PHOENIX - Top distributors of HVACR products met in Phoenix for the Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) 2005 Annual Fall Conference. On the docket were such topics as 13 SEER, EDI and technology, steel industry developments, insurance rates, and the promotion of a two-step distribution value. Workshops also covered sales, customer service, and economic trends. Well over 1,200 were in attendance.

Randy Tice, of APR Supply Co. and 2005 HARDI president, addressed the membership. "During my tenure, representing HARDI at various industry events has enabled me to assess how the association is perceived. I am pleased to report that HARDI is held in the highest regard and is seen as one of the most progressive in the industry." He went on to say, "We have all worked very hard to bring HARDI to the forefront of industry consciousness."

Newly elected 2006 president Bill Shaw, of Standard Supply & Distributing Co., projected a similar approach to his term with the association. "We are finally recognized for the value that wholesale distribution provides to the HVACR industry and the nation's economy. Moreover, through the growing number of educational and training offerings and HARDICAT technology initiatives, HARDI has greatly contributed to improving our members' productivity and performance. And even more importantly I believe most everyone in our industry will agree that we've vastly improved profitability."

"That being said," said Shaw, "there remains much to accomplish in the future, and I am fortunate that members have selected me to lead the association through the next year. I have a great board, a cadre of hard-working officers, and a proficient staff to assist me as we move to even greater achievements. As we move forward, I have no doubt that we will face many challenges, but I prefer to look at them as opportunities to be an even greater association and industry."

Other meeting highlights included the HARDI Supplier Awards presentations. Richard Foster, president of Zone-A-Trol was the recipient of the 2005 Booster Award. The award is based on a supplier's contribution in unusual and outstanding ways to the association and the industry. Honeywell International, Lau Parts Division, Rheem Heating & Air Conditioning, and Selkirk LLC were recognized for 50 years of participation in the HARDI conference booth program, and Arkema was honored for 25 years of support.

Ron Foster received the first HARDI Distinguished Service Award during the convention. The 75-year-old Foster holds doctorate degrees in finance and marketing, and was the founder and CEO of Management Foresight, an Ohio-based consulting company that worked with wholesalers in industries ranging from lumber and beef to HVACR and electrical contracting. The development of the association's Performance Analysis Reports, commonly know as the PAR seminars, is included among Foster's contributions.

The next HARDI annual conference will be Nov. 4-7, 2006 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs in Palm Desert, Calif.

Publication date: 12/05/2005