by Mike Murphy, editor-in-chief

Now that the electoral college has chosen our presidential leader and (prediction: October 22, 2004) ketchup will soon be served at all White House formal dinners, I've begun to look at investing differently. Twice weekly I fork over a dollar to Contracting Business magazine's supplemental 401K program — the Mega Millions Ohio Lottery. It's an optional program that I hope will free me from the worries, if not the bonds, of tyranny and taxation.

Visions of sleek, sexy cars and fast horses flash in my head just prior to watching the stupid pingpong balls fly out of the raffle drum. I'm Irish, but I'm not very lucky.

Well, I did win a five pound bag of gummie worms at a country fair, once. My daughter got her first cavity three months later.

Perhaps you can relate to my bad luck. Why would anyone ever want to enter a contest? But, if someone else nominated you for an award, well that wouldnt be too bad, would it?

This is the time of year when the search for Contracting Business' Commercial and Residential Contractor of the Year award winners intensifies, and we invite your suggestions for any outstanding nominees you may want us to consider.

We're looking for nominees who represent a model of excellence and quality for others in the HVACR field.

  • Criteria for selecting candidates include:
  • Demonstrate excellent business ability
  • Exhibit an adaptability to changing market conditions
  • Contribute toward increasing the level of professionalism in the industry
  • Have the respect of their peers
  • Will share ideas and information with other contractors from around the country.

We look for candidates who embrace change and look for innovative ways to better understand and serve customers.

Candidates should be companies that have been in business at least 10 years, have a formalized business plan, and employ NATE-certified technicians.

What if You Win?
Companies that have won Contractor of the Year honors have proven not only to be very deserving, but resourceful and marketing savvy. They know the value that a four-page national magazine article can provide in their company portfolio. Some winners have created new uniforms for employees emblazoned with the Contractor of the Year logo, new company stationery and envelopes, jazzed-up direct mail campaigns, and even repainted their trucks to leverage this unique opportunity. In other words, the companies know how to market their success.

However, what's most important to Contractor of the Year award winners? Weve been told that although the recognition is immensely flattering, greater satisfaction comes with the knowledge that they have served their customers well.

As it should be. Good luck to you in the coming months. Perhaps you'll see your picture on the cover. The odds are better than me winning the lottery.

Write back! mmurphy@penton.com