Our team have dedicated their time and resources to be the best in the HVAC industry. Meet our Brownson family of subject matter experts.
Our HVAC Experts
Joe started his HVAC career in the military as a member of the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 70’s and has now been teaching as well for over 30 years! Brownson invited him to join the team and now he loves teaching Controls and seeing his students accomplish more than they thought they could because of his wonderful ability to teach difficult subject matter. When he’s not making sure his students know everything, Joe engages his eye for detail in his second passion: photography. As well as being an HVAC master, Joe is a professional wedding photographer and loves landscape photography—especially night desert photography in Death Valley.
In 1971, as a junior in high school, Bob began working for his best friend’s father’s company that did custom sheet metal and A/C work. It is there that he realized that there was something to the HVAC trade that made him want to learn all about sheet metal fabrication and heating/air conditioning. Since suffering a back injury, he has made the most of his last six years in the classroom; giving back to the industry by training up those who will replace him in the field. His goal is to see the younger generation preparing for a life-long career where they can support their families. Bob’s favorite class to teach is Home Performance; using a whole-house to teach energy efficiency—cleaner, quieter, healthier, more efficient homes! His second-favorite moment is when a student gets it and has an “a-ha!” moment. Even better, his favorite moment is when those same students graduate.
Gus Balbuena has a unique experience of growing up in an HVAC family. Small family owned businesses give one a unique perspective into all aspects of the business from how to sell goods and services to how to deal with customers as well as suppliers and fellow employees, all from the perspective of how this effects your families’ livelihood. Gus brings these experiences into the classroom to give his students an insight into how an HVAC/R business really operates.
Shane’s father was a G.E. Appliance Technician, and just two days shy of his 18th birthday, Shane strapped on the proverbial work belt and followed in dad’s footsteps. In 1994, Shane enrolled in Brownson to start making a real mark in the industry and then right on January 1st, 2010, Brownson brought him right back to start teaching students of his own. His real-world work techniques are consistently praised and he loves teaching everything about heating, heat pumps, DRG Units and even the proper etiquette technicians need to know when working in the field. When not solving HVAC issues or teaching his students, Shane loves to work on his model aircrafts – lots of detail there!
In the late 1990’s, Scott ended up fixing all of the heating and A/C electrical at work. His boss said “You’re a natural! You should get your EPA and A/C certification!” then helped Scott find a good school. You guessed it; Brownson! As with other instructors at Brownson, when the opportunity came up to give back, he jumped on it. Now that Scott has been teaching at Brownson since the middle of 2015 he has learned that his favorite is helping his students build confidence that goes beyond their HVAC career. Students find Scott very friendly, open-minded and young at heart and will often call him back once out in the field, thanking him for his guidance. When he’s not patiently training students on effective troubleshooting or maximizing efficiency, you can find Scott fishing, playing fantasy football or rescuing local animals.
As many of us have done, Andrew was seeking a career that allowed him to use his skills anywhere. So, around the year 2000, he decided to focus on HVAC and become great at it! Thanks to the Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries for referring him, Andrew has now been an instructor for Brownson since late 2015. One of the teaching joys for Andrew is seeing his students come to understand just how everything works together, especially in his favorite subjects: air flow and the refrigeration cycle. It always shows in his willingness to take extra time to help. Out of class, he loves being a pool shark, spending quiet time fishing and is a whiz at video games!
Back around 1998, Ken realized he needed some hands-on technical skills if he was going to be serious about his HVAC career. It may not come as a surprise that Ken is also a proud Brownson graduate! Now that he has been with Brownson since 2013, Principles of Refrigeration Systems is his favorite subject to teach. And when he’s done, nothing beats seeing his students graduate and get a great-paying job.
John has been in the industry since 2012 and was so good at what he was doing, Brownson snapped him up and he’s now been teaching eager students for almost 4 and a half years! Among all the modules, John loves developing the electrical curriculum – he really does love all things electrical! When he’s not being a great role model for kids, John is busy with woodworking, the Chargers (football!), spending time as a movie buff and tinkering with everything around his house.
Randy comes to Brownson from the heavy collision industry with 14 years in the industrial combustion field and 17 years in the automotive field which included AC. While Randy has been with Brownson now for 5 years, he got his teaching start at Cypress College. We are glad to have him with us now! Randy is most complimented on his attention to detail which really shows in his favorite class: the refrigeration cycle. When not teaching, he absolutely loves to bowl, and when not doing that, cheers on the Rams!
Randall has 43 years of experience under his belt, 35 of which were spent running his own business! In 2014 he decided it was time to give back and thanks to a mutual friend, Randall was soon touring the facility with Mr. Brown and knew he needed to be a part of everything they were building.
Commercial refrigeration is the class he loves to teach – and if he were to tell you the truth, he really enjoys teaching metal fabrication and is teasingly persistent to try and get that into the Brownson curriculum.
Randall says he enjoys his job almost as much as he does fishing and woodworking! Part of what makes working at Brownson so great is when he has students take the time to return and tell him just how much of a difference he has made for them.
Executive, Logistics and Administration
Bill Brown officially started working in his parents’ appliance store at the age of 13. Bill ran service calls, delivered and installed the equipment they sold, and also worked the sales floor. When the family relocated to California he worked for a vocational school his father, Don, ran in exchange for attending school learning refrigeration and air conditioning. Bill has served on the board of directors of the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools and on several Program Advisory Committees for other schools.
In 1975, Don and his son started Brownson Appliance (and Air Conditioning) Company. In March of 1984 Brownson Technical opened very modestly in the back of Brownson Appliance Company. Both of the Browns were well known by the other local people in the appliance and air conditioning community as "Brown and son" so the name “Brownson” stuck.
Faith has been a member of Brownson’s team since 2005. Boasting a 32-year career in the business of helping people pursue their dreams with post-secondary education, when the previous school she was at closed, she took the opportunity to contact Bill to become part of the team—and Bill said yes! Faith loves meeting potential students because she loves helping them realize things can and will be better with training, and her favorite moments at the school are the graduations, seeing just what “her” students have accomplished. She loves her career! Not one to follow the crowd, Faith’s history includes playing on the boy’s football team in high school and becoming an avid skydiver—an adventure she funded with her winnings on the game show Card Sharks in 1984!
Since 2012, Paula has been with Brownson and now she is the Registrar, assisting students with various student services offered by the school. When she applied for the position, Bill obviously saw a great fit for the Brownson family and she now absolutely loves being witness to each student’s progress and talents as they graduate. Paula knows the neighborhood around the school and relishes searching for new places for lunch—if asked, she may even give up a few secret spots… On her own time, she is a keen Angels fan and can also be found watching live music or catching the latest Star Wars movie.
Chelsea Hall is that friendly voice and presence greeting everyone who finds their way to Brownson’s doors. Chelsea assists with attendance issues as well as giving students a pep talk when they are dealing with issues that affect their attendance or academics.
Since 2010 Dodie has been helping Brownson students polish resumés and make business connections after a mutual friend suggested she connect with this “really cool guy” named Bill Brown, the school’s director. She is always complimented on the resumés she creates and fondly remembers one time when an entire class found jobs before they had even graduated! When she’s not ushering graduates out the door with their new careers, Dodie enjoys the art and style of comic books and getting as much outdoor time as possible in our National Parks.
Heather Brown (no relation!) began her career working in vocational education in 1997. She was friendly with everyone who she met through school fairs and other industry events and had no way of knowing that she would be joining the Brownson team in 2016! A life-long learner, Heather continues to seek out new knowledge every day. Her favorite ways to unwind are reading, researching, and taking long walks or bike rides with her family. One day she hopes to compete in a mini-triathlon! Heather loves hearing from students and graduates who have been positively impacted by the training they’ve received. She fell in love with this calling to change lives for the better back in 1997 and continues to find joy in helping others transform their lives and reach their dreams.
Patti joined the Brownson family in 2003 after a coworker at a previous job thought she’d be perfect for it – and she is!
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