I have been with The NEWS and its parent company BNP Media for 12 years now. In that time, I’ve seen more than a few people come and go at this company, which is pretty normal for businesses of this size.

A few of us company veterans often refer to ourselves as the BNP Lifers. It is a badge of honor and is also the name of our office fantasy football league. We often share with new hires what it was like to produce a magazine without social media, texting, etc. It’s important to point out they never ask us to share these stories, but we do anyway. I am sure they love them.

However, when I travel to HVAC industry events I am often reminded that 12 years at a company is not very long at all. In addition, 12 years in this industry is even more inconsequential. I often run into contractors in their 60s (and older) who started working in their family businesses at the age of 15. Of course, I hear the same types of stories from folks in the distribution and manufacturing sides of the business. When I am introduced to such individuals, I make certain to open my ears and shut my mouth. They can teach me more about HVAC in a 15 minute conversation than I can learn in a month.

Although they each have unique stories to tell, they also have much in common. They’ve been working for many years to improve the HVACR industry on multiple levels. Sure, they’ve probably carved out pretty good lives for themselves but they also spend a large chunk of time giving back to the industry. The common denominator is the industry is important to them, and they want to leave it better than they found it.

This can come in many different forms. Perhaps they spend time mentoring the younger generation of HVACR professionals. Maybe they’ve taken it upon themselves to lobby on the local, state, or federal levels to make sure politicians know how their laws affect the HVACR industry. Maybe it’s simply to do the best job possible for a fair price to combat some other contractors who are not doing the same.

In my mind, these types of actions make somebody a Legend of the HVACR industry, and we want to recognize these individuals.

To honor these individuals, The NEWS has elected to create a “Legends of the HVACR Industry” Award. This will be a bit like a hall of fame for the industry. And since there is no time like the present, we are beginning this year.

Do you know somebody who should be recognized as a NEWS HVACR Legend? If so, please nominate them by sending a letter of recognition to myself at kylegargaro@achrnews.com.

Remember, the more information you provide, the better chance your candidate has of winning. Tell us why they are important to this industry.

The winners will be profiled in an issue of The NEWS and will also be recognized at the Service World Expo Sept. 7-8 at The Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.

Service World Expo originated in 2016 when Service Roundtable joined forces with several BNP magazines, including The NEWS. The first year was a great success with more than 700 service professionals attending the event to share ideas, products, and services.

For more information on Service World Expo, visit www.serviceworldexpo.com.