Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

From the President - Networking: A Path to Unprecedented Opportunities


Nathan L. DillsThere are many pathways to getting involved in SMACNA. For me, it was my father who signed me up for the Business Management University. There I found incredibly relevant and high-quality content taught by top-notch industry professionals. Interesting observation though, I found that networking with my fellow students was equally important as the business curriculum we studied.

Early on, I also realized the value that chapter executives can provide to members by making connections and introductions to other members. A savvy chapter executive will take a new member under their wing and get them plugged into their first meeting or committee. It’s a win-win situation where the new member benefits from the collaboration and development of professional networking contacts, and SMACNA benefits from the new person’s industry perspective.

SMACNA national offers one of the biggest opportunities to get involved and lead – from leading a meeting to leading your company. I have found SMACNA provides well-thought-out educational tracks to be the best contractor possible using a combination of education, training, and networking. I urge everyone to make the first move by getting your peers engaged directly with SMACNA national.

I happen to be very comfortable in front of people, but I realize there are those that may not follow this path. For them, SMACNA’s online community, SMACNA Connect is a perfect path to engage other members across the country. It offers a variety of networking opportunities via discussion groups where members can ask questions, share business concerns, and even build their own personal network.

I can attest that networking and involvement in SMACNA provides more value than any investment made and can give a contractor a competitive advantage through every stage of their career. For me, it has increased my knowledge of how I run a business and has made my business more successful. It has given me an unprecedented opportunity for growing and giving, and this is something I urge every member and chapter executive to experience.

There are so many ways that contractors and their employees can get involved in SMACNA. I would encourage each and every one of you to find an area of SMACNA in which you can get involved. As an organization that is predominantly run by volunteers, I would urge each of you to get involved with committees or task forces, or even the SMACNA Board of Directors. Look at the avenues SMACNA has available and determine whether you or an employee can become active. You will not regret it, I assure you.

Even though it is personally rewarding for me to share the abundant resources and innovative ideas that come from being a SMACNA member, I cannot overlook the fact that my wife Shannon and I have made some lifelong and cherished friends through this connection. I am now fortunate enough to have a platform where I can share my earned wisdom, so please get involved.


Nathan L. Dills
SMACNA President