Nine respected HVACR industry mentors and leadership professionals shared their expertise at the Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) Emerging Leaders summer conference in Austin, Texas.

“Learning and sharing information with our mentors was the highlight of the week,” said Dan Lauterhahn, vice president of sales, Packard Inc., who co-leads a task force that helps shape the program. “Having access to some of the well-respected HVACR executives and understanding how they think was a priceless experience for me.”

The industry mentor panel included Frank Alexander, president, Johnstone Supply of Las Vegas; Richard Cook, president and COO, Johnson Supply; Wade Ellis, human resources director, Allied Air Enterprises; Talbot Gee, CEO, HARDI; Royce Henderson, president, Charles D. Jones & Co.; Susan Kirkland, president, Packard Inc.; Mike Meier, vice president and COO, Meier Supply Co. Inc.; Bud Mingledorff, owner and chairman, Mingledorff’s Inc.; and Tom Roberts, president, cfm Distributors Inc.

In addition to the mentoring session, the conference included a speaking engagement with famed basketball coach Ken Carter, leadership coaching with trainer Leslie Koch, as well as other hands-on development and networking sessions.

Lauterhahn was one of 75 Emerging Leaders to attend the event, making it a record-setting number of attendees — more than a 50 percent increase over the previous year.

“We’ve added more components to the Emerging Leaders program and we’re finding that our future leaders are valuing it greatly,” said Emily Saving, vice president of professional and program development, HARDI. “In fact, half of our attendees responded to a survey after the conference and 98 percent of them said they would attend another Emerging Leaders event. It’s very encouraging for our industry that our future leaders are so engaged and dedicated to maximizing their potential.”

HARDI also used the event to launch a new graduation track for the Emerging Leaders program. Program participants can complete a combination of event participation, coursework, and leadership assessments to progress through the program, earning a concrete accolade for their efforts. HARDI members interested in joining the Emerging Leaders program are encouraged to contact Saving at or 614-345-4328.

Publication date: 8/31/2015

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