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Southwest HVAC News

Joseph S. Groh Foundation Recipient Charlie Yerger.


Charlie’s initial degree was not predictive of what turned out to be his passion. He turned a degree in EMS/Paramedicine into a career of working with HVAC control systems. His HVAC career started as an installation foreman for a controls contractor, which led to working as a technician for a large residential and commercial HVAC contractor in central Texas. In 2006 Charlie joined Johnson Controls Inc. as a Systems Technician on a major projects team, doing service work in specialized building systems areas.

In 2013 Charlie was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy!

Several years later the diagnosis was narrowed to that of Bethlehem Myopathy, an inherited movement disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and joint contractures in the fingers, wrists, elbows and ankles. Doctors came to this diagnosis after several abdominal surgeries following a muscle biopsy. After the original diagnosis, Charlie was only able to work about 8 months over the next 3 years due to hospital stays and doctor appointments.

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Charlie is persistent however, and transitioned to working as a remote product support technician for Johnson Controls two years ago. This enabled him to work from home, providing technical support for the FX and Metasys product lines. The change however meant he was no longer able to work in the field, thereby losing a considerable amount of pay. Charlie’s condition now requires that he use a power wheelchair, and he was seeking a lift for his truck which would enable him to transport his power wheelchair wherever he goes. One day Eric Groh called into Johnson Controls for technical support. Eric is employed in the HVAC controls industry and is also on the board of the Joseph Groh foundation. In talking with Charlie, Eric learned of his situation. That led Charlie to petition the foundation for a wheelchair lift for his truck.

Thanks to your support, the foundation was able to grant Charlie’s wish.

After receiving the lift, Charlie said “I am so so thankful for everything that you and Eric have done for me. Without the Groh Foundation, I would still be struggling with a manual chair and not having enough energy to do anything more than sit. Thanks to you, Eric and the entire Groh Foundation. Let me know how I can help your foundation.”

About The Joseph S. Groh Foundation.
The Joseph S Groh foundation is dedicated to providing financial support to those connected with the construction trades industry (plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing etc.) who are living with life altering injuries.  For more information visit




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