Richard Dean, ACCA national chairman.
BOYNE FALLS, Mich. - National and local leadership of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) got together in northern Michigan recently to talk about issues and challenges facing both organizations.

Michigan ACCA (MIACCA) president Gary Doty first addressed attendees of the MIACCA Convention on the changing face of the group. He said there have been significant changes to the group since he took over as president in April 2006 and he "expects to make more major changes."

One of the changes was to turn over the administrative operations of MIACCA to a Lansing, Mich.-based management team headed by Executive Director Donn Eurich. "Donn and his staff are the right people to take over the management of MIACCA," Doty said.

Doty listed four goals he'd like to achieve for MIACCA:

1. Grow and retain membership. He said a reasonable goal is to triple the membership within three years.

2. Identify events on the state and local level for ways to increase revenues. Doty wants revenue streams outside of the normal membership dues.

3. Create stronger relationships with distributor/wholesaler members. This includes educational and training opportunities through these members.

4. Doty would like MIACCA to become the model state chapter for the entire United States.

Richard Dean, ACCA national chairman, told MIACCA members it is up to all members to take responsibility for what happens in the HVAC trade and "say what is wrong and how to make changes."

MIACCA President Gary Doty.
Dean also said, "We are all working together to make ACCA the best industry association. We are all like you - fellow contractors - who you have asked to represent you."

Dean wanted to dispel any thoughts that ACCA only works with larger contractors. He said that ACCA is evenly represented by all size contractors, with no minimum sizes. "We have products and services to help any size contractor."

Dean also lauded MIACCA for sending several contractors to represent national ACCA. Among them are Phil Forner, senior vice chairman, John Sedine, board of directors, and Dick Shaw, technical consultant.

Paul Stalknecht, ACCA CEO, also spoke with convention attendees. Stalknecht talked about the revenue sources of ACCA, which operates on $5 million annually. The three sources for revenue include membership dues, meetings and events, and technical products.

He is very proud of the changes that have occurred in the past several years since he assumed leadership of ACCA.

ACCA CEO Paul Stalknecht.
"We changed from an adversarial relationship with manufacturers to one that is now probably the strongest it has ever been in the history of ACCA," Stalknecht said. "Going forward, it is important to develop strong relationships in business and government to get important issues brought out to the forefront."

Stalknecht encouraged MIACCA members to visit the organization's Website (, citing the amount of information that is updated almost daily and the number of visitors it gets - 30,000 consumers each month and 23 million hits annually.

He asked contractors to take advantage of all of the membership tools and to participate in member surveys, which provide benchmark information for the HVAC contracting community. Stalknecht said that all of this information is available to the smallest MIACCA member for as little as $1.39 per day.

"ACCA is your friend, advisor, and counselor," he said as he wrapped up his presentation.

Publication date: 09/04/2006