Interview With HVAC Geek Lou Tisenchek

Our staff here at Appolo Heating is a group of truly exceptional, skilled and thoughtful individuals, which is exactly why we want our customers to get to know them a little bit more. In the first in our series of interviews, we spoke to Appolo Technical Institute Training Manager Lou Tisenchek about what ATI is all about. 

Hey Lou! Let’s get right to the questions. First things first: What is your official role at Appolo? 

Hey there! So my official role at Apollo Heating is Training Manager. What that means is that I create our training curriculum and then work with trainees to educate them on operating HVAC equipment in the field. 

Interesting. So what does a normal day of training look like? 

We have some formal classroom training with structured material. We do that for half a day, and then we apply what we’ve covered in the morning and move into hands-on training. This program structure is a proven method; the combination of classroom training, hands-on training, and field mentoring allow our trainees to better understand the “why” and the “how” behind the work that we do, and puts them in a great position to do that work at a high-level moving forward. We have high standards and this program builds the foundation for trainees to hit those standards comfortably. 

What would you say the core philosophy of ATI is?

Well, there are very few experienced people to hire in the HVAC industry and many of them are already employed. But here’s the thing: there a lot of people with mechanical aptitude and a good attitude who are looking for an industry where they can build a career. A lot of them just don’t realize that the HVAC industry is an option for them. So I think I’d say the core philosophy of the Institute is to get the word out that the HVAC industry is a viable and even exceptional career option, and that we’re here to take the skills that you have and help build on them so that you can turn them into something long-term here at Appolo. 

What sets ATI apart from other HVAC training programs? 

We’re all about tailoring this program to the individuals we hire. Instead of a broad-based curriculum, we cater to the people that are in the program right now. We identify people’s skillsets and then build on them, and find the places that trainees can excel at Appolo. Everyone has at least a slightly different skillset, so we like to really cultivate that while also making the trainees more well-rounded–kind of turning people into total experts in what they excel at, but also giving them enough baseline knowledge to be a jack of all trades as well.

What facets of HVAC does ATI cover? 

We’re largely trying to hire people for our residential new construction business at the moment but we also have a commercial department, a service department. We kind of shift curriculum based on need, and we are well-versed enough to train in any part of HVAC. 

What are some of the largest transformations you’ve seen in a student? 

Well, when you take someone off the streets that really have not discovered their specific skill, and then run them through a program sometime between classroom and field training, all of a sudden the light goes on. All of a sudden they get it. Does that take time? Of course it does! But people do take to it, they start to really get a grasp on things, and honestly, it’s one of my favorite parts of the jobs. Seeing everything click into place for a trainee, that’s one of the best feelings in the world. 

If you could say one thing to people feeling unsure about a career in HVAC, what would you say?

Too few people realize that this is a viable career. I know for a lot of younger people, working with your hands might not always be the first thing that you want to get into. But in all truth, if you just give it a shot, there’s a good chance that it’s something that you can really take to. People say a lot of the time, “It’s so hard to find a job that I really enjoy being at every day”. I can say in all honesty that I enjoy doing this job every day, and I see a lot of the folks who work at Appolo expressing the same sort of thing. It’s a job that you feel really plugged into because it is so hands-on, and because you’re helping people every day. That helping, and that engagement, plus that feeling of constantly learning and growing–it really makes Appolo a place I love coming into.

Want to learn more about the Appolo Technical Institute? Click here to learn more, and check out some of our recent videos here:



Interested in working at Appolo? You can apply for one of our openings here!

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