Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

“Focus on What’s Important” SMACNA Board Member: James M. Morgan of Ashland, Massachusetts

When SMACNA Board member James M. Morgan, president and CEO of Worcester Air Conditioning LLC, Ashland, Mass., bought the company ten years ago, he had little experience in construction, but plenty of experience as a successful entrepreneur. With a history of running several businesses, he credits the technical expertise of his staff with helping make his transition to construction a success.

James MorganConstruction is the industry Jim considers his favorite. “It is very much people business, populated by practical individuals whose job is to execute every day. Another reason I enjoy it is that the products we produce are tangible, easy to be proud of, and long-lasting.”

Worcester Air Conditioning has a fully-automated production facility to assist with fabricating and installing ductwork for commercial and industrial construction projects around New England. They use building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD) tools on every project, which, Jim says, means, “the more complex the project the better.”

We asked him to share what excites him about the industry and the advice he would pass on to those new to the industry.

  • The best business advice you ever received: A board member once told me I should never have any meeting that exceeds two hours. He advised me to always pare down the agenda and focus on what is important.
  • Advice you give newly-hired employees: If you focus on the right thing for the company, your decisions will also be good for customers and staff.
  • The most rewarding part about being in this industry: I think it is one of the few industries left where relationships are important.
  • The most challenging part of the industry: Ensuring we are the best company possible every single day.
  • What most people first notice about your shop and office: It is clean and organized. We are big lean practitioners. We believe that everything has its place and all equipment and tools should be properly organized to make the workplace safer and more efficient.
  • The technology you are the most excited about: Putting iPads, iPhones, and highly portable laptops into the hands of our field foremen and teaching them the ease with which they can access our data stored in the cloud and on our servers.
  • Something you look forward to: Every summer, I look forward to putting a boat in water and enjoy wake surfing with the family.
  • Some of your outside interests: Boating, golfing, playing tennis, and reading novels.
  • Sports teams you cheer for: I am a total Boston Bruins fan and ice hockey devotee.
  • What you are most proud of: My two college- aged children.

Morgan was appointed to the SMACNA’s Board of Directors last July and is serving a two-year term. Previously, he was president, CEO, and director of ClearSource Inc.; founder, editor, and publisher of Colonial Publishing; and senior vice president of Trifoods International Inc.

On the national level, Morgan is a member of SMACNA’s HVAC Contractors Council Steering Committee and the Congressional Insiders Club. He supports SMAC PAC at the Chairman’s Club level. Locally, he is president of SMACNA Boston and is on the chapter’s Scholarship Committee. Also, he was elected to serve on the Local 17 JATC board.

Members can learn about Worcester Air’s use of technology »

To help influence the industry, members may join a SMACNA committee by visiting the “Board/ Committee Application Forms” web page