ORLANDO, Fla. - A couple of years ago whenThe NEWSbegan to follow the career of Virginia HVAC contractor Terry Boone, owner of Perfect Air of Abingdon (Va.), the idea was to learn what Boone was learning, i.e., witnessing what he was doing to improve his business. In the natural progression of the learning process, Boone knew he would benefit a lot from meeting with his peers in a national arena.

His wish came true when, as an invited guest, he and his wife Missy attended the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) 2007 Conference & Indoor Air Expo in Orlando. He brought back a great deal of valuable information, some of which he put into motion almost immediately.

He met contractors like Larry Taylor, a familiar face at ACCA events. Taylor is the former national ACCA chairman,NEWS’ contractor consultant, and owner of Air Rite Air Conditioning Co., Fort Worth, Texas. Taylor was also a co-presenter of a two-part seminar on home performance contracting, which evaluates a house as a whole system as it relates to attic insulation, attic ventilation, thermal bypasses, infiltration, energy consumption, pressurization, and other issues related to building science.

“This is the type of work that I do and I found the information very useful,” said Boone. He later met with Taylor and has since exchanged e-mails about the topic.

Another ACCA contractor from Massachusetts put Boone in touch with a fellow Virginia contractor, who planned to pay Boone a visit to discuss testing homes for healthy IAQ.

Terry and Missy split up in order to attend as many seminars as possible. He said he was a little discouraged by the size of the audience at each seminar, usually standing room only.

“But I understand the hotel was booked way in advance and it was a record-setting year for attendance,” he said.

If he had one critique of the seminars it was that for him, there weren’t enough. “I know a lot of people like to take a break and enjoy the Orlando attractions,” he added, “but I’d rather attend as many seminars as possible.”

Boone enjoyed the expo where companies showcased their products because he said he is a “tekkie” person and likes to look at new gadgets. “I learned so much at many of the booths and got some very valuable information,” he said. He especially enjoyed visiting the GE booth and talking about the next generation of ECM motors. “That man in the booth just lit up when we started talking, he knew he had a captive audience,” said Boone.

He also made it a point to stop by the Wrightsoft booth with some questions about the company’s Right-Draw, a residential floor plan module. “They gave me a password to play with their online training module and I started using it as soon as I got home,” he said. “Now it is really clear to me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it will add to my selling proposals.”

He said he is ready to preregister for next year’s conference in Colorado Springs. The next time around Boone said he will lay out a plan of attack at the expo and get to as many seminars as early as possible. He knows a good thing when he sees it.

Publication date:04/23/2007