This is the best time of year.

Living in the Midwest, you get to see the color of leaves on trees change from dark forest green to bright red, orange, and other eye-popping hues. It’s when those leaves fall all to the ground … well … that’s the depressing part. You know it’s then time to brace yourself for cold weather.

Then again, for contractors, cold weather equates to income. This means the heating season will be in full swing soon and the calls will be coming — if they have not started already.

This time of year we also embrace Thanksgiving. It’s this special time to be with family and friends, to thank one and all for all the blessings one has, blessings too numerous to count. This November 28, spend some time in prayer, praying for peace and harmony in this world.


There’s another good reason why this is, in my book, the best time of year. When you are editor-in-chief of this fine publication, you get to see and review all of the entrants inThe News’“Best Contractor To Work For” contest.

What? You did not know? Where have you been?

Yes, it’s time, once again, to tell The News why your company is a great place to work. Maybe you have been so busy that you did not even notice that we kicked off this year’s contest on October 28. If you do not know what I am talking about, you need to go directly to page 25 of this issue and review what our “Best Contractor To Work For” contest is all about.

This is not rocket science. This is not about saying the right thing. This contest is all about facts and figures. If you have a boss that is great to work for, give us those facts and figures. Nominate your boss for our contest. If you are a business owner and you are proud of what you bring to the table for your employees, don’t be shy. Let us know why you are proud — and why your employees love working for your company.

The News’ editorial team will interview company employees to find out if what is stated on the entry form is accurate. We seek the truth. We want to know if you truly are one of the seven best contractors to work for in the HVACR industry.

Seven best? Yes, seven best.

The News will be selecting a winner from seven regions of the United States. One winner will be selected from each of these areas:

  • Northwest/Upper Midwest: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

  • West/Pacific: Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

  • Midwest/Great Lakes: Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.

  • South/Southwest: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

  • South Mid-Atlantic/Southeast: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

  • North Mid-Atlantic: Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland.

  • New England: Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island.


    If previous years are any indication, here’s betting that most of the entrants will come from the Midwest/Great Lakes region. I believe I know why this happens. I truly believe that contractors from these eight states are damn proud of what they do for their employees. And, they want this industry to know that they are damn proud of what they do for their employees and customers. That’s why they take the time to enter this contest. They know that winning this contest is an honor.

    Consider that a challenge for the rest of the multitude of contractors from the other six regions. I know there are strong contractors from California, Texas, Florida, and elsewhere. However, you do have to fill out the entry form to be considered for the honor.

    If you want to, you can go to our website ( and fill out an entry form online. If that is easier for you to do, then please do it. If you prefer to fill out the entry form on page 25, then please do so.

    The bottom line: we want to hear from you. If you think you are deserving of the title “Best Contractor To Work For,” we want to hear from you.

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

    Publication date: 11/18/2002