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MaintenX, one of the largest national facility maintenance and repair companies in the U.S., has announced that Dagner Espinosa, an air-conditioning technician at the company, finished in second place at the 2023 ServiceTitan HVAC National Championship held in Tampa on Oct. 28. The finish earned Espinosa a $20,000 prize and a television show profile that will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network on Dec. 15, and it showcases the expertise and passion of MaintenX's team of professionals at one of the maintenance industry's most elite competitions.
The 2023 ServiceTitan HVAC National Championship is part of the Elite Trades Championship series, a competition that brings top tradespeople across the U.S. to go head to head in a series of skill-testing events in three areas: automotive tech, electrical and HVAC. This is the eighth year for the series, and the second year that HVAC has been a part of the series.
"We're honored and humbled to have one our own recognized as one of the best HVAC technicians in the country," said Bill Schaphorst, vice president, business development, MaintenX. "Dagner has been a pivotal player on our team for over four years, has demonstrated a true passion to continually learn more about HVAC technology and challenge himself on diverse projects, and has become a true expert in anything and everything related to HVAC service. His victory provides recognition of the expertise and experience of our many technicians as well as their pride and passion for their work and customers day in and day out."
As an HVAC technician, Espinosa works on a range of commercial HVAC projects for which he is responsible for planning and performing the installation of new HVAC units, repairing and replacing broken or older HVAC equipment, and helping maintain and clean systems.
"Solving complex problems is what I would say is the thing that I enjoy the most about HVAC work," Espinosa said. "For example, for some customers, we must figure out how to replace a custom-built AC system in tight spaces. To do this, we carefully plan how to disassemble and remove the old system, and then plan how to assemble the new system in the same space. Sometimes this takes a lot of problem-solving and slow going by our team, but in the end, when we successfully complete the job, it's always worth it."
The ServiceTitan HVAC National Championship involved three rounds of competition. In the first round, which took place from March to July, competitors took a five-minute multiple-choice digital quiz presented by HVAC companies American Standard and Trane and with questions provided by North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation's largest nonprofit certification organization for HVAC technicians. Close to 10,000 tests were taken to identify the best in the field.
In the second round, held in August, the top 38 professionals and 38 apprentices who answered the most questions correctly were sent a kit to put together to test their skill and workmanship. These selected competitors then had to record videos of themselves putting together an HVAC device in under 20 minutes, and then send in the device and video to be judged.
In the third, championship round, held on Oct. 28, the top 15 professionals and top 15 apprentices selected from the second round competed against each other in a live performance in Tampa, where they competed for over $100,000 in cash and prizes. The final competition was to build an original HVAC project in under an hour in front of a panel of judges, and included a first-place prize of $40,000, a second-place prize of $20,000, and a third-place prize of $10,000.
In placing second in the competition, Espinosa was awarded $20,000 and was selected to be featured in a television profile that will document his experience in the 2023 ServiceTitan HVAC National Championship and air on the CBS Sports Network on Dec. 15. Espinosa's finish builds on several other accolades he has achieved in the HVAC space, including being named the 2020 Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association (RACCA) Apprentice of the Year.
"The reward of having a completely satisfied customer is a special part of HVAC work and one that motivates me to continue to keep improving my skill," Espinosa said. "In Florida, making sure our clients can provide their customers with a cool and comfortable space with well-operating and reliable air-conditioning is a must. I feel privileged that our customers rely on me to help make sure they have this basic service, and I feel proud each time that we finish a job and a customer thanks us and says they're happy with our work."