ARLINGTON, VA— The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the largest national association of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contractors, has announced the completion of a three-year restructuring program to bring the national organization and its state and local affiliates closer together. "Three years ago, the ACCA Board of Directors and the ACCA chapter leaders developed a strategic plan to combine national and chapter membership into one federated membership," said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA President and CEO. "Like any massive change, this proposal was met with some skepticism. But under the leadership of our chairman, Jim Hussey, our plan to integrate has been a tremendous success." 51 state and local chapters have chosen to affiliate with the national organization into the ACCA Federation, so that participating contractors will be members of ACCA at all levels -- "One ACCA." Hussey, 2002-2003 chairman of ACCA and president of Marina Mechanical in California, has spent most of the last year on the road, meeting with contractors of all types at chapter meetings large and small. "It became obvious that contractors wanted this plan to work," Hussey said. "They want the clout of a single large federation at the national and state level. They want the services and resources that can only be provided through the economies of scale offered by a single federation. And they want their industry to be stronger so that they can be more successful in their own operations." Hussey attributes the success of the plan to the individual contractor members and local chapter leaders who worked tirelessly to bring the federation together. "This was a grassroots, member-driven process," he said. "The intricate details and logistics of this plan were difficult to achieve. But everyone kept their eyes on the prize, and stayed focused on the goal of creating 'One ACCA.' They all deserve the gratitude of the entire industry." "This has been a great process through which we've all learned a lot," Stalknecht said. "But this is just the beginning. ACCA now has a strong membership presence in all 50 states, among all types of HVACR contractors, and we are developing a louder voice in Washington. There is still much to do but we can now move forward as one strong federation for a strong contracting industry." ACCA will continue to develop new state chapters, and will continue providing management, technical, and policy resources to contractors in every community of the country. ACCA is the national non-profit trade association that represents the educational, policy, and technical interests of the men and women who design, install, and maintain indoor environmental systems.