Many HVAC contractors have worked hard this past year to keep their customers safe, their employees working hard, and the HVAC industry improving. There are a variety of ways that contractors go above and beyond, and a variety of ways they are recognized for their efforts. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is one of the organizations working to recognize these exceptional contractors.
Each year, ACCA announces a residential and a commercial Contractor of the Year. This year’s Residential Contractor of the Year award went to Rosenberg Indoor Comfort in San Antonio, Texas, and the Commercial Contractor of the Year Award to HB McClure in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Finalists are judged through a range of qualities such as their level of community and industry involvement, as well as their commitment to employee training and education programs, and the award recognizes contractors who have committed to excellence by exceeding national standards and producing exceptional performance and high-quality results.
Residential: Rosenberg Indoor Comfort
“We are so honored to be selected as ACCA’s 2021 Residential Contractor of the Year,” said Michael Rosenberg, president of Rosenberg Indoor Comfort. “Since starting our business in 2003, we have focused on honesty, integrity, and professionalism. We have been a member of ACCA for over 35 years. In addition, our participation in ACCA MIX Groups has been a major key to our success."
Rosenberg Indoor Comfort began in 2003 in an empty building. In the first month, the leadership team purchased everything they needed — telephones, computers, vehicles, etc. — and added a few employees. Lee and Betsy Rosenberg, who are currently the chairman and vice chair of Rosenberg Indoor Air Comfort, respectively, brought over some employees from a company they had started previously.
As the company grew, the team focused on offering great service and acquiring new clients through obtaining stellar reviews, a positive reputation, and a large number of referrals. Michael Rosenberg explained that this is a priority that is still with the company today, and that a review request is sent after every call.
“If a customer isn’t happy, I take care of it personally,” Michael Rosenberg said. “I get involved and make sure they’re happy.”
The company also takes great efforts to keep its employees happy, using a state-of-the-art training lab, events to build camaraderie, and a training program to bring people from tech schools and build them into fully-fledged service technicians. Michael Rosenberg explained that he sees a contractor’s success as rooted in its reputation for good technical competency and exceptional customer service. Plus, contractors need to be financially sound and have good relationships with their vendors. Networking with other successful businessmen and contractors is also critical.
Rosenberg Indoor Comfort works to improve the HVAC industry as a whole. Lee Rosenberg has served on local boards (such as working with the local utilities and the city’s Development Services Department) as well as the ACCA national board, eventually becoming a chairman in 1995. Michael Rosenberg also serves on several local nonprofit boards.
Rosenberg Indoor Comfort also invests in its community, working with The Battered Women’s Shelter, The ThriveWell Cancer Foundation, and several other charitable foundations. The company collects various toys, clothing, and gift cards during the holidays for the Women’s Shelter and helps raise money for a cancer cure.
“ACCA is excited to present the 2021 Residential Contractor of the Year award to the team at Rosenberg Indoor Comfort,” said Barton James, ACCA president and CEO. “Michael, Lee, and Betsy have been in the HVACR industry for over 40 years and have made it their mission to set themselves apart from their competitors. Through their dedication to building customer trust within San Antonio and their Build-A-Tech Program, Rosenberg Indoor Comfort proves to be a company that will see nothing but upward for success.”
Commercial: HB McClure
(Courtesy of HB McClure)
“We are very thankful to have earned this award through ACCA, who provides so much value to our industry and the companies it’s made up of,” said Adam Smith, vice president of HB McClure. “To be recognized as the Commercial Contractor of the Year is a testament to the hard work and continual progress all our employee owners make each day. In the face of COVID, a company’s true values were brought to light. Being honored during this time is a reflection of the focus we have maintained on our people and our customers which makes the recognition even more special.”
HB McClure has been in business since 1914, beginning with the installation of outhouses before moving in the mechanical and plumbing side of business. Bob Whalen, the CEO of HB Global LLC, joined HB McClure in 2008 and transitioned the company into an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) in 2010.
“In order to make an ESOP work, it requires consistent growth,” said Adam Smith, vice president, HB McClure. “Since 2010, our ESOP share prices have grown by over 40% year over year. Our frontline employees have benefited a ton from that.”
With an ESOP program, after the first year of employment, every employee begins to become an owner of the company, earning shares. However, that is not all HB McClure does to show the value it puts in its employees. The company practices open book management, teaching employees the skill of financial literacy and being transparent concerning the company’s finances. With its profit-sharing model, if the bonus target is hit, then every employee gets a bonus.
HB McClure also has an in-house university to develop its employees’ technical skills as well as leadership and soft skills.
“We communicate a lot about improvement,” said Smith. “And it’s not just about communicating an improvement. It’s about being open to new ideas and then consistently following up with those ideas and providing our people a voice, regardless of their position.”
“ACCA is thrilled to present the 2021 Commercial Contractor of the Year award to the HB McClure team,” said ACCA’s Barton James. “HB McClure is a one-of-a-kind company that has served central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland for more than a century. Their commitment to empower and invest in their employees not only helps set them apart from their competition, but their unique style of leadership will also help move the HVACR industry forward for everyone.”
HB McClure is involved in its communities in programs like United Way, Toys for Tots, YMCA, and the local food bank. To help educate their communities, the company brings in local educators to help them understand the opportunities that exist in the industry that can provide a great living without attending a four-year college.
The winner of these awards were chosen by a panel of past ACCA chairs. The 2021 judges were Greg Leisgang of JonLe Heating & Cooling, Cincinnati, Ohio (2005); Bobby Ring of Meyer & Depew Co, Kenilworth, New Jersey (2013); Phil London of Thermal Concepts Inc., Davie, Florida (2015); and Tony Shaker of Enfinity Partners LLC, Mashpee, Massachusetts (2000).