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    What's YOUR History?

    March 28, 2024
    We want to hear about your early days in business, and how you've made it to today.

    Throughout this year we're looking back on our 80 years as a leading HVACR trade journal. If I had a time machine, one of the places I'd like to drop in on is the editorial offices of what originated as Refrigeration Industry, to see how they worked on magazines in those days. The publication's name would be changed more than once, as its focus expanded to meet growing industry needs. It was known as The REFRIGERATION and AIRCONDITIONING Business, and then Commercial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning; then The AIRCONDITIONING and REFRIGERATION Business and finally, Contracting Business at the dawn of the 1980s.

    Much information was offered in that very first issue in June of 1944. The cover displayed a photo of a gunner testing an anti-aircraft gun in a cold room at Wright Field. That issue discussed the difficulties in establishing a refrigeration system at an air base near the equator, and how locker plants and "deepfreeze" units were helping in the preservation of fresh foods on the home front. 

    The main focus in that issue was service, because in days of wartime equipment shortages, service was essential to keep the industry alive. Even then, contractors and dealers wanted help with management issues, and they were provided with an article on simple forms for controlling service calls and part inventory. 

    We want to hear about your early days in business, and how you've made it to today.

    In 1945, with the war ended, civilian uses of refrigeration were featured much more frequently. Topics that year included the future of home freezers, the formation of local contractor associations new profit possibilities in food processing, and self-serve food cases. So industry couldn't say, 'the war really messed things up, we might as well shut down.' - no, it revamped, retooled and got going again to serve the needs of civilians. 

    Air conditioning started to become an in-demand editorial topic in 1950, with a series on selling AC, and an entire issue devoted to better business management.  

    FAST FORWARD: I would like to request that HVACR contractors please write to me soon to tell me how your heating, air conditioning and/or refrigeration business has changed, over the past 10, 20, 30 years, or more.

    My email address is [email protected] No stamp is required, or perfect spelling, and it doesn't have to be a lengthy history unless you have a long story to tell. We will publish all good articles and anecdotes that tell us your story. How did the company begin, how did it change, when did you become involved, and how has he company managed to survive through many changes in business procedures, regulations, competitive environments and in finding people.

    We want to hear from you. It will be included in our June Anniversary issue. And if you can, please share a photo from the company's earlies days or today. 

    SPEAKING OF recruiting, an article we ran in 1969 told how the MCA of New Jersey was reaching out to tell JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL students about career opportunities in mechanical contracting. It's something how, "what goes around comes around" has been a business phenonmenon for many decades, in many categories.

    SPEAKING OF associations, I attended the Air Conditioning Contractors of America conference in Orlando in mid-March. It was a fine event. Attendance was high, in fact the best ACCA has seen in a few years. Could it be the great content? Very possible. It was an information overload for an editor having to visit many sessions. I will do my best to regurgitate it and share it in the next issue and through the year. 

    The Electric and Gas Industries Association (EGIA) also held its annual event, this year in and around Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. We'll report about that show too.

    One of the highlights at this year's ACCA show was the recognition of 17 past ACCA Chairmen. This was moving, as they called them to the stage, for commemorative vests and a photo. Many you've heard of: John Sedine, Larry Taylor, Stan Johnson, Mitchell Cropp, Dave Kyle, Steve Schmidt, Brian Stack and more, who devoted many hours during their years as chairmen to help grow the association so it can continue to bring contractors to greater levels of success.

    A very special moment: Lee Rosenberg was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame. 

    "I've enjoyed a career of nearly 50 years in the HVACR contracting business," Rosenberg said from the podium. "I've always focused on trying to raise the leel of professionalism in our industry." 

    His best bit of advice to contractors? "KNOW YOUR NUMBERS COLD."

    "I'd like to give thanks to my original ACCA MIX Group, to my friends at HARDI and AHRI and to my colleagues at Rosenberg Plumbing and Air." Lee's wife Betsy, a major force in the company's success was present. Their son Michael, also a key player and company President, could not attend. The company is now owned by Hometown Services, and is going strong.