WASHINGTON - At its annual legislative awards dinner, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) presented two California contractors with awards.

Mark Nelson, of Los Angeles Air Conditioning Inc., in La Verne, Calif., was honored with the Legislative Contractor of the Year award. Meanwhile, Richard Buckley, of Anderson, Rowe, and Buckley Inc. in San Francisco, was recognized with the Distinguished Legislative Service award.

In regard to Nelson, SMACNA Legislative Committee Chairman John Ilten commented that he is not afraid to speak his mind.

"Mark is involved in government and politics at every level and his contributions have been exceptional. When meeting with members of Congress, he doesn't hesitate to bring up the contentious issues to change a lawmaker's opinion when they don't agree with SMACNA," said Ilten.

Understanding that much of the groundwork for national legislative priorities takes place at the state level, Nelson was recently reelected to a second term as chairman of California - SMACNA's Legislative and Political Action Committee (PAC). He also serves as a member of the state's Legislative Advocate Task Force and Safety Committee.

His commitment to the SMACNA legislative agenda is evident in his yearly attendance at the Campaign for Quality Construction National Issues Conference. A member of the Congressional Insiders Club (CIC) since 1992, Nelson was one of the first SMACNA members to make a personal donation to the annual Sheet Metal Air Conditioning Political Action Committee (SMAC PAC) auction. He and his wife, Linda, continue to make an auction donation annually.

Nelson is a member of the Board of Directors for the Californians for Compensation Reform and is a member of the Governing Committee for the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

Ilten had nothing but good things to say regarding Buckley as well.

"His contributions to the industry on the local, state, regional, and national levels have been significant and lasting," said Ilten. "Known as a workhorse in the national legislative and political arena, it is the same in his local chapter. He was one of the founders of Bay Area Chapter SMACNA. Serving as it president and vice-president, he worked tirelessly and was instrumental in forging a new outlook for the entire region."

A contributor to SMAC PAC for more than 20 years and a member of CIC for 17 years, Buckley has supported the work of SMAC PAC through his consistent attendance at the annual Campaign for Quality Construction National Issues Conference - working for the industry through meetings with legislators.

"He is a consistent supporter of the SMAC PAC auction by making winning bids and encouraging others in his chapter to participate in the auction and at other PAC events," Ilten said.

SMACNA's legislative awards dinner was held in conjunction with the Campaign for Quality Construction (CQC) National Issues Conference. The CQC is comprised of SMACNA, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the Finishing Contractors Association (FCA), and the Association of Union Contractors (NEA), which represents the interests of more than 60,000 union employing construction firms.

Publication date: 10/20/2003