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ACCA Is Working For You

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Where do I find new employees and how do I train them? What regulations do I need to be ready for? How can I lower my healthcare costs? We face these questions daily and often we look to ACCA to help solve these challenges. You should know that your volunteer Board of Directors, and your ACCA staff, share these concerns and are finding answers and working on solutions.  

How many times have you heard someone say “Where I live it’s different and not the same as the rest of the country” when referring to how you sell, how you charge, who your customers are, etc. I don’t want to sound like Captain Obvious, but we are all in the same boat trying to figure out what to do next. 

In May your ACCA Executive Committee, along with senior staff spent three days with the leadership of AHRI (the manufacturers’ trade association), HARDI (the distributors’ association) to discuss these topics and, no surprise, the OEMs and distributors, shared these concerns.  Once we had that conversation, we all agreed to work on them together and to try and find solutions to some of the common challenges that you, our members face. The manufacturers are very strong supporters of ACCA and our members, they want you to be successful and more importantly they want your businesses to flourish and be profitable. The distributors want to be that connection to whatever it is you need to take care of your clients; they want to be that lifeline to your success. NATE is also looking to see how they can contribute to the issues you face with having qualified technicians and installers. Again, we are all in the same boat and we need to work on these challenges together and we are. 

A few weeks later, I spent two days lobbying Members of Congress with our staff, Bart James, Todd Washam, and Alyx Simon. We joined our sister association, PHCC for their Capitol Hill lobbying day and stormed the halls of Congress to share your stories with your elected officials.   

We  are forever grateful for the opportunity to come together and work as one team as we went from office to office having our meetings. Why did we attend this event with PHCC? We joined them because their members face almost the exact same challenges that you do, and we agreed that together we had a stronger voice. I personally had the opportunity to share your concerns with staff members and Congressmen representing nine different offices, which means that nine different members of the House and Senate are aware of your concerns around skilled labor, association health care plans, A2L refrigerants, and the need for apprenticeship programs to train and develop the next generation of HVACR professionals. 

ACCA is focused on efforts to bring the industry together because collaboration is a very powerful tool. Instead of one voice being heard from time to time, they heard a roar, they heard that ACCA members are here to stay and that we will do whatever it takes to be the best trained, most skilled professionals in this country. And collaboration does not exclude organizations because of their size or location. We are reaching out to all industry contractor organizations to come together to serve you. 

I would not be doing my job if I didn’t address some of the items that ACCA needs to work on to make us stronger and to be sure that we are pulling our weight, just as these “partners” of ours are doing.  

Back in 2015 many of you were members of ACCA when we went through the defederation process which created a number of changes in how the local and national association were structured. This was done by a very committed and caring Board of Directors who wanted to make it easier for existing members to pay their dues and for new members to join ACCA, the idea was to have a stronger voice with a stronger membership. As it turned out the process didn’t go as planned and in many cases had a negative impact on member companies and local chapters. I would like to apologize to anyone who was adversely impacted by this and let you know that we get it, we understand that this was not communicated to our members and the chapter executives the best way possible and I am asking for your forgiveness. We do need our voice to grow stronger, we all need to work together as an industry to help create the changes that we need. If you left ACCA because of defederation we would ask that you consider coming back and join us as one voice. 

Also, we need to know who our members are. Members of the Board of Directors represent successful companies of various sizes, but it may not fully represent our average member. That woman or man who wakes up at 5am every day, gets to the office, signs checks, interviews new employees, contacts the insurance company about an issue, fixes the leak in the roof, gets the flat tire repaired and then goes out and runs 5 service calls, a sales call and starts an installation at 5pm. Oh yea, then you still need to go home, eat dinner at 9pm and say good night to the kids. We need to be sure that ACCA represents you. If you are interested in being more involved in ACCA please let us know. You can email me at and I’ll help you find a way to get involved. 

Third, we need to help you find a way to solve some of the issues that you have today. Finding new talent, training new talent, competing with the on-line retailers, controlling health care costs, etc. As part of the direction for ACCA during my term as Chairman I have redesigned the committees that work on association matters so that we can more efficiently work towards solutions. We took 11 existing committees and turned them into five. Membership (bring in new members), Member Services (provide you with what you need), Partners (build relationships with other associations to create a stronger voice), Products (develop and update standards and training materials) and Events (to ensure that any ACCA event that you attend is worth your time and expense) This is a work in progress and we can use your help, get involved in a committee and tell us what you need. 

There is work to be done and I promise you that we are doing it, you have an amazing team behind you, and they are going to work on whatever it takes to help you be successful. If you’re a current ACCA member we thank you for that. If you would like to be a member please go to the website and join today go to the home page and click on the link, encourage your competitors and friends in the industry to join as well, a stronger voice is a louder voice. Let us all work together as one and make this association and this industry the greatest that has ever existed. 

Eric Knaak

Posted In: ACCA Now, Opinion

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