In my years at Snips, I’ve learned that the HVAC and sheet metal industry is a pretty charitable one. Not every company or association talks about it, but many people who work in this field like to give back.

The Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association annually makes a donation to a charity based in whatever city it’s holding its annual conference. And the International Exposition Co., which produces the AHR Expo, does the same. I’m sure there are plenty of others I’m forgetting.

But the Joseph Groh Foundation is something, different, as I learned when writing this month’s cover story.

Joseph Groh Foundation

The Joseph Groh Foundation board.

A longtime sales and marketing manager with stints at Titus, PCI Industries and Lennox, Groh, then 53, was out for a bike ride on Father’s Day 2008 when he took too sharp a turn and flew off the bicycle, landing on his head. The accident broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord — but it didn’t affect his attitude, which remained unfailingly upbeat.

The accident changed Groh’s life, requiring major modifications to his home and lifestyle. He was no longer able to walk, let alone ride a bike. But instead of falling into a deep depression, Groh realized he was still more fortunate than many. That led to the establishment of the Joseph Groh Foundation, a nonprofit that concentrates on helping people with injuries similar to Groh’s. And unlike other similar groups, Groh’s foundation has a special focus on people with a connection to the construction industry, especially HVAC.

By raising money through golf tournaments and other activities, the foundation has helped 45 people to date with serious spinal injuries or nervous system disorders live better lives.

Expo time

If it’s January, that means it’s time for the AHR Expo, that annual HVAC smorgasbord of new products and proven technologies that help sheet metal workers do their jobs and people everywhere stay comfortable.

AHR Expo

This year’s AHR Expo takes place Jan. 22-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

As you’ll read in this month’s preview story, written by associate editor Lauren Tucci-Howey, expo organizers are expecting big things from this year’s event. Somehow, Chicago in January draws well despite typically frigid temperatures and the U.S. economy is at its strongest in years. A record crowd is possible.

As usual, Snips’ parent company BNP Media will have a large display with all of our HVAC-related brands and the publications’ staffs. Snips will be busy covering the show, but we’ll be checking in regularly. So if you’re attending, please stop by. Our booth is No. 4829.