Here it is October already, and, wow, has this year zipped by! As you know, being in the HVACR industry is always busy and challenging, but when you add presidential duties for an organization the size of HARDI, very little extra time is left in your schedule. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't change any of the past year for a minute because it has been so rewarding and energizing. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to lead this great organization, meet so many of you at our regional meetings and conferences, and make so many new friends at other industry meetings. Literally, not a day goes by that I am not in awe of the quality of the people in our association and in the industry.
The association's accomplishments have been outstanding this year, and we are in position to do even greater things next year. I am pleased to be turning the reins of HARDI over to Randy Boyd who, besides being a great friend, is poised to lead HARDI to remarkable advances in our industry presence, strengthening wholesaler/supplier relations, regional meeting excellence and continued financial stability. Good luck, Randy!
I am extremely pleased about a number of things in my presidency, but I'd like to highlight two. The first is the growth in the regional meeting attendance and program development. As I have written before, many of us have been very concerned with the course the meetings have taken over the past six or seven years as attendance declined. Although we hoped the initiation of HARDI would easily solve the problem, this was not the case. Many people, in addition to the regional planners, have worked very hard to bring new life to the programs. I'm pleased to say we have turned the corner, and the attendance is growing at a rapid pace each year. If you have not attended recently, make plans to do so next year. I guarantee you will receive more than the value of your time. It's true that what you get out of such an event is equal to what you give, but it's also true that the association and industry gain through enhanced business relationships and business development. Can you afford not to participate?
Next, I'm very proud of the involvement in government relations that our association has attained this year, in particular through the efforts of Vice President Talbot Gee. Neither ARWI nor NHRAW had a presence or influence in governmental and regulatory efforts in the past, either at the national or state levels. In the past, that was probably good, but times and situations have changed. Today's issues, such as the pending energy bill, regional standards, and refrigerant management and reclaim, are concerns that have the potential to dramatically affect our businesses and our industry. Talbot and Don Frendberg have established strong working relationships with executive and government affairs staffs in Washington at ACCA, PHCC, ARI and GAMA, resulting in HARDI establishing a reputation for quickly producing grass-roots support on issues. More important is the recognition that HARDI and the wholesale distribution industry represent a major influence in economic development that can easily be detrimentally affected by unnecessary or unstudied regulatory controls.
These are exciting times for our association and our industry, and I see no limits to their continued growth, including our individual businesses. I'm proud that our association continues to provide an outstanding value proposition as evidenced by ongoing membership growth, conference attendance, event participation and an ever-expanding recognition of the true importance of wholesale distribution. Thank you for being the reason that is happening!