We All Have to Be Partners


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Randy Roberts, VP of Sales & Marketing, Air Conditioning Division, Rheem Manufacturing

HVAC contractors face multiple challenges that ACCA membership can help address, says Randy Roberts, vice president of sales and marketing, air conditioning division, Rheem Manufacturing, Fort Smith, AR.

“Looking at the industry as a whole, I would say one of the HVAC profession’s challenges is finding qualified service technicians and labor,” Roberts explains.  “We need high-quality people in this industry who understand our business.”

To demonstrate its commitment to providing an educated workforce, Rheem is sponsoring four breakout sessions at its Pro Partner Driving Greatness National Conference, March 27-28, in Orlando, FL.  Trainer and consultant Mike Robinson will address profitability and best practices; Mike Lepp, who is the lead crew chief for Joe Gibbs, will talk about teamwork; author and consultant Jim Ryerson will explain how contractors can improve their internet presence; and a team of Rheem innovators will provide tips for staying ahead of the competition.

Since Rheem is an ACCA Corporate Partner and has invited ACCA to participate in this year’s Pro Partner conference, ACCA Now recently interviewed Roberts to find out more details.

Rheem has been an ACCA Corporate Partner for many years. Why do you believe that investing in contractors through ACCA is important?

Contractors are key for us in our business and how we go to market.  ACCA has always been the leader in representing contractors, offering lobbying expertise, and promoting best practices throughout the industry.  We show our support by being a corporate sponsor with ACCA.  We want to encourage contractors to participate and be an active member in ACCA and their state associations, many of which are allied partners with ACCA, and the national ACCA events.

Why is it important for contractors to be ACCA members?

For multiple reasons. One of the most important is to stay abreast of all of the ever-changing government regulations around efficiency, refrigerants, and other issues. Contractors must be aware of these regulations in order to correctly install equipment.

Another reason: ACCA speaks for contractors, representing their interests on national issues.

Does Rheem offer anything special for ACCA member contractors who attend the March conference?

We encourage ACCA membership by allowing our distributors and our contractors to use co-op funds to help offset registration expenses and membership dues.

How does that process work?

If you are a member of our elite contractor program, Pro Partner, we offer multiple benefits such as offsetting some of your membership fees for ACCA, discounts on registration at meetings, special financing on products, and consumer cash-back incentives.

This is your second dealer meeting. Why ask ACCA to be a part of this one?

We don’t see enough ACCA participation by medium and small contractors. From Rheem’s standpoint, this is a great opportunity for ACCA to explain the benefits of membership at a national conference and show what it is doing for our industry.

How many participants are you expecting at the Dealer Meeting?

We will end up with more than 3,000 contractors and wholesalers in attendance.  We have a Ruud meeting Monday and Tuesday, and the Rheem meeting follows on Wednesday and Thursday at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Walt Disney World.  We have 90 vendors signed up for our exposition.

We have rented out the park after our big awards banquet. We’ve booked former pro football coach and current NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs as our keynote speaker. Scott O’Grady, the F16 pilot shot down in Bosnia, will provide an inspirational message as a breakfast speaker.

Sounds exciting.  Why hold such a high-profile event?

This conference is a priority for us because many times contractors decide which products are installed. We absolutely depend on contractors to explain why consumers should buy our products and how our products support sustainability.  This is our chance to explain to contractors Rheem’s commitment to products, people and processes and where we are going as a company.

When you look at this conference, it demonstrates that Rheem and Ruud are committed to the independent distributor, independent contractor, and ACCA. We recognize that to succeed in the marketplace, we all have to be partners.

Margo Vanover Porter
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