Raymond B. Ince, Sr. arrived in San Antonio in 1957 as a veteran of World War II and holding a Mechanical Engineering degree from Texas Tech University. He had 10 years experience as a heating and cooling equipment sales engineer and a junior partnership in a Lubbock distributing firm.
Ince accomplished a lot in a fairly short period of time, however he had much more in mind. When a General Electric air conditioning franchise opportunity arose in San Antonio, he sold his home and packed up his wife, Loyce Jean and their four young children, Ray, Jr., Cindy, Nancy and Steven, and drove them to San Antonio. In that car on that late fall day in 1957 were the six people who would eventually be the management team of what was to become Ince Distributing, Inc., one of South Texas’ largest distributors of residential and commercial heating and air conditioning equipment and supplies.
Ince was armed with practical work experience and a knowledge of wholesale distribution, warehouse operation, purchasing, sales and marketing and corporate management. He was motivated and innovative, but also patient and willing to learn the needs of his customers. Ince also came to town with a fierce Texas work ethic, a tenacious desire to succeed at whatever he attempted and a determination to put his innovative ideas to work. His ideas and strategies worked because he worked even harder to make sure they would.
With a business associate, James Campbell, the company began operation at 120 E. Zavala Street in downtown San Antonio, however in a few years it had outgrown its facilities. In 1961 a new site was chosen for a new building about twelve miles from the metropolitan San Antonio area and adjacent to a new freeway complex under construction at 2233 N.W. Loop 410, San Antonio.
Also in 1961 Ince was busy with a monumental and historical engineering project that would once again prove his expertise in sales and marketing. Working with the caretakers of the Alamo, he proposed the installation of an air conditioning and heating system for the historic Alamo in downtown San Antonio. Not only did the system have to provide warm and cool comfort in a large uninsulated stone mission, but it had to be invisible to visitors. Using state-of-the-art General Electric heat pump equipment, Ince went about the task and succeeded in providing an efficient yet camouflaged system that provided comfort to the Alamo’s interior for the very first time. The mission’s units may have been “invisible,” but the Alamo project generated a lot of visibility for Ince in the press and on the street.
The Ince Distributing office, showroom and warehouse complex at 2233 N.W. Loop 410 and Jackson-Keller is now a familiar site as the Ince sign flashes the time and temperature to bustling commuters on a busy Loop 410 in San Antonio. In Austin, the office, showroom and warehouse are located at 9310 Metric Boulevard. It is at these Ince Distributing, Inc. bases of operation that TRANE air conditioning and heating equipment and air conditioning supplies, as well as all major brand appliances and fireplaces are sold and distributed, in addition to numerous other builder appliances. Ince A/C dba Air Conditioning Service Company, a retail service operation, and R & L Leasing Company, the property company, are also located at these facilities. The combined 105,000 square foot facilities distribute products to over sixty South Texas counties.
Over the years, Ince Distributing, Inc. has grown to approximately 125 employees in its San Antonio and Austin facilities. Among those employees are Raymond and Loyce Ince and their children who are officers and directors of the corporation.
Raymond Ince is a pioneer…the son of a blacksmith, Ince used his mechanical expertise to air condition the Alamo. He is a visionary…in the 1970’s, he convinced home builders to redesign their homes to offer air conditioning as a buyer option, and later to include air conditioning as a “value added” amenity that has now become a standard practice. He is an innovator…he trained his dealers to service, as well as install systems in a time when service after installation was not considered profitable. He is a conscientious businessman…when the economy slowed in 1985, Ince turned to the replacement of existing equipment and service to provide profits at a time when other businesses suffered.
Raymond Ince, Sr. has been honored time after time for his sales expertise, his innovation and vision in building a strong and successful company and for his humanitarian endeavors. Ince Distributing, Inc. is a family owned and operated company and is the fulfillment of a lifetime desire to succeed with a mind toward excellence.