TAMPA - The Big Picture is not just a catchy slogan and logo. As the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) closed its 42nd Conference & Indoor Air Expo, immediate past-chairman Stan Johnson, president of Stan’s Air Conditioning & Heating of Austin, Texas, said, “There’s not much time left to talk and dissect. The time for contractors to act is now. ACCA’s 2010 Conference was not just about looking at ‘The Big Picture’ - it has been about taking control of it.”
So, down to business it was, as hundreds of ACCA members joined Johnson and others at the Tampa Convention Center. A sense of urgency permeated the halls and meeting rooms as attendees were intent on taking advantage of the vast learning opportunities, and then spilled over into the exhibit hall where vendors brought innovative technologies to the Indoor Air Expo.
Attendees had 35 Learning Labs to choose from that varied in content from Bob Ring’s 50 Ways to Cut Your Costs and Increase Your Profits session, to Keith Coursin’s Indoor Pools - Dive in for Profits Without Getting Wet. One of the Tuesday, March 9 highlights included three past ACCA chairmen gathering on a panel to discuss how “The Future of HVAC is Not HVAC,” moderated byThe NEWS. The panel included Johnson, Ray Isaac, and Larry Taylor. The trio discussed business expansion opportunities for HVAC contractors to become involved in including whole home and building performance methods, and they also delved into energy audits as a way to grow business.
“The HVACR industry has moved far beyond the installation of boxes and a narrow focus on technical specs,” said Johnson. “Homes and buildings are whole systems of interrelated parts. HVACR is a very important component of that system, but it is just one component. If contractors are going to thrive and lead, we must lift our focus beyond the box. In fact, you could say we must move beyond HVACR altogether.”
ACCA’s Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo was again co-sponsored by the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), which also held its 13th annual meeting at the same time. More than 2,000 people attended this year’s expo, which contained more than 260 booths. “I have heard many great things about the magic that happened,” said Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA. “We can always expect great things when we gather ACCA contractors together, and this Big Picture event has exceeded expectations.”
The association recognized some of the top contracting companies in the industry with its 2010 Contractors of the Year program. Residential winner Conditioned Air of Naples, Fla., and commercial winner TAG Mechanical of Syracuse, N.Y., were recognized at general sessions in Tampa. ACCA also presented its Distinguished Service Award to Ellis Guiles for his continued commitment to serving the association and industry. Guiles, vice president of TAG Mechanical, was selected for his extensive volunteer involvement in ACCA. He serves on many ACCA committees, is a regular presenter at ACCA events and ComfortU Webinars, and has testified on ACCA’s behalf at a U.S. House Small Business Committee hearing.
“We are truly a richer association because of Ellis’ contributions,” said Johnson. “He has consistently been a go-to resource for ACCA’s leadership and staff, giving generously of his time and expertise to raise the bar of the HVACR contracting industry.”
ACCA’s Distinguished Service Award is presented occasionally to an outstanding volunteer contributor to the association.
ACCA Corporate Partners help make the association’s year-round work possible. 2010 Corporate Partners include Federated Insurance, Carrier, Lennox, Rheem, Jackson Systems, Goodman, Emerson Climate Technologies, Mitsubishi, WaterFurnace,The NEWS, and North American Technician Excellence.