Organizers said HARDI’s recent “emerging leaders” conference in Texas was beneficial for HVAC industry up-and-coming managers and established experts, organizers said. 

The July 19-21 event in Austin included  a nine-member mentor panel from companies such as Allied Air Enterprises and Charles D. Jones & Co., who were paired with 75 younger HVAC market managers for learning and conversation.

Attendance was the strongest it has ever been for such an event, said Emily Saving, the Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International’s vice president of professional and program development.

“We’ve added more components to the emerging leaders program and we’re finding that our future leaders are valuing it greatly,” Saving said. “In fact, half of our attendees responded to a survey after the conference and 98 percent of them said they would attend another emerging-leaders event. It’s very encouraging for our industry that our future leaders are so engaged and dedicated to maximizing their potential.”

Attendee Dan Lauterhahn, vice president of sales for Packard Inc., who co-heads a task force that helps shape the program, said it was a good event.

 “Learning and sharing information with our mentors was the highlight of the week,” Lauterhahn said. “Being able to have access to some of the most well-respected HVACR executives and understanding how they think was a priceless experience for me.”