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    Jim Isaac

    Jim Isaac, HVAC Entrepreneur and 'Industry Hero' Dies at 85

    Feb. 3, 2023
    Innovator in HVAC marketing and customer service was a humanitarian and past ACCA chairman.
    Jim Isaac
    Jim Isaac

    Rochester, NY /Alexandria, Va. February 1, 2023) − James "Jim" Isaac, an HVACR industry entrepreneur who helped build one of the strongest HVAC service firms in the eastern U.S., and who served as a past chairman of The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), passed away on January 27, 2023. He was 85.

    The news was reported by ACCA sources, who called Isaac, "an HVACR industry hero." 

    Isaac was president and CEO of Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.. Rochester, NY, a position he assumed after the untimely death of his father in 1967. During his tenure, Jim helped grow the business with his brothers Ed, Tom, and Bill, to one of the nation’s largest and strongest HVAC services firms.

    Mr. Isaac was known for his innovation in marketing, customer service, and the customization of the products sold by the Isaac team. During his time leading the Isaac team, he gave back to the industry through service on ACCA's Board of Directors, ultimately serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1990. He also served on several boards within the industry at the local, state, and national levels. 

    Jim Isaac was a recipient of many awards of recognition. The company was named the Contracting Business 2002 Residential Contractor of the Year, and Mr. Isaac was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also a member of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame. Mr. Isaac was named a Rochester Small Business Council’s Business Person of The Year and was a recipient of the Rochester Business Ethics Award.  

    In the Contracting Business article about Mr. Isaac's Hall of Fame induction, contributing editor Ron Rajecki wrote that, "The company reached the top and remains there to this day by staying true to the tenets Jim Isaac insisted upon: excellent quality, unwavering integrity, and outstanding customer service."

    In that same article, Isaac's son Ray, who maintains a leadership role in the company, spoke of his father as an inspiration:

    "After all of the seminars I've attended, the books I've read, the professional speakers I've heard, and the consultants I've worked with, the person I quote the most and the one who has been the most influential in my life, is my father. That sums up the influence he has had on my life both personally and professionally," Ray said.

    ACCA reported that Mr. Isaac's service to the HVACR industry was only rivaled by his humanitarian efforts. He was passionate about giving back to his community, as seen by his work with the Rochester Rotary, Flower City Habitat for Humanity, Otetiana Seneca Waterways Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Heritage Christian Services, Eastern Service Workers, United Way of Greater Rochester, and many more. He was honored by ACCA for his humanitarian efforts in 2014 as the inaugural recipient of ACCA's Community Leadership Award, which was developed in honor of Skip Snyder, another past ACCA Chairman of the Board.

    “ACCA is saddened by the loss of Jim Isaac, who was such a strong champion of ACCA and the HVACR industry,” said Barton James, ACCA president and CEO. “Jim's dedication to the industry and his community are unmatched. He was a leader, who used innovation and compassion to grow Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning to the strong company it is today. His presence continues to be seen in the business that he passed on to his children, who continue to grow his legacy today.”

    Mr. Isaac was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Shirley. Survivors include daughter, Jacqueline Isaac Spencer; grandson, James Robert Spencer Jr.; 2 brothers, Edward (Jean) Isaac, and Thomas (Delores) Isaac. He is survived by sons, Kenneth Isaac, David Isaac (Lori Richardson), Michael (Roben) Isaac, and Raymond (Erica) Isaac; grandchildren, Angela (Sean) Baker, Jennifer, Brandon, Nicholas (Kari), Joelle Spencer, Jonathan (Bri) Spencer, Andrew, Christopher (Taylor Meacham), Cameron, and Zachary; great-grandchildren, Jaylynn, Everlee, Delainey, and Jaxson; siblings, Bill (Patricia) Isaac, Jane (Tom) Reetz, Nancy Casserino, Linda (Ed) Berardi, and Elaine (Dave) Chandler; special friend, Nancy Wright, also numerous nieces and nephews.  A Mass of Christian Burial was to be held today, at St. Rita's Church in Webster, NY.

    For more information, contact Melissa Broadus, ACCA director of member communications and committee liaison at [email protected] or 703-824-8842.