Richard Dean was elected chairman of the board of directors for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

The appointment was made during the ACCA's Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo March 28-30 in San Jose, Calif.

Dean is a principal at Environmental Systems Associates in Columbia, Md. Dean said he joined the ACCA because he wanted to learn more about the industry and running a business.

"You can be the best technicians in the world," he said. "But if you're not a good businessperson, you won't survive, and if you don't survive you can't serve your customers."

Dean added that ACCA training has shown him different business models and marketing strategies, such as flat-rate pricing and service agreements that are the cornerstone of his success today.

"Through ACCA we can influence what happens to us, rather than just let it happen to us," said Dean. "I'm excited about taking the chairman's reins because we're on an upswing. We have more confidence in our ability to influence events and policies. I want to help capitalize on what we've gained."

Dean is a past president of the ACCA Washington, D.C., chapter and remains an active member of it.

The association also elected a new executive committee during the annual conference. Phil Forner of Allendale Heating Co. Inc. in Allendale, Mich., is the new senior vice chairman. Stan Johnson of Stan's Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. in Austin, Texas, was elected treasurer, while Ray Isaac of Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning in Rochester, N.Y., was appointed secretary.

Vice chairmen are Chris Colditz of Laco Mechanical in Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Larry Cook of TD Industries in Dallas; and Richard Foard of Blue Dot Services of Maryland in Forest Hill.

Greg Leisgang of JonLe Heating-Cooling in Cincinnati is the immediate-past chairman, while Skip Snyder of Snyder Co. in Upper Darby, Pa., will serve as chairman for the advisory council.