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    A Constant Amidst the Change

    Sept. 21, 2022
    An old-timer writes in about the many changes the HVACR industry has seen. Some constants remain: Contracting Business and you, the HVACR contractor always in search of excellence.

    An email from a long-retired sales rep for a leading HVAC manufacturer made my day. It’s the best email I’ve ever received, though I will admit there have been few. 

    This gentleman had lost all track of the HVAC industry since retiring in the early 1990s, and a week prior had asked if I could mail him some recent back issues. I did as he asked, which prompted a fervent thank you letter not long thereafter, along with his observations on what he noticed after thumbing through the publication, and some reflections on HVAC industry days gone by.

    First, he was surprised that the magazine had far fewer pages than it did in his day. Yes, I replied, that’s in part due to the crash of 2008, the Internet, and the fact that today’s media buyer is not fully aware of the value of print advertising to HVACR business owners.

    He also took note of the advertisements from LG and Daikin. LG now makes air conditioning? They certainly do, I wrote, and Daikin is also a well-established leader. He recalled Daikin’s earliest days in America, and was impressed by Daikin’s acquisition of Goodman and Amana.

    There was a time, he wrote, that it was expected that many more OEM brands would be consolidated with others, but he realized that hasn’t happened to a great degree. “The industry has expanded, with a lot of new or upstart companies having mushroomed,” he noted. So true. There remains an astounding number of brands in the residential and commercial HVAC worlds.

    He offered compliments for this publication’s good mix of business articles and technical topics, and recalled some of the names from CB’s storied past, specifically contractor/columnist Thomas “Doc” Rusk and Jeff Forker, a previous publisher of Contracting Business, who helped promote the industry and magazine’s services to readers in many ways.

    Beyond my being impressed by the gentleman’s memory of the HVAC industry of 40 years ago, and of CB’s contributions, I realized how his observations spoke to the unstoppable nature of change, both good and bad. The HVAC industry will continue to change, in its manufacturing methods, product offerings and in-field activity and offerings of HVAC contracting businesses and technicians. All change, however, must be to the good of the independent business and its customers. HVAC technology will not change the world or alter what some believe to be serious climate issues, but it has provided and will continue to provide great benefits to homeowners and people who work and live in buildings large and small. It’s up to the contractor, the person on the ground, to bring solutions and honest business practices to bear to the betterment of the many lives who trust in promises made. May they also be promises kept.

    HVAC Hall of Fame

    The Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame Class of 2022 has been selected. Our inductees will be Tom Casey, Jr., Joe Cunningham and Stan Johnson.

    Tom Casey, Jr. was a third generation owner of Climate Partners, Milford, Connecticut. He currently owns and operates Griffin Service in St. Johns, Florida. Climate Partners was a perennial winner of Contracting Business Quality Home Comfort Awards, and is a model of entrepreneurship and managerial excellence. His career has included consulting, presenting at industry events, and writing for industry publications.

    Joe Cunningham was among the industry’s first “comfort advisors,” and was one of the first to reach $1 million in annual sales. He is the founder and president of Success Track Network, founder of the Technical Arts Academy and the “Your Air Conditioning Company” training organization. He has also served and continues to serve as a consultant for Service Nation.

    Stan Johnson was a founding member and investor of Service Nation., and currently serves as facilitator of Service Nation Alliance Group and as an Alliance Coach. He was a major contributor to the rewrite of ACCA Manual J and other energy and comfort-related documents and procedures; and is a founding member and past president of Texas ACCA and a past chairman of ACCA national.

    The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held during Service Nation’s Service World Expo, October 18-21 in Tampa, Florida. Information on the show can be found at www.serviceworldexpo.com. The three inductees will be profiled in our October issue.

    Congratulations to our three Hall of Fame members!