Those 90-degree days sure do help business. No doubt the heat is our best salesperson. It’s amazing how, as the thermometer spikes, our outside sales reps seem to all transform into rainmakers. In the Northeast, we enjoyed a particularly warm June, and I’m happy to see that our friends in the Southeastern, Southwestern and Western regions benefited from the same weather.

The only drawback to this is that we can become so busy just trying to keep up with the pace that our big-picture strategic plans sit on the back burner. Booming business is a legitimate reason for that, but it’s important to get your eyes back on the larger goals as soon as the summer rush tapers off. Don’t fall into the trap of celebrating those sales without evaluating where you stand compared with your year-end, three-year and five-year plans.

A few weeks ago, HARDI leadership took part in a Strategic Planning meeting to discuss the association’s vision and goals for the next five years. (The last strategic planning meeting was in 2009.) This occasion was a stark reminder to me about the importance of setting aside time to go through this involved process. Too often, we get caught up in the whirlwind of our day-to-day business and, before we know it, another season has passed, and we’ve missed out on opportunities to innovate or discover improved processes.

If you’ve never held a strategic planning meeting, I highly recommend contacting anyone from HARDI leadership for some direction putting your first one together.

But even the most well-laid plans can’t predict the future, and 2016 has definitely thrown a few regulatory curveballs our way. The refrigerant carousel continues to go round and round, and new regional standards policies went into effect in July. As if that’s not enough, many of us will be reclassifying employees in light of the new overtime rules. Look for Jon Melchi to clarify these and other regulatory changes at the Strategic Leadership conference in Newport, Rhode Island, Oct. 2-4. Melchi joins a handful of other experts in providing new perspectives and guidance to leaders throughout the industry. Register at

While I look forward to gaining new insights in Newport, I was honored to share from my own experience by serving as a mentor at the Emerging Leaders Summer Conference in Chicago just a few weeks ago. The renowned Al Bates led a thought-provoking discussion on financials and profitability, and Jason Bader facilitated a hands-on exercise that put our young leaders in the driver’s seat of their companies. The conference sold out for the second year in a row, so if you’re interested in joining the Emerging Leaders, you’ll have to be quick!

Finally, in case you missed it during the summer rush, registration has opened for the Annual Conference. I look forward to joining you all in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this December as we “elevate” our game. I hope you’ll Commit to the Climb with me.

Stay cool,

Michael Meier