Hurtis Oil voted tops by Wausau Region Chamber
Hurtis Oil Companies, Marathon, was honored Friday as the Wausau Region Chamber Small Business of tghe year in the retail/services division.
“For us, it was the equivalent of the Grammy Awards or the Academy Awards” said Jim Hurtis, company president. “It was your peers saying that they’ve seen what you have done.”
Hurtis Oil was nominated anonymously in January and competed against nine other division finalists.
Hurtis said the honor was a validation of how the company has been operated over the years.
“This was so humbling, so overwhelming,” he said. “We just try to do what is right for our customers and employees, who we consider family. Acknowledgement of that was so very emotional.”
Today, the company, employing 30 people, delivers fuel and lubricants--including gasoline, diesel, motor oil and food-grade lubricants--to residences, farms and businesses in central Wisconsin. The company also sells the synthetic fuel product used to run the snow-making equipment at Granite Peak Ski Hill. A second division of the business, Hurtis Heating and Air, provides heating and cooling design, product sales, installation and service to residences, agricultural businesses, and commercial firms.
Hurtis Heating and Air works with Marathon area businesses, such as menzner Lumber and Supply, Marthwood Shaving and Transport, County Materials Corp. and Marathon Cheese Corp. and also Wausau-based companies such as Linetec, Crystal Finishes, Eastbay/Foot Locker, Green Bay Packaging and Major Industries.
Hurtis Oil was founded in 1954 by Gilbert and Darlene Hurtis. The Hurtis family purchased the petroleum delivery business in 1974 and, at that time, expanded into heater service for customers on the fuel oil route. Later, the company started furnace installation and service after natural gas became popular.
Today, the company offers a full line of residential and commercial heating and cooling appliances, including high-tech and state of the art “green” devices.
“We do it all from small houses to three or four million dollars homes,” said Hurtis. “We’ll do small businesses to 10-story buildings. We are very big on energy efficiency.”
Hurtis Oil received its recognition award at a banquet held at Howard Johnson Inn and Convention Center, Wausau, the culmination of a full week of Small Business Week activities sponsored by the Wausau Region Chamber.