Learning Lab Speakers
Eric Knaak joined Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning in 1989 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He rose through the ranks from new home installation mechanic to commercial installation mechanic, to residential service manager then commercial service manager. Eric is currently vice president and general manager.
Eric attended Genessee Community College in Batavia, New York and is a member of the Monroe Community College Business Advisory Board. He has served on the board of his local contracting association as well as several ACCA committees and the ACCA Board of Directors. He is also a frequent presenter in the HVAC industry and has written for IE3 Magazine.
Edward is Vice president of Sales and Training at Haller Enterprises Inc.. Haller is a Heating and Air-conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical company. Haller serves Residential and Commercial customers in Central PA. Haller has been serving its customers since 1982.
Edward has held various positions and also manages the growth of their Commercial sales team focused on growing business through the benefits of service Maintenance agreements.
Joanne is Vice President & Counsel of The Surety and Fidelity Association of America. She has served the surety industry for 30 years as a claims attorney, underwriter, risk manager and chief underwriting officer at Zurich Insurance Company and briefly, at Hanover Insurance Company.
Joanne has co-authored several publications for the American Bar Association and has given numerous presentations for industry groups, trade associations and panels. Joanne is an American Bar Association Fellow, serves on the board of the National Forum for Diversity in Construction, is Chair of the 2017 Contract Content Advisory Council for ConsensusDocs and was named the 2016 Best Surety Executive for Minority Companies by the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association. She is admitted to the bar in Maryland and holds a bachelor of science in urban affairs and administration justice from American University and a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law.
Over the past twenty years Rob has inspired and led high-performing Sales teams in manufacturing, distribution, and retail channels all over the nation. As well as obtaining his B.S. Degree from MTSU in 1997, Rob earned a Certificate in Leadership Essentials at Belmont University’s Center for Executive Education in 2013.
As the Director of Sales for Lee Company in Nashville, TN, Rob oversees a 25+ million dollar per year Home Services Sales group with 18 Sales professionals representing trades in AOR (HVAC Replacement), Plumbing, Electrical, Windows, Home Renovations, and Inside Sales. Since 2011 Rob has successfully led the Sales group to average over 10% annual top line revenue grow.
John Barba has been in the heating industry most of his life, growing up in his family’s plumbing and heating business outside of Boston.
John’s practical experience includes everything from ditch digging and drain cleaning to boiler piping and PEX installing, as well as business management and contractor sales. Since 1995, John has trained over 13,000 contractors on the fine art and subtle science of hydronic heating design and installation through highly interactive, entertaining and informative seminars.
John is Contractor Training and Trade Program manager for Taco, Inc, the leading manufacturer of commercial and residential hydronic circulators, controls and accessories. John lives in Prior Lake, MN with his wife Heidi, children Genevieve, Sam, Jackie and David and dogs Frankie and Lola.
Andrea currently serves as the Director of Operations at DUCTZ of N Lauderdale and Pompano Beach located in Sunny South Florida. She provides an unwavering oversight in day to day operations as well as monitoring the quality of each technician's work, while ensuring to provide a stellar customer service. DUCTZ is a National Indoor Air Specialist Company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. DUCTZ caters to all homeowner and partner restoration companies' needs in the field Duct Cleaning, HVAC Restoration, Installation, Maintenance and Service.
With years of hard work and dedication, Andrea understands what it takes to provide a stand-out service in a competitive market. In order to provide first in class customer service and successfully operate a profitable company.
Steve Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in trade publications on the topics of customer service and soft skills. His frequent television appearances make him the ideal spokesperson for the service industry. A partial list of companies that use his customer service strategies includes Dell Computer, Motorola, and Milwaukee Power Tools.
His Soft Skills Curriculum is taught worldwide at colleges and career centers. Trade Associations such as ACCA, PHCC, SMACNA, AMCO and NPGA host Coscia’s speeches and seminars as a benefit to their members.
An avid researcher of customer service trends, Coscia conducted one of the industry’s first studies of stress in the customer service environment. This survey revealed the causes of stress along with the most common manifestations of post-stress behavior among customer service professionals. Tele-Stress is a registered trademark of Coscia Communications. His books, videos, audio programs and e-learning have helped thousands of customer service professionals.
Coscia has earned the Certified Speaking Professional ® (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association. The CSP is the highest earned designation for professional speakers worldwide.
Brian Bovio is the Operations Manager of Bovio Advanced Comfort & Energy Solutions. Brian graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2001 with a BA in economics, and has 15 years of expertise in the HVAC industry. Together Brian and his family, have transformed the company from a traditional heating & air conditioning company to a home performance contracting business focusing on the whole house approach, that also offers weatherization and insulation services to maximize homeowner energy savings. Brian is a BPI Certified Building Analyst/Envelope/Heating/Air Conditioning Professional as well as a NATE Certified Heat Pump Technician.
Brian has taken an active role in advancing the HVAC & Energy Efficiency Industries in The State of New Jersey by participating in the New Jersey Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program as well as other NJ Clean Energy Program energy efficiency programs, and he is also an active participant in the State’s Energy Efficiency Committee. Brian is the Vice Chairman of the Eastern Heating & Cooling Council, a non-profit organization that provides training to the HVAC community nationwide; and is also the Vice President of the NJ Building Performance Contractor Association, a newly forming non-profit organization that represents the interests of home performance contractors in New Jersey.
Ruth King is Channel Manager for HVACChannel.tv; television on the Internet for contractors. She is also President of Business Ventures Corporation. Ruth has worked in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning industry since 1987.
Her work includes consulting in sales and marketing, finance, technical training, and operations challenges. Ruth has been instrumental in helping business owners understand and profitably use the information generated from the financial segment of their businesses. She has a knack for helping business owners truly understand financials.
Steve Wieland is the Mid-Atlantic Sales Manager for NTI. He has been teaching contractors and engineers how to install and repair comfort systems since 1985. He is a registered master plumber, past wholesaler and holds numerous teaching certificates from many major heating equipment manufacturers. His field experience shows in his humorous stories and pictures from around the nation.
Eric J. Seifert came to the SF&P team in 2015. He has a background of 15+ years on Wall Street managing short-term sales cycles, bringing in new business, developing client relationships into profit-generating assets and generating revenue while managing client portfolios. He has helped fund deals in the green energy, private aviation and broadband market spaces, among others.
For SF&P, Eric works directly with owners, private/public buy-side and sell-side parties, financial institutions and private equity groups to create synergistic partnerships, recapitalizations and equitable exit strategies. Acting in an advisory role, he provides a suite of services including prospecting, consulting and management throughout the entire life cycle of the transaction process.
Wendy Riemann is President of 1492 Communications, a communications consulting firm she founded in Washington, D.C. Wendy has experience in state and federal government affairs, and strategic communications. She is also an adjunct communications professor.
Wendy spent 4.5 years as the Director of Federal Relations for the State of Wisconsin under Governor Scott Walker and has served as a Communications Director on both Capitol Hill and for a winning, competitive open-seat congressional campaign. She was the Midwest Regional Communications Director for John McCain’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. She also maintains a strong understanding of the private-sector, having worked at a public relations firm on corporate issues, including managing messages and writing speeches for executives at Fortune 100 companies.
Wendy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and earned her master’s degree in Health Communication from Johns Hopkins University.
Tom Merriott is a business coach at Nexstar who focuses on call-center, dispatch and contractor communication process excellence. Tom brings over 20 years of call center and management experience from independent HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractors, as well national home services providers.
Joe Nichter is president of Comfort Systems USA Southwest in Chandler, AZ. He served on ACCA's Board of Directors, including serving as the Chairman of the Board in 2011.
Tim studied Computer Science at the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 2002. As a Navy Surface Warfare Officer, Tim was attached to the USS Tarawa in San Diego. In 2003, he deployed for seven months with the Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group and Amphibious Squadron Seven, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Following his service in the Navy, Tim joined Orion’s Virginia Beach Office as an Account Executive in 2005. Tim was instrumental in the growth and expansion of the Virginia Beach office and has been a key contributor in developing Orion’s Military Talent Programs (MTP) and RPO business. Tim obtained Senior Partner status within the company in 2017 and was promoted to his current position as Director, Strategic Programs in 2016.
DJ Holder is a Senior Partner and Sales Manager at Orion Talent. DJ has been with Orion for 12 years, serving as an Account Executive for 7 years in Cincinnati and 5 years as the Regional Manager in Virginia Beach. He has been involved with the preparation and placement of thousands of Veterans, nearly all into a technical environment. DJ became a Senior Partner in 2017.
Ben Landers is a renowned speaker and the CEO of Blue Corona, an analytical digital marketing company based in Maryland. He works with CEOs, owners, and executives of small-and-medium-sized businesses to beat their competitors and grow a profitable company using a unique digital competitive analysis framework. After more than a decade of ratcheting up the bottom line of hundreds of companies in highly competitive industries, Ben knows how to truly transform a business’s digital presence from poor-performing to turning high profits, and wholeheartedly believes every company can develop into a successful, growing enterprise when given the right tools and the right perspective.
Ben has landed coverage in a wide variety of online and print publications, including Forbes and Inc., and is a speaker for Vistage International, where his presentations have been received with overall high marks and recommendations. He’s successfully guided Blue Corona through six straight years of growth on the Inc. 5000, and holds a communications and marketing degree from Ohio University.
Why Contractors Attend
I've been doing this a long time, and I've won my share of awards. But the most important thing I've learned is that nothing ever stays the same. Especially in the residential arena, I need my team to be ahead of all the trends -- so that we aren't playing catch-up to our competitors. I go to IE3 because it's how we stay first in our market.
Rosenberg Indoor Comfort
Every single trend that has changed this industry for the better started at ACCA. Anybody can host a trade show or put on a conference, but ACCA has figured out how to make magic happen, year in and year out. There's just nothing else like it. I'll be at IE3 because if I'm not, who knows what I might miss?
Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
Why will I be in Nashville at the IE3 Show? Because I know I'm going to get great ideas and fun times -- it's an ACCA conference, after all. I'm especially excited this year because of all the changes they've announced. I love that ACCA is always reinventing itself, because it's a great example for all of us contractors. We need to keep changing, too, and ACCA's show is where that change happens.