As we near the end of the first quarter of 2012, it's interesting to take a short look back over the last couple of months. Read what else Bud Mingledorff has to say.

As we near the end of the first quarter of 2012, it's interesting to take a short look back over the last couple of months. This year's weather so far at my home in South Carolina is pretty unremarkable, as it is around much of the country. I don't hear many people complaining except perhaps the skiers and our Alaskan friends who faced -80øF at one point. Of course I sometimes wonder why people would choose to live up there at any time other than summer, but that's probably because I'm spoiled being a Southerner. But please don't hold that against me.

Of course, one of the great events this year so far was the HARDI Icebreaker prior to the AHR Expo in Chicago. What a great event and a wonderful opportunity to meet with hundreds of industry friends in a great social setting. Great food, beverages, and the playoff game between the Giants and the 49ers on a big screen in the background. All in all it doesn't get much better than that. We hosted more than 500 guests this year, and many folks were still talking about it at the expo, and they weren't all happy Giants fans. From my perspective, the expo was one of the best industry events ever. The HARDI booth was once again a meeting place for hundreds of our members and a great resource for many prospective members and other industry friends. I was impressed with the openness and optimism that was present with everyone I spoke with. It goes to reinforce once again that there is a vast difference between what we hear in the media about economic conditions and how we see it and individually work to improve it on a day-to-day basis.

If you have not done so yet, I encourage you to take a few minutes and visit the updated HARDI website at It is open, inviting, and packed full of information about the HARDI membership and all the opportunities available within the association to enhance your business through benchmarking, advocacy, education, and networking. As your president, I can attest your association is strong, dynamic, and on the move.

I would like to make mention of the decision by the HARDI leadership to file a petition against the Department of Energy for their failure to follow proper procedures in the rule-making process of establishing regional standards. This petition filing is virtually unheard of in the history of HARDI and its predecessor associations; however, we consider the process undertaken by DOE to be very abnormal and potentially harmful to many of our members. I encourage everyone to view the Advocacy section of the website for more information on this action and to be on the lookout for further updates.

We are rapidly moving into the regional meeting time of the year, and if you do not have the meetings on your calendar, I strongly encourage you to do so. Pull up the events section of the website and note the dates and locations. As always, registration and accommodations are available through the website.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Best Regards,

Bud Mingledorff
HARDI President