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ACCA Board Names Barton James as President and Chief Executive Officer

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The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced today that its board of directors has affirmed Barton (Bart) James as president and chief executive officer (CEO).


Bart James was named interim president and CEO in September and served in that capacity until the ACCA Board of Directors voted to confirm him as ACCA’s new president and CEO going into the ACCA Annual Conference and Expo.


ACCA Immediate Past-Chairman, Steve Schmidt, announced during the ACCA 2019 Annual Conference and Expo opening session, that James was affirmed as the new ACCA President and CEO. Schmidt, said, “As ACCA underwent a leadership transition, the board was looking for an individual with a clear vision and plan to ensure ACCA remains the industry’s thought leader for years to come. Throughout his time with ACCA, Bart has proven he is a strategic thinker who will execute important goals set by ACCA’s volunteer leaders. The ACCA Executive Committee was proud to recommend Bart to the board of directors and we welcome his leadership as our new executive.”


At the closing ceremony, Eric Knaak, ACCA’s 2019 Chairman of the Board, welcomed Bart’s leadership and commitment to robust membership programs and industry collaboration.


Knaak said, “ACCA welcomes Bart as our new president and CEO. He has proven to be a thoughtful and detail-oriented leader who has set the stage for ACCA’s brightest years, with a strong focus on member engagement and industry collaboration. The board’s laser-focused objective is to unite our industry partners to ensure the industry is not duplicating resources, and we’re certain that Bart’s ability to foster strong relationships will help our association achieve that goal.”


Prior to joining ACCA in 2016 as Senior Vice President of Government Relations, James served as the Executive Director of the National Mitigation Banking Association, Director of Advocacy for the Land Trust Alliance, and Director of Public Policy for Ducks Unlimited. During this time, he designed and implemented strategic plans, built political advocacy campaigns, and directed lobbying activities to establish, maintain, and improve relationships with key policy makers.

James has also worked as a staffer with the late Congressman Jay Dickey, a political operative, and served as a political appointee in the Bush Administration at the United States Small Business Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture.

James grew up and received his education in southern Arkansas. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Danielle and twin boys Palmer & Preston.

For more information, please contact ACCA’s Director of Industry and External Relations, Todd Washam, at or 703-824-8864.

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