The Veney family of Veney’s Heating and Air Conditioning in Kilmarnock are a tight-knit group. You can tell by the way Mom, Caroline, and son, Dwayne, talk with one another and tell the story of their family business.
While Dad, Melvin sat to the side, interjecting here or there, he seems to be the strong silent patriarch of the family that not only works together, but enjoys spending time together away from the office. In fact, this weekend a portion of the Veney family was off to see one of Tyler Perry’s plays.
Caroline is Mom to three, Dwayne, Daryl and Melvin Junior. Dwayne and Daryl are part of the family business while Melvin works elsewhere. Dwayne, 39, works in the office doing much of their commercial estimates on heating and air systems. Melvin Senior does much of the residential estimates as well as checking up on his employees as they work around the area.
Started back in 1981 by Melvin and Caroline in their home, Veney’s has been a part of the Kilmarnock landscape for years. The business grows every year mainly by word of mouth. Dwayne said, “People hear that we do a good job. We are on time. We do good work; then they hire us.”
Melvin’s interest in heating and air conditioning began, in all places, the United States Army back in the early 1970s. Not long after graduating and marrying his high school sweetheart, Caroline, he joined the Army, 52 Bravo, and was sent to school for three months to learn how to work on machinery.
Mainly working on generators and machines along those lines, he also learned about heating at the time. When he returned home after his stint in the military, he worked for George Noblett prior to starting his own business.
Melvin opened Veney’s and also continued to do side work such as cutting grass to make ends meet for his growing family. Caroline spoke of them being young, raising their babies, and growing up together as they had married as teenagers and been together ever since, “We started from nothing. It was a lot of work. A lot of work.”
She spoke of Christmas mornings where the children would open presents and then Melvin Sr. would be straight back to work. Heating systems break down when they feel like it and Veney’s was there to help keep other families warm.
In talking of how he became part of the business, Dwayne spoke of always working with Dad, “From the time I was 8, I was learning how to cut duct work and put it together. Other kids would be playing and we would be working.” Dwayne says all this with a grin on his face.
The love in the Veney clan is obvious as they speak of working side by side. Dwayne said growing up was, “You work first, you play later.”
Caroline says, “We taught our boys a strong work ethic and we expect that of our employees.” Veney’s employees 20 people now. Some who came into the business with experience but others who walked in from working fast food jobs.
For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 2/27/19
Melvin Sr, Dwayne, and Caroline Veney in their
newly added office space in Kilmarnock.