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Industry Honors Jim McDermott

Originally published
Originally published: 12/10/2020

CLEVELAND — On December 15, the HVACR industry comes together to celebrate the life and career of Jim McDermott and the impact he made in the HVACR industry.

Eight different contractor, manufacturing, distribution and media organizations joined together for this effort, including the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), The National Comfort Institute (NCI), Service Roundtable, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Heating Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); and the three leading HVACR publications — Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration (ACHR) News, HVACR Business and Contracting Business.

“If you look back over the past 50 years, you’ll find no one made more of an impact on the HVACR industry than Jim McDermott,” said Terence Tanker, publisher of HVACR Business.

McDermott began his career in editorial at The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Business magazine in 1965. As the industry began to evolve, McDermott understood the newly placed importance on service, becoming publisher and changing the magazine name to Contracting Business.  This was a critical moment that paved the way for industry growth and expansion.

“Jim McDermott is a towering figure in the HVAC industry,” said Matt Michel, CEO of Service Roundtable. “From his editorial platform, he oversaw one of the greatest periods of service innovation the industry has seen.”

McDermott worked tirelessly to foster positive working relationships among air-conditioning and heating contractors, manufacturers and distributors, coordinating multiple, key industry and coalition events.

“The greatest contribution he made to our industry was when he, recognizing the adversarial relationship between manufacturers, distributors and contractors, took the initiative to do something about it,” said HVACR-legend Ron Smith. “He started arranging a number of major dialogue meetings of great contractors with major manufacturers.”

With the advent of new technologies, and as the HVACR industry continued to develop, McDermott advocated for and educated about the importance of ongoing training and development, which led to new roles, expanded career paths and, ultimately, more successful contracting businesses.

Over his career, McDermott held leadership roles at Contracting Business magazine, Contractor magazine and HVACR Business, where he retired in 2011. McDermott also held executive positions at Penton Media’s Quality and Training group, Penton Custom Media and SocialTract, the HVACR industry’s first blogging service.