ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) held its first Virtual Residential Manufacturer Leadership Forum on May 4, 2021. The forum was moderated by Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of The ACHR News, and featured a panel of leaders from Carrier Global, Rheem Manufacturing, and Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US. 

Justin Keppy, president of residential & light commercial HVAC at Carrier Global; Mike Branson, president of global air at Rheem Manufacturing; and Tom Overs, vice president of residential business at Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US spoke on a variety of topics facing the HVACR industry.

The panelists commented on the affect ecommerce has on the industry, saying that it is a great opportunity for contractors to reach a broader consumer base, showcase their products, and share the benefits of proper air purification and ventilation. 

The transition to A2L mildly flammable refrigerants was another notable topic, with the panelists emphasizing the importance of training, gaining certification, and taking advantage of the information available.  

“I appreciate the panelists sharing their take on A2L mildly flammable refrigerants,” said Manuel Chaves, ACCA member and owner of Chaves Heating and Air Conditioning. “This is just the beginning, and we can all agree that the time to get trained is now. I am appreciative that ACCA offers an online training course covering A2L refrigerants.” 

When asked about workforce development, the panelists suggested encouraging community colleges and technical schools to continue offering HVACR courses, actively recruiting women and people of color, and driving awareness to high schools through local contractors.  

In closing, the panelists offered a few legislative issues for contractors to keep on their radar, including the efficiency representations in the M1 appendix and issues regarding electrification.  

"I thoroughly enjoyed today's Residential Manufacturer Leadership Forum,” said Tim Cropp, ACCA board member and general manager of CroppMetcalfe Services. “The participants shared valuable insights into the economy, refrigerants, supply issues, and the industry overall. We typically see things from more of a local level so it’s encouraging when we get this kind of feedback from a larger (country/global) perspective. I was encouraged by the positive outlook of the economy and what things may look like post-COVID.”   

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!