Mechanical contractors gathered from across the nation this fall to attend the Mechanical Service Contractors of America’s (MSCA) Live 2012 Annual Conference in Carlsbad, Calif. “Navigating a Changing World” was the central theme of the event, and each meeting segment focused on some aspect of change in business or life.

Woody Woodall, chairman of the board of managers for MSCA, and director of business development for the W.L. Gary Co. in Washington, D.C., started the meeting off with introductory remarks that emphasized the constant reinvention of the industry as well as the ongoing transformation of MSCA as an organization. Woodall’s points were further established by the organization’s new video “Transformational” (available for online viewing through MSCA’s YouTube channel:

Four specific transformations were highlighted in the video — technology, marketplace, lives, and opportunity. Industry leaders such as Wayne Turchetta, vice president, HMC Service Co.; Russ Borst, vice president of service, Hurst Mechanical; Ed Quinn, CEO, EMCOR Services Fluidics; Frank Norton, executive vice president, EMCOR Service Northeast; and Woodall shared what the industry was like when they began in the business, what it is like now, and how change is mandatory if contractors intend to keep up with the pace of technologically-enhanced business in the HVACR industry.

The conference provided attendees with access to keynote speakers, breakout sessions, an exhibit hall, peer-group discussions, and multiple entertainment and networking opportunities.

Vision, Influence, Perseverance, Fascination

Keynote speakers this year were diverse and addressed different topics in distinctive ways. The first was Eric Wahl. According to MSCA, “He is a visionary artist who dazzled the audience with his unique blend of artwork creation and strategies for building a vision for the future.” At the end of his presentation, Wahl had completed an on-the-spot portrait of Michael Jordan that was awarded to Mark Crockett of Crockett Facilities Services Inc. in Bowie, Md.

Influence and leadership expert Joseph Grenny took the stage in a keynote presentation that gave attendees a snapshot look into what it takes to be an influencer with the power to change anything. Grenny has advised leaders across the globe in both large and small companies. His message to contractors provided guidance on how to “motivate yourself and others to do things you don’t feel like doing; rapidly master new skills to achieve greater results; harness the power of peer pressure to accelerate change; and quickly amass the social influence to change the behavior of hundreds or thousands of people.”

Dick Hoyt has competed in over 1,075 races across the country while pushing, towing, or pedaling his disabled son, Rick Hoyt, in every race. Together this father-son team has overcome many odds as they compete and inspire audiences with their story and their motto, “Yes You CAN.” Dick’s story brought attendees to their feet in a standing ovation.

The final keynote speaker, Sally Hogshead, is considered the “Marketing Mistress of Fascination.” She instructed the audience about the first impressions and lasting opinions made by fellow coworkers and customers.

“Your personality has a specific advantage, and this advantage makes people more likely to trust you, respect you, and buy from you,” she said. “Some tests can report how you see the world. But, the most important question is not, ‘How do I see the world?’ but rather, ‘How does the world see you?’”

Hogshead provided attendees, as a gift from the MSCA, a complimentary pass to her Fascination Advantage™ test. They were able to take the test prior to MSCA Live and then receive the results at the conference.

Changing Things Up

Many traditional activities occurred during the conference this year. MSCA exceeded 2011’s exhibitor attendance with 50 companies and organizations participating in the Supplier Partnership Day. There were also multiple education sessions and discussion groups.

Keeping with the theme of change, however, MSCA made a few changes during the conference as well. One of the changes was the addition of MSCA Central. This revamped registration and resource center provided attendees with a space to learn and accomplish many things from recharging electronics to setting up their own LinkedIn accounts. Another change to the conference was a new activity for attendee spouses. Those interested participated in a Children’s Feeding Initiative Packing Party conducted in conjunction with Convoy of Hope.

The biggest change occurred as a new chairman and officers were named during the closing ceremonies. Robert Lake, EMCOR Service Mesa Energy Systems, Irvine, Calif., took over as chairman of the board of managers and presented Woodall, outgoing chairman, with a certificate of appreciation and a new guitar. MSCA also thanked outgoing board member David Bavisotto for his service. Borst and Chris Carter, Murphy Co., St. Louis, were introduced as the new members of the board of managers.

The conference ended with Marty Naseef, United Association (UA) director of HVAC service, speaking on behalf of Bill Hite, UA president. Naseef stressed the importance of the relationship between the UA and MSCA as he encouraged members of both organizations to continue building an alliance between them.

Next year’s conference is scheduled for Oct. 13-16 at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, Fla.

See more videos from MSCA Live 2012 at

Publication date: 12/17/2012