SMACNA’s Convention Inspires Members

SMACNA’s 69th Annual Convention at the Bellagio Resort Hotel in Las Vegas offered a robust agenda ranging from educational sessions custom-tailored for SMACNA contractors, social events, product show, golf, business meetings, awards, and entertainment, plus the opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new friends.

Recognized for outstanding service to SMACNA was Robert Zahner, executive vice president of the A. Zahner Company in Kansas City, MO. He received the SMACNA Contractor of the Year award for his many years of industry involvement on committees, councils, and boards; but primarily for taking on the challenging job of management co-chair of the International Training Institute during a time of change. The award is presented annually in memory of SNIPS magazine founder Ed Carter and his son Nick Carter, magazine publisher and editor.

Bernie Brill, chapter executive for the SMACNA Mid-Atlantic Chapter in Greenbelt, MD, received the Petersen-Dunn Award for Chapter Executive of the Year. His leadership in pursuing fire-life safety market opportunities for his members, ensuring quality apprenticeship recruitment and voicing his members’ views on local legislation and regulations, garnered him this award.

Attendees of SMACNA’s Las Vegas convention found the forums and business sessions “eye opening,” “interesting approach,” “food for thought,” and “full of real-life examples.” Other member comments include: “The speaker’s high energy always leaves me ready to make things happen at home,” and “this is a “critical topic for the success of our company.”

A line-up of timely business sessions—led by industry experts Kevin Dougherty, Ted Garrison, Jonathan Snare, and Paul Stynchcomb—shared techniques to improve productivity, prepare for an OSHA inspection, improve sales and marketing expertise, avoid the price-shopping race, and become proficient in effective strategic thinking.

Four market sector council forums delivered customized sessions tailored to meet the needs of contractors in the HVAC, industrial, residential, and architectural markets.

This year SMACNA recognized the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation with a donation of $5,000. This worthy organization provides support services and programs to families of all children diagnosed with life threatening or critical illnesses such as cancer. It’s a SMACNA tradition to recognize a local charity in the convention host city.

Four members were elected to serve on the Board of Directors at the annual business meeting Wednesday, Oct. 17. Serving four-year terms are: William Eustace, Heating & Plumbing Engineers Inc., Colorado Springs, CO; Tom DeMusis, Wm. J. Donovan Co., Philadelphia, PA; John Gundlach, Hermanson Co., Kent, WA.; and Roy Ricci, McCusker-Gill Inc., Hingham, MA.

At the president’s lunch, Howard Stine of C.E. Jarrell Mechanical Contractors, Earth City, MO, was installed as the new SMACNA president.

SMACNA’s 70th annual convention is scheduled for Maui, Hawaii, Oct. 20-24. 2013, at the Grand Wailea and the Wailea Beach Marriott resorts.

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