PHCC and Rheem Salute HVAC Contractor of the Year and Apprentice of the Year

October 2, 2020
By Staff Writer, PHCC-National Association

Recognizing excellence in today’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning profession – and in those building a future career in the industry – PHCC presented its HVAC Contractor of the Year award to Howard Arata of Nevada’s HTA Plumbing and Mechanical. HVAC Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Nolan Pridgen, a second-year apprentice in the online HVAC apprentice program through PHCC of North Carolina. Both honors, sponsored by Rheem, were presented this week during the PHCCCONNECT2020 Awards Ceremony, a virtual event this year.

HVAC Contractor of the Year

Representing Rheem Manufacturing, Randy Roberts, vice president of sales and marketing, noted Arata’s achievements, both as the owner of HTA Plumbing and Mechanical and as an active champion of the industry through involvement in PHCC of Nevada. “Howard has served in every volunteer leadership position in the chapter over many years and currently serves as the president,” Roberts said.

Under Arata’s leadership, PHCC of Nevada has been innovative and resourceful by providing education, support and assistance to the association and to the state’s construction industry, especially during the “trying times” of the pandemic, Roberts said. He added that Arata has served as a mentor to many contractors and associate members, “helping them navigate through this time.”

Arata’s company, HTA, also actively participates within the PHCC chapter, providing instructors for the apprentice program, facilities for chapter events, and supplies for competitions. “They also installed a large evaporative cooler in the chapter’s warehouse area to make the summer months more enjoyable for events and activities,” Roberts said.

Arata has been a vital part of the Las Vegas plumbing and mechanical industry since 1986, working for local contractors before starting HTA in 1999. His company now employs about 150 people in two locations.

HVAC Apprentice of the Year

Recognizing the outstanding skill and achievement of those enrolled in an HVAC training program, the PHCC HVAC Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Pridgen, who was sponsored by GSM Services in Gastonia, North Carolina.

During the ceremony, Roberts described Pridgen as “always on time, always on the move.” According to his supervisor, “Nolan is the most enthusiastic and competent apprentice ever assigned to his team.”

Pridgen entered the apprentice program immediately after high school, then completed the first year in seven months, and was named the program’s Apprentice of the Year. “Nolan has a great attitude toward work,” Roberts said. “We can expect a bright future from this fine, young industry professional.”

PHCCCONNECT2020 Still Available!
If you were unable to participate in PHCCCONNECT2020, it’s not too late to access more information about well-deserving award winners like this in your industry, as well as the more than 25 timely, relevant education sessions and 39 informative exhibits! Just visit to register. And, if you did register to experience the live two-day event, remember that you can still access the on-demand content for 60 days on the event website! Questions? Email for assistance.


About Rheem

Founded in 1925, Rheem innovates all-new ways to deliver just the right temperature while saving energy, water and supporting a more sustainable future. Today, Rheem is America’s #1 water heating brand, and its products are available in more than 50 countries. Paloma Co., Ltd.of Nagoya, Japan, acquired the iconic Rheem brand in 1988, and today the company’s portfolio of premium brands includes Rheem®, Raypak®, Ruud®, Eemax®, Richmond®, Splendid®, Intergas®, IBC®, Solahart® and EverHot™ as well as commercial refrigeration brands Russell®, Witt®, ColdZone® and Kramer®, which are part of the Heat Transfer Products Group (HTPG®) division. For more information, visit

About PHCC

PHCC—National Association, formed in 1883, provides legislative advocacy, education and training to more than 3,000 plumbing and HVACR businesses and 65,000 technicians. Members of PHCC have access to a wide variety of services designed to increase their professionalism, grow their business and improve profitability. For more information about PHCC, visit

Staff Writer
, PHCC-National Association
The PHCC-National Association, formed in 1883, provides legislative advocacy, education and training to approximately 3,300 plumbing and HVACR businesses and 65,000 technicians.

Share this article: