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Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

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Dr. Stephen Pape handing the gavel to Martin Hoover.

I am honored and excited to serve as chair this year and hope to continue the momentum recent past chairs Dr. Stephen Pape, Keith Paton, and Brian Stack have created along with hard work of the staff headed up by CEO Barton James. My core objectives will be to grow our membership, stay active with our advocacy efforts, and continue to create new and unique training for our members to use in growing and improving their businesses.  

There has never been a better time to join or increase your participation with ACCA. Our advocacy efforts have seen many great wins in just this past year. Achieving a stay on the sell through period for R410 units, as well as achieving success in the cylinder ban, are two of the most recent victories. The efforts of past ACCA advocacy efforts are part of our everyday contracting lives, with businesses being able to expense HVACR purchases the same year rather than depreciate over the life of the equipment. ACCA stands in the gap for you with the EPA, DOE, OSHA, and others supporting HVACR contractors across the nation.  

Growing our membership is key to our advocacy efforts – as the more members we have, the bigger our voice. ACCA makes it easy to have our voice heard with action alerts so we can communicate with our legislators in just a few minutes without having to look up contact information or draft letters from scratch.  

Another aspect of how we all play a part in advocacy – i.e. government relations – is with ACCA’s Political Action Committee, or PAC. The PAC is designed to financially support candidates for elective office who, regardless of their political party affiliation, understand the HVACR industry and the specific interests and concerns of ACCA contractors.  

ACCA must have written prior approval from its corporate members before it can solicit PAC donations from employees. If you represent your company and have not already given your prior approval for ACCA to communicate with your employees about ACCA PAC.

I personally have been a member of ACCA since the late 1980s, shortly after starting our company. We remained a member in good times and not so good times as it was clear that ACCA was the only group out there looking after my particular interests. As a small contractor, I have little opportunity to help my legislators do the right thing – but as part of ACCA, I stand with thousands of fellow contractors with a common voice all under one banner.  

ACCA has helped our business – as well as myself – in many ways. Promoting quality installation and documenting exactly what that is has made a huge difference for us, as we don’t just say we are doing it the right way – we can prove it with ACCA’s Quality Installation (QI) certificates. I don’t know the exact number, but it is easily hundreds of classes that my team and I have completed over the years – learning load calculation, duct design, proper maintenance procedures, service procedures, and even best practices for our office and management teams. The library of training materials is huge and growing as are the opportunities for virtual and in-person training.  

Another huge asset for ACCA is assisting in creating Management Information Exchange Groups®, better known as MIX Groups®. Putting together a group of contractors serving common segments from non-competing markets with bylaws and a format to build on has been one of the greatest joys I have experienced. Having a “board of directors” of people that openly share how they have met your same challenges day in and day out and learning how they have dealt with those issues is invaluable. I have been in a MIX Group® for more than 20 years and I still learn something new each time we meet.  

Listing all the ways that ACCA has helped me or the many reasons why you should be a member of ACCA is going to make for a long read. Another of the great ways ACCA can help you is with the annual conference. I’m not just talking about the great breakout sessions or panels on stage – I’m also talking about in the hallways and at the receptions or even in the vendor hall. You are going to be openly associating with the best contractors in the industry. You are going to hear their opinions on all types of topics. There will be discussions about who tried what and what worked and what didn’t. A wealth of knowledge about exactly what you do and the challenges you face every day. 

I’m excited to do my part this year as your new ACCA Chair – I look forward to seeing you across our many programs! 

Read Martin’s message and more in the May/June 2024 edition of ACCANow Magazine.

Martin Hoover
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