ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has scheduled a new series of workshops for its annual conference focused on the leadership skills that contractors need to be successful. The new 21st Century Leadership track is one of seven education tracks to be offered during ACCA’s 43rd Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo, Feb. 15-17, 2011, in San Antonio. Other tracks include: commercial contracting, residential contracting, quality assurance, and business fundamentals.

ACCA said the new leadership track is designed to help owners and senior level employees with some of the challenges they face, and present opportunities for both business and personal growth and transition. The workshops include:

• You Are Not a Contractor!, Theo Etzel, Conditioned Air Corp, Louis Hobaica, Hobaica Services Inc., and Stan Johnson, Stan’s Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. - The panel will present various business strategies and specific business philosophies designed to show that being a business first, through discipline, planning, systems, procedures, and the right personnel, and then focusing on products and services will allow you to have sustained success. The need to become more responsive in the marketplace, in all aspects of business, means approaching the industry in a new way. To stay competitive, HVACR contractors need to think like businesses in other, parallel industries that execute common business practices. Ideas that worked and ones that didn’t will also be discussed. This will be an interactive workshop with time for panel discussions and questions from the audience.

• Listening for Leadership, Jamie Gerdsen, Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning Co. Inc. - The first step to success in any business is for leaders to listen. While attending this workshop, contractors will participate in discussions about common traits that memorable leaders embody and how they achieved success, and define their personality type and how that type affects their leadership style. Participants can expect to walk away with at least one solid take away to help drive your business to the next level.

• 10 Easy Steps to Handling Poor Performers, Frank Besednjak, The Training Source - It’s hard enough to keep up with the daily issues of managing a contracting business, and it is especially difficult having to try and implement a performance improvement program for a low or poor performing employee at the same time. Contractors will learn the key steps and tools to help you in managing a performance improvement program for low or poor performing employees during this workshop. Attendees will gain the information and tools needed to put a performance improvement program in practice in your workplace that is effective and provides long-term positive results.

Also, top HVAC contractor Tommy Castellano will present a workshop on what he learned while campaigning for Congress and trainer Randy Stutzman will present a workshop on picking your successor.

“This new track was created to cover more advanced topics that contractors need, but may not always be available to them,” said Kevin Holland, senior vice president of business operations and membership at ACCA. “The topics covered will help contractors with current success and help them plan for the future of their business.”

For more information on ACCA’s 43rd Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo, and to register, visit

Publication date:12/13/2010