These 10-year charter members of the Unified Group were recognized at the association’s annual meeting. The 2009 Annual Meeting and Owner’s Forum will be held in Palm Springs, Calif., Nov. 11-14.

The Unified Group goes to great lengths to make sure its contractor meeting attendees get a lot out of their sessions. It even gives them “homework” to fill out in preparation. It was sent out to members recently in anticipation of the 2009 Annual Meeting and Owner’s Forum, to be held in Palm Springs, Calif., Nov. 11-14.

“The information/homework we ask from each of our members is used to help facilitate specific discussions throughout the course of our meetings,” explained Allison Rodgers, Sales/Marketing coordinator for the group. “A lot of the homework answers also help us in customizing speaker topics,” she said. “A lot of the service managers mentioned they are interested in learning more about managing people, so that became a focus for the meeting.”

The information gathered before meetings helps to drive the discussion in a large group, and also helps the organizers group people with similar challenges during breakout sessions. “For example, for this forum we asked our members about different technologies they are utilizing,” Rodgers said. “The information we gather will help to better facilitate a best-practices discussion between companies who are using a specific technology, and those members interested in using the same technology.”

All of the info is put onto a jump drive, giving participants information that encourages them to share it after the meeting. “If you hear someone talk about something that you think might be of interest to your company,” Rodgers said, “you can simply plug in the jump drive, and find out their contact info.”

This year’s forum will include:

• Executive summaries.

• Strategic planning.

• Sharing of best practices.

Through networking and sharing best practices with like-minded, noncompeting contractors, the group says it helps its members become more efficient, productive, profitable, and an overall greater resource to customers.

For more information, contact Rodgers at 888-714-5990; e-mail; or visit

Publication date:10/26/2009