From my vantage point, 2017 has been another leap forward in HARDI's evolution toward becoming the best industry association possible. 

This year's record attendance at the Congressional Fly-In was exciting, but the packed house at the Marketing & Sales Focus Conference was especially satisfying to me. I met so many young professionals from HARDI member companies who were learning with and from each other. 

The HARDI events, educational offerings, and certifications have truly become the "best in class" for career growth and employee development in our industry. Our Data Driven Newsletter has improved to become my favorite bimonthly inbox click. It is the most relevant 5-minute read you can find. 

Jon Melchi's updates on advocacy provide up-to-the-minute insight on regulations, policy, and elections that can affect you and offers suggestions on what you can do about it. We have had a measurable effect on important federal and state legislation. Right behind the advocacy update is the monthly TRENDS report, your scorecard for performance comparison that provides an instant 1-minute view of how the market is doing.  It's a snapshot benchmark that is time-tested and accurate. And, with our recent announcement that the Distributor Performance Dashboard (DPD) and Compensation Report are now included with HARDI dues, you now have a complete monthly and annual suite of dashboards to keep your team on the right track. All you have to do is participate, utilize, and adapt. It's never been easier, better, or more valuable to incorporate these tools into your business plan. 

HARDI has now evolved to be your HVACR distribution industry guidepost. If you currently submit data, you know how easy it is to participate and how beneficial the data is to your team. If not, 2018 is the time to start. 

Everything you need to know to utilize HARDI resources in accomplishing your company's goals is available at the annual conference. Ask any HARDI staffer how to get started. They will work with your team to make the start-up process of data submission easy, and the rewards come quickly.  My goal this year was to do my best to help members deeply integrate their teams with the HARDI team, tools, and resources. "Organizational Engagement" was the theme, and I'm happy to say that our incredible HARDI members must have had the same idea. We are operating at a broader and deeper level with member companies and their staff, and the deeper the bonds go, the more we learn about remaining educational, benchmarking, and advocacy opportunities.        

These opportunities will be pursued by your HARDI staff, council, and committee chairs and our dedicated officers and board of directors. The best part of my HARDI 2017 experience was working with these people. Your fellow industry professionals serve HARDI selflessly and passionately, and your HARDI staff in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the finest, most talented group of people I know. They are a team of individual specialists, harmonized with their leadership into a demanding, accountable whole. They continue to exceed expectations.  They worked tirelessly throughout 2017 to help you succeed and to set the stage for even better performance for 2018. Those HARDI members who fully integrate with HARDI resources already get it.  For the rest, your turn has arrived.