Metropolitan Air Conditioning Contractors (MACC) of New York presents a featured interview with James Padavan, the new MACC president for 2021-2022.

QUESTION: Let’s begin with the impact of COVID-19 on our industry. How do you foresee the ongoing pandemic affecting our industry in 2021?

James: In my opinion, I am looking forward to a prosperous year for this industry. While COVID-19 will most likely have a strong influence in the way we do business and a definite impact on the general economy… product development, new requirements, and essential services and installations will continue to support the industry. Each contractor and supplier will have to re-evaluate the methods we are accustomed to and adapt to the changes that are necessary. Long term, this will strengthen our resolve and make for an efficient way of running our businesses and provide a variety of growth opportunities.

QUESTION: How vital are training and education in today’s climate?

James: Training and education must be a constant. The world never stops, growth continues, new products are introduced regularly, and rules and regulations are being imposed through climate change, safety, and labor laws. One cannot be simply be a great technician, knowing how to repair, maintain, and service equipment. We must learn how to work with customers, fellow employees, and other trades which require people skills. We must have training on new technology to help us improve our skills as HVAC contractors, in the office and in field. A well-rounded employee will not only drive individual success, but the organization’s success that employs them.

We will lean on our distributors for the proper training and our trade partners for people skills but also work on developing our own training programs. Our members will be able to use MACC as a source of valuable information: a place where you can be sure the educational programs, certifications, and training are what is needed, are accurate, and are able to be obtained at a discounted cost.

QUESTION: How can an ‘active’ and ‘involved’ membership in MACC drive success?

James: With each year, new developments are happening in our industry. We need to create teams and committees to address the challenges that we are presented with. An active membership will help to drive success, create excitement, and provide a networking of ideas to move forward.

MACC gives us the opportunity to network and meet our fellow industry members, all facing the same issues and challenges. By attending the MACC meetings, presentations, trainings, and events, online or in-person, your comfort level grows and your desire to take advantage of the wealth of information, products, and relationships increases. This can only be done by becoming involved to whatever degree is comfortable for you.

As an organization, we are here to face challenges within our industry. We not only look to the support of our fellow contractors, but the involvement of our suppliers, distributors, training, and trade partners. Our industry is one of the few that overlap into plumbing, electrical, and construction along with the need to abide by certain legal parameters, labor issues, and environmental challenges. We are an open door for a variety of industries to become involved with us. MACC is an organization that can be impacted by many.

 Recalling the Past and Looking Ahead

“In my youth, I recall the many years I focused solely on my own company’s success,” said James. “I will admit to thinking of only my personal success. That is, until I was invited to participate in MACC (ACCA of Greater New York, at that time). I felt I was running day to day with blinders on. After being involved at a minor level, I began to notice that other MACC members—many of them successful contractors—took the time to advise me or fellow members, volunteered on committees to help, became involved in developing plans and strategies for the industry as a whole, and were not out just for themselves.

“I became inspired to voice my opinion, participate in programs, and take advantage of education and training for myself as well as my staff. I began to realize that I had been looking down at my feet instead of the road before me. As the years progressed, my involvement grew and so did my level of satisfaction, camaraderie, and sense of belonging. As the new president, I am most happy to give my time and efforts to our industry and I look forward to hopefully making a significant impact on the future of MACC.”

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