WICHITA — It’s been almost two years since Eric Fahnestock resigned as president of Fahnestock Heating & Air Conditioning, but he’s finally found a new line of work.
He’s purchased an Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning franchise.
His former stepmother, DeeAnne Fahnestock, now runs the HVAC company, which does business as Fahnestock Plumbing, HVAC & Electric.
Since his resignation, Fahnestock has been searching for the right career fit.
“It’s been a long ride, let’s put it that way,” he says. “I’d been looking for this kind of opportunity, but they don’t always jump off the page at you.”
He was in the insurance business for four weeks “just trying it out.”
“It wasn’t going to be my thing.”
Fahnestock looked at other franchises and businesses to partner on.
“Luckily, my pastor brought me this,” he says of Eastside Community Church founding pastor Dennis Turner.
“It’s a blessing,” Fahnestock says. “It’s a testament to how far I’ve come as an individual in my walk with the Lord.”
Fahnestock lost his father, George, in 2010.
“It was tough going through losing my dad.”
He then lost his career the following year.
“It was my life for 13 years,” Fahnestock says. “It was my family’s business for 65 years. It’s kind of in my blood. But circumstances dictate that you have to make tough decisions.”
He never revealed why he felt he had to resign.
Fahnestock says he believes in the Oxi Fresh system.
“It’s going to be great for Wichita and the surrounding communities,” he says. “It basically uses about five percent of the water that a steam cleaner uses.”
He says a friend of his put it best when she said, “It sounds like dry cleaning for carpets.”
Turner’s son-in-law, David Carrillo, is full-time employee, and there’s one other part-time worker on an as-needed basis.
“It’s actually a lot of fun,” Fahnestock says. “I’m having fun cleaning carpets.”
Fahnestock says Turner looks for investments so eventually he won’t have to draw a salary from his church and so he can invest in ministry projects in other countries. Turner suggested Fahnestock do the same after Oxi Fresh is established.
“That’s exactly the type of person I want to be,” Fahnestock says. “My dad laid the foundation for that … so hopefully I can follow in that in giving back.
“God works in mysterious ways,” he says. “It’s just up to us to follow his lead as best we can.”