“Send that John guy again”

When John Pegues first joined Northern Weathermakers as a service technician, he learned the true measurement – and ultimate compliment — of his job performance was when a customer called for service and said, “Send that [John] guy again.”

It’s been almost 20 years, and John is still servicing a lot of the customers he took care of in the early days. This includes retailers, nonprofits, churches, park districts, government buildings and corporations, primarily throughout northern and western Cook County and Lake County. Some customers are so comfortable with John that if he is unavailable, they’ll wait a few days until he personally can service their HVAC system. “The appreciation and loyalty are a two-way street,” explains John. “My customers know I’m going to be straight with them and do what’s right. If I have to deliver bad news about equipment that needs to be replaced, they accept it. It’s why they continue to want to work with Northern Weathermakers.”

Tackling a Tough Job

On occasion, that work is unusually challenging. A few years ago, for instance, John and Rob Weaver, another senior service technician, were put in charge of handling a “freak failure” – a barrel gasket had to be replaced on a very large chiller. It was an in-depth, expensive repair – yet far less than the cost of replacing the equipment — and took the duo almost three weeks in inclement weather to complete. “We conquered it,” says John. “It was very satisfying.

The Trip of a Lifetime

In February John and his wife Kristine spent 10 days feasting while enjoying a cruise in French Polynesia. It was a bucket-list kind of trip they heard about on the radio. It was spectacular in every way, from the ship itself to the beauty of all the islands, to watching the sun set over the turquoise water. And while their sons, ages 7 and 11, were not with them, they were able to enjoy the experience vicariously. “My wife only took 1,100 pictures,” John says wryly.

Food, Glorious Food

How does John unwind during a typical work week?

“I like to eat,” he says with a laugh. So every week John and Kristine seek out a restaurant they’ve read or heard about or enjoyed previously. It might be a new eatery in downtown Chicago, a bistro near their Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, home or an award-winning venue in Milwaukee. He says he’s a picky eater but given the breadth of his favorites – from a dry-aged prime steak to seafood to good old-fashioned barbecue — it sounds like it’s more a matter of having discerning tastes. Case in point: ask John where the best place is for barbecue and he’ll tell you it’s in his own backyard.

“I know everyone claims their barbecue is the best, but mine truly is. Especially my brisket.” For the record, states John, sauce has nothing to do with what makes it so good.

A few of John’s favorite restaurants include The Shanty and Captain Porky’s in Wadsworth, Bacchus in Milwaukee, and Wine Knot in Kenosha.