Sheet metal and air conditioning contractors in attendance at the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association's (SMACNA's) 68th Annual Convention in Colorado Springs, Sept. 25-28, found it challenging to choose from a wide variety of topics by leading industry experts. Topics for the four-day event included:
- Boost Profitability: Define Projects from Client’s Perspective
- Best Practices in Leadership Selection, Transition & Planning
- SMACNA Technical Standards & Sustainability—The What, Why & How
- Integrated Product Delivery, and more.
Featured experts included Dr. Thomas Schleifer, Terry Mathis, Richard Flint, and Charlie "Tec Daddy" Greer of HVACRProft Boosters.
In his presentation, "Take Control of Your Financial Health," Schleifer advised contractors to get ahead of the current market downturn by organizing a "bullet proof" company, one that resolutely adjusts costs to available revenue, and avoids letting misplaced optimism drive critical decisions.
"A determination to not even flirt with losses is your best defense," he said, and proceeded to provide proven strategies for protecting a business and maintaining financial strength to better enjoy and exploit the recovery.
The Residential Contractors Forum featured Charlie "Tec Daddy" Greer, a regular columnist in Contracting Business.com magazine. Greer guided attendees through his popular HVAC Sales Survival School. The main topic of discussion for this particular session was, "Techniques to Increase Sales and Productivity."
"Teaching Supervisors to be Safety Coaches," by Terry L. Mathis, CEO of ProAct Safety, described ways to develop supervisors into people who are empowered to improve safety.
"Bouncing Back," a presentation by personal development expert Richard Flint, guided participants through the process of moving beyond challenging life situations, and moving back to experiencing success and wealth.
Jake Appelman, senior consultant with FMI consultants, spoke about "Continuity and Transition Planning for HVAC and Sheet Metal Contractors." He revealed that a changing of the guard is imminent in the sheet metal and HVAC industry, as demographics require many company owners to prepare for transition. Appleman stressed the importance of continuity planning and current practices, including exit strategies, best practices in leadership selection, and coaching and mentoring approaches for developing key individuals for future success.
Gawne Recognized for Legislative Efforts
Robert Gawne, chief executive officer, Stromberg Metal Works, Beltsville, MD was named SMACNA's Legislative Contractor of the Year. The award is given to a SMACNA member contractor who works to influence legislative policy by U.S. lawmakers.