One of the benefits of being President of HARDI is the opportunity to travel and meet with other HARDI members throughout the country and get a sense of how business is going for our members and how HARDI is doing as an association. As I approach the mid-point of my tenure, I can safely say that I have a good feeling about the state of HARDI and of HVACR distribution.

At the time I write this we have completed the Western and Southeastern Regional meetings, and I believe that both meetings were great successes. The content of these meetings, which included a panel analyzing the future of incentives in HVACR programs, HARDI's Human Resources Consultant Nancye Combs offering tips on saving money through effective HR practices, HARDI economist Andrew Dugay's regional economic forecast, and a government affairs presentation by Jon Melchi, HARDI's director of government affairs, were all first rate. If you have not attended a HARDI Regional meeting, I strongly suggest you do and bring your staff. These meetings will help your organization.

Another event that is coming up is the HARDI Congressional Fly-In, which is June 4-5 in Washington, D.C. This event is one of my favorite HARDI functions and provides an opportunity for HARDI members to work together and advocate for our industry to our leaders in Washington. Decisions made in Washington, be it regional standards, R-22 allocation, or labor and workforce items, have an impact on all of our companies and this event provides us as HARDI members with a forum to make our voices heard. If you haven't been to a HARDI Fly-In, I urge you to take part in this event. HARDI's staff will take care of scheduling all of your meetings and preparing you for what to expect in Washington. All you need to do is bring the story of your business, and together we will make an impact.

One of the initiatives that I am most excited about is the launch of The HARDI Education and Training University, or HEAT.U. Education is one of the four pillars of service HARDI provides our members, and I believe that HEAT.U will revolutionize the way HVACR distributors educate and train their employees. HEAT.U is the result of the hard work and collaboration of HARDI's Professional Development and Training Committee, co-chaired by Russ Geary (Geary Pacific) and Kevin Dier (Johnstone Supply), and HARDI's director of education, Emily Saving. The committee has also been working diligently to develop a program designed specifically for branch managers, which is expected to be released very soon, and I think you will find it of great value to your company. I would encourage all of you to visit HARDI's website and learn more about how HEAT.U can help improve your workforce.

As HARDI continues to be proactive in anticipating and responding to the ever-evolving needs of our membership, your feedback is always welcomed. Most of HARDI's current projects have come about as a direct result of input from our members. I urge all of our members to actively participate in the various councils and committees within HARDI and to contact Talbot Gee or me directly with any comments, questions or concerns.

Bud Mingledorff
HARDI President