BALTIMORE - Seven HVAC technicians will compete for the title of Top Tech 2006 at the seventh annual Certified Technician Competition, to take place Sept. 17-18.

Each of the finalists at the event, sponsored by North American Technician Excellence (NATE), will have a maximum of 20 minutes to diagnose and solve residential heating and cooling problems on a simulator or a unit with a built-in problem. The contestant with the most correct answers will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the technician with the fastest time wins. The seven finalists are: Walter Mellott, Comfort Master Heating, Nicholasville, Ky.; Steven Robison, REC, Tucson, Ariz.; Jack Cypher, University of Alaska, Palmer, Alaska; William Jeffries, Comfort Designs Heating and Cooling, Springhill, Kan.; Ronald Rego, Friscine Mullin Inc., Toledo, Ohio; Skip Egner, Service Experts, Fort Myers, Fla.; and Charles Russo, Chuck Russo Heating and A/C, Castleton, N.Y.

The finalists were selected from thousands of HVAC technicians who took the NATE exam in 2005. To make the semifinals, a technician had to have taken the NATE test in the calendar year of 2005 and scored exceptionally well. In the end, over 200 semifinalists were identified. From this amount, seven regional high scorers were selected.

Service Experts and Lennox Industries are corporate sponsors for this competition. Eastern Heating and Cooling Council of New Jersey and are scheduled to recognize the winner with additional awards.

Publication date: 04/17/2006