First and foremost, let me tell you what an honor it is to serve as your HARDI president. I have watched for years as men have taken on this esteemed role with pride and I am now lucky enough to share that privilege. Like so many of you, I come from an established family business and I am particularly proud to give back to the industry that has been such a focal point of Meier Supply and my family’s history.
As I take over for President Bill Bergamini, I couldn’t be happier that one of his primary themes was keeping the focus on the customer and on relationships – especially when it comes to how we implement technology. As he called it, “technology for the sake of technology” doesn’t help anyone.
I hope you were paying attention and took his message to heart. However, I also believe that technology and innovation will continue to rise up the ladder of importance in our business. We are seeing the distribution model change in other industries as well as our own. We certainly do not want to be on the outside looking in.
I also intend to address the talent shortage in our industry. There are two main ways to address this. The first is to develop our existing teams at the highest level, meaning documented educational training programs where we raise their level. I have been involved in our training initiatives and am completely convinced that HARDI’s training and education resources are an essential element in taking our people to the next level.
Next, we need to improve our recruiting efforts — not only for us distributors but also for our contractor customers. The time for the next generation is now, and our future hinges on our ability to hire, train and keep millennials.
Finally, while I have been around this industry my entire life, it pales in comparison with the hundreds of thousands of collective years of experience among you all. My plans are to reach out to our membership to learn how HARDI can better serve you. There are gaps in our engagement levels, and we want to fill those voids with resources that HARDI members value to create more complete engagement across the board.
I look forward to the rest of my term as HARDI president and hope to see many of our savvy marketing minds and relentless sales pros at the Marketing & Sales Focus Conference this March 20-22 in San Diego.
As an involved, passionate advocate of HARDI, I am committed to making wholesale distribution thrive as the channel of choice in HVACR and am enthusiastic about the incredible progress we’ll make together this year.