Management Team

5 Star Management Team

Joe Matthews III, President & CEO

Prior to establishing 5-Star, Joe began working in 1976 as an apprentice in the refrigeration field performing new store and remodel projects. Within (8) eight-years, he became VP/Owner of Sun Belt Refrigeration. After (14) fourteen-years, he and his partner sold Sun Belt Refrigeration to Ingersoll Rand Hussmann where Joe agreed to stay on as Florida Territory General Manager and later as Operations Sales Manager. Joe founded 5-Star to partner with a few, select customers to assist them with Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Water Filtration Service and Equipment needs. Along with his top-notch personnel team, he continuously provides commercial customers with organizational and operational services beyond their expectations. Corporate clients appreciate the excellent service and customized billing detail he and his team are known to provide.

Gwen Lahera, Vice President

Gwen Lahera started her career in 1984 working for a grocery supply wholesaler. In 1994, Gwen began working in the Commercial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry as Office Manager for Sun Belt Equipment Sales/NRS. In April of 2002, Ingersoll Rand purchased Sun Belt/NRS and merged with Hussmann Tampa where she held the position of Senior Installation and Payroll Coordinator. Today, she enjoys the position of Vice President for 5-Star Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. She is responsible for the support, coordination and implementation of all administrative functions; including customer service, dispatch, accounting and human resources. The blend of Gwen’s background and expertise combined with that of her fellow 5-Star associates makes for a team of highly qualified and top notch individuals. Together they strive to achieve and maintain the highest levels of integrity and respect in this industry; thus providing services to our valued customers that are second to none.

Ed Kelly, General Manager of Construction

Ed Kelly is General Manager of Construction for 5-Star Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc., bringing to us over (29) twenty-nine-years of experience and service in the grocery and supermarket industry. He is responsible for bidding, layout and management of both new and remodel refrigeration and equipment installation projects. From 1984 through 2002, Ed served as Construction Manager for Sun Belt Equipment Sales/NRS, overseeing all refrigeration installation projects throughout the Florida, Georgia and Alabama regions. In 2002, Sun Belt/NRS was purchased by Ingersoll Rand and merged in with Hussmann Tampa where he served as Construction Manager through 2004. Ed’s vast experience includes working on projects for multiple supermarket chains and many independently owned supermarkets and convenience stores. He is an extremely motivated and knowledgeable team player with 5-Star and is one of the highest qualified individuals in his field of expertise.

Mike Aussendorf, Special Projects and Energy Management Systems Manager

Mike Aussendorf is Special Projects & Energy Management Systems Manager for 5-Star Refrigeration with over (27) twenty-seven-years of technical expertise in the industry. In this capacity, he is responsible for all EMS operations throughout Florida, Engineers quotes and supervises installation projects. Mike has also served as Project Manager, Account Manager and Service Manager with Ingersoll Rand/Hussmann Florida. He engineered, planned projects and supervised maintenance for several supermarket chains. Before being purchased by Ingersoll Rand, he was an area supervisor and start up technician for Sun Belt Equipment Sales, involved in the installation and start up of some of the most notable supermarkets. Mike’s credo is: “The ideal start up is a combination of good engineering, equipment, installation and start up, which will result in no warranty calls.”

Tim Hoover, Service Manager

Tim started his career in the refrigeration industry with T&M refrigeration back in 1979. Tim progressed up from service technician to lead service and install technician where he thrived for 16 years. Tim thenmoved on to work for several companies as lead tech and supervisor, including owning his own business for 7 years in Virginia. Tim joined 5-Star in 2012 as lead tech and quickly moved up to supervisor. Tim has been in the commercial refrigeration and air conditioning industry for 37 years. He has worked on commercial refrigeration and air conditioning, installation service and maintenance, and controls and management of crews. Tim believes in a good work ethic and team work. His top priority is building customer relations and helping the company grow.

Gary Jacobs, Procurement Manager

Gary Jacobs has over 40 years in the wholesale, retail, and in the manufacturing industries. College at Boston State – Major in Psychology, Providence College, and University of Me. Business , Marketing., and Retail management Started career with Grossman Lumber, Retail manager, Human Resources, in SMS division: Store Merchandising Services, then moved into Manager of commodity buying position for the 350 multi unit company.  My commitment was to buy at the right price in order to sell competitively. Relocated to NY as District Manager/Retail. Honesty, and integrity became the Hallmark to True customer service.  With Grossmans 14 years. Continued Career in Purchasing, Marketing, and Merchandising with several  Building Material Distributors and Steel Manufacturing Companies, for more than 20 years. Established methods of centralized/ geo. purchasing and programs to reduce costs. Managed Large Box retailers: Home Depot, Lowes, WalMart, PetSmart and K-Mart as store manager. Believe in consistent, positive customer service and team synergy. In joining 5 Star, my commitment is to take the Purchasing to the next level. Working diligently to control our inventory, reducing waste and strengthening our vendor relationships.  Supporting the entire team, and continuing to dedicate myself towards the growth, profitability and success of 5 Star.