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Dear Willis Carrier...

Every once in a while something so great comes across your desk that you just have to share it. This is one of those things.

For 40 years, eighth graders in California have put together a “dinner party” to honor the eight people who most inspire them. The students write personal letters outlining their connections to the honorees and put them in the mail. This spring, we received Willis Carrier’s invitation.

Sharing the genuine appreciation from young Hailey, and our response to her, as it was a welcome reminder that the work we do really makes a difference. I hope you enjoy.

Dave Gitlin
President & CEO

Dear Willis Carrier,

Hi, there! I send you this letter to invite you to a “Dinner Party”. A “Dinner Party” is where I, an 8th grader can invite the people who have inspired me. The “Dinner Party” is going to happen at 6 o’clock at You, Willis Carrier, have changed me in so many ways.

One of the reasons on how / why you have impacted me is because you have created air conditioning. I want to thank you so much for creating this invention because otherwise, I would be sweating so much I would create a pool in the summertime. I’m not only thanking you, but I’m also congratulating you, for having smarts to create something that will keep upgrading year by year. So, thank you.

Another reason on how / why you have been brought into my life is because you have shown me that I could create anything that I want. I now believe that I could have creativity and create something that will change the world in the future. So, thank you for that as well.

So, just to go over everything, I’m inviting you to our “Dinner Party” including seven more people to meet me. I would really appreciate for you to come and meet me, and I want to thank you for all that you’ve done for me.



Dear Hailey –

It’s not every day that our founder, Dr. Willis Carrier, is invited to a dinner party. In fact, it’s probably been several decades since his last invitation, which makes yours all the more special.

Willis Carrier was an inspiring man. While I was not fortunate enough to know him myself, I am proud to lead the company that bears his name. And I think I speak for all 55,000 of our employees when I say we are thrilled that you selected him as one of your top eight most inspiring people.

As you recognize, he quite literally changed the world. The invention of modern air conditioning helped create the “summer blockbuster,” because movie theaters were among the first to adopt AC and people flocked to them to escape the hot summer weather. Air conditioning helps ensure chocolate is as delicious as its creators imagined, by creating consistent conditions and preventing chocolate from turning gray from too much heat. Air conditioning also helps patients in hospitals who are healing – it was used to establish the first incubator room for infants more than 100 years ago. Pretty impactful, and only just the beginning as you’ll see in the enclosed Weathermakers to the World book.

The most important thing, though, that I want you to take away from Dr. Carrier’s accomplishments is the fact that he was just 25 years old when he changed the world. His commitment to solving problems and his natural curiosity motivated him to persevere whenever he encountered a challenge. As a child, math – which is a critical skill for engineers like Dr. Carrier – didn’t come easily. In fact, he struggled to grasp the concept of fractions. But his mother believed in him and taught him to treat the numbers as an interesting game or puzzle. Which he did time and time again, proving that, just as you said, you can create anything you want.

While I must RSVP with my regrets on behalf of Dr. Carrier, I want to thank you for recognizing him and his contributions. I’d also like to encourage you to create whatever you want. Push the boundaries. And embrace challenges. And when it comes time to look for a job, don’t forget Carrier. We have a special appreciation for those who challenge the status quo.