Exactly two weeks before Christmas and I have yet to buy one gift. Where has the time gone?

Looking at the bigger picture, in less than three weeks The News will cease taking entrants in its second annual “Best Contractor to Work For” contest. In this holiday rush, do not forget to let us know why you believe your firm is the best place to work.

For any subliminal messages, read between the lines (and paragraphs).Wink. Wink.

Yes, hvacr contractors have until December 31 to send us their completed entry form. An entry form is available on page 29. You can fax the completed form to us or send it through the mail. If you prefer to enter online, please go to our website, www.achrnews.com, and fill out the same entry form online.

If you are unaware, we are awarding a winner from each of seven designated regions. This is a new wrinkle from last year’s contest. Last year, an entrant competed against every other entrant. This year, an entrant will be competing against fellow contractors in his/her own region. We instituted this rule to give contractors more incentive to enter and more hope of winning.

C’mon, California!

To brighten the picture even more, we are not even giving the chance for last year’s great winners to repeat. There is no doubt in my mind that James River Heating and Air Conditioning (Richmond, VA), Meyer & Depew Co. (Kenilworth, NJ), J&J Air Conditioning (San Jose, CA), Cropp-Metcalfe Air Conditioning and Heating (Fairfax. VA), Tempo Mechanical Services (Carrolton, TX), and Runnemede Heating Co. (Runnemede, NJ) could win again. That’s how strong these companies are. However, we opted to exclude these great contractors from the mix to give others a chance.

The slate is clean. We will have seven new winners in 2001.

Whazzup, Nevada?

Seven Regions, Seven Winners

Just to clarify matters, we will select one winner from the Northwest/Upper Midwest Region. This region consists of Alaska, Wash-ington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Think you are the best in this area? Prove it.

There will be one winner from the Midwest/Great Lakes Region. This region consists of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio. And, yes, there are plenty of top-notch contractors from these states, but only those who enter will get a chance to capture the title.

Why not you, Utah?

There will be one winner from the South/Southwest Region. This region consists of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Last year, we had a winner (Tempo Mech-anical Services) from this region, plus a runner-up (Gilley’s Quality Service Experts, West Monroe, LA). But that was last year.

There will be one winner from the South Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Region. This region consists of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. These states are proud of their college and pro sports teams. What about the contractors from these states?

Keep ’em coming, Colorado.

There will be one winner from the North Mid-Atlantic Region. This region consists of the states of Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland. Last year, Virginia alone had two winners (James River Heating & Air Conditioning and Cropp-Metcalfe Air Conditioning and Heating). Again, that was last year.

There will be one winner from the New England Region. This region consists of the states of Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island. Like Virginia, New Jersey alone had two winners (Meyer & Depew Co. and Runnemede Heating Co.) last year. Neither is in the hunt this year.

New Mexico, let’s hear it!

Finally, there will be one winner from the West/Pacific Region. This region consists of Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Personally, I like this region because, among other duties, I am responsible for providing The News with information from this region. I do know that last year’s winner J&J Air Conditioning will not take the title in 2001, but will you?

Enter today.

Don’t let me down, Arizona.

Read Between the Lines

The winners will be announced and featured in the Feb. 26, 2001 issue of The News. Each winner will receive a special award from The News at a luncheon to be held next year at ACCA’s annual convention in Las Vegas. What are you waiting for? Show the hvacr world how good you are. Enter The News’ “Best Contractor to Work For” contest.Where are you, Hawaii? Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

Skaer is editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 248-244-6446; 248-362-0317 (fax); skaerm@bnp.com (e-mail).

Publication date: 12/11/2000