Focus on the I of HARDI

Oct. 1, 2008
Well, my term as president of HARDI is just about over. With perhaps two or three weeks remaining, I am even more excited about the association's potential

Well, my term as president of HARDI is just about over. With perhaps two or three weeks remaining, I am even more excited about the association's potential than I was a year ago, if that's possible. It has truly been a whirlwind year, but one that Kitty and I would never change for one minute. The opportunity to travel to outstanding places, meet exceptional people and, above all, experience all sides of this great industry has been incredible. As I have said many times, if any member has the opportunity to serve your association in a leadership capacity, do not pass up the chance.

From October through July, our travel and visits involved HARDI events, regional meetings and other industry conferences. Since then, we had the good fortune to attend meetings which gave us the opportunity to develop and strengthen our relationships with our friends in Canada, Mexico and Europe.

In August, we attended the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada's annual meeting in Quebec City, Quebec. Coincidently, it was their 40th annual meeting and also the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. The HRAI meeting focused on the theme of Efficiency, Comfort and Responsibility. The four-day event included industry sessions on Canadian economic forecasts, refrigeration alternatives, energy efficiency and technical and marketing elements of being a “green” organization. For obvious reasons, the HRAI programs mirror many of the same subjects of the upcoming HARDI Fall Conference. In addition to representing the manufacturers division, HRAI also encompasses contractor members in the HRAC division and wholesalers as a part of CHRAW. HARDI has worked closely with HRAI and CHRAW for many years, and, in fact, HARDI officer Bill Barnett was a former chairman of HRAI. I'm pleased to share that CHRAW has agreed to offer the HARDI Counter Certification Program to all Canadian wholesalers, believing, as we do, that it provides great motivation and incentives for our valuable counter personnel. It was great to spend time with our wonderful Canadian members and friends, many of whom hold memberships in both HARDI and CHRAW.

A few short weeks later, we were off to Lausanne, Switzerland, and the 50th FEST Annual Congress with our European counterparts at the European Federation of the Sanitary and Heating Wholesale Trade. FEST President Richard Wachter and Frans Geurts, director general, invited us to attend. Many will recall meeting and hearing Frans speak about FEST at our Annual Conference last fall in Orlando. The FEST Congress theme was Innovation from Traditions and involved presentations from a professor and several CEOs discussing innovation and its relationship to wholesalers. The Congress also blended several cultural events, and while smaller than HARDI annual events, it was nonetheless informative, and the people we met from all over Europe were wonderful.

Then in September, we participated in AHR EXPO-Mexico in Monterrey. HARDI hosted a luncheon before the Expo and exhibited at the show with the purpose of introducing HARDI to as many wholesalers in that region as possible. My thanks go out to our Mexican wholesaler member, Tadeo Peralta Johnson at T&P Refrigeracion, Marshall Gunder of Gunder and Associates and the numerous HARDI manufacturers with offices in Mexico for all their help in organizing this event. I see a great opportuity for HARDI to serve this valuable wholesale market in the future.

I will have more to relate about our growing and progressive association in my plenary speech at the upcoming Annual Fall Conference. I hope you are planning to attend. It is a meeting that should not be missed. See you there, cowboy.