Rainy Pennsylvania Field Site for Oilstock 2

Attendees at Oilstock 2 had a chance to browse discussion tables and auction items under the big tent.
HAMBURG, Pa. - It was an unlikely venue for a meeting of oil heat contractors; a grassy field in a rural Pennsylvania setting, among small farms, homes, and a local tavern. But it made for a cozy atmosphere for over 50 people who attended the second annual Oilstock meeting of oil heat contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers. Alan Mercurio and Scott Lutz, two prominent names in oil heat, organized the meeting. Mercurio operates the Website Oil Tech Talk (www.oiltechtalk.com) and Lutz operates the Oil Tech Talk training school on the grounds next to where the Oilstock meeting took place.

Attendees had a chance to discuss industry topics at designated roundtables, learn about new products for their trade, and spend time sharing business and family stories with old friends.

Mercurio said, "This is a good chance to help each other out ... and to get out of New York for a while!"

He acknowledged that there might have been more personal business discussed than professional but that was OK with the attendees, too. One visitor, Jerry Jubinville said, "I just enjoy visiting with everybody."

The list of attendees included visitors from North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

Mercurio said that the intent of Oilstock, besides being a social gathering, is to give exposure to the Oil Tech Talk training school. Oilstock visitors had the opportunity to tour the facility during the meeting.

"We want local Pennsylvania residents to see the facility and take advantage of the training," Mercurio said. "We can get big turnouts at seminars in nearby states but it always seems to be a problem getting Pennsylvania businesses interested in our training."

Mercurio also commented on how badly the training is needed for the oil heat trade. "I guess some people work at a company for six months and they think they know everything," he said. "I've been doing this for 19 years and I still learn something new all of the time."

One of the other objectives of Oilstock is to raise money for Oil Heat Cares, a not-for-profit foundation that assists needy persons and organizations with the replacement of their oil heating appliance. Last year at Oilstock 1, $600 was raised for the foundation. That same figure was met this year despite a smaller turnout.

It was also announced at the Oilstock luncheon that a new fundraising drive has been set up to help pay for the expenses to send Mercurio to next spring's ISH Trade Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. Dan Holohan of HeatingHelp.com and Nancy Garber of the National Association of Oil Heat Service Managers (NAOHSM) are spearheading the drive, in an effort to raise $3,000 to pay back Mercurio for all of the work that he has done for oil heat professionals.

For more information or to make a donation, visit Oil Heat Cares at www.oilheatcares.com. For more information on the drive to send Mercurio to the ISH Trade Fair, visit www.heatinghelp.com and click on "The Wall."

Publication date: 07/17/2006

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