- Maintenance Program
Meet the Team
Mascot and Canine Blogger
Black Olive is a Labrador Retriever mix who was adopted from the Blount County Animal Center. Russell & Abbott customers may see Olive's face on billboards, on company vehicles and in other advertising. When we first moved to our location on East Broadway, Olive kept regular office hours, preferring the navy blue couch that faces the window at the main entrance of our building instead of a desk. A progressive sort of gal, Olive now works from home, blogging about heating and air topics. Olive makes sure she gets enough naps—um, rest—to pursue her personal interests of being a food critic and short distance runner.
Chris is the President and community representative for Russell & Abbott. He is in charge of overseeing the business, sales, and designing the perfect solution for his customers’ homes and businesses. The best part about his job is really several things, Chris admits. "Being able to provide a working environment where every employee is empowered to help customers with their heating and cooling issues is pretty special," he says. "It is also a real privilege to continue the great legacy that was begun by Mr. Russell and Mr. Abbott of giving our neighbors value, respect and excellent service." Chris is active in several civic clubs and serves on the board of a few non–profit organizations. His passion is mission work, both local and international. Chris is married with a grown daughter. His family has lived in Maryville since 2003.
Equipment Replacement Specialist
With more than 20 years of sales, marketing, and customer
service experience, Walland native Aaron Killian knows how
to take care of customers, and he says that, for him, working
at Russell and Abbott is all about helping customers. "I've
always had a calling for wanting to improve people's lives",
Aaron said. "What better way to assist people than by helping
them be comfortable in their own home?"
Aaron is very involved in the community. He is president of
the board for the Maryville Downtown Association and its
Main Street program. He is also a Blount County Chamber
Ambassador, and he has volunteered in various capacities for
United Way, The Gate, New Hope, Habitat for Humanity, Big
Brothers Big Sisters, HABIT, and many more area nonprofits
through the years.
Aaron and his wife, Holly, currently reside in Maryville with
their three children, two dogs, and a cat.
Mississippi native Mike Parker oversees new system installations. Hardworking Mike has happily lived in Blount County for more 15 years, and has also worked in progressively responsible jobs in the heating and air industry for 15 years. His is married, has three children, and is a member of Faith Promise Church. Mike says,"I love leaving a homeowner knowing that they are happier because of my work. It is a great feeling to go back a year later and still have customer feeling great about their home’s continued comfort." Mike is one of those team members who is always pleasant, and shows initiative in handling multiple projects. You can always count on Mike for a positive attitude and a big smile. When he’s not on the job, you’ll find Mike enjoying time with his family.
Originally from Lakeworth, Florida, James Manke "transplanted" to Maryville in 2007. He loves the Smoky Mountains and can be found four–wheeling in his spare time. He also enjoys NASCAR Racing and food, but not necessarily in that order! James’ co–workers describe him as a "real team player with a positive attitude" which fits in well with the Russell & Abbott philosophy. He and his long–time girlfriend live in Blount County.
Installation Support Specialist
Skyler Stone is a Maryville native. If you think that his name is familiar, it’s because he is the grandson of the late Dean Stone, longtime editor and columnist for The Daily Times.
Skyler is planning for his future and hopes to make a long-term career in the heating and cooling industry. When he’s not on job, Skyler enjoys fishing and gardening. Like most of the Russell & Abbott team, he believes in community support and gives back by volunteering at the Blount County Animal Center.
A Knoxville native, Sam Hartness says he has always liked the various construction trades and providing good customer service. “This job brings so many skills into one place, plus there is something new each day,” he says. “I enjoy the team and the willingness of everyone to work together.” Sam is married and has one child. Being a Revolutionary War reenactor is a passionate pastime—and has been for more than 20 years. Additionally, he enjoys mountain biking and competitive target shooting.
Lead Service Technician and Trainer
Chris Kelso is a Blount County native and is very proud to say that he has lived here all his life. He also has nearly two decades experience in the heating and air industry. When your HVAC system needs repair, Chris is often who will fix the problem. He is certified by the EPA to handle refrigerants. Chris is a single father of two children. Hunting, fishing and dirt track racing are his favorite ways to spend time. He is a member of Black Oak Baptist Church. Chris says he enjoys working with a team that he considers to be professionals in the industry. He adds that he is motivated by a positive difference in the comfort of his customers.
Adam Kelly moved to East Tennessee because of his love for the Smoky Mountains and his enthusiasm for camping. But before he did, he looked at area HVAC companies online and decided he wanted to work for Russell & Abbott and we’re happy for his choice!
Adam was born in North Carolina then moved to Georgia with his family. He served six years active duty in the U.S. Army, including tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Post military service, Adam set up residence in coastal South Carolina. He completed HVAC school and went to work for a heating and cooling company near Charleston. He comes to Russell & Abbott with approximately three years of field experience.
Mechanically-minded, Adam enjoys troubleshooting and learning new skills which makes him a great service technician. He is an animal lover and one of his favorite things is when he gets to interact with customers’ pets. He is also passionate about cars. Adam is involved in RallyCross Racing with the SCCA—Sports Car Club of America. RallyCross is described as “extreme dirt motorsport,” demonstrating that both on and off the job, Adam doesn’t hesitate to dive in to the dirty work.
Will Hughes is the kind of team member that co-workers say they can count on to always lend a hand. Although Will is new to the HVAC industry, he brings innate mechanical abilities, interest in the trade and the desire to keep advancing his skills. “I like being part of a dynamic and thriving team,” he says. Will shares a love of fishing and Tennessee Volunteers football with many of his Russell & Abbott colleagues. He also enjoys playing football and video games.
Originally from San Jose, Daniel Peredo moved from California to Tennessee because he fell in love with and subsequently married a girl whose family lives in Maryville!
Daniel is a graduate of San Jose City College’s Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program and holds a Universal EPA License. He is experienced in HVAC warehouse work and equipment installation.
Daniel’s hobbies include reading, hiking, and cooking.
Service tech Cole Robertson performs his job with accuracy every time.
A fellow Russell & Abbott team member said of Cole, “He’s the kind of person who cares about the quality of his work, and it shows.”
Cole grew up in Blount County and graduated from Alcoa High School. He holds certification as an HVAC Tech from Georgia Northwestern, as well as an EPA Universal Certification. He has 8 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.
Business Operations Administrator
Melissa is a gal who loves crunching the numbers.
“I started in a CPA’s office answering phones and helping process tax returns,” she said. “They took the time to train me in bookkeeping and management. I fell in love with it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
A Knoxville native and graduate of Carter High School, Melissa is certified in Quickbooks and XERO. In her role at Russell and Abbott, she is helping lead the migration to a new software accounting system.
Energetic, enthusiastic Melissa is recently married, and is mom to five children in her blended family. She’s a self-proclaimed “gym junkie” who spends her lunch hours working out. She is co-leader and treasurer for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and has also coached baseball and cheerleading teams.
The thing she likes most about working at Russell & Abbott, is that “people here really care about each other and our customers.”
When you call Russell & Abbott, it’s very likely that one of the first people you speak with will be dispatcher Justin Poole. He’s a perfect fit for the role which involves daily juggling of tasks. Justin has 15 years’ experience in telecommunications and client support as well as six years in dispatching and management.
“At Russell & Abbott, everyone is [treated like] family,” he said. “That includes employees, customers and the community.”
Originally from Sevier County, Justin and his family moved back to East Tennessee in 2015, following 15 years in Oregon. The Pooles have three children in Maryville City Schools and the family is very active in the community. In fact, Justin coaches two youth soccer teams.
Justin also loves the great outdoors. His hobbies include rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, paddle boarding and reef keeping.
Customer Care Manager
Bart Black is the Russell & Abbott team member whose hometown is farthest from East Tennessee.
Bart hails from Gibbon, Nebraska, and describes himself as an HFL (‘Husker For Life) although he’s aware that he is surrounded by VFLs! He and his wife of 26 years moved to Tennessee to be near the mountains which they love spending time exploring. Together, they fish, camp, boat, and hike.
A stickler for detail and organization, Bart brings more than 30 years’ experience in retail customer service and 15 years in management experience to the role.
“I enjoy working with a team that owns providing the best service possible each day,” Bart says.