Welcome to 2009. Start Your Engines

Jan. 1, 2009
It's 2009 and time to start revving those engines. In this new year we're faced with many tough issues that range from economics to politics, and includes

It's 2009 and time to start revving those engines. In this new year we're faced with many tough issues that range from economics to politics, and includes the welfare of our health, families, and businesses. We all have some decisions to make and what better time to do that than right now, at the start of the year.

First, we have to resolve to be positive. Things may be tough, but hey, we all have the ability to get fired up and start using our creativity to move ahead. Next, we must take steps to re-create ourselves to be successful when the climate isn't conducive to doing so.

New ideas can re-energize the team, give them a plan to move forward, and create good will. Externally, customers will see you as upbeat and creative in a time when folks are feeling beaten down. This could energize and inspire them as well.

For the team here at Contracting Business, 2009 is a year of celebration: it's the magazine's 65th anniversary. During 2009, we'll commemorate our history and recall how events helped shape the magazine each month. Help us to do this by sending any stories or experiences you've had during your tenure in this industry and we'll try to include them to our coverage.

Yes, our engines are revved … and in that light, let me introduce you to the new look and feel of the Contracting Business brand. Thanks goes out to the entire editorial advisory board who were instrumental in this redesign. I'd also like to thank our readers and advertisers who, over the course of the year, provided their thoughts on potential improvements.

One common thread was that we needed to make the magazine easier to read. So, our first order of business was to loosen up the pages, change the fonts, and provide more white space to make things very easy on the eyes.

Look for a section called Editor's Notebook. Here you'll find the latest Technology Updates, industry news, as well as our product and literature information. Next, to cover contractor, association, and calendar news, we've created a section called From the Field.

Our columnist pages also have a new look. Plus, we've added a new columnist. Please help me welcome Vicki LaPlant, president of Vital Learning Experiences, Pottsville, TX, who will share her training and educational experiences working with HVAC contractors across the country with you in her new column, which appears on page 54.

Vicki's column will replace that of Adams Hudson, who decided that 2009 was a year of change for his business and has moved on to other opportunities. I would like to thank Adams for his contributions to this magazine and wish him well in his new ventures.

We changed our logo and name to better reflect the times in which we live. The new name is ContractingBusiness.com. This reflects the importance of the Internet to our businesses and this industry.

Speaking of which, I invite you to visit our website, ContractingBusiness.com. It's been redesigned too and you'll find we've added videos and a much cleaner interface that is easier to navigate. There are many new features and we're working to better tie the site together with the magazine and with our discussion forum, HVAC-Talk.com.

I'm interested in your input on these redesigns. Please email me at [email protected] and tell me what you think. We're revved up for 2009 and don't plan on letting the economy get in our way. Are you?

SIXTY-FIVE YEARS AGO the world was near the end of one of the deepest depression in history. With the onslaught of World War II, the economy swung 180 degrees the other way and the U.S. found itself moving into a golden era of growth and prosperity. This is when a new magazine, The Refrigeration Industry, was born.

This ancestor of Contracting Business went to contractors and wholesalers who focused on refrigeration systems for food production and storage, as well as the growing grocery store and domestic refrigeration business. The entire story of our first decade can be found on ContractingBusiness.com.