I have lived in the D.C. area most of my life, spending much of that time in George Washington’s backyard in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria. Because I have lived so close to the beautiful Mount Vernon Estate, I have studied George Washington at length and have a fondness for him that most history buffs can appreciate.

The heroics of the revolutionary general who crossed the icy Delaware River and commanded daring battles are captivating and instill a sense of adventure in me. I remain in awe that Washington, the man who could have been crowned a king in America, walked into the Continental Congress voluntarily resigning his commission as commander of the army. I would be remiss if I failed to mention how inspired I am when I reflect on how Washington took command of a new government to ensure that it would remain intact for posterity. 

Despite being deified in American folklore, it’s safe to say that George Washington didn’t enjoy supernatural abilities like the gods of Greek and Roman mythology. However, he did possess unparalleled leadership abilities that inspired armies, politicians, his fellow countrymen, and generations of Americans to follow.

As the president and CEO of ACCA, I have gotten to know the industry giants who have led the contracting industry through the economic recessions, consolidator movements, and other turbulent times that contractors weathered. It’s no secret that many these industry leaders and legends in the contracting industry are retiring quickly, and it has left me wondering… Who’s Next?

I have spent a considerable amount of time with ACCA past chair Don Langston and current chairman Steve Schmidt on programs that will train emerging leaders in the contracting industry.  The one that I am particularly excited about is, obviously, related to George Washington.

Chairman Schmidt, ACCA board member Eddie McFarlane, and I visited the George Washington Leadership Institute at Mount Vernon to lay the foundation for high-level executive management training programs for HVAC contractors. The George Washington Leadership Institute is renowned for its unique and innovative programs that help ascending leaders develop into strategic thinkers, executive managers, and industry giants.

The programs we are developing at the George Washington Leadership Institute will also be a great resource for the contractor who envisions passing the business to his son or daughter. So many ACCA members have told me that their children who are taking over the business are not inclined to heed the advice of their parents. ACCA is developing programs on transitional leadership that will help overcome these challenges.

I am certain that once ACCA offers this exciting opportunity and membership benefit, I will have an answer to the question I get from countless contractors, “How will I turn my good managers into confident decision makers that can run my techs and installers when I am away?”

I am thrilled to be working closely with ACCA’s board of directors on these high-level programs for our membership. 2018 is an exciting time to be an ACCA member, and I hope you’ll follow what we are doing with as much excitement as I have as we go out an accomplish great things for the contracting industry.

Publication date: 4/4/2018

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