Executive Director of SMACNA Rochester and SMACNA New York State brings more than
two decades of leadership experience to the association
Chantilly, VA (November 10, 2021) — The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), the leader in promoting quality and excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry, today announced Aaron Hilger as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022. Hilger is assuming the role upon the retirement of Vincent Sandusky, who has been SMACNA’s CEO since 2008. A dedicated association executive that has provided strategic leadership to a variety of industry associations and coalitions, Hilger looks to advance SMACNA’s mission of creating a competitive advantage for members, while also serving as an advocate for contractors.
With more than two decades of experience in the construction industry and association trades, Hilger has served in many influential roles throughout his dynamic career. Since 2003, he has served as President and CEO of Builders Exchange of Rochester, a trade association founded in 1888 that serves more than 600 members representing all sectors of the construction industry. During his tenure, Hilger led initiatives to bring more diversity to the organization through mentorship and professional development, he established strong working relationships with his labor counterparts, and he positioned Builders Exchange of Rochester as a policy expert on New York State construction issues.
While serving as President and CEO at Builders Exchange of Rochester, Hilger also served as Executive Director of SMACNA Rochester and Executive Director of SMACNA New York State for more than a decade. He also served as a trustee for several apprenticeship councils, pension funds and welfare funds, including the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 and North Atlantic Carpenters, and Laborers 435. He is a founding member of Building A Better Rochester and Rochester Careers in Construction – organizations he formed with several building trades partners.
His demonstrated experience in strategic planning, consensus building, finance, mentoring, labor relations and government relations made him an ideal candidate to lead the next generation of SMACNA members.
“Having the opportunity to serve SMACNA and its members at the national level is as exciting as it is humbling,” said Hilger. “For more than 75 years, SMACNA has been a shining example of what a well-run association can achieve for its members and the industry at large. I’m grateful for my time at Builders Exchange of Rochester, as well as grateful for the dedicated SMACNA chapter members and staff of Rochester and New York State, who were instrumental in helping me build the necessary experience to assume the CEO role at SMACNA. I am highly confident about our industry's future and look forward to further accelerating the value SMACNA brings to all our members.”
“Aaron’s wealth of expertise and passion for the industry stands to make our association better,” said Al LaBella, President of SMACNA. “Knowing the positive impact he’s had at SMACNA New York State and SMACNA Rochester, I’m thrilled to work with him on a national platform.”
Hilger holds a BA in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Rochester, an MA in Political Management from The George Washington University, and an MBA from the University at Buffalo.
SMACNA is an international trade association representing 3,500 contributing contractor firms and is a leader in promoting quality and excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry. SMACNA members are responsible for effectively delivering the clean air Americans breathe in offices, homes, and hospitals; for many of the attractive facades you see on today’s stadiums and office buildings; and for the comfortable, healthy, and safe living environments in which our citizens live out their daily lives. SMACNA has national offices in Chantilly, Va., outside of Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.SMACNA.org.