Nearly 300 dealers, employees and vendors attended the WaterFurnace annual sales meeting, April 7-8, in Fort Wayne, IN, which focused on new company initiatives, upcoming products and marketing tools designed to help dealers better serve their customers and increase sales. The event also provided an opportunity to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary.

“The theme of this year’s meeting, ‘Water Always Wins,’ is an apropos analogy to our business,” said WaterFurnace President and CEO Tom Huntington. “In addition to powering our geothermal heat pumps and being in our name, water can be held back for only so long. Eventually, water will go around (or through) any obstacle – building momentum as it goes. Our dealers know the country is finally getting past a rough economic climate and they’re excited about the future. This meeting is a great opportunity to share that excitement with likeminded peers.”

Huntington put the festivities into high gear, with a welcome message and state-of-the-industry report. He discussed the current state of renewable energy legislation for geothermal, and how alignment with local and state utilities can provide a large opportunity for widespread geothermal heat pump adoption. The morning session also included presentations on marketing initiatives along with new products and technologies the company plans to introduce later this year.

One popular session was a dealer panel, where contractors from around the country gathered on the stage to share success stories and best practices on business operations, sales techniques and promotional strategies. Afterwards, attendees participated in a series of educational breakout sessions.

Breakout session topics included information on new hydronic solutions for WaterFurnace equipment and a sneak peek of FLIGHT School (Future Leaders In Geothermal HVAC Technology), a new training program designed to motivate, empower and educate dealers by combining business development, marketing ideas, WaterFurnace tools and geothermal sales strategies. Monday also included a session on how moisture affects the heating and cooling characteristics of homes.

“Our annual sales meeting is a platform for re-energizing our dealer base and sharing ideas that will help them grow their businesses,” said WaterFurnace Senior Vice President Michael Albertson. “It's really all about them.”

Monday evening featured an awards banquet where top-performing dealers were honored on-stage and received plaques from company leaders. “These awards recognize the contributions dealers made to our success during the past year,” said Director of Dealer Sales Sean Dillon. “Without them, none of what we do is possible.”

"Outstanding Sales" honors went to Peters Heating & Air Conditioning with multiple locations throughout Illinois and Missouri, and the award for Top Sales for a single location was presented to Rehagen Heating & Cooling in Westphalia, Mo. The awards ceremony also recognized other top performers, including Toennies Service Company, Albers, IL, and Ground Loop Heating and Air Conditioning, Darlington, MD. For a complete list of award winners honored at this year’s annual sales meeting or to view a complete agenda, visit http://www.waterfurnace.com/asm.

Tuesday’s opening session included a VP/CEO panel, featuring Huntington, Albertson and Vice President of Engineering Bob Brown. Tuesday’s breakout sessions covered social media and internet strategies, new products and best practices for installing the flagship 7 Series variable capacity geothermal heat pump.