ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) will hold the 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:

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

• Jack Wilhelmi, MCAA 2008 president, speaking about estimating projects;

• Woody Woodall, Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) vice chairman, 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 No. 1;

• Ken Durr of Durr Mechanical Construction Inc. and Keith Rahn, professor at Illinois State University, on general conditions; and

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

Details of the 2011-12 Student Chapter Competition will be announced. Tim Wentz, professor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, will moderate a mini competition to give students an opportunity to hone their skills for the big one.

“Interesting tours are always a big part of the summit,” noted Ann Mattheis, MCAA director of career development. “This year, thanks to the people at Lescure Co. 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, 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 Co. Inc., Hayward, Calif.; Mesa Energy, Hayward, Calif.; and Performance Mechanical Inc., Pittsburg, Calif.

For more information, contact Ann Mattheis at 301-869-5800 or, or go to

Publication date: 09/05/2011