Keeping it in the Family: Russell’s Refrigeration

photo special to Hometown Clinton/ originally published Summer 2018

For almost 35 years, Russell’s Refrigeration has been serving the people of Clinton. But for Randy Russell and his son, Reggie, it’s more than just a family business. It’s about leaving a legacy.

Randy was born and raised in Clinton. He went to Hinds Community College before starting Russell’s Refrigeration in 1983. At first, Randy had several different jobs, including chopping firewood, to make ends meet. But now his heating and cooling business is a trusted staple in the community.

At the age of 14, Reggie began helping his father with the business during the summer to save up for a truck.

“It gave us a lot of time to spend together,” says Reggie. In 2006, he became full-time at Russell’s Refrigeration.

“We do a little bit of it all,” Randy says in terms of splitting up the work load between him, his son, and other crew member, Charles.

The location of Russell’s Refrigeration has changed over the years before they built their current office on Cynthia Street. But the Russells’ dedication to providing the best for Clinton and its residents hasn’t changed.

“Clinton’s been good to us,” says Randy. “It’s just home.”

Randy says having a family business “gives everybody better service” because they put their heart into what they do. “Most Clintonians look for family businesses,” he adds.

“We all have a stake in the company,” says Reggie. “We want to give the best service we can.”

But Randy and Reggie aren’t the only Russells at Russell’s Refrigeration. Randy’s wife, Janice, acts as secretary, and Reggie’s 9-year-old daughter, Rivers, also spends a lot of time at the office. “It’s nice getting to see each other,” says Reggie.

Janice says their business is all about customer relationships. “It makes me feel good when I get a letter or email from someone telling me that they appreciate the job we’ve done and what a great son I have.”

“Family businesses are a dying breed,” Randy adds. “We appreciate the people that have supported us over the 35 years in business.”

Randy says it’s rewarding to go to a client’s house and realize that he put in their first AC unit when he first started the business. There are multiple families in Clinton that Russell’s Refrigeration has served for more than one generation. Randy says he can’t help but laugh when someone shows him their original bill from the ‘80s.

“We try to offer the best, honest service for the best price,” says Randy. “And we try to do it quick.”

Randy has passed down that same work ethic to his son. “My dad taught me to always be a man of your word,” says Reggie. “Don’t promise something you can’t do and always treat a house like it’s yours. He’s instilled in me a lot of similar values.”

Janice says her husband and son have had a “good relationship over the years.” The two used to hunt and fish together, but they mostly spend time on the Coast or grilling out. Otherwise, the father-son duo is at work at 7:30 a.m. five days of the week.

“I like spending time with him,” says Reggie. “I really like the work, and he can lead me in the right direction.”

“My goal is that he takes over,” adds Randy. “I enjoy what I’m doing, and I enjoy working with him.”

-Abigail Walker

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A freelance writer from the Deep South with a love of reading, writing, dramatic storytelling, indie music, and her corgi pup.

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