ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) has released initial details for its 2011 Student Chapter Summit, the association’s annual conference for future mechanical construction, mechanical service, and plumbing industry professionals. The event, which is hosted this year by the Northern California MCA, will be held Oct. 6-8 in San Francisco. In addition to students and their faculty advisors, the event typically draws interested contractors and executives and staff from MCAA local affiliated associations.

“I am very excited about moderating at this year’s program of educational sessions,” said Brett Christiansen, chairman of MCAA’s Career Development Committee, a member of MCAA’s board of directors and president of Palmer-Christiansen Co., Inc. He added, “The program features a variety of aspects of the industry, to truly give our students a feel for their chosen careers. And, the opportunities for networking and learning are second to none.”

Christiansen will preside over the educational sessions, which include featured speakers:

• MCAA President Mark Rogers, who will discuss the mechanical contracting industry and the career paths it offers to soon-to-be professionals;

• MCAA 2008 President Jack Wilhelmi, speaking about “Estimating Projects”;

• Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) Vice Chairman Woody Woodall, addressing “Career Opportunities in the HVAC Service Industry”;

• Representatives from the Greater Michigan MSCA Student Chapter at Ferris State University, MCAA’s 2010 Student Chapter of the Year, discussing the programs and services that made them number one;

• Ken Durr of Durr Mechanical Construction Inc. and Prof. Keith Rahn from Illinois State University on “General Conditions”; and

• Don Russell of Tyco/Grinnell, John Brusa of NIBCO, Joe Pikus of Viega, and Frank Schaetzke of Zurn Industries discussing the manufacturer/supplier side of the business.

MCAA will announce details of the 2011-2012 Student Chapter Competition, which last year drew a record 29 proposals. And, Prof. Tim Wentz of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln will moderate a mini-competition to give students an opportunity to hone their skills for the big competition.

“Interesting tours are always a big part of the Summit,” said MCAA Director of Career Development Ann Mattheis. “This year, thanks to the people at Lescure Company Inc. of Lafayette, Calif., we’ll tour the University of California - Berkeley football stadium, which is undergoing a major renovation and reconstruction.”

Additional events will include a dinner at Sinbad’s Pier 2 Restaurant, a San Francisco favorite, where participants will have a chance to network and discuss career plans and a pre-Summit tour of the UA Local 342 Apprentice Training Facility in Concord, Calif. The tour will be followed by a dinner sponsored by EMCOR Companies Marelich Mechanical Company Inc. (Hayward, Calif.), Mesa Energy (Hayward, Calif.), and Performance Mechanical Inc. (Pittsburg, Calif.).

Registration, which is free to all MCAA members, is now open at A full brochure with additional details will be released in August.

For more information about the Summit or MCAA’s Career Development Initiative, contact Ann Mattheis at 301-869-5800 or

Publication date:07/18/2011