Meet our founders

John Barner


Meet John Barner, co-founder of First Rate Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Inc. After high school John attended college at the University of New Mexico. He also worked in a local super-precision machine shop.  These experiences taught him “attention to detail matters and to think like a perfectionist”.  Working and going to school for about a year and half John felt the four walls closing in on him and wanted something new.  He took a break from school and left the machine shop taking his newly learned knowledge with him.  He got a job working full time for a plumbing and heating company here in Albuquerque.  This is where earned his “PhD” in digging by hand and worked his way up the ladder the hard way.  He earned his Journeyman Plumber’s License shortly thereafter.  His main interest in the plumbing and heating field was in hydronics.  In his words "it’s  like creating art when you install a boiler system”.  From there he knew this was going to be his career and has since become an expert in the plumbing and heating field. His philosophy is -take pride in your work and you’ll always have a job.  He has over 30 years’ experience working in the industry. He has his MM98 Contractor’s License, Journeyman Plumber, Journeyman Gas and Boiler Operators License. He is well known in the community for his knowledge and professionalism. 

Andrea Navarrete


Meet Andrea Navarrete, co-founder of First Rate Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Inc.  Andrea started her career in this industry when she was 18 just out of high school and attending college.  Her first job was an extended warranty processor for a local restaurant equipment repair company.  At age 19 she realized she loved the industry and searched for a job that offered benefits and a career.  Back then a newspaper ad was the search engine.  She was fortunate enough to join a well known company in the community where she was able to become a Manager within just 1 yr of her employment there.  She also served as their Vice President.  After 14 years of being an employee she felt the strong desire to become a local contractor and contribute to the community as well as compliment many other great companies in the industry.  Andrea holds her MM2, MM3 and MM4 contracting licenses.

She prides herself in treating employees and customers well. "Our customers are not "just a customer", our employees are not "just an employee".  WE ARE A FAMILY and TOGETHER we will set high standards for our industry and community." 

Andrea Navarrete


John and Andrea have worked side by side for many years in the industry.  One day in a simple conversation they both expressed the desire to open their own business to allow them the opportunity to incorporate their own ideas and operations.  Oddly enough they each had each other in mind as a perfect business partner.  John loving the field side of the business and Andrea loving the business side, it was clear their talents would compliment each other well.  They have found that the whole process has been very fun from creating a logo, designing a unique mascot and attracting TOP TALENT to being in front of our community providing quality work and leaving a lasting impression on the service provided.  They will continuously strive to keep top talent, provide great service and always be consistent hence their slogan "Quality work, exuberant service."

Our Office Manager


Paula Ellsworth

 First Rate Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Inc. is proud to have Paula Ellsworth as our Office Manager!  She is responsible for exuberant service delivery to our customers, service dispatch coordinating, job coordinating, and many other office and training duties. Paula was born and raised in the Land of Enchantment. Paula has been in the HVAC industry for the past 12 years, she started her career with another local and reputable company in the industry as a receptionist and worked her way up the ladder to become an Installation Coordinator. Paula fell in love with the HVAC and Plumbing industry and attended all the training classes she could get her hands on to become who she is today. Paula loves the business side of the industry and taking care of our customer is what inspires her to go above and beyond every day for our family here at First Rate Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Inc. 



Familiar Faces you Can count on!


Sean Montaño

Meet Sean Montano, Service Supervisor for First Rate Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Inc.  Sean has 22 years of experience in the HVAC Service Industry.  He also has his HVAC/R Associates Degree, Journeyman Refrigeration License, NATE Certification (a nationally recognized certification), and his EPA Universal Certification.  When Sean was just a little boy, he and his family visited Phoenix, AZ often.  As a little boy Sean asked his mother "why is it so hot outside, yet so cold inside?"  His Mother informed him that it was because there were "refrigerators on the roof"  This is what sparked Sean's interest in learning about the industry.  He has never looked back since then.  As the leader of our HVAC Service department, Sean ensures your problem is fixed, you receive a fair price and above all, you are 100% satisfied!

"Over my many years in the HVAC Service Industry,  I have seen and repaired just about every make and model out there."

Sean Montaño


Brad Bray

Meet Brad Bray, Plumbing Technician for First Rate Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Inc. Brad has 10 years in the plumbing /HVAC industry from residential to industrial repairs and has provided services in multiple states.

Brad has a Journeyman Plumber License and Universal EPA Certificate. He is capable of providing service and repairs of all your plumbing, heating and cooling needs.  As a leader of the Plumbing Department, he is here to ensure that your problem gets fixed, you receive a fair price and above all, you are 100% satisfied! 

When asked why he joined the industry, Brad's response was "I needed money and I can't dance for Sh**" haha!  BUT the real reason was   

"My step dad learned HVAC and plumbing in the navy and I followed in his foot steps" 

Brad Bray 

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