It is very hard to believe that I am writing my final article as president of HARDI. This year has flown by and has been one of both challenge and immense reward — a year I will remember forever. As I reflect on this past year, it is a reminder of the respect and admiration I have for our staff and our member volunteers. HARDI is thriving due to the professional and dedicated staff and volunteers that make sure the association is continually improving and stretching our capabilities. Honestly, it is humbling to have received the opportunity to play a role in guiding this great association.
I traveled fairly extensively this year on association and industry business, and on every trip I gained some knowledge on how to better run our business. One such trip was to Knoxville, TN, to HARDI member Associated Equipment's dealer meeting. Luther Clemons, one of my closest friends, runs Associated Equipment. I first met Luther in 1990 at a distributor council meeting. Luther has been a mentor and friend for all these years, and I tell everyone that I have copied most of my great ideas from him. Luther will also tell everyone who will listen how MBAs are ruining the world (the fact that I earned mine in 1986 does not impact his opinion in the least). Luther and his wife, Jody, ran a fantastic dealer meeting that gave our people ideas on how we can improve our own dealer meetings. This willingness to share is a quality I have experienced over and over again with many of our members. The selflessness of people in our association and their willingness to share their knowledge is truly one of the amazing characteristics that sets HARDI apart from many other organizations.
Of all the work and initiatives I took part in for HARDI this year, I am most proud and gratified to have pushed for a successful strategic planning event that took place in February. A group of very dedicated members and staff met to craft a road map for our association and to create a strategy to ensure the continued vitality of HARDI. I believe that our focus on education, advocacy and leveraging membership strengths will help propel our organization to even more successes in the future. I am also very excited about the leaders on our executive committee. Chrissy Nardini, Richard Cook, Bud Mingledorf and Randy Boyd are terrific businesspeople who bring a wealth of knowledge and a passion for our association to their roles. The association is in good hands.
I am very optimistic about the prospects of HARDI. While many other associations struggle for survival, HARDI continues to grow and expand. I believe that HARDI is going to be an integral part of the HVACR industry for many years to come, something of which current members and the leaders that came before me can be proud. Thank you very much for the opportunity to serve as your HARDI president. It has been a tremendously rewarding experience and one I will never forget.