COVER STORY Larry Carney and Tony Samper American Services Longtime Friends in Business for the Long Haul By Barbara R. Davis and Colleen O’Brien L ongtime friends and business partners, Larry Carney and Tony Samper, break the mold when it comes to the success rate of most business partnerships. Research shows that the failure rate for business partnerships is up to 80 percent so it is truly remarkable that Tony and Larry have been in business together since 2000 when they started American Services, a commercial and residential air conditioning, heating, and electrical services company! Perhaps their success can be attributed to the fact that they were longtime friends before they went into business and that they share the same values in how they treat their customers. Larry and Tony believe in always giving their clients more than they expect to the point that they exclaim, “WOW!” By doing so, they have built long term relationships. In addition, they are consistently searching for new ways to enhance their business and provide momentum for the long haul. Tony stated, “In an effort to continuously innovate and improve, we believe that if we are not green and growing, then we’re dry and dying.” When Larry and Tony started American Services, the company focus was on air conditioning and electrical services, both residential and commercial. The only employees at the time were the two of them. Tony recalled, “When we started out, it was Larry on the ladder saying to me, ‘Tony hand me the screwdriver; Tony hand me this; Tony hand me that!’” Since then, their workforce has grown to over 30 team members. In addition, their services now include specialty construction, storm shutters, and installation of lightning protection systems. Larry & Tony have an amazing partnership and really do “back each other up!” Photo by Gwen Juarez 6 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ MARCH 2016 ] Neither Tony nor Larry had any exposure to entrepreneurs while they were growing up. In addition, their parents always worked for others in completely different industries. In spite of the differences between the Samper and Carney families, Larry and Tony’s parents did instill in their children like-minded values including working hard, being goal oriented, having pride in doing a great job without having a big ego, being honest, having integrity, and always giving back more than what is expected. These values have been the foundation for American Services and as a result, everywhere they go, their stellar reputation precedes them.