The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Rockville, MD, recently graduated its first class from its Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI). All ALI courses are conducted at the Babson School of Executive Education in Wellesley, MA. Among the topics taught at the ALI are: • Thinking strategically about your business • Leading vs. Managing; defining leadership • Negotiation skills—the art of influencing others • Effective organizations • The manager as entrepreneur • Linking business strategy to financial performance • A financial framework for assessing innovative ideas • Coaching, performance management, and career development Participants also received individual leadership style evaluation and counseling and one-on-one sessions to improve their communications skills. MCAA President Robert W. FitzGerald said there is no higher strategic priority for the association than developing the leadership and entrepreneurial skills of our industry’s top executives. He said, “…creating those skills will be the critical mission of the ALI.” Graduates’ comments were similar to the enthusiasm expressed by Paul Jordan, vice president Industrial Division, NewMech Companies, St. Paul, MN, who said, “The combination of lecture and group work was excellent. Diverse group of teachers was awesome. Class topics were great.” Course Two will be held during the weeks of September 15–20 and November 10–15, 2002. For more information, contact Dennis Langley at [email protected] MCAA serves the needs of more than 2,000 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service. MCAA includes the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, the National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau, and the Plumbing Contractors of America.