KISSIMMEE, FL — Energy Management Specialists (Cleveland, OH), Olson Energy Services (Seattle, WA), Corbin Comfort Systems (Lake City, GA), and Seaman’s Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (Grand Rapids, MI) were the big award winners at the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA) 34th annual conference, held here recently.

Energy Management Specialists won the association’s 2002 Excellence in Training award. The Cleveland firm provides hands-on training for teardown and assembly of large tonnage chillers.

In 1988, as the need for customer-oriented commercial/industrial service technicians grew more intense, the service staff at EMS wondered, “Could we train service technicians in-house?” Soon, they had stopped wondering and figured out how to get it done. In the eyes of ACCA, EMS created a new and different environment for an hvacr contractor, where mentoring, coaching and teaching were the way of life.

“Training is of utmost importance to the hvacr contracting industry, and companies like EMS provide the entire industry with real-world examples of innovative training programs that directly benefit the bottom line,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and ceo. “They’ve done an amazing job in raising the bar, which is ACCA’s mission for the entire industry, and we salute EMS for their commitment to lifelong learning for their employees.”

Other finalists for the award were Entech Sales and Service (Dallas, TX) and Tri-City Mechanical (Chandler, AZ).

Olson Energy Services won the 2002 Residential Excellence award for contractors with revenue over $1 million annually. The award recognizes “a company that exemplifies the association’s commitment to high-quality workmanship, high ethical standards, sound business practices, and the betterment of the hvacr industry.” Only companies with primarily residential service or installation business are eligible.

Founded in 1926, Olson Energy Services initiated and actively promotes and sells extended warranties and energy savings agreements, thus becoming “one of the premier hvac contractors in the Northwest,” said ACCA.

Other finalists were Bay Area Air Conditioning (Crystal River, FL) and Cropp-Metcalfe Air Conditioning & Heating (Fairfax, VA).

Corbin Comfort Systems won the 2002 Residential Excellence award for Category 1 (companies with fewer than 10 employees or less than $1 million in revenue). The award recognizes “a company that is recognized by peers as leaders in their local markets and is committed to quality, high ethical standards, and sound business practices.”

Founder and owner Jim Corbin said he stresses preventative maintenance programs and following up after every service call and installation. He believes that once a new customer is served with great service he should become a permanent one. He said the company’s motto is “Do Good Things and Good Things Happen.”

The other finalist for the award was A-Better Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. (Lovejoy, GA).

Seaman’s Air Conditioning & Refrigeration won the 2002 Commercial Excellence award for an unprecedented second year in a row. The association noted that “Seaman’s is committed to excellence and strives to be an industry leader. It has mobilized a highly professional, quality service team.”

Bill Smeda, a design engineer at the company, remarked, “First, Seaman’s stands for excellence. Great pride is taken among all the employees in what we do. Second, Seaman’s is a family-oriented company. Seaman’s cares a great deal about its employees and their families. Not many companies are like this in today’s society.”

Other finalists were Gillette Air Conditioning (San Antonio, TX) and Temperature, Inc. (Memphis, TN).

Publication date: 04/08/2002