina Unlimited H2 and H3 license as well as a Mechanical Contractors License in both South Carolina and Tennessee. Duane enjoys spending time with his wife of 28 years and their two children. He serves in various capacities at his Church and serves on a number of boards and volunteer organizations within our community. His passions include mountain biking, swimming, and running.
Michael Young – Vice President and General Manager
Mike has worked in the residential heating and air conditioning industry for 31 years. He began as an apprentice and has progressed through the ranks to the management level. Mike holds an NC H3 – Class 1 Mechanical License. Mike is a resident of Fletcher, NC, and he and his wife, Tricia, have two daughters. He enjoys his church, Biltmore Church and enjoys spending his time hunting and fishing and traveling with his family.
Mike enjoys serving his community and the mission work that Gentry Service Group participates in locally and internationally.
Dean Owensby – Comfort Consultant
Dean has been married to his beautiful wife, Cathy, for 33 years. They have three wonderful children, with his youngest son, Levi, having special needs. From a very large family, they all look forward to family cookouts, volleyball, camping, and beach trips.
Dean is very active in his church, which he has attended since 1980. He came to work for the Gentry family in 2001 in sales and has truly enjoyed being a part of the growth and culture of great excellence at Gentry.
John Tate – Comfort Consultant
John Tate is a true local. Born and raised in the Asheville area. He has worked as a heating and AC technician/installer since 1997. He is new to sales but brings his years of hands-on technical experience and knowledge to all his Gentry clients.
John lives in Weaverville with his wife, two adorable children, and many pets. He has a lifelong passion for classic cars and is a very talented mechanic. He enjoys tinkering in his garage, building his koi pond, and spending time with his family.
Bill Sears – Comfort Consultant
Bill and his wife have three sons and a dog, Molly. Bill has been in the HVAC industry for over 30 years and has held mechanical, electrical, and gas fitting licenses. He enjoys home projects, traveling, family time, and camping. He and his family have lived in New York, Maryland, and Colorado, and are happy to be here in North Carolina.
Shawn Toelcke – Comfort Consultant
Shawn moved from Minnesota to Weaverville, NC in 2002. He loves to spend time with his beautiful wife, Casey, and son Bennett. Shawn is an outdoors enthusiast and enjoys camping. If you can’t find Shawn, he’s probably on the golf course or riding his motorcycle. As a pet lover, you will find that Shawn loves being greeted by the furriest of customers.
Talbott Ingram – Comfort Consultant
Tal started working in heating and cooling in 2004. He moved to North Carolina in 2008 to pursue a career in the solar industry. Tal has both a H1-1 and H3-1 HVAC license and is a NABCEP certified solar installer. When not working, he is spending time with his family and dog. He also enjoys riding bicycles and motorcycles and enjoying the outdoors any way he can.
Karen Smith – Maintenance Services Manager
Karen has worked with Gentry Heating since October 2006. She and her husband moved to NC from NJ in 1995. Growing up in NJ, she always wanted to be in the fashion industry. She attended Berkeley College and received a degree in Fashion Merchandising & Management. This was a “dream job” working in New York City as a Ladies Outwear Buyer. When she met her husband, Jeff, he loved the South. He was stationed in Savannah while he was in the Navy. So they moved to Asheville and started a family – our 4-legged family of two cats – Marble & Bandit. “Best decision we ever made was moving to Asheville. We are very happy here.”
Kelly Giezentanner – Customer Service Manager
Since joining the Gentry team in 2007, Kelly has facilitated new standards of excellence in our Energy Savings Agreement maintenance program and Demand Service Department, with a special interest in the customer experience and technician logistics. She received her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Hospitality Management from A.B.Tech and has found that her experience in the hospitality field prepared her for the unique qualities of providing the indoor air comfort experience. She also received her B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina – Asheville and was a local business owner for over ten years.
A native of Asheville, Kelly loves exploring our beautiful region and discovering all the incredible restaurants in this area. She loves being a Christian and is an active member in her church, Seacoast. She is also an artist, gourmet cook, aspiring baker and wine enthusiast.
Chris Taylor – Commercial Sales & Project Manager
Chris lives in McDowell County with his wife of 25 years, Tamara and their 5-year-old son, Adam. Also, living in the home is their dog, Obi. Their daughter Rhapsody is married and resides in Asheville. Chris has been in the HVAC industry for 30 years and holds an NC H3-1 Mechanical License and IGSHPA (geothermal) certified. He enjoys spending quality time with family, hiking, “junkin,”, and geocaching. He also enjoys playing bass guitar with friends and at church. He likes to golf when the opportunity arises.
Glenn Lyles – Chaplain
Glenn is a native of the middle region of Georgia. He attended college at Georgia College and State University where he received a Bachelor in Business Administration/Management while working part-time at United Parcel Service. Upon graduation, US offered Glenn a full-time position as a delivery driver. After a short time, he was promoted to management where his initial assignment was as a Customer Servicer/Sales Representative.
After a 17 year-career with UPS, Glenn felt called upon to go into full-time ministry. He began as a Youth/Associate Pastor at his home church where he served in various capacities for the next 20 years. In 2010, he accepted a call to pastor in Danielsville, Georgia. Shortly after accepting this call, he began also serving with Marketplace Chaplains in the Athens, Georgia area.
After accepting a pastorate position at a church in Etowah, North Carolina in 2016, Glenn decided to reconnect with Marketplace Chaplains. Being new to the area, he has a deep desire to understand this area and its people and the role of Chaplain allows him to be able to engage with people in the workplace.
He has been married to his wife, Billie Sue, for 38 years, and they share their home with his great nephew, Glen Lee and his mother-in-law, Emma. He and Billie Sue have one grown daughter, Laura, a son-in-law, Shaun, and three grandsons – with another due in May 2017.
Glenn is excited to be in the area and to be able to serve everyone at Gentry Heating.
Juanita Birchfield – Sales Coordinator/Operations Analyst
Juanita has been with Gentry since 2004. She was born in San Diego, California, but has lived in Asheville most of her life and graduated from Temple Christian Academy. She has attended several computer technology classes through SoftTrain, and she has used her skills in Customer Service for 14+ years.
She is active with her local church. She loves to spend quality time with her husband, son, and daughter. Her hobbies include golf, bowling, and anything outdoors.
Candice Horrell – Controller
Candice is a graduate of the University of North Carolina – Asheville with an Accounting degree. She is married to her best friend, Jordan, and they live happily together with their four-legged babies, Bugle and Pebbles. As her favorite season is summer, Candice loves the outdoors and enjoys going to the lake, kayaking and fishing. She is proud to be a Christian and is involved in her church. She loves to run and work out and once ran a marathon. She also loves to travel and especially loves going on cruises.
Stephanie Ownbey– Customer Service Representative
Stephanie is a native to Asheville. She received her Associate Degree in Office System Technology from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College and has over 16 years’ experience in Customer Service.
She enjoys spending time with the family and anything involving “Lake Life”.
Tony Sanders – Service Dispatcher
Tony has 15 years’ experience in the heating and air trade, ranging from commercial installation in the beginning, parts sales and most currently residential dispatch. He was born in Asheville and spent the majority of his youth in Orlando, Florida. He loves being back home. He is the proud father of two young men, Cody and Brandon. They are his blessings. Last but by no means least, he is proud to be a Christian. He praises God for the many blessings in his life – most of all, his salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. He is a member of Freedom Baptist Church in Asheville.
Alan Austin – Commercial Service Division Manager
Alan is a native of Buncombe County and resides in Leicester with his wife and 3 children. He is a graduate of Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College, with over 27 years of experience in the HVAC/R industry. Alan has been a licensed NC commercial refrigeration contractor since 1994 and has H1, H2, and H3 NC mechanical licenses. Alan and his family are very involved in their church and community.
Alan and his family live on a small farm raising beef cattle and enjoy life in the country. He also enjoys cooking, smoking and grilling his home grown beef, but most of all enjoys a good meal with his family.
Terry Evans – Commercial Service & Maintenance Advisor
Terry Evans was born and raised in Marion, NC and that is where he currently resides with his wife, who he believes to be the greatest woman on this earth, and twin daughters. He studied Business Management at North Carolina State University and then went to work at a structural engineering firm while he was in Raleigh for a total of 7 years. Since then, his work experience has included 7 years in business development, 5 years in sales, and he has spent the last 5 years working as a department head over 9 different departments for the McDowell County Department of Social Services.
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and twin daughters, working on & building things around the house, serving in his church, pulling for the NC State Wolfpack, and he serves as an Executive Board Member for McDowell Mission Ministries. He also once donated a kidney.
April Thomas – Human Resources Manager
April was born and raised in the Asheville area. After college, she moved to Atlanta to experience the big city life. After living there for several years, she realized that she wanted to return back home to Asheville and the mountains she loves so much.
April has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of North Carolina – Asheville. She has worked in Human Resources for over 11 years and has her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP certifications. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and is active in her local church. She also enjoys hiking, attending sports events, trying new restaurants and being outdoors.
Brittany Hollifield – Executive Assistant
Brittany is a graduate of McDowell Technical Community College and obtained her Associate of Applied Science Degree in several programs including, Business Administration, Accounting and Photographic Technologies. She also has features certificates in Networking, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Bookkeeping and Web Design.
Brittany comes from over five-years in the retail industry and over three years of senior retail management with a Fortune 40 company. When Brittany is not at work, she loves to be with her fur babies, Cooper and Spike. She also enjoys reading, traveling, photography, going to sporting events and watching HGTV. Some of her favorite teams are the Chicago White Sox, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Hickory Crawdads, the Asheville Tourists and Duke.
Josh Crowder – Construction Manager
Josh is a graduate of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, obtaining the Associate in Applied Science Degree in HVAC. Josh is H1C1 licensed in North Carolina and has over 18 years’ experience in the commercial HVAC industry. He is a resident of Buncombe County and a native of North Carolina but hopes to retire one day to a coastal retreat. He currently enjoys watching all sports, camping, hiking, hunting and fly. However, nothing gives him more joy than spending time with his wife and kids.
Darin Miller – Project Manager
Darin was born and raised in the Midwest before moving to Asheville in 1986. He started as a commercial sheet metal apprentice in 1987 at The Grove Park Inn addition project. He worked on the road afterwards for eight years, working all over the east and southeast installing mechanical work for paper mills, highrises, hospitals and prisons. In 1993, he started working locally again for Price & Price in mechanical for eight years. He began working as a field superintendent on larger commercial projects in the area. Since 2013, he has been a Project Manager and field superintendent.
Darin has two daughters and two grandchildren. He also loves the outdoors.
Tammy Barnwell – Commercial Division Scheduling Coordinator
Tammy is a true WNC native. She was born and raised here and has an extensive 10-plus years in the administrative construction and HVAC industry. She has three beautiful daughters and is “Nana” to five sweet grandchildren. Tammy attended A.B. Tech and studied Administration and Business. She has been with us since May 2018. If you can’t find Tammy, she’s probably in Charleston, at the beach, with her family and friends or she’s at a baseball game.
Brian Thomas – Retail Installation Production Manager
Brian comes to the Gentry team with a great deal of experience. He holds his North Carolina Contractors licenses, H2 – H3 Class 1; master IAQ Certification from Mainstream Engineering Company; N.C State University Certificate in Boiler Efficiency and Raypak boiler factory certified.
He has been married for 12 years and he and his wife have three children, one boy and two girls. He enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.
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