The opening session begins Sunday, Oct. 14, and according to MSCA it will be one of its largest conferences ever, with over 580 attendees registered. The first meeting features Frank Miles, a professional variety comedian with numerous television and Las Vegas credits. Miles discovered, after being revived from a deadly hang gliding accident, that true courage isn’t facing death - it is facing life. He now uses comedy, juggling, music, and magic to demonstrate the lessons he’s learned about beating and laughing at fear. This session will also include the honoring of MSCA’s STARS, and will be directly followed by a welcome reception.
“This year’s conference, ‘Reaching New Heights in Service Excellence,’ will be our most popular and best attended conference ever,” said Wayne Turchetta of HMC Service, Louisville, Ky., and chairman of the MSCA Board of Managers. “As chairman, this makes me particularly proud as it is indicative of the high value our members place on education and the important role MSCA plays in providing the skills and tools needed to grow your company.”
DOWN TO BUSINESSOn Monday, the business begins. An expanded exhibitors display featuring the industry’s latest products and services starts early Monday morning. The exhibitors will have their products and information on display through Monday’s luncheon. On Tuesday, the exhibitors will participate in the Bright Ideas Breakfast. This two-hour, breakfast roundtable will provide participants an opportunity to obtain additional critical information from exhibitors.
Monday also marks the first of two peer group roundtable discussion sessions. The second session will be held on Wednesday. Each topic-specific peer discussion is devoted to the exchange of information and ideas with fellow service contractors from across the country.
The afternoon is occupied with two educational sessions followed by a happy hour reception early Monday evening.
SERVICE SESSIONSAccording to MSCA, “This year’s selection of educational programs is top notch. Experienced and innovative experts will provide participants with a wealth of new ideas and creative strategies to help take their company to that next level of success.”
Offered over the course of the three-day convention, the educational session topics were specifically chosen to address critical service and business issues.
Michael Staver, president of The Staver Group, will discuss leadership and how leaders can effectively create and reinforce culture in his session titled, “The Leadership Adventure.”
Caryl Shuham, partner at the Shuham & Shuham law firm, will provide an overview of relevant laws and statutes pertaining to ethics affecting all those in the mechanical service industry. Her session, “Business Ethics,” will include a practical focus on key ethical issues governing companies and their employees.
Bruce Tulgan, founder of Rainmaker Thinking, will show participants how to effectively manage their number one asset - human talent - in his session, “Winning the Talent Wars®: Best Strategies and Practices For Human Capital Management.”
Strategic thinking will be addressed by Dr. Larry Carr, co-faculty director for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s (MCAA’s) Advanced Leadership Institute. He will offer a logical and systems approach for positioning a firm for sustained competitive advantage and financial success.
Mark Breslin, CEO of Breslin Strategies, will analyze labor and management’s mutual needs and the business approach that must be taken from a marketing, operations, collective bargaining, training, and financing standpoint, in his “Partners at The Crossroads” presentation.
Mimi Donaldson, a consultant and comedian, will offer a comical presentation on the differences in communication between men and women. Her session, “Men and Women: Can We Talk?,” will instruct participants on how to understand communication differences based on gender as enhancing, not as inhibiting.
The green movement and its affects on the industry will be discussed during the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” session. According to MSCA, “The green movement is here to stay and those that don’t climb on board will be at a severe disadvantage.”
Another industry issue will be discussed during the “HVAC Service Industry From the Customer’s Perspective” session. This session will help answer questions such as, “What attributes do customers look for when hiring a contractor?”, How does a customer evaluate a company’s performance?”, and “Is price the key determining factor for customers making a purchase decision?”
A panel of local business managers will discuss how they have recognized the opportunities to be gained from the service industry and how they have taken steps to ensure their union local embraces these opportunities in the “Service Success From a Local Union Perspective” session.
“Building On a Foundation of Service” will feature Don House, the United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA) director of HVACR Service, and Steve Allen, UA director of HVACR training and recruitment, discussing and presenting the details of many of the new joint UA/MSCA initiatives, including training, certification, recruiting, and marketing.
The MSCA will also be introducing and previewing its new Sales Manager Training Program during its “Developing Great Sales Managers” session. The session will include a discussion on the role of the sales manager, how to set sales goals and develop a sales strategy, how to analyze the sales program, coaching, feedback, teamwork, motivation, and recruiting.
ENJOY THE SCENERYBesides entertainment and education, MSCA is offering access to recreational events ranging from the golf course to the railway. Tuesday will feature the 16th Annual Trane/MSCA Golf Tournament at the Broadmoor’s East Golf Course. Home of the 2008 U.S. Senior Open, the shotgun start tournament is open to all golfers - “the serious and the not so serious.”
There will also be a tour of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and of the Garden of the Gods. Participants in the USAFA tour will see a glimpse into a cadet’s life, education, military responsibilities, and training intensity. Leaving the academy, participants will venture on to visit the Garden of the Gods, once a prime hunting ground for the Uncompahgre Indians. There will also be a Jeep adventure that allows participants to explore the foothills above Colorado Springs in an open-sided, 4-wheel-drive Jeep.
Those with a taste for the rails, however, can find themselves on a cog railway heading to the Pike’s Peak 14,110-foot summit.
Special spouse programs will be available too. During the “Discover Colorado Springs” tour, spouses will get a taste of Colorado participating in tours of Millionaires Row, Van Briggle Pottery, and the Business of Arts Center. They will then have lunch at The Cliff House. There will also be two topical tours of The Broadmoor Hotel. The historical tour will feature a walking tour of the grounds, and the art tour will showcase the murals and ceiling paintings of artist Mickey Baxter, within the hotel.
FAREWELL FLIGHTWednesday’s closing luncheon session will feature John Foley. Foley is a former lead solo pilot for the Navy’s Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team. At one point, he had to improve his flying performance by 300 percent. He has since become one of the top pilots in the world. During his multimedia, interactive presentation, Foley will describe what it is like to be a part of the Blue Angels and demonstrate how to turn Blue Angel methodology and critical thinking skills into concrete business results.
“John will inspire you to embrace challenges, break through barriers, and accelerate performance,” said MSCA.
With the business, education, and entertainment offerings completed, MSCA participants should leave the conference ready to reach new heights in service excellence.
For more information, visit www.msca.org.