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ACCA’s 2024 Commercial Contractor of the Year: Pro-Air Mechanical

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Pro-Air Mechanical wins ACCA’s 2024 Commercial Contractor of the Year

When it comes to running a successful commercial HVACR business, it all comes down to having and living the right core values. ACCA’s 2024 Commercial Contractor of the Year Pro-Air Mechanical does just that. Pro-Air Mechanical provides all aspects of HVACR services, as well as cookline maintenance, services, and retrofits. Spanning the Central, West, and Northeast Florida markets, the company specializes in servicing restaurants, cafeterias, convenience stores, hotels, and small to large general businesses. 

“Pro-Air Mechanical’s core values are the company’s ‘guiding principles,’ as team members live by them every day,” says Andrew Meadows, president. “First, we are ‘The Problem Solvers’ – we try to always help our clients and say yes when they ask us to figure out a solution for them, even if it’s not something that we do every day,” Meadows says. For example, one client needed to clear an area to perform work, which included dismantling and removing specialized ancillary equipment. While Pro-Air Mechanical typically it is outside of the scope of HVACR services, the team offered to confer with the equipment’s manufacturer to learn how to take it apart, and then the team moved it out of the way. When the necessary work was completed, Pro-Air Mechanical’s team then moved the equipment back in and reassembled it. “We’re proud that our clients call us saying they don’t know of anyone else they could ask to do something, so they’re going to ask us because we just seem to always figure things out,” Meadows says. “That’s a good thing.” 

Pro-Air Mechanical’s management also puts its people first by creating opportunities for both personal and professional growth. The company focuses on “growing from within,” and utilizes in-house training including formal ride-along programs.  

“We figure happy and satisfied employees will convey that attitude and it will show up in their work ethic towards our clients,” he says. “So, it’s really about taking care of our people first and removing obstacles for them so they can take care of the clients.” 

Another company value is to always “Do the Right Thing” for the client. “Even if we make a mistake, and even if our client may not be aware of it, we will still make sure it gets corrected,” Vice President Ron Bryan says. “And if we need to let them know, we let them know. If we ever have any question about what action or behavior to take, we always ask ourselves, what’s the right thing to do? And that’s what we conveyed to all our people as well. Always do the right thing.” 

Pro-Air Mechanical’s 53 employees always “Stand Together,” and work as a team. “The sum is definitely greater than parts,” he says.  

The team also always strives to “Have Fun and Be Safe.” “A happy and safe team member is critical to providing excellent service,” Meadows says. “We have a well above average safety record and focus on using technology for continuous improvement in this arena. We have a lower-than-average turnover rate and extremely high client retention rate and are very proud of that fact. We are not perfect – but we always make it right.”  

Meadows and his wife Kim co-founded Pro-Air Mechanical in 2002, after both had worked at another HVACR business in South Florida for 10 years, with Kim performing the bookkeeping and the marketing duties, and Andrew in charge of operations. Central Florida is a tourist capital, so a lot of Pro-Air Mechanical’s commercial work is for restaurants and hotels, and at the request of its growing client base, the company began to also offer cookline services. “Now it has evolved into a niche,” Meadows says. “We market being able to install and service the whole package – basically anything that is hot or cold or makes hot and cold, whether it’s AC, refrigeration, or cooking equipment, we can handle.”  

Pro-Air Mechanical’s primary market is Orlando, but the company also regularly services clients in Tampa and Jacksonville, and on special requests in the state’s Panhandle area. “We just were up in Pensacola installing new freezer boxes and systems for a blood bank that requested we travel out of our normal service area do work for them because they trust us,” says Operations Manager Steven Carasas. Some construction projects are more challenging than others, including deploying helicopters and large cranes to transport HVACR equipment to rooftops and mechanical rooms. “One project we actually ended up craning through a large ventilation vent that we took off the side of a building and customized a platform to rig from,” Meadows says. “That was fun.” 

Pro-Air Mechanical boasts of numerous certifications: Heatcraft Certified Contractor, CFESA Since 2018, ESCO certified proctor, MSI certified corporate trainer, Master indoor air quality technician certifications, Master PM technician certifications, ASHRAE certification Nominations, Trusted contractor, Nate Certifications, and HVAC Excellence certifications. Pro-Air Mechanical also has certifications in many different manufacturer’s products, including Follett, Manitowoc, Hoshizaki, and Heatcraft. 

Pro-Air Mechanical's executive team accepting the 2024 Commercial Contractor of the Year award.

Meadows is also very proud of the company’s involvement in ACCA, particularly in one of the association’s MIX Groups ®. In fact, he started with a new MIX Group® when he worked at the South Florida company, and when he and Kim formed their own company in Central Florida, they were able to rejoin that same MIX Group® and have been an active member of it ever since. “I consider the MIX Group® to be like a board of directors – you have somebody else to answer to, to make sure you’re continually improving,” Meadows says. “You can bounce ideas off each other and you are able to share best practices at any time. Additionally, I have made multi-decade close friendships that I greatly value.” 

Meadows credits the company’s entire leadership team for Pro-Air Mechanical being named a finalist for ACCA’s Commercial Contractor of the Year Award – Ron Bryan, Steven Carasas, Melissa Simone, Ralph Burch, Gary Salvatore, and himself. 

“It truly is not me driving the company – it’s our team approach and we make decisions together and hold each other accountable,” Meadows says. 

Read this story and more in the May/June edition of ACCA Now.  

Nominations for ACCA’s 2025 awards will open in July 2024.

Winners will be recognized at ACCA 2025 in Greater Austin, TX.

Stay tuned for more information. 

Posted In: ACCA Now

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