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.
Angela Rubino Hines
Angela Rubino Hines is President of Rubino Service Company. Her father established the business in 1975. After graduating from Drexel University, she joined the company and it has been under her leadership since 2005. Under her leadership, she has expanded the business from a centrally focused heating and air conditioner contractor to providing full energy solutions for her customers. Rubino Service Company is committed to educating their customers on the “Whole Home Approach”. Because of this commitment, her company is responsible for upgrading normal replacement of air conditioning and heating equipment to a full home performance project. Her company is a two time recipient of the E.P.A’s Century Club Award for her company’s work in the Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Angela is 2nd Vice President of ACCA – NJ and is active in providing a voice to the NJ Home Performance Contractors in the state.
Brian Bovio is the Operations Manager of Bovio Heating Plumbing Cooling Insulation . 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.
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.
Barry Burnett is recognized on a national scale as one of the HVAC industry’s premier business management training and consulting icons. His experience in the HVAC industry spans more than 42 years. He has built a highly profitable and fast growing HVAC business from scratch to $15 million in annual revenues, back when the average HVAC system cost $2,500. Contracting Business magazine awarded Barry’s company, B & B Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. “Residential Contractor of the Year” in 1989.
He has held every conceivable role in the HVAC industry: employee; business owner; sales manager & CEO of a large wholesale distribution company; business consultant, trainer and business profitability coach; and he is the co-founder of Business Development Resources. Barry has trained 10’s-ofthousands of business owners on HVAC-specific business management concepts to help contractors and dealers to drive profit and growth in their business and to better serve their customers, communities and employees.
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.
Joshua is the owner of AccuTemp Services, an HVACR service & home performance company located in Baton Rouge, LA. Through a culture of innovation, his team has grown to more than 30 people within the past 5 years and strives to be a leader within the industry.
Trevor Flannigan is the COO of HomeServiceChats. He managed a residential plumbing, HVAC, and rooter company in Kansas City for several years and helped it grow to over 75 trucks and $21M in revenue. Now he is providing website chat to hundreds of companies helping them get more leads, recruit more employees, and amplify their overall brand.
Currently GM of Estes Services, a family owned business serving metro Atlanta since 1949. Joined Estes in 2001 after serving 6 years as a Territory Sales Manager for Amana. I began my HVAC career as a Residential Salesperson for a large contractor in Macon, GA in 1990.
Joel is a native of Atlanta. Upon graduating, I attended Auburn University before graduating from Georgia State University with a BBA degree. He worked seven years in the Building Materials Industry in Sales and Purchasing before coming to Estes in 2005. He have served Estes in several roles from Warehouse Manager to Service Manager and currently as Residential Team Leader.
Prior to joining Fortiva Retail Credit, Maisel spent 22 years at GE Capital/Synchrony Financial in varying senior management marketing and business development roles . . . focused in the Home Improvement space. In his most recent role there, he was instrumental in driving revenue and profitability growth for the numerous large HVAC manufacturer and distributor relationships he managed (Lennox, Bryant, York, Rheem, Mitsubishi, Watsco.)
Currently, as Vice President for Business Development for Fortiva, he is responsible for driving volume growth in the Home Improvement and HVAC industries.
Maisel attended the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management where he earned a MBA in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in marketing, with a minor in economics.
Ryan Kletz is the Vice President of One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, a residential heating and air conditioning company in Virginia Beach, VA. While the business has been in Ryan’s family for 38 years, he brought a unique perspective when he joined 9 years ago with his bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University and his outside management experience. By working in every department from installation through service, administration, and client care Ryan was able to gain expertise in operational execution and has specialized in bringing a superior client experience to each element of the business. Ryan has led the charge to change company culture and has implemented true 24/7/365 full customer experience, developed an in house recruiting and training process to grow the team, increase employee satisfaction, and has driven the company to a 200% sales increase. Recently named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by “The News,” Ryan brings the perspective of today’s generation to the in home comfort industry.
Steve Lauten is President and CEO of Total Air and Heat Co. of Plano, TX, has been a part of the HVACR industry most of his life, and prior to coming to ACCA National served on the ACCA North Texas Chapter Board of Directors for multiple years, as well as stint on the TACCA Board. The company was founded by his dad Fred in 1957, and over 50 years later at the helm of the company Steve manages over 25 employees who provide both residential and commercial services to the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area.
Steve has served as Chair of the ACCA Disaster Relief Committee,, as well as being a member of numerous other committees, including Industry Relations and Chapter Relations. He has an extensive background of leadership in contracting associations at the local and state levels.
Doug started in the HVAC field in the late 80’s as an installer in Southern California. He attended Missouri State Technical College in Linn, Missouri and worked as a field Service technician in Columbia Missouri. Within a few years he started his own HVAC contracting business specializing in service of all makes and models and installation of York heating and cooling residential equipment. In 2005, after moving to St. Louis Missouri Doug was s hired as Senior Technical Advisor at Nortek Global HVAC. In that role, Doug assisted dealers in troubleshooting technical issues as well as training on Nortek Global HVAC products. Eventually moving on to Supervisor of the Technical Service Department writing and producing technical training material and then on to his role today as Manager of the Technical Service Department. Doug likes to share his HVAC knowledge and experience with others. This passion is reflected in the career path he would have chosen if he was not in HVAC – a teacher!
Phil is Vice President, Residential Services and Sr. Account Executive for Thermal Concepts, Inc., headquartered in Davie, FL. Thermal Concepts is a full service commercial, industrial and residential Contractor serving clients throughout the state. Founded in 1983, the company employs over 350 people and continues in its growth and breadth of services. Thermal Concepts is a full service Mechanical contractor with business units handling air conditioning, refrigeration, ductwork, mechanical insulation, energy management, HVAC controls, LED lighting and home performance residential services.
Phil has served as Chairman on the 2015-2016 ACCA Board of Directors as well as Chairman for entities such as Broward County Florida Board of Rules & Appeals, Associated Builders & Contractors Institute working on apprenticeship and workforce development programs, ACCA State Chapter Chairman, ACCA Codes Committee Chair and a member of the ASHRAE/ACCA SPCR Standard 180 committee.
Laura DiFilippo is Vice President and Co-Owner of DiFilippo’s Service Company, a residential heating and air conditioning contracting business in Paoli, PA. For over 22 years Laura has been instrumental in running all the operations of the company including HR, financials, marketing and supervising the management team. A community staple for over 40 years, DiFilippo’s Service and its 12 employees pride themselves on a high level of professionalism and quality. Laura believes that there’s more to just being in the HVACR business, but we should be leaders. She has served as a National ACCA Board of Director since 2003 and has chaired many committees including Professional Development and Chapter Relations. She is the first woman to serve as an officer of the association, being Secretary, Treasurer, Senior Vice Chairman and ultimately Chairman of ACCA for 2012-2013. Her passion for ACCA and the industry shows is evident in any industry meeting or event she participates in.
David Kyle II (“Dave”) is President of Trademasters Service Corporation, a Lorton, VA-based company founded in 1990. Now, with over 100 employees, the company continues to expand its rapidly growing residential and commercial business through multiple contracts with government agencies in the DC metro area. Dave has chaired and served on a number of ACCA Committees, including Membership & Member Services, Budget and Finance, Investments, Joint Futures, and Professional Development.
Linda Couch is the Chief Operating Officer for Parrish Services in Manassas, VA and has been with the company for six years. She has led the company through significant changes including increases in revenue, increases in profitability, an increase in employee retention, and the launching of numerous innovative work practices (for example, telework and flexible schedules). In recognition of many of these efforts, the owner and company were recently recognized as PHCC’s HVACR Contractor of the Year.
As a senior consultant with FMI, Steve specializes in strategic planning,organizational development and business development consulting.
Steve has worked with a wide variety of general and specialty contractors nationwide.
He is focused on developing comprehensive solutions to help improve a company's competitiveness in the marketplace, and in the process has developed many long- term client relationships.
Steve writes on topics related to strategy and business development, and frequently speaks on these themes at industry and association events.
Prior to joining FMI, Steve held sales roles in both the aerospace and automotive Suite 200 supply industries. Steve earned a master of business administration from the Raleigh, NC 27612 University of Tampa, and a bachelor of science in business from Bradford University, England.
Dan Weis is Vice President of Weis Comfort, Inc. in Fenton, MO. He began working at his father’s HVAC business while he was attending the University of Missouri in the 70s. After graduating from college in 1978 with a BS in Finance, he left the industry for other business interests. He rejoined the team in 1982 as a salesperson and bought the company from his father with his brother in 1992.
In his 30-plus years in the industry Dan has built many long-term relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors. He has also served as a board member for his local contracting association in St. Louis.
Priscilla is co-founder of EnergyPrint and a driving force in growing the company into a national energy analytics engine. Under her leadership, EnergyPrint is on track to become the gold standard of energy management done right.
Priscilla has over 20 years of experience in marketing, strategic planning, business development and operations. Prior to founding EnergyPrint, she led organizations and consulted with companies big and small, including Medtronic, Thrivent and Best Buy.
Over the past few years, Priscilla has become a recognized national speaker on building energy analytics and high performing buildings. She is also a regular contributor to real estate journals and building magazines. Fittingly, she earned a BA in communications/journalism and an MA in education from Oral Roberts University where she began her career as a Communications Instructor.
Jim Huber is the President of Complete Commissioning, Inc. with offices in Annapolis and Baltimore MD, and has more than 30 years’ experience commissioning and troubleshooting industrial facilities, office buildings, hospitals, government facilities, research laboratories and complex building systems.
Jim has been a NEBB certified professional since 1997. He is a NEBB Certified Professional in Building Systems commissioning, Retro Commissioning, Sound & Vibration, Testing and Balancing, and Building Enclosure Testing. He is also a Certified Energy Manager, Certified Measurement & Verification professional, Certified Demand-Side Management Professional, and LEED AP.
Jim is a Past-President of NEBB, and currently serves on the ASHRAE Guideline 1.4-2014 committee developing “Published Guideline Procedures for Preparing Facility Systems Manuals”, and also serves on ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 300, Commissioning. He is also a current member of NEBB’s building systems commissioning committee.
Brad Bolino is the founding executive and 16-year president of the Mechanical Services Division of John J. Kirlin LLC, Rockville, Md. (now called Kirlin Mechanical Services LLC). Kirlin is one of the largest mechanical contracting firms in the nation.
For several years work in the energy services space and held senior management or officer positions in three other companies.
He retired after a 35-year career in the mechanical contracting and building service
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.
Larry Spielvogel is a Consulting Engineer in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and is a Registered Professional Engineer in 49 States. He is also a Chartered Engineer in England, a European Engineer in all 27 Common Market Countries, an International Professional Engineer in 11 other countries, a Certified Plant Engineer, and has lectured and written extensively.
He is a Fellow of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers), was an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, and is a winner of its Distinguished Service Award. From 2002 to 2005, he served on the ASHRAE Board of Directors and on many standing committees. He spent 19 years as a member and chaired the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 Project Committee from 1999 to 2002, which serves as the basis for most building energy codes and is the energy benchmark for Federal tax legislation, the US Green Building Council LEED® Program, and most other green building programs. He served on the IESNA Board of Directors from 1976 to 1979.
He is also a Fellow of CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) (England), a Fellow of the SLL (Society of Light and Lighting) (England), an Emeritus Member of IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America), and a Charter Member of ASPE (American Society of Plumbing Engineers), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), ICC (International Code Council), and many other Technical Societies.
His practice is limited to consulting on energy management, procurement, and problem solving in buildings, and he has been a consultant on many major buildings around the country and the world.
Prior to joining Fortiva Retail Credit, Fredricks spent 22 years at various National HVAC and Home Improvement Companies such as Sears, ARS, Culligan, Empire Today and Protection One in varying senior leadership roles, 15 years specific to the HVAC Industry.
Currently, as Senior Vice President of Business Development for Fortiva, he is responsible for developing the growth strategy, leading the Business Development field teams, and driving volume growth across all verticals and product categories.
Fredricks attended the Penn State University for Mechanical Engineering and has a BSBA from UOP.
Renee Lucas is co-owner of LCS Heating and Cooling, LLC. in Indianapolis, IN. Renee started the company with her husband Travis in 2005 and joined him full-time in 2008. LCS provides residential and light commercial services and currently has 11 employees. In her free time, Renee enjoys travel, reading, playing piano, exercise and her two dogs. Renee is also involved with her community as a Wish Granter Volunteer with Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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 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.