ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is launching a new program to help improve communication and problem solving between contractors and manufacturers.

The first CO-STARS (Committee On Special Talks to Advance Relations and Strategies) forum will be held Oct. 3, 2003 in Alexandria, Va. The forum is designed to provide a neutral ground for contractors and manufacturers to address areas of mutual interest and concern and reach agreement to advance both parties' interests. The inaugural forum will feature two separate simultaneous meetings, one for residential operations and the other for commercial. Halsey Cook, president of North American residential, Carrier Corporation, and John Conover, vice president of sales Americas, Trane Commercial Systems, will meet with the contractors at the forum.

Improving the relationship between manufacturers and contractors has been one of John Saucier's primary goals in his term as ACCA chairman. "Manufacturers and contractors need each other," Saucier said. "But we also need to recognize that it's time to stop talking about issues and start solving them. CO-STARS is an excellent opportunity for both parties to work together to build a stronger relationship and ultimately improve our industry."

ACCA will be surveying contractors on a number of issues and survey responses will guide the discussion at the CO-STARS meeting.

Other CO-STARS meetings will be scheduled throughout the year, with invitations rotating to different manufacturers. The next forum will be held during ACCA's 36th Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo, February 25-28, 2004, in New Orleans.

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Publication date: 08/25/2003