Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


Convention is on its game

Nov 20, 2017

A39A5536SMACNA’s 74th Annual Convention opened to sunshine and classical Maui sunsets. So, a short island-wide power outage wasn’t in the original plans for the convention in Hawaii, but that didn’t stop this year’s program from being an outstanding example of what SMACNA offers.

As it turned out, a rare thunderstorm struck the main electrical transformer in Maui resulting in a full-island black out beginning at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, the morning of SMACNA’s Product Show and Spouse Breakfast.

A39A6766Undaunted, SMACNA ‘s Product Show opened its doors at 7 a.m. to a darkened show floor illuminated by lanterns on each table top, supplied by the hotel. In fact, the unique circumstances fostered a warm spirit of camaraderie.

Ben Schlinsog of Daikin Applied, a SMACNA Premier Partner and chair of SMACNA's Associate Member Committee, noted it was the greenest SMACNA Product Show ever.

Attendees were amazed that the Marriott even served a hot breakfast buffet and, more importantly fresh, hot coffee. The lights came back on around 8 a.m. and the New Technology Sessions started with tips on the latest innovations.

A39A5246Not to be outdone, the Grand Wailea served a hot breakfast buffet for the Spouse Breakfast right on time at 8 a.m. Emily Boll, the breakfast’s motivational speaker, remarked that perhaps the power outage was a sign we all need to slow down.

SMACNA always brings its A-game educational sessions to convention. This year was no exception. Many sessions were standing-room only—even when the sun was shining. Nic Bittle shared a new and innovative way to bring and gauge the interest level of young people entering the construction industry during the “Six Million Dollar Foreman” session.

Tom Zahner amazed the Architectural Forum with tales of architectural technology expertise. “Getting out in front of the virtual design and construct wave is a smart move,” he said. Manufacturers are pushing it, owners are pushing it, the design community is pushing it. Our futures may depend on it.”

A39A5288"Being out of your comfort zone is a healthy thing. Being stretched is a good thing. When you get stretched it can fuel you. And that's where the growth occurs," noted Michael Magnum in the New Horizons Foundation session on the effective use of a board of directors.

From the business meeting elections and speeches, safety awards and College of Fellows inductions, to the passing of the gavel from Joseph Lansdell to Jack Knox, SMACNA’s new 2018 SMACNA President, all the traditional convention activities went off as planned.

To close on Wednesday night, approximately 1,400 people came together for a Hawaiian-style buffet dinner and spirited evening with Queen Extravaganza.

A lot of memories and friendships were made at SMACNA’s 74th Annual Convention in Maui. In fact, it may go down as one for the record books. Photos are available free on Flickr at