This has been a very active and rewarding spring and early summer for me as your HARDI president. I was able to attend all but one Regional Meeting in addition to the Congressional Fly-In. It has been time very well spent and a great return on investment for me. At every event I attend, I am impressed with the caliber and professionalism of HARDI members and how many of them are very skilled managers of their businesses, successfully navigating through these difficult times. HARDI is definitely the organization that is serious about business.

If you did not attend the Congressional Fly-In, you squandered an opportunity to do something very strategic regarding your company. Most of the members who participated had quality one-on-one meetings with their elected representatives where they were able to share information and insights regarding how Washington is impacting their businesses. If we do not get involved and advocate for ourselves, our elected representatives will assume everything they are doing is just fine, and we will allow the unions and environmentalists to dictate how we must run our businesses. The meetings I had were very positive, and while we did not agree on every issue, the dialogue was open, frank and professional. HARDI did an excellent job of setting the appointments on The Hill, and the day went like clockwork. You are cheating yourself, your company and your employees by not taking advantage of this opportunity to influence how your legislator votes. I hope to see all of you there next year.

In addition to meeting other members during the Regional Meetings, I did a best practices visit with Doug Kissler and Brent James of Johnson Air Products in Portland, OR. What is interesting is that I did not know Doug and Brent very well, just to recognize them from HARDI events, but they were gracious enough to invite us to visit anyway. Doug and Brent run a very successful distributorship that specializes in commercial HVACR with a high percentage of plan & spec work. As we are trying to improve our performance in that area, Doug and Brent invited us to come out and spend the day with them. What a great day it was. We were able to share confidential details on how we each ran our businesses, which will definitely help us improve our companies. I would encourage members to seek out others in the association to visit and share their best practices as a way to improve their business. The strength of HARDI is in the members. How you choose to utilize and leverage that strength will determine just how much value you gain from your membership. Thanks for the opportunity to serve.