Bristol Businesswomen Heat up an Industry Traditionally Cool to Female Leadership

Tom Antonelli, Inc. HVAC Bristolsuppliers
Image via Penn Community Bank.
Christie Farinella (left) and Gina Antonelli-King of Tom Antonelli, Inc. HVAC supplier.
Gina Antonelli-King with one of her service dogs in training. She frequently uses her business’ warehouse to work dogs preparing to be emotional support animals. Funding is supplied by Penn Community Bank.

Gina Antonelli-King and Christie Farinella stepped into a role that many sons take, inheriting a trade plied by their father. Their success in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is notable, given its scarcity of women role models. These standout businesswomen were recently profiled by Penn Community Bank.

Tom Antonelli, Inc. began in a basement in Bristol in 1967. Founder Tom rebuilt HVAC systems at a workbench while his wife handled bookkeeping. As their family grew, daughters Gina and Christie — and eventually son-in-law Jeff King — joined in. 

Female HVAC professionals are rare. Of the 466,000 Americans employed in the industry in 2019, only 1.5 percent were women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

But Antonelli-King and Farinella forge forward regardless. They believe their approach to excellent customer service works independent of their gender. 

“Yes, the industry is male dominated now. But offering people personal, knowledgeable service is more important than gender,” Gina commented. “We know our product, we know the industry, we know our customers, and we go out of our way to say, ‘How can we help you?’” 

She continues: “That’s how our mom and dad ran the company, and that’s how we run it today.” 

More information on this company, especially its altruistic work with service-dog training, is on the customer spotlight blog of Penn Community Bank.

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