As president and CEO of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, I speak with HVAC construction contractors and our industry partners every day, and it sounds like 2017 was a very busy and profitable year for our industry.

According to the Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International, distributors averaged 8.8 percent annualized growth for the 12 months prior to August, and ACCA members were reporting higher volumes of service calls this summer. 

There was also unmatched activity on ACCA’s online contractor forum. Contractors were discussing challenges and opportunities in the field, including maintenance issues, equipment sizing applications, staffing procedures, and new marketing techniques. It was great to see ACCA members working together to address some of these issues and moving the industry forward (A special thank you to Snips for featuring my article about ACCA’s contractor forum earlier this year).

While reports from business owners were promising, we all know that contractors remain eager to grow their business or increase their bottom line through efficiency procedures or new technology. With that in mind, I am very excited about ACCA’s 2018 annual conference where we are planning to “up the ante” and show contractors and their staff the latest marketing trends, office technology, quality contracting practices and the newest equipment ready to hit the market.

At the 2017 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, contractors learned a lot about marketing and brand recognition from Jon Taffer, the well-known TV personality on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.” He is very knowledgeable about the HVAC industry from working in bars and taverns across the country and his dynamic style kept the audience engaged and thinking. 

Heading inside the beltway

But ACCA is putting even more on the table for contractors at the 2018 ACCA conference at the Gaylord National Harbor in Washington, D.C. — just steps away from the new MGM Grand Casino in Oxon Hills, Maryland.

Our keynote speaker, Jay Baer, will kick things off Feb. 12. Jay is a talented businessman and an expert in digital marketing, company branding, and building online customer relationships. Baer is well known for working with some of the world’s most famous brands. You may recognize Cabela’s, Allstate and the United Nations — and he will be teaching contractors how to build a greater online presence, manipulate social media and brand your company as the leader in your market.

The ACCA’s conference will have much more to offer, including innovative educational seminars and opportunities to interact with and learn from other contractors. Contractors will also have an opportunity to visit a remarkable trade show floor full of new equipment, tech companies that can help you reach new customers and numerous others companies that may have something to help your business grow.

The conference is guaranteed to provide you with critical knowledge in selling more equipment and services, increase your bottom line and expand your company’s footprint. And, many of ACCA’s manufacturing partners are taking notice and are committed to working with contractors to offset the cost of attending the 2018 ACCA conference. As I write this, Bryant, Carrier, Daikin, Goodman, Rheem and Ruud have all committed to allowing their contracting partners to use marketing and growth development co-op funds to attend the conference.


These commitments from participating manufacturers are a testament to the value they place on the ACCA conference and on helping contractors become more profitable. They recognize that contractors’ participation can help them improve their business and marketing skills, penetrate new markets, or engage in some of the industry’s best professional development training.

To use contractor co-op funds for the 2018 conference, members are encouraged to work closely with their local distributor or manufacturer representative. Each company has different policies and procedures that contractors must follow to be reimbursed for their registration fees.

Gearing up for the annual conference is always an exciting time for me because I look forward to the familiar faces and seeing contractors work together to grow their businesses and keep the industry moving forward.

Take a look at to learn more and make plans to join us this February. The ACCA conference isn’t a sales pitch; it’s a resource for contractors. And, I am confident enough that it’s worth your time that I offer a no-questions-asked refund if you don’t believe you benefited from attending.