Professional Performance-Based Contracting? Trainers Gather

Since 2011, National Comfort Institute, Inc. (NCI) trainers meet annually to re-sharpen skills, build camaraderie, and learn materials for new certification classes and updates to older ones. This year NCI Trainers Week was held in early August in Cleveland, OH.

the NCI Trainers Week Team

NCI Training Team. Front Left to Right: Tom Johnson, Scott Fielder, Steve Vannoy, Rob Falke, Ben Lipscomb, Paul Wieboldt, , Dominick Guarino, and John Puryear. Back Left to Right: Casey Contreras, David Richardson, Jeff Sturgeon, and Jim Davis

Seven years ago, NCI President Rob Falke and NCI CEO Dominick Guarino decided, with the growing demand for advanced technical training and certification, the only way to provide the very best training program was to help trainers hone their technical knowledge, presentation, and communication skills.

Just like the HVAC contractors, technicians, and installers they teach, NCI trainers need to continuously develop and hone their own practical skills and strategies. This enables them to better train students in the state-of-the-art practices necessary to be high-performance HVAC contractors: proper testing and diagnosing airflow issues, repairing and renovating duct and mechanical systems, using the proper tools and instruments, and more.

According to David Richardson, one of NCI’s trainers as well as a curriculum developer, ‘It’s not just about making sure everybody gets new information. It’s about making sure we effectively deliver the information to our students in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Our job is to draw students in and get them involved. We want them to get excited.’

How it Works

In fact, he says Trainers Week works the same way. Every NCI trainer has a role to play, taking ownership of a part of the training and leading the class during their segment.

NCI Trainers demonstrate how to use an Amprobe instrument to measure HVAC system airflow.

NCI trainers practice using an Amprobe instrument to measure airflow.

Rob Falke, David Richardson, and Steve Vannoy – NCI’s Technical Curriculum Manager ‘ decide which trainer will present on which topic based on a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

‘We look for areas where each trainer has strengths, areas where they can help their fellow trainers improve,’ Richardson adds. ‘We also decide which presenters will introduce new classes and new materials.’

Rob Falke says training the trainers is also a way for NCI to help them recharge their batteries. ‘It allows us to make sure they are delivering consistent training that is based on NCI’s philosophies and approach to HVAC systems. This includes plenty of hands-on training when it comes to using the right tools, instruments, processes, and so much more,’ Falke adds.

Higher Purpose

‘We feel we have a higher purpose in our industry, and that is to lead and to change it for the better,’ he says. ‘When we train, we help students see the opportunities for themselves and their companies in High-Performance HVAC Contracting. Our mission is to help students be confident in their ability to use what they learn and empower them to successfully implement that into what they do each and every day.’

To see what type of training NCI offers, visit for a schedule and description or call 800-633-7058 to learn more.


Left to right: Brad Hoff and Zech Evans. Trinity Air, Peachtree City, GA

Winner, Winner, Chicken? Dinner!!

Each month High-Performance HVAC Today magazine sponsors a photo contest for readers to share some of the amazing or crazy installations they find while on service or new install calls. Photos are posted here, and visitors can vote on the one they think should win the $50 gift card, courtesy of National Comfort Institute.

In August, voters selected the entry from Trinity Air, Inc., Peachtree City, GA. The entry was submitted by Service Manager Brad Hoff.

‘Thank you for the gift card,’ Hoff wrote in an email to Editor-in-Chief Mike Weil. ‘The gentleman to the right of me in this photo – Zech Evans ‘ is the one who took the actual photo and I submitted it for the contest.

‘I presented the gift card to him in a recent service meeting. Again, thank you and we hope to send you more photos in the future of the crazy things we come across.’ To see the winning entry, just go to

If you’d like to submit a photo for consideration in an upcoming contest, it’s simple: just go to and upload the photo and a brief description.


Danfoss Chairman of the Board J’rgen M. Clausen (left) and President & CEO Kim Fausing (right) celebrate the world’s first radiator thermostat at the company’s factory in Silkeborg, Denmark to measure airflow.

Happy Birthday!

The Danfoss radiator thermostat ‘which is used in millions of homes ‘ just turned 75 years old!

Some history: in 1943, Danfoss founder Mads Clausen, invented the world’s first radiator thermostat. He patented it and gave Danfoss a leading position when the company began mass producing it.

Since 1943, approximately 350 million have rolled off Danfoss’ production line.

The latest version is the intelligent radiator thermostat Danfoss Eco? ‘ which won the prestigious design awards Ret Dot and Danish Design Award.


ACCA Changes Leadership

Outgoing CEO Paul Stalknecht

Interim CEO Barton James

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced in early September the departure of Paul Stalknecht, president & CEO, who plans to pursue other opportunities.

Stalknecht began his ACCA career in 2001. He has led the 50-year-old association as its president and chief executive officer ever since.

In a letter sent to all ACCA members, current chairman Steve Schmidt said, ‘The Board of Directors has appointed Barton James, senior vice president of government affairs, as interim president and CEO. Barton’s advocacy and trade association leadership experience will be invaluable as ACCA engages with our membership to advance the industry and better align our capabilities to deliver superior services and products.’

Bradford White and Ellen Rohr Team Up

Ellen Rohr, who’s helped countless plumbing and HVAC business owners build and protect their bottom line, is now a free resource of business growth information on Bradford White Water Heater’s For the Pro’ website.

Her new business development video series, Ellen’s Corner, appears exclusively in Bradford White’s contractor enrichment site found at