Terry McIver
Eric Knaak moderated sessions during ACCA's recent 'Next Level' meeting.

Guest Editorial: ACCA Year in Review

Dec. 13, 2019
2019 was a year of change for ACCA and one that helped cement ACCA’s future as the leading association representing HVACR Professionals. — by Eric Knaak

2019 was a year of change for ACCA and one that helped cement ACCA’s future as the leading association representing HVAC/R Professionals. The year ahead will be one of growth as we build more systems to support you.

In March 2019, at ACCA’s National Conference in San Antonio, we rolled out a restructure and refocus of ACCA. The goal was to reaffirm our leadership in representing HVACR contractors’ interests, and our success would be defined by membership satisfaction, engagement, retention, and achieved by best in class member products, services, training and events.

As ACCA reviewed how we deliver our products and ensured they address trends in the industry and dug deeper into our members’ lives to ensure we know exactly who our members are.

To aid in these efforts, ACCA launched the Operations and Performance Benchmarking Survey as a complimentary member benefit. From this we learned that ACCA members are responsible for approximately $22 billion in sales. Considering the industry ships about $50 billion in products, that is very impressive statistic.

We have also hired new staff solely focused on knowing contractors and communicating to you in new formats. ACCA launched fresh e-mail communications, new social media tools, and messaging campaigns that have expanded ACCA message across the continent. In fact, ACCA has even been picked up in the Japanese press!

ACCA has hired new staff solely focused on knowing contractors and communicating to you in new formats. 

As we continue to implement our strategic plan, we’ve been blessed to see our membership roster grow. ACCA has also grown our Partners in Excellence Program to a record number of manufacturers, suppliers, software vendors, and marketing companies who support your national trade association. Their support ensure ACCA can continually add new benefits to support contractors as well as match your membership dollars three to one. Their support helps ACCA deliver top-notch programs and outreach, expert representation with public officials, and more member benefits.

ACCA has also strengthened relationships with state and local contracting associations – our Allied Contracting Organizations. We are tackling issues at the national, state, and local levels, like unfair utility competition and ensuring contractors are prepared for the next refrigerant transition.

ACCA has also forged relationships with international organizations. This summer, I attended the Canadian HRAI conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario and met Canada’s industry leaders -being from New York, this hits close to home. They run an impressive association and I’m certain that we can help each other prepare the industry for the future.

The highlight of the summer was attending the one-year anniversary of the President’s Pledge to America’s Workers with Bart James, ACCA President & CEO, and Luis Serrano, a service technician with Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning. We attended an intimate event in the White House State Dining Room with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Ms. Ivanka Trump, and numerous Cabinet Secretaries. ACCA was honored to be part of this celebration and representing the hard-working men and woman of the HVAC/R industry.

ACCA met with SMACNA and PHCC leaders regarding building bridges of understanding and mutual support, to strengthen the position of the contractor in today's market.

This fall, along with other ACCA leaders, I visited the SMACNA and PHCC conferences in Austin, Texas and Indianapolis, Indiana respectively. We met with their leadership and focused on creating bridges of understanding and mutual support to strengthen the position of the contractor in today’s market. Working together on common goals, sharing resources, and creating open dialogue amongst all the associations is key to our success.

If you’ve not yet had a chance to check out the new ACCA I strongly encourage you to do so. Our revamped website is easy to navigate and has fresh content to assist you and your team. I’m also pleased to share our redesigned Qtech training and education platforms are useful for any size organization. If you need education and training resources, ACCA has them for you!

Lastly, ACCA continues to lead on the next refrigerant transition and prepare contractors for A2L refrigerants. We are leading efforts to ensure these products are introduced in a safe manner and developing quality training to support you. ACCA has been intimately involved in codes meetings to ensure the HVAC/R industry is fully represented and we are making gains on Capitol Hill.

ACCA is proud of our new direction and focus on putting our members first. We’re blessed to have a great Board of Directors and Committee leaders working with staff to make these changes. We welcome anyone else or any other association that wants to work together towards a brighter future and a stronger workforce for the skilled trades.

Eric Knaak has been serving as ACCA's 2019-2020 Chairman of the Board.