A Hearty HARDI Returns to the Conference ‘Table’
Finally, all of us got together.
After an absence of nearly two years, I attended the HARDI conference in Palm Desert, California, this month. It was refreshing to mix with the HVACR wholesale industry’s most talented and successful distributors. HARDI’s members have been the backbone of our collection efforts, and it’s been a while since we’ve had the time to share ideas and industry news with one another in person. HARDI has always had the reputation of sponsoring the most up-to-date and forward-looking educational panels, and this conference confirmed that opinion.
A high point for TRC was the public acknowledgment of the three top collectors of mercury-containing thermostats in 2021, during a room-packed Monday lunch session. It was fulfilling to see the winners — Johnstone Supply, Famous Supply and Geary Pacific – receive the recognition they earned.
But if someone had asked me to name the other most rewarding moment of the conference, it would have to be the conference booth program. Hundreds of tabletop exhibitors displayed their wares and services. Our table had collateral material and examples of our collection bucket and the green bins that we use to send the thermostats to our recycling center in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Fortunately, our location was close to one of the entrances, which gently herded attendees past us.
I thoroughly enjoyed our partners stopping by to say hi.
And then came a mild surprise. While some might consider collecting and recycling thermostats a ho-hum affair, I was pleasantly astonished to find that some wholesalers would pause and ask how they placed in our annual Banish Mercury From the Planet contest. When Jeff Corken, president of Corken Steel Products, stopped by our booth, he mentioned that he keeps the trophy for winning a past contest in his boardroom (see above). That’s what we call a valuable and committed partner in our efforts to keep the environment safer by recycling mercury-containing thermostats.
But maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that these successful wholesalers have a strong streak of competitiveness in them.
I’d like to close with three thoughts for this December blog.
Thank you, again, to our HARDI partners. You’re making the world’s environment safer for everyone.
Thank you, HARDI, for the umpteenth time sponsoring the industry’s best conference. See you in December 2022 in Houston. (Be there or be square.)
And finally, in the spirit of the season, Happy Holidays to one and all.