ARLINGTON, VA. -- The Air Conditioning Contractors of America has informed its membership that Wallace Lee of Lee Co. in Franklin, Tenn., passed away on March 26 at the age of 81. Lee was the 1984-1985 Chairman of ACCA’s Board of Directors.
Lee was a dedicated member of the HVACR industry, making it his life's work to grow his small, family owned business into a corporation that employs more than 750 people. As ACCA Chairman, Lee spearheaded ACCA’s efforts to begin much needed dialog between contractors and manufacturers that helped stop decades of animosity. He helped move the industry forward, by showing both sides that the industry needed to work together and have open communications to overcome the challenges it was facing.
Lee was also a veteran of the United State Navy and an active member of Fernvale Community Church, where he served as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
“Wallace had a huge impact on me and the entire HVAC industry,” said Mike Callahan of Callahan, Roach & Garofalo in St. Petersburg, Fla., and past ACCA chairman (1988). “He was a true leader as chairman, moving the industry to work together instead of fighting against each other. That leadership showed throughout his life, as the perfect family patriarch, who always did things for the sake of higher being. He is the person who taught me the true meaning of servant leadership and that we only have a short time to influence our industry and the world and to take advantage of that.”
“I had the pleasure of knowing Wallace and his family on both a professional and personal level for many years,” said Curt Anderson of Air Systems Engineering Inc. in Tacoma, Wash., and past ACCA chairman (1987). “He was the most generous man. He was always willing to share his knowledge and ideas, more than anyone else I’ve known, to help contractors grow and be more successful. I was lucky to call him my friend and share in the same beliefs. For that reason I know he is in good hands now.”
“Wallace was a long-time ACCA member and champion for our industry,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA Chairman & CEO. “His dedication to ACCA contractors, the HVACR industry, and his community will be greatly missed, but always remembered.”
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ann; his children, Cynthia Lee, Carol Lee Fold, Bill Lee, Steven Lee, and Abby Lee Mitchell; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.