Member Benefits

A Friend and
Mentor to Us All.

On December 21, 2023, HVAC industry legend Ron Smith passed away at the age of 87. Throughout his exemplary career Ron inspired and helped contractors improve their businesses and their lives. He also left his mark on numerous companies and organizations, including Service Nation.

In addition to serving on the original board of directors, Ron helped guide our growth and development through 2017 when the company was sold. Perhaps more impactful was his direct involvement with our members when we launched Service Nation Alliance. Ron was also our first Advisory Board Mentor, having worked directly with members on a weekly basis.

Ron and Betty Smith at a Ron Smith Appreciation event, March 29, 2022, presented by Service Nation.

Career Highlights.

In 1965, Ron founded Modern Air Conditioning, Inc in Ft. Myers, FL with a loan of $500, no customers and no coworkers, and built it into one of the premier and most recognized and respected firms in the U.S. with $15 million in annual revenues before selling the business in 1986.

Throughout his illustrious career, Ron received numerous awards and other forms of recognition for his contributions to the HVAC industry. He was proud of being one of only 33 people to have been elected to Contracting Business magazine’s HVAC Hall of Fame. In 2014 Contracting Business also named his number four on their published list: “The 22 Most Ever Influential People in the HVACR Industry”.

Legendary Achievements.

Bigger picture, Ron is considered the father of the modern contracting business. He introduced the notion of retail contracting to the HVAC industry and pioneered many of the radical ideas that are considered standard business practices today, such as service agreements, dedicated retail salespeople, and HVAC’s first contractor franchise.

In 2007, his best-selling book “HVAC Spells Wealth” was published and has since been distributed in at least 36 countries. Ron’s book has been credited with helping build and manage highly successful HVAC businesses while providing the knowledge, tools and inspiration for contractors to dominate their market.

To help share his ideas with aspiring HVAC contractors, the former contractor and author founded Ron Smith & Associates, an HVAC-exclusive training and consulting company based in Roswell, GA in 1991. RS&A, with its focus on operations, systems, processes, and disciplines,became one of the industry’s leading training and consulting firms before being sold in 1997.

Everyone at Service Nation is saddened by news of Ron’s passing. This organization wouldn’t have been the same without him.

A Tribute from Matt Michel

Read Matt Michel’s tribute to Ron Smith as it appears in the January issue of Contracting Business magazine

“Not only did Ron build a huge and wildly successful company, he did it in a smallish, one-season market with a transient population that migrated south in the winter. He did it in Ft Myers, Florida. It’s hard to sell furnaces in Ft Myers.”

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