Kenny and Rhonda Herring are celebrating a landmark anniversary for their oil delivery and burner service business while also transferring the reins to new ownership.
The business, Ken L. Herring and Son, Inc., is located at 16 Blackwell Street in Hometown and is observing its 50th year in operation this year.
In 1960, the business was founded by Kenny's parents, Ken L. and Shirley Herring and served the Tamaqua area with oil deliveries, working hard for many years as the business grew.
Eventually, Kenny joined the business while still in high school, working alongside his father delivering oil and cleaning oil burners. It became a full-time job after he graduated in 1976, and three years later, the business was incorporated as Ken L. Herring and Son.
In 1978, Rhonda started with the business, helping Shirley in the office. Rhonda joined the family as well when she married Kenny a year later. The couple has a son, Keith, who lives in Colorado.
Over the years, Ken and Shirley began to hand over more of the business to Kenny and Rhonda, giving them a little more free time until retirement. In 1995, the torch was officially passed to Kenny and Rhonda.
The business started with oil delivery and cleaning furnaces, and under Kenny it also took on plumbing and boiler installation, taking things to the next level.
Now, it's Kenny and Rhonda's time to turn over the business to new owners, which is being done for personal reasons. "We want to step back a little bit and have more personal time," said Rhonda.
The Herrings are now handing over ownership to Dave and Stacy Kerstetter of Lake Hauto.
Dave Kerstetter, who is a registered electrician and also runs Dave Kerstetter Electric, has worked alongside Kenny for the last several years and has also attended several training courses. Stacy will be the voice customers hear on the business' telephone. The Kerstetters have two daughters, Lexi and Kayla.
Kenny and Rhonda plan to help out the Kerstetters as they transfer the business. It will continue as K.L. Herring and Son, LLC.
Kenny stressed that while the ownership is changing, customers can still expect the same quality of service and competitive pricing under the Kerstetters.
"I want people to know everything is staying the same," said Kenny.
The business will continue to offer budget payment plans and a prompt pay five percent discount. Customers with automatic deliveries will not be interrupted, and yearly burner cleanings will continue, as will plumbing and heating service and repair.
"Over these 50 years, we've appreciated and been very thankful for the continued faith you have put in our company to provide you with dependable heating oil delivery and service ... but now is the time has come to once again hand over the reins," wrote Kenny and Rhonda in a letter to their customers announcing the ownership change.