2023 Sterling Business of the Year
Big Fogg Company Mission Statement:
Big Fogg is a name that is recognized by all who have seen a college or NFL football game over the past two decades. The company pioneered the sideline cooling/heating industry and has worked over two thousand NFL and NCAA games, including 13 Super Bowls and 20 Pro Bowls. The founder, president and CEO of Big Fogg is Christopher Miehl. Big Fogg is acknowledged as a premier provider of ventilation and climate control systems at both indoor and outdoor locations. In addition to serving professional sports, Big Fogg specializes in delivering advanced misting systems to enhance the comfort and ambiance for our hometown residents, wineries, and various businesses. To provide for the various needs of their clients, Big Fogg designs, engineers, assembles and installs a wide range of products, including Misting Fans, Misting Tents, Misting Trailers, Inflatable Misters, High Pressure Restaurant & Resort Misting Systems and Heating and Cooling Benches. The
corporate office is located in beloved Temecula Valley and there are other branch offices across the U.S.A.
What products/services does your company provide?:
Designing, manufacturing, sales, installation, service, and shipping of outdoor climate control products such as misting systems- including fans, tents, and trailers, along with heating and cooling benches and portable heaters for commercial, residential, sporting and industrial applications.
1. Describe the contributions that your business has made to your respective industry in the year 2023. (For example: industry, organizations, professional societies, alumni organizations, task force committees, licensing, trade publications, etc.):
Big Fogg can be classified as 10-20% of the climate control and outdoor cooling industry. Big Fogg is an active leader due, in part, to its high pressure evaporative cooling “fog” machines that are designed to lower temperatures up to 30 degrees and comfort patrons without getting them wet. Big Fogg had a record year in 2023 working over 200 NFL and NCAA football games. In addition, Big Fogg set a company record providing Heating and/or Cooling Sideline systems at 18 NCAA Bowl games across the nation including Honolulu, Texas, Florida, California and Fenway Park in Boston. As a 2023 grande finale, Big Fogg was commissioned to provide its misting fans on the NCAA National Championship Bowl Game showcasing their top-tier technology on one of college football’s grandest stages. Please see press release.
During this time, Big Fogg also provided heating benches and cooling fans to multiple NFL teams such as the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills. Big Fogg also cooled and heated athletes and patrons at numerous sporting events across the country and around the world including the US open in New York, PGA Golf Tournament, Lacrosse, Soccer, Major League, Minor League, and NCAA Baseball, and Numerous Track & Field Events.
Big Fogg, renowned as a pioneering force in college and professional sports, consistently drives innovation in misting technology; in 2023, it introduced the first-ever cooling bench for use on professional sports fields, further cementing its position as a market leader and exemplifying their commitment to evolving climate solutions. This concept, research, and manufacturing of the product are part of an on-going effort to meet the needs of a variety of clientele. Big Fogg is currently working on several new and aesthetically-pleasing climate control designs to be released in 2024 with the goal of enhancing and evolving the industry.
When Big Fogg began, outdoor climate control was generally seen as a luxury expense. In recent years, due to the company’s persistent education efforts, testimonials, and referrals among sporting and entertainment event coordinators, misting and heating has become widely accepted as a “necessary element” in enhancing performance, reducing the risk of weather-related illness such as heat stroke, and increasing event attendance.
The inclusion of Big Fogg’s misting fans in a 2023 Sports Illustrated article illustrates their essentiality in the industry, capturing the attention of a wide and passionate sports audience.
In 2023 with the health and safety of their staff, students, and residents in mind, Big Fogg has been working with school districts to design large scale misting systems installations throughout common areas and playgrounds on school campuses. Another “industry contribution” was achieved this summer when Big Fogg assisted a Netflix produced television series. A state of the art misting trailer with high pressure evaporative cooling fans was rented to provide comfort to the talent and production staff on-site during shoots.
How do your business activities enhance the economic viability of the community? (For example: sales tax revenue, employment, quality of life, volunteerism):
Big Fogg encourages its employees to patronize local Chamber members and Rotarian-owned businesses with whom president, Chris Miehl, has built strong relationships for the past two decades. The company utilizes local professionals for its promotional items, bookkeeping, HR, temporary staffing, and payroll needs- to name a few. The company’s growth and success is partially attributable to the nationwide exposure it has received with televised media coverage at football games. This has provided the Big Fogg brand with a large nationwide presence and recognition – more than any other company of comparable size.
Miehl deliberately chose to offer products and services whose need would continue to grow in the marketplace. There’s a global trend of temperatures becoming more extreme each year. Currently, Big Fogg pays sales tax to the City of Temecula for its approximately $2.8 million in annual revenue. Market projections show that number could grow within the next five to seven years, mostly due to climate changes. Valley-based business clients benefit from Miehl’s decision to maintain his base of operations in Temecula because of the elimination of shipping and transportation costs, making purchase and installation even more affordable. When operating from Orange County prior to 2003, he was bound by cost to provide far fewer equipment donations to charitable fundraising events. He is blessed to be able to offer local non-profit organizations much more equipment now.
Companies conducting business in the dry Temecula heat- including outdoor athletic teams, restaurants, resorts and community event planners, realize that not only does Big Fogg misting provide health and safety benefits by lowering extreme heat conditions to prevent heat exhaustion, dehydration and fatigue, but it also adds a comfort value. By enhancing the comfort and safety of these venues, Big Fogg indirectly contributed to increasing their attractiveness, thereby boosting their business and, in turn, the local economy. This increase in business activity resulted in higher sales tax revenues, further benefiting the community financially. Temecula city council has personally thanked Big Fogg appreciating its presence and valuing its business in the community. Other testimonials attests to Big Fogg’s economic viability in Temecula, include Bill Wilson of the Wilson Creek Winery, Wein Family Cellar, Robert from Robert Renzoni’s wineries, Mad
Madeline and many more. When interviewed, Bill Wilson said “Big Fogg Misting Systems keep our customers cool and that allows us to utilize our beautiful grounds and gazebos as unique and ideal settings for our customers to enjoy. Wilson Creek Winery wants to thank Big Fogg for assisting us in growing our business.” Wein Family Cellar wrote to Miehl, “Wiens Family Cellars wants to thank Big Fogg Misting Systems and their outstanding administration and installation staff for assisting us in growing our business.” Many other testimonials can be watched on youtube where Temecula local business owners show great appreciation for the services and professionalism that Big Fogg provides. You can view testimonials by Robert Renzoni at https://youtu.be/qX9uGhBSesQ?si=jJB4vabHWnjISnPl and Bizham Fazeli, managing member of Fazeli Cellars, at https://youtu.be/wc16aVhkxi0?feature=shared.
Big Fogg’s approach to business was not solely profit-driven. The company placed a significant emphasis on enhancing the quality of life within the community. By providing advanced climate control solutions for schools and public events, they ensured a safer and more comfortable environment for residents, particularly in coping with the challenges posed by global warming and extreme weather conditions.
3. Describe how your business promotes staff development. (For example: education, seminars, training programs, leadership training, mentoring, recognition, cross-training, innovation opportunities, etc.): Big Fogg fosters an engaging staff environment led by Miehl to enhance camaraderie and staff bonding. One of the standout features of this approach is the provided weekly lunches. These lunches serve as a platform for open communication, sharing ideas, and building a sense of unity among staff members. The benefits of these lunches are complemented by organized night outs, which offer a relaxed, informal setting for team members to unwind and connect outside of the office. Employees at the company frequently enjoy outings together, where they share laughs, have fun, and get to know each other better, strengthening their workplace relationships. Miehl is deeply committed to expressing gratitude to his employees, celebrating them with
company outings to Anaheim Ducks hockey matches and inviting family members to enjoy box seats at San Diego Padres baseball games.
Big Fogg truly cares about its team members. In order to assist the new employee transitions into the Big Fogg family, the company works with several local business consultants with experience in sales training, staff management, new business development, and executive level coaching. President Chris Miehl’s master’s degree in Corporate Finance and vast experience in sales, mergers and acquisitions, with Eli Lilly, Geneva Capital, and Amplicon Financial, helps the team enjoy record growth annually. Office processes are continually streamlined and updated, through specialized software systems training, affording the company greater time freedom for product development and marketing for the years ahead. Big Fogg recognized and rewarded outstanding employee contributions, creating a motivational and appreciative work environment.
In 2023, Big Fogg placed considerable emphasis on staff development, recognizing that the growth and success of the company are inextricably linked to the development of its employees. The company provided various educational and training opportunities, enabling employees to enhance their skills and stay abreast of industry trends and technological advancements. This focus on continuous learning fostered a culture of innovation and adaptability within the organization.
Big Fogg takes pride in being able to provide employment for workers across the country from its hub in Temecula. Most workers have remained with the company since its inception. This longevity is due, in part, to the fun nature of the work that they do. More importantly Miehl’s, commitment to a leadership-style that provides space for ingenuity and a sense of greater purpose through community service promotes employee loyalty. He continually educates himself through online courses and seminars to gain knowledge of the most effective leadership and organizational management strategies and fosters a healthy learning environment for research and development for his team of engineers. He truly has a passion for his work and the employees feed on that enthusiasm.
WORK SAFETY/ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS
4. Describe how your business has demonstrated commitment to workplace or product safety, equitable employer-employee relationships, and a clean and healthful environment?: (For example safety rounding, training, recycling program, alternative energy use, green products, healthy employee environment, air quality)
The health and well-being of employees are paramount at Big Fogg. Big Fogg provides traditional and alternative health care reimbursements for any work-related issues that may arise. For example, acupuncture and massage are provided on an on-going as-needed basis to technicians because of the intense physical requirements of the job. Big Fogg continues to update its employee manuals and brief staff on California workplace compliance issues. Through this, more open communication is created. With a greater understanding of the roles and responsibilities among leadership and team members, the company is set for substantially greater success in the coming years. Big Fogg offers a fun, casual work environment designed to keep the staff alert and productive with lively music and eclectic décor that features banners, posters, concert tickets, letters of thanks, and event memorabilia.
Big Fogg is primarily a (summer/football) seasonal business. The company employs 10-15 part-time independent contractors nationwide who keep coming back year after year even though its rental business is seasonal. This gives clients continuity and a sense of security that “temporary staff” cannot offer. This also gives workers a sense of ownership and encourages them to refer friends, family, and business colleagues. Fortunately, the rewards of the climate control industry include opportunities to see musical legends and sports heroes
performing up close and personal, and travel for senior engineers.
Big Fogg demonstrates a steadfast commitment to workplace safety and environmental sustainability. The company warehouse is an impressive showcase, well-organized and safe for employees and drop-in visitors. The company doubled the area for assembly and delivery operations in recent years, reducing potential safety hazards and increased produced capacity. The company also rents several local storage facilities in order to provide space necessary for its largest projects.
Big Fogg upholds the highest standards of quality for its parts from top of the line GFI outlets and electrical lines to the most durable hosing available on the market. The company maintains that all equipment must be safe not only for shipping and handling, but also for the customers. Big Fogg demonstrates a strong commitment to environmental responsibility by actively engaging in recycling practices, ensuring that materials are reused and repurposed efficiently. The company also prioritizes the use of clean and alternative energy sources in the creation of their products, minimizing their carbon footprint.
5. In what way are you a positive role model in your business? (For example: Demonstrates strong business ethics & practices, is proactive in legislative concerns, policies and a business-friendly environment, and volunteerism):
In 2023, Big Fogg, under the leadership of Miehl, served as a positive role model in the business world. Miehl’s approach to business transactions, viewing each as the beginning of a lifelong relationship, highlighted the company’s commitment to strong business ethics and long-term client loyalty. This philosophy is not only admirable but also instrumental in fostering a strong, trustworthy brand reputation. This mindset is also one of the main attributes to admire in a small business with its sight set on sustainable business growth. Former Director of Football Operations for the NFL is grateful to Big Fogg for just this reason, citing that he can always count on Chris and the Big Fogg staff to meet his expectations year after year. Big Fogg sets goals and achieves them- no matter the odds: The company started 25 years ago with an idea that “had to work” and a high-profile, non-paying first client (USC). It has since grown into a flourishing company with clients across the globe. Known as an industry innovator, the company can build anything a commercial or residential client can imagine. The business is uniquely positioned to be able to accept a request and then plot out the design and specifications.
Big Fogg is reliable and focuses on customer satisfaction: When Big Fogg receives last minute requests from clients for equipment for games or even practices, they immediately go into action. To ensure the client is satisfied, the equipment will be personally driven out to the clients as shipping companies often can not guarantee its on-time delivery.
Big Fogg is a small business with a self-sustaining global presence: Across the country, the company hires and keeps workers in their home states, even though its rental business is seasonal. This gives clients continuity and a sense of security that “temporary staff” cannot offer. This also gives workers a sense of ownership and encourages them to refer friends, family, and business colleagues. Using state-of-the-art online commerce software, marketing, and advertising techniques, Big Fogg enjoys an enormous reach on the internet, resulting in orders from coal mines in South Africa, US military bases in Iraq and Cuba, and the construction industry in Dubai. Its national and international exposure during televised sporting events gives Big Fogg a presence that it could not possibly afford to accommodate in its marketing and advertising budget; essentially the company is paid for its own priceless branding. Any small business attempting to thrive at the “next level” can look to this company as an incredible example of ingenuity and perseverance.
Big Fogg is committed to volunteerism: Volunteerism was a key aspect of Big Fogg’s business practices. The company’s consistent participation in community events, such as the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, and its support for local schools and charitable organizations, exemplified its dedication to giving back to the community.
CIVIC DUTIES AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
6. Please list any and all Temecula organizations/events you have contributed/volunteered with during 2023. (Please include Organization, Hours per month, any position held with the organization, monetary donations, In-Kind donations and contact information)
Throughout 2023, Big Fogg actively engaged in civic duties and community services within our beloved Temecula, demonstrating a strong commitment to supporting the local community. Big Fogg is always proud to volunteer to deliver, install, and staff climate control systems at any Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce event, including mixers, breakfasts, expos, and other outdoor community-oriented events which always increases attendance and leaves a lasting impression of enjoyment, setting the stage for growth in the following years. Big Fogg is frequently called upon to donate company equipment and technicians to assist charitable organizations in making their events comfortable and successful. Big Fogg President Miehl says, “this is one of my favorite parts of running my own business.” This year, Miehl increased contributions to organizations addressing causes close to his heart.
The company’s contributions to the local economy are reflected in its commitment to supporting local businesses and events. This year one of the notable contributions of Big Fogg in Temecula was their involvement in the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival. They set up misting fans in the VIP tent area and throughout the grounds and stages at no charge. Such initiatives not only helped in enhancing the experience of
attendees but also played a vital role in boosting the local tourism and hospitality sectors and showcasing Big Fogg’s generosity and community spirit.
The company donated equipment, personal misters, and unique sports memorabilia for silent and live auctions supporting fundraising efforts of various Temecula community organizations. Specifically Big Fogg donated the use of misting equipment, including delivery and staffing, to the French Valley Library opening for their silent auction. For many years, Big Fogg has partnered with different event companies, to support concerts’ beneficiaries. This year Big Fogg partnered with Heyday Events working with directors, Robert Walker and Pat Cronin. Walker Chris also provided equipment to the entire community, such as misting fans for Temecula youth sports and activities, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, Police Assistance League for S.A.F.E. Alternatives for victims of domestic violence, and Unforgettable Foundation. President Miehl generously bid on numerous items auctioned by for the benefit of the Riverside Sheriff. Big Fogg’s support for local schools is a key aspect of their community service. These efforts not only provided practical assistance but also fostered a safer and more comfortable environment for students and participants.
OTHER CIVIC DUTIES AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
7. Please list any and all organization/events OUTSIDE of Temecula that you have contributed/volunteered with during 2023. (Please include Organization, Hours per month, any positions held with the organization, monetary donations, In-Kind donation and contact information)
Throughout 2023, Big Fogg demonstrated a commitment to community involvement and philanthropy, significantly contributing to multiple causes and charity organizations. A notable example of their generosity was during the Padres Pedal the Cause’s biggest annual fundraiser effort where they donated Cool Caddies to support the unique event that features cyclists spinning atop the Petco stadium. Padres Pedal the Cause is a nonprofit dedicated to funding cancer research for better survivorship and eventual cures. This donation not only enhanced the event experience keeping cyclists safe but also played a part in raising awareness and funds for cancer research. Bridget Young, Project Manager of San Diego Padres Ballpark Operations wrote to Miehl, “The Big Fogg team has been a pleasure to do business with, on and off the field. Our players loved the misting fans during the hot summer months. When we were trying to find a solution for one of our largest fundraisers, “Padres Pedal the Cause,” spin bike riders that are on the top of a hot rooftop, Big Fogg was very gracious in donating their misting machines for the fundraiser, keeping the riders cool and refreshed. We look forward to our continued partnership with Big Fogg and working with them in future charity events.”
In another act of kindness, Big Fogg extended its support to The Will Ferrell Foundation that focuses on combating cancer. By making significant monetary contributions, Big Fogg aided in both raising funds and increasing awareness for this critical cause. Additionally, Big Fogg exhibited their community spirit by donating football tickets to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a gesture that undoubtedly brought joy and unforgettable experiences to many children and their families.
In response to the rising temperatures affecting animal welfare, Big Fogg took a compassionate step by donating misting systems to the Animal Friends of the Valley Shelter in Lake Elsinore. Understanding the importance of ongoing support, they went further by providing regular maintenance and servicing for these systems at no charge, ensuring the comfort and well-being of the animals throughout the year. As an ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Guardian in 2023, Big Fogg’s monthly contributions played a role in aiding innocent and neglected animals. The ASPCA is a national leader in animal rescue and protection to end animal cruelty.
Their community volunteerism extended to a partnership with Kaiser Permanente in Carlsbad, where they supplied equipment for the Special Olympics, contributing to an inclusive and supportive environment for athletes with disabilities. Additionally, Big Fogg donated misting fans regularly to Kenneth Copeland Church in Fort Worth, Texas, supporting various initiatives and programs run by the church. These actions throughout 2023 not only highlight Big Fogg’s dedication to giving back to the community but also set an inspiring example of corporate responsibility and compassion.