Theodore (Theo) Etzel, III
Theo Etzel, who was born and raised in Miami, FL; attended Ransom-Everglades High School where he began sports announcing in football and water polo. He interned at WKAT radio on Miami Beach where he developed his love of radio, the microphone and voice over work. He graduated from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance from the university’s School of Business and ran the school’s radio station.
Upon graduation, he worked for Days Inns of America in real estate acquisition for the state of Florida. He quickly advanced in the company and moved to Atlanta to serve as vice president of development.
While in Atlanta, Etzel also owned two Ben & Jerry’s ice cream franchises and was on the staff of Habitat for Humanity building homes and acquiring and rezoning land in north Fulton County for the organization.
In 1995, he moved to Naples, Fla., and assumed the position of CEO of Conditioned Air Corporation of Naples Inc. At the time it was a $2.7 million operation in the residential market. By the end of 2018 the company had grown to a $52 million organization in the residential and light commercial market with emergency service, contracts, production housing, retro-fit and custom design-build construction. Conditioned Air employs 380 full-time co-workers and has branch offices in Ft. Myers and Sarasota. Theo remains the Chairman of Conditioned Air after handing the position of CEO over to the man he mentored to take his place. In the summer of 2015, he led the successful recapitalization of Conditioned Air with Gemini Investors, a boutique, mid-market private equity firm located in Boston, MA. This allowed the implementation of an enhanced growth strategy while allowing for a liquidity event for some older, silent partners in the company.
In 2010 Conditioned Air received the National Contractor of the Year award from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. In 2011 Conditioned Air was awarded the Uncommon Friends Foundation Business Ethics Award for their commitment to Integrity in their business practices.
Theo was an 18-year member of Vistage, an international association of CEOs dedicated to constant improvement of business practices and personal development. He is past-chairman of the board for Grace Place for Children and Families in Naples, a faith-based charity that is committed to helping underprivileged and at-risk children attain higher learning and life skills through mentoring relationships. He is past Chairman of the Board of Encore Bank, a community bank headquartered in SW Florida. In October of 2011, Theo was inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in Collier County and named a Man of Distinction in 2013, and a Champion in 2017, by the Collier County Champions for Learning. In 2017 he, along with his wife Kim, received the Doyle E. Carlton award from Stetson University for their support and influence on Christian Education.
Theo is the author of the book, Invest Your Heartbeats Wisely, (Greenleaf Book Group Press) released in April of 2016. The book focuses on practical, philosophical and principled leadership concepts for business and life.
He and his wife, Kim, have been married since 1980 and have two children, a son, Chad, and a daughter, Kristen, who are both married and pursuing their own successful careers.