About Walrath


Founded by William H. Walrath in 1956, Walrath Heating & Air Conditioning Company has called Lakewood, Colorado home for more than five decades. In 1981, after the passing of Mr. Walrath, ownership of the company transferred to his partner Mr. Richard Gauthier. Through steady leadership Mr. Gauthier guided Walrath until his retirement in 1988 when the company was purchased by longtime employees Louis (Lou) A. Franzen and J.A. (Arnie) Dowd. Since Mr. Dowd’s retirement in 2004, Lou Franzen has continued as President to lead the firm’s commercial estimating, fabricating, installation and energy management departments while grooming the next generation of leadership.

Lou began his career with Walrath in 1963 as an apprentice during which he completed his four-year apprenticeship as a Sheet Metal Journeyman. Serving as a past President of SMACNA Lou has also served as a member on SMACNA’s National Board of Directors as well the Colorado chapter’s Board of Directors.

Ben Franzen joined Walrath in 1994 after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado and is currently the firm’s Vice President. Ben also completed a four-year apprenticeship as a Sheet Metal Journeyman. Additionally, Ben earned a Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Supervisor license and a license from the SMACNA Business Management University. Ben applies his vast experience and knowledge toward the supervision of Walrath’s commercial projects.

Dan Ostrom joined Walrath in 2001 as Treasurer. Along with a B.S. in Accounting from Regis University and a license from SMACNA Business Management University, Dan has over 10 years of business management experience. Charged with the financial responsibilities of the firm Dan also provides leadership in the residential and human resource departments.

Service Manager and loyal employee for more than 20 years Boyd Thurston provides leadership and guidance for both residential and commercial service departments. With a four year Sheet Metal Apprenticeship under his belt, Boyd possesses licenses in refrigeration, steam and hot water as well as an HVAC Journeyman license. Mentoring many of our skilled service technicians through the years, Boyd still conducts in-the-field training for many Walrath employees.

Don Downs joined the firm in 2005 bringing with him 18 years of business development experience in the heating and cooling industry. A graduate of Metro State College of Denver with a B.S. in Marketing, Don oversees Walrath’s residential sales and marketing departments. Don still meets directly with many Walrath customers every day while mentoring employees with regard to Walrath’s customer service approach.

Walrath’s mission is to construct enduring, respectful relationships with customers, employees and the community.

Consistent with our mission Walrath has held to the principle of investing in people by providing a safe and supportive work environment. Our efforts have produced a workforce made up of professionally trained, personable individuals driven to see their appointed duties through to the customer’s satisfaction. We’ve been rewarded by the community through thousands of long term relationships developed with loyal customers. We’re grateful to all who have supported Walrath through the years and we look forward to establishing new relationships in the future.

Thank you.

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