Canadian Clean Air Services Ltd. in St. Albert, meet the Owner John Pell!

Posted by Sharon Gregresh on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at 4:18pm.


John & Tina Pell are the owner/operators of Canadian Clean Air Services Ltd (CCAS). You are sure to been impressed with their professionalism and quick efficient service. They have been serving the St. Albert & Edmonton Area for years and recently expanded to Seba Beach. They are wonderful people and community leaders.

Interviewee: John Pell - Owner

Describe your business 

I have a heating and air conditioning business servicing the St. Albert area. I have over 30 years of combined experience servicing and installing heating and cooling equipment in residential homes.

What made you decide to open this business?

As a young person growing up in rural Ontario, I always dreamed of owning and operating my own business. I started my ambitions with AMWAY at the age of 16. Thinking I had life figured out, I set out to be an instant success and overnight millionaire. I worked the AMWAY dream selling products to everyone I knew. After selling an engine cleaning product to a friend, his engine blew up leaving me with my hope of overnight success in ruins. I helped my cousin sell driveway and foundation sealing. This was his own business he ran while in high school. It had a short life and soon I found myself once again unemployed. In Ontario I worked various jobs in the factories and always dreamt of a life of independence and freedom. But, with not graduating high school my options were limited. I moved from my home town of Shelburne, Ontario to Kitchener, Ontario. At this juncture, I started again trying to live my dreams of a high income earning salesman in Prime Cut Food Services. I was selling meat freezer orders. I met a young telemarketer while chasing my ambitions. We started dating, but my ambitious goals would soon take a back seat. I returned to the life I knew as a factory and dock worker, but I still had the dream of being a business owner. As chance, would have it, I would have another opportunity but this time it was moving west to Edmonton, Alberta. I didn’t know a soul in Edmonton except for my girlfriend’s family. I started again pursuing my dreams. My girlfriend became my wife of 24 years (so far). I was then privileged enough to learn a career and trade in the heating and air conditioning field. I have worked my way through college at NAIT as a Sheet Metal Worker and put myself through night school learning electronics, wiring, air conditioning, thermal dynamics and duct design and building automation systems. From here not only a career was born but my dreams of owning my own business returned.

What was it like when you first started?

It was exciting. My first business was a janitorial company called Pell industries. I know I was very ambitious but that’s what I called it. My first contract was Maxwell Taylors a prominent restaurant in the Edmonton area. I had dreams of grandeur where I was going to take over the heating cleaning business of West Edmonton Mall. The Largest mall in the world at the time. But, the two restaurants I had would take up all of my time. After a year of working 364 days all nights I started to get thinking this was much harder than I thought, I learned here that it takes more than just ambition to make a company thrive. I branched out into other cleaning contracts like Companies Coming, ATB, Oxford Towers. This was also my first failure in business. I was heartbroken. But, learned some very valuable lessons which followed me through my life

What would your customers say they love most about your business?

That I give an honest opinion to help them through their issues and that I stand behind my products and workmanship.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?

There is a lot to choose from. I have had some of my customers become close friends and others become long time business partners. I am a Canadian history buff and one of the most interesting people I met was a widow whose husband had helped build and design the Iroquois engine for the cf-105 Avro arrow.

Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?

Yes! I will be offering a plan to help our clients save money with their existing heating and air conditioning systems. This plan will be able to provide a warranty to stave off the costly repairs and ensure peak performance of their equipment.

What is something most people don't know about the business?

It is a family run business that helps support our community through various fundraisers.

Who are some of your business idols and role models? And why?

Rick & Sharon the Owners of Envirotrace.

Rick has given me advice that has made a lot of positive impact on my business. As well he has shown me through his examples/actions that with perseverance, determination and foresight all things can be achieved.

Mark & Tanya the Owners of Paradox.

Mark started his business in his home. He has a logical approach to solving problems. He has a way of breaking very large problems into smaller issues and tackling them. He and his wife amaze me with their dedication, drive and entrepreneur spirit.

Sharon Gregresh with Realty Executives Masters.

Sharon has a unique approach to opening up new ideas. She is driven to get the results that she sets out to accomplish. Her common sense approach to problem solving has been an inspiration; "To remember to keep it simple!”

What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?

The freedom to make choices that can have a positive impact on my employees and clients.

Do you have any advice that you want to share with other entrepreneurs?

Yes, it’s a poem I learnt years ago from a mentor.


Today is here and tomorrow will come and go

But inside you lays tremendous talents don’t you know

With vision, discipline and belief today

Success, joy and happiness will come your way

The future you live tomorrow is the life you build today


I also learned this from a stranger the I met while pumping gas when I was 13 years old. It was my first job at the Gulf Station. I was kidding around with an older gentleman. After filling his car with leaded fuel I checked his oil and topped him up. He said to me "You did a great job!" I replied jokingly 'where is my tip". He looked at me and asked "Son do you want a tip or advice." I pondered that for a minute and replied "advice". He said "Son it doesn’t matter how much money you make it’s how you spend it." These teachings have guided me my entire life, personally and in my business activities.

What do you love about this neighborhood?

I grew up in a small town with small town values. I believe in a place where neighbors know and help each other and look out for each other. 

What are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?

I LOVE the River Valley!!!

What are your favorite things to do in the neighborhood?

Definitely the Farmers Market! I love the Farmers Market! 

Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?

Shopping local helps your neighbors and in turn helps your community.

Canadian Clean Air Services Ltd.
Phone:  780-569-5201 
Address: 28 Mission Avenue, St. Albert, AB, Canada

Interview Conducted by Sharon Gregresh, REALTOR Century 21 Masters
Edited by Samantha Gregresh

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