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Over 700 Nexstar members gathered at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas, on September 20-23 for the 2022 Nexstar Super Meeting. The attendees engaged in Nexstar’s offerings to them as members celebrated Nexstar’s 30th anniversary.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

DIGITAL COACH: The breakout session “Digital Experience for Evolving Customers” featured Nexstar digital marketing coach Nick Rau and strategic partners from 1SEO, Contractor Commerce and mPulse.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

WELCOME: Julian Scadden, Nexstar President & CEO, and Brittany Spencer, Nexstar business coach, connect with Kaitlyn Woods and Kathryn Kline-Smith of Nexstar member company Binsky Home Service at the welcome reception.

(All photos courtesy of Cris Pulk, Nexstar Network Sr. Multimedia Producer, click to enlarge.)

The theme of the event was “Strong Teams Grow Companies.” The event placed an emphasis on building teams that can work together confidently to move a business plan forward, and provided networking opportunities with members’ business coaches and industry peers, breakout sessions, and keynote speakers to deliver on that. Nexstar coaches presented breakout sessions covering topics like marketing, recruiting and retention, inventory, material and equipment shortages, digital experience for customers, breaking records in the spring and the fall, and more. The event also included a Women of Nexstar reception and the Strategic Partner Tradeshow, with booths from 75 vendors.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

WOMEN OF NEXSTAR: The Women of Nexstar reception brought women in the industry together to connect, share, and learn.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

STRATEGIC PARTNERS: The Nexstar Strategic Partner Trade Show included 75 partners helping share new products, services, and opportunities with Nexstar members.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

GENERAL SESSION: Nexstar president and CEO addresses members during the General Session.

“We go to manufacturers and we say, ‘Look, if our members will commit to buying from all of you, can we get rebates or discounts?’” said Julian Scadden, CEO and president of Nexstar.

Members also participated in a Nexstar Strategic Partner Super Meeting tradition — the “What’s In Your Toolbox?” game. Members who went to at least 25 exhibitor’s booths and received a sticker to show for it were entered into a drawing for a chance to win $7,000. David Lewis, owner of Mission Air Conditioning, took home the prize. In all, $27,000 was awarded to participants.

Keynote speakers included Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of the books “Triggers” and “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”; Brian Beaulieu, author, researcher, and economist; and Ross Bernstein, bestselling author of nearly 50 sports books.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

LEADERSHIP: Dr. Marshall Goldsmith helped audience members think about what kind of leaders they wanted to be.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

WINNING TIME: Ross Bernstein explains why certain teams win consistently and why others don’t succeed more.


Nexstar’s 30th Anniversary

Nexstar was founded in 1992 as Contractors 2000, by an influential contractor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin named Frank Blau, Jr. He saw that the contractors around him were struggling. Sure, they knew how to service and install, but they didn’t understand the business portion of the trade.

So, with the mission to turn the world’s best tradespeople into the world’s best business people, the organization was formed.

The first business fundamental Contractors 2000 wanted to teach was financial acumen, said Jack Tester, Nexstar’s leadership coach and trainer (and former CEO and president).

Respectfully, Tester said, “The primary focus early on was to help create financial awareness with basically financially illiterate people.

“Frank has two tenants: The price is the price — once you figure out what you need to charge, you can’t come off that price … The other thing Frank said was, ‘You gotta fall in love with your numbers.’”

The group taught contractors how to actually read and interpret an income statement and how to set a selling price based on real numbers. Thirty years, a rebranding, and more services and opportunities later, Nexstar continues.

Today, the organization is more “prescriptive,” Tester said.

“We still learn from our membership but we’re very prescriptive on what we do. There isn’t a table with seven ways to take a phone call. We say, ‘Here’s how we run a service call. Here’s how we dispatch a call.’”

Nexstar supports its members through a variety of services, placing a focus on each business owner’s independence. Nexstar doesn’t own any portion of its members’ businesses, and membership is on a month-to-month commitment.

“Yet we have a 98% retention rate of our members,” Scadden said. “They value us. I think part of that is tied to that we’re member-owned. We aren’t a nonprofit, but we are member-owned … So, technically, I can say we have about 900 different owners.”

Nexstar also has no equity, distributions, or dividends. It ensures that all of its profit goes back to serving its members so they engage deeper with the organization.

Nexstar focuses on serving its members in a few key ways: training, business coaches, and fostering relationships. The organization holds three-day in-person classes where they train call centers, sales, service technicians, accounting, inventory controls, etc. Each member has a business coach and an assigned coaching team comprised of individuals with expertise in operations, marketing, and customer experience.

But a key way, Nexstar serves by facilitating connections among its members. Nexstar holds an annual networking retreat focused solely on allowing the members to spend time with each other, growing and fostering their relationships.

“That’s where the learning happens,” Scadden said.

Nexstar 2022 Super Meeting

TECH TO COME: Nexstar IT team members Arthur Kjelshus, Sara Williams, and Lorenzo Deandrea lead a breakout session to help Nexstar members learn about the technology solutions available to them and offer a preview of what’s to come in 2023.

“We don't have to add another location. We don't have to add any new services. We just need to get [members] more engaged with what we've created here over the past few years, because some of that is new to them.”
Julian Scadden
President and CEO, Nexstar

The Future

Nexstar has what it calls an “engagement score” for each of its members that measures how engaged members are with their membership. The engagement score is made up of 20 different services Nexstar offers.

Phil Smitherman, owner of both Aux Home Services and Banks Quarles Plumbing Heating Cooling & Electric, joined the organization in 1998 when it was Contractors 2000 and served on the board when the engagement score was created.

“And what we realized, is the heaviest engaged are the most profitable, the happiest, the least stressed, and have double digit growth.”

However, over the past few years, the engagement scores of the membership at large have declined, Scadden said.

“We don't have to add another location. We don't have to add any new services. We just need to get [members] more engaged with what we've created here over the past few years, because some of that is new to them.”

Scadden said Nexstar’s goal is to become not a “volume based” organization but a “go deeper and broader across our members” organization.

“Going forward, what we know is any member that has an engagement score of 78% or higher grows their revenue at almost three times the rate year over year than other members,” he said. “That’s the story we need to start telling.”

Smitherman was drawn to the organization back in 1998, and what led him to the organization at that time was the core of what it offered and still offers today: business development.

“Most contractors are great tradesmen but terrible business people,” he said. “And you can struggle, you can make it. But … 20 years ago, you could just be a hard worker in this industry and you’d do okay. Not anymore. You better be smart, you better be strategic, and you better have a plan.”

And what the organization does do, and always has done, is help contractors funnel that in and focus on what the plan is.

“What’s been great is that Nexstar is a purpose-drive organization,” Tester said. “We’re not set up for our own sake. We’re not here to be sold or buy. We’re here to help. So it’s very pure. And that attracts special people to work here. People who want a career of meaning. And it also makes it easier to lead people because it was never about me or Frank. It was always about the purpose of the organization.”