NEW ORLEANS, LA—The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), representing the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contracting industry, announced today at its 2004 annual conference in New Orleans, the development of a new state ACCA affiliate in Florida. On February 18, HVACR contractors from all over Florida met in Orlando to discuss the need for a new statewide association to represent the HVACR contracting industry. Current ACCA members whose contracting businesses are located in Florida were on hand to discuss the need for a unified state association to provide ACCA benefits and services directly in Florida. “Despite the fact that ACCA has not had any local or state affiliates in Florida, it’s home to one of our largest membership bases, and we have a very large presence there just based on our national activities alone,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA President & CEO, who met with the contractors in Orlando. “It makes perfect sense to expand on those activities based on the feedback and input of our many, many Florida members.” Several contractors have agreed to serve on the interim ACCA Florida Board of Directors. They will meet this spring to develop organizational by-laws, a dues schedule, and elect officers. Members of the interim board include the following: George Gardina of Air Source, Chairman; Hall Kelly of Indoor Comfort, Inc., Senior Vice Chair; Elliot Sokolow of Engineered Air, LLC, Vice Chair; Joe T. Strickler of Refrigeration & Electric Service, Inc., Vice Chair; Bruce Silverman of Airrite A/C Inc.; David Hutchins of Bay Area A/C & Appliance Inc.; Thomas Castellano of Castellano Air Conditioning & Htg Inc.; Bob Ball of CMS Mechanical Services Co.; Ken Bodwell of Innovative Solutions; Skip Snyder of Snyder Industries; and David Melegari of Triangle Air, Inc. "This step forward will bring new training and business opportunities to Florida contractors like they’ve never seen before," Stalknecht said. "We look forward to working with our colleagues in Florida to bring the strong, unified, nationwide ACCA right into their backyard, and help our members continue to grow their businesses, attract new customers, and control their costs."