“Now is the Time” is the theme of the Mechanical Service Contractors Association’s (MSCA’s) 24th Annual Education Conference.

“Now is the Time” is the theme of the Mechanical Service Contractors Association’s (MSCA’s) 24th Annual Education Conference, taking place Oct. 18-21 in Bonita Springs, Fla. The theme begs the question: Time for what?

Now is the time to learn. That is, it’s time to learn methods to build your business.

Educational sessions will provide information and business management tools to help contractors survive the current economic downturn. These include managing cash flow, extreme leadership, making your company stand out from the competition, negotiating skills for a tough economy, succeeding with LEED, lifecycle selling, building your company’s unique brand, and providing energy services. A special optional program on Strategic Business Planning also will be available.


The conference will pay particular attention to opportunities in energy efficiency and LEED projects.

Prof. Mike Feutz of Ferris State University will explore performance upgrades that increase efficiency and reduce energy use and costs for customers. Attendees will be shown how to calculate savings in dollars and energy usage, which can help contractors sell projects to green-minded customers. Payback analysis examples will show how to sell performance upgrades over the lifecycle of equipment. A discussion of utility bill analysis will help attendees analyze customer energy costs in detail, so they can qualify and quantify maximum savings.

Dave Hubka, LEED AP, is a sustainable project manager at Total Mechanical Inc., in Wisconsin, where he is involved in HVAC systems design for LEED platinum certification. His workshop will focus on what mechanical contractors can do to achieve and succeed on these projects. He will discuss LEED project bidding and credit implementation, as well as project strategies and shortcuts (including required documentation). The session will update attendees on all 2009 changes, and planned future changes to the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Building Certification Institute, and the LEED rating systems.

Additionally, Jeff Cochran of the Shapiro Negotiations Institute will share his negotiating tips. And Tim Kensok and Jim Crowder will explain how to integrate energy and sustainable services into customers’ maintenance programs.


This is not the time to lose your marketing focus. Promoting your brand appropriately in uncertain times is a fast and relatively inexpensive way to generate revenue and increase your company’s bottom line.

Marketing strategist and ad agency owner Bruce Turkel will share his techniques to help contractors attract new customers. He will explain the seven steps to building brand value; why perception is more important than reality; how bad times can actually be a good time to grow your business; and what customers are really buying (and what you should be selling).

Business writer Steve Farber will share his insights about the type of leadership needed in tough times. Marketing guru Scott McKain will demonstrate how to distinguish your company from the competition. And National Education Initiative presenter Kathryn Crosby will explain how to maximize cash flow.

Scott McKain’s presentation will be based on his bestseller “Collapse of Distinction,” a book that pinpoints the primary problems facing mechanical contractors in this economy. McKain is vice chairman of Obsidian Enterprises, a $100 million organization controlling 19 companies.

In addition, Peer Group roundtable discussions will include:

• Training in 21st century and beyond.

• UA/MSCA - partners for business success.

• Principals focus - lonely at the top.

• Best practices in a challenging market.

• Unique sales strategies.

• Supporting a sales team/setting goals.

• Maximizing green opportunities.

• Field technology/GPS.

• MSCA Star/GreenStar.

• Customer retention in a competitive economy.

• New rules and new tools in HVACR and recruiting.

• Field productivity.

• Selling energy services.

MSCA’s 24th annual educational conference will take place Oct. 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, Fla. For more information, call 301-869-5800; e-mail saorantes@mcaa.org; or visit www.msca.org.

Publication date:09/07/2009