ORLANDO — The Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) convened on Orlando for its 2015 annual conference in December. The event welcomed the most distribution companies since 2007.

One of the keynote speakers included Marc Randolph, founding CEO of Netflix. Randolph shared his business story, including being laughed out of a meeting with Blockbuster Video in 2000 for asking them to buy Netflix for $50 million. Of course, Netflix is now worth more than $30 billion and Blockbuster is no longer around.

“Netflix started as just a simple idea,” Randolph said. “You do not necessarily need the biggest idea. For us, it was just a better way to rent a movie.”

Randolph has founded more than a handful of successful startups in the e-commerce, media, enterprise software, and portable device industries. Before a room packed with distributors, he stressed how companies, both large and small, can effectively create an atmosphere that fosters innovation.

“In business, you need to have a tolerance for risk,” Randolph said.

John Rossman and Alan Beaulieu also served as keynote speakers. Rossman was responsible for launching the development of the Amazon Marketplace business. Beaulieu serves as HARDI’s economist and gave the distributors an overview and predictions on the economy.


During the event, HARDI recognized four champions for their outstanding contributions to one of the HARDI pillars. The following champions in Advocacy, Benchmarking, and Education were recognized:

• Advocacy: Mingledorff’s and Geary Pacific Supply — The Advocacy Pillar Champion was accepted by Bud Mingledorff and Russ Geary. “Bud and Russ are staunch supporters of HARDI and have been instrumental in the success of the organization’s Congressional Fly-In event,” said Jon Melchi, vice president of government affairs and business development, HARDI. “In the interest of affecting positive change for the entire industry, both companies rallied fellow members to head to Washington for valuable exchanges with their representatives.”

• Benchmarking: Benoist Bros. Supply Co. — “Benoist Bros. Supply Co. is a leader in adopting benchmarking tools and has been an invaluable member providing feedback for the various new projects in benchmarking,” said Brian Loftus, market research and benchmarking analyst, HARDI. “The strength of HARDI is in the sharing of ideas. So, when someone uses and contributes to all the benchmarking tools and provides feedback, every HARDI member benefits.”

• Education: Sid Harvey — In 2015, Sid Harvey made an impressive commitment to education and training. The company worked with HARDI to create a dedicated Sid Harvey cohort of the Sales Manager Certification Program, enrolling more than 12 managers. “They’re sending a clear message that they’re dedicated to training and development,” said Emily Saving, vice president of professional and program development, HARDI. “A bold move like that reaps the benefits of the training program itself, and, more importantly, it ignites a company culture hungry for first-rate performance.”


Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC) announced that Johnstone Supply, US Air Conditioning Distributors, Johnson Supply, and Auer Steel & Heating Supply Co. have been named the 2015 Big Man On Planet (BMOP) winners. The annual competition among HARDI members took place May 1 to Oct. 31 and recovered 432 pounds of mercury from collected thermostats, a 71 percent increase from 2014.

Twenty-five HARDI member distributors with more than 1,000 locations nationwide competed in BMOP this year. The competition created four tiers based on company size and awarded a trophy to the distributor within each tier
that recovered the most mercury. Additionally, a monetary incentive was awarded to the branch location within each tier that recovered the most during the competition.

• Tier four: Distributors with 101-plus locations — Johnstone Supply won tier four by recovering 205 pounds of mercury. Its Salem, Oregon, branch received the $500 incentive for being the location that recycled the most within the tier.

• Tier three: Distributors with 41-100 locations — US Air Conditioning Distributors won tier three by recovering 33.47 pounds of mercury. Its City of Industry, California, branch received the $1,000 incentive for being the location that recycled the most in the overall competition.

• Tier two: Distributors with 11-40 locations — Johnson Supply won tier two by recovering 18.72 pounds of mercury. York International’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, branch received the $500 incentive for being the location that recycled the most within its tier.

• Tier one: Distributors with 1-10 locations — Auer Steel & Heating Supply Co. won tier one by recovering 6.77 pounds of mercury. Corken Steel’s Florence, Kentucky, branch received the $500 incentive for being the location that recycled the most within its tier.

On the final night of the conference, Bill Bergamini, president of Illco Inc., passed the gavel to incoming president Michael Meier of Meier Supply, granting him presidential authority over HARDI in 2016.

Bergamini thanked members for their support throughout his presidency and highlighted the growing success of the Emerging Leaders program. Meier announced that a major emphasis of his presidency will be to strengthen HARDI members’ involvement, particularly in the educational and training programs HARDI offers.

Publication date: 2/1/2016

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