The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) presented its Spirit of Independence Award to Skip Snyder, Snyder Co., Upper Darby, Pa., during the association's 2006 Annual Conference & Indoor Air Expo in San Jose, Calif.

The award is presented occasionally to an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the strength, success, and independence of HVACR contractors. It recognizes an HVACR industry leader who displays creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance in their pursuit of a better industry.

"Skip is a remarkable man and has made a tremendous difference both to ACCA and the HVACR industry as a whole," said Paul Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. "He was the chairman of ACCA's board of directors in 2005, has served on numerous committees, and has spoken at conferences and workshops."

One of Snyder's most significant achievements was to help bring contractors into the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program. He was on the NATE board for several years and eventually was elected chairman. Snyder created the ACCA Mentoring Program and has been a proponent of developing relationships with industry partners, particularly the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA).

Snyder is currently the chairman of the ACCA committee crafting the Quality Contractor/Quality Installation (QC/QI) standard.

"Skip takes a broad view of our responsibilities as an association and an industry," Stalknecht said. "That's why he has been so effective."


The association also elected Richard Dean chairman of the board at the 2006 conference. Dean is a principal at Environmental Systems Associates, Columbia, Md. He worked his way up through the company's ranks, starting as a helper 34 years ago.

Dean said he joined the association because he wanted to learn more about the industry and running a business. "You can be the best technician in the world," he said, "but if you're not a good businessperson, you won't survive, and if you don't survive you can't serve your customers." He said ACCA training and his MIX Group® have shown him different business models and marketing strategies.

"Through ACCA we can influence what happens to us, rather than just let it happen to us," he continued. "I'm excited about taking the chairman's reins because we're on an upswing. We have more confidence in our ability to influence events and policies. I want to help capitalize on what we've gained."

Dean is a past president of the ACCA National Capital Chapter and remains an active member of the chapter.

The association's members also elected a new Executive Committee. Committee members from the Eastern U.S. are Ray Isaac, secretary, Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., Rochester, N.Y.; Richard Foard, vice chair, Blue Dot Services of Maryland, Forest Hill; and Skip Snyder, chair, Advisory Council.

Other members of the board are Tom Hackshaw, Dynatemp Inc., Silver Spring, Md.; Sue K. Meacham, Mark E. Meacham Inc., Charlton, Mass.; Charles Rauch, Valley Heating & Air Conditioning, McMurray, Pa.; Robert C. Ring, Meyer & Depew Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J.; and Larry Sambrook, Albemarle Heating & Air Inc., Charlottesville, Va.

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Publication date: 05/29/2006