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Conditioning Air Professionals & the Industry
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3:56 pm, April 13, 2024
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The 2024 ACCA and FRACCA Conferences and Expo Join Together in Orlando

The 2024 Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) National and Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA) statewide conferences and expo proved to be a good combination at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando on March 11 through 14, 2024.

The two groups came together to provide the premier HVAC/R education and networking event of the year. Over 130 FRACCA member and non-member contractors joined hundreds of ACCA members from around the country for the fun and informational conference. 120 sponsor and vendor companies conducted a memorable Expo with a Florida Pavilion set up to feature Florida-based or focused exhibitors.

The ACCA 2024 Awards and Welcome Reception on Monday evening celebrated some of ACCA’s finest members. This session was all about the people in the industry who are the most innovative, are having the biggest impact on the HVACR industry and their communities and are seen as the best of the best that ACCA and the industry have to offer.

These awards are widely celebrated throughout the industry. Winners are recognized in categories ranging from community service to safety and overall excellence.

“Our 2024 award winners truly are an amazing group,” said ACCA Board of Directors Chair Stephen Pape, Ed.D, MBA. “They represent the most innovative contractors in their communities and are seen as the best of the best that ACCA and the industry have to offer. Congratulations to this very esteemed group; we’re proud to have you within our ranks!”

Awardees announced at ACCA 2024 included:

Residential Contractor of the Year Award: Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical (Warren, MI).

Commercial Contractor of the Year Award: Pro-Air Mechanical, Inc. (Longwood, FL).

Distinguished Service Award: Ed Lehr of Jack Lehr Heating, Cooling, and Electric (Allentown, PA).

Service Manager of the Year Award (sponsored by ACHR News): Gerry Den Ouden of Ree Mechanical, Inc. (Temecula, CA).

Super S.T.A.R. Award (sponsored by Federated Insurance): Rick Allgeier of Rick Allgeier and Associates, Inc., Allgeier Air (Louisville, KY).

Community Leadership Award (sponsored by Sunnova): Joseph Oliver of Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical (Morton, PA).

Marketing Masters Award (sponsored by Scorpion): Reiner Group, Inc. (Fair Lawn, NJ).

Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by Contracting Business): Lee Rosenberg of Rosenberg Indoor Comfort (San Antonio, TX).

Tuesday’s opening Keynote presentation, Lead with Influence by Jake Havron, revealed his “4 Pillars of Influence”, teaching contractors to connect deeply with their teams, breaking down communication barriers and fostering collaboration. Jake’s session offered the key to impactful leadership, equipping the attendees with the skills to lead with influence, innovate, and inspire positive change within their organizations.

An introduction to ACCA’s MIX Group® Program was presented by Matt Grizzard, ACCA’s MIX Group® Coordinator, and a panel of contractor members with a wide range of MIX Group® experiences. Attendees learned the value of MIX Groups® as well as preparation they might need to do before joining a group, what to expect in a group, some of the most popular activities groups engage in and areas they focus on.

During lunch on Tuesday, Superstar contractor Bobby Ring moderated an all-star panel of HVAC legends, who shared their stories and took questions. The lively discussion on our industry’s greatest issues provided ideas that can put contractors ahead of the pack.

Ally sponsored the Florida welcome party on Tuesday evening as FRACCA extended a warm invitation to all attendees at the Expo to network with fellow contractors, savor drinks and appetizers, and immerse themselves in the Expo experience.

A Manufacturer Leadership Forum, moderated by Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of ACHR NEWS, was an interactive session on current events affecting manufacturers and the HVAC supply chain. Leading manufacturer representatives Chris Forth (JCI), Braden Cook (Carrier), John Schneider (Copeland), Doug Widenmann (Daikin), Randy Roberts (Rheem/Ruud), and Heather Buchicchio (Mitsubishi) also discussed their perspectives on issues contractors face every day.

Wednesday afternoon, FRACCA conducted an awards presentation, recognizing their affiliate chapters and several people for their achievements. Will Barnes of Ellsworth Heating and Cooling was presented the 2024 FRACCA Award for Dedication and Leadership and Peter Montana of AC Prosite was presented the 2024 FRACCA Award of Innovation.

An evening of live music, tropical drinks and food at the Copeland Tropical Island HVAC Celebration provided a fitting end to Wednesday’s activities.

Over fifty breakout sessions were offered during the four-day conference, providing actionable tips on technical, managerial, and soft skills topics.

To benefit Florida contractors, a dedicated educational track that qualified for at least 14 CE credits was featured:

Ruth King (Rules of Profit, Rules of Wealth and Rocket Your Profits).

Bryan Orr of HVAC School fame (What your techs need to know).

Dr. Shawn Joseph & Dennis Harrelson of the Omni Group (Business planning for the future).

Stanlee Logue of Federated Insurance (Worker’s Comp: Managing the cost to your business).

Jonathan Buehler of Gateway Business Advisors (5 Ways to maximize your business).

Valerie Buckles of measureQuick (The future of HVAC).

Bob Cochell of Gulf Coast Air Systems (Advanced code class).

Carter Stanfield, AC Technology program director at Athens Technical College (FRACCA flammable refrigerants).

Edward Briggs, FRACCA lobbyist, and Chris Czarnecki. ACCA Director of Government Relations and Advocacy (Winning from DC to Tallahassee).

Tray Batcher, board-certified construction lawyer (Top 5 employment issues in the construction industry).

Jon Bezon of Adrian Steel (Van safety: A critical consideration).

A notable session that didn’t qualify for CE credits was Florida’s own Rick Sims of Johnson’s Air Conditioning, Inc. presenting his Why Ducts Drip: Conductsation class.

The conference concluded Thursday after a morning of breakouts and an inspiring and interactive lunchtime session with HVAC superstar Ken Goodrich. He spoke about the 7 Centers of Management Attention he used to improve broken businesses and Goettl-ize the nation. Management is no different than fixing an air conditioner; it is a skill you must learn and practice until you’re good at it. Ken confessed he didn’t have the skills needed when he got started. He teamed up with Mike Caito of MAP Consulting in sharing some ideas for how to get the training and tools needed to understand your goal as the founder of the business, focus on going in that direction, and document it.

ACCA 2025 will be taking place at the Kalahari Resort in Greater Austin, TX on March 24-27, 2025.

View and download photos from ACCA FRACCA 2024 HERE. Search for 2024 03 ACCA FRACCA Conference.

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