A Smooth Family Transition

Zeke Acosta founded Acosta Heating & Cooling more than 47 years ago at the young age of 22. Zeke immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12 with his mother to escape a harsh life in his native country of Cuba. As a boy, Zeke worked in a Charlotte factory sweeping floors to help support his family. Like many immigrants, he and his mother were determined to create a better life in their new country. Young Zeke attended Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte to study the heating and cooling trade. Impressively, he received his heating and air conditioning certification before he even graduated high school.

Zeke began his business by providing heating and cooling services to homeowners in Charlotte on a small scale. Still, he had a big vision of growing a larger company, and he took risks to make it happen. In 2001, Zeke purchased acreage off Interstate Highway 77 in central Charlotte. It was a bold move, but Zeke was confident he was preparing for future growth. This location today is the hub for Acosta’s operations. Now, Acosta Heating & Cooling has more than 50 employees, including several women who are pursuing careers in nontraditional roles as HVAC technicians.

Zeke had never pressured his two children to become involved in the business. His daughter, Lauren Acosta Huckleberry, was working as a successful sales executive in another business. Zeke suggested, “Since you’re so good, why don’t you come work for me?”

Lauren dug in quite literally, crawling through crawl spaces and attics all over Charlotte learning the business from the ground up. Lauren is recognized as a leader in this male-dominated industry. Recently, she spoke at a Lennox corporate convention that thousands of HVAC contractors attended. She also serves on the board of Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors of North Carolina.

Similarly, Zeke’s son, Eric, is also in the business and is a top Comfort Consultant today.