CEO UPDATE: SMACNA Focuses On 2023 Priorities

It was wonderful to see so many SMACNA members at our convention in Colorado Springs. The Broadmoor is one of my favorite destinations, and it did not disappoint. I have always admired their ability to provide outstanding customer service every time I visit. 

Aaron Hilger

It was wonderful to see so many SMACNA members at our convention in Colorado Springs. The Broadmoor is one of my favorite destinations, and it did not disappoint. I have always admired their ability to provide outstanding customer service every time I visit. 

This year was probably my 15th convention — I missed a couple when the triplets were little. It was amazing to see the convention from “behind the curtain,” and I now have a better understanding of all of the work that goes into putting together a large, seamless event. All of our staff worked hard to pull the meeting together, especially our meetings department of John Franco and Kristin DeGuzman. I could not have been happier with our speakers, networking events and entertainment. 

In any large event, no matter how successful, we get both positive and negative comments. The convention can’t be all things to all attendees, and choices that make one member happy perhaps makes another unhappy. SMACNA staff reads every comment and carefully considers your feedback. We appreciate your time in filling out the survey and invite you to provide ideas at any time. Convention locations and format are decided years in advance, but there are opportunities to make improvements. 

As we move past convention, SMACNA’s work moves into scheduling 2023 committees, our budget development for 2023 and executing our plan for the rest of the year. Government relations remains busy, with lots of regulatory activity around tax incentives expected soon. We also have many education programs in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. And, as always, the technical department is on the road doing seminars and providing technical support.

As I noted in my comments at convention, our strategic planning process is moving ahead at full speed. We had an engaging, highly creative meeting during the convention with board members and the strategic planning committee. Many ideas were generated and discussed. Our next meeting will focus on narrowing the list to the  most promising proposals from which the strategic planning committee will craft their final recommendations.

A personal convention highlight for me was watching Tony Kocurek take the helm as SMACNA’s president. Tony and I have gotten to know each other well over the past year, and I could not be more pleased to work with him. His knowledge will be a credit to all of SMACNA, especially with his expertise in testing, adjusting and balancing. We are both aligned in how important indoor air quality is to our industry, and we are already undertaking several initiatives that will help change consumer perception about the importance of indoor air quality. There will be a lot more on this topic in the coming months, so stay tuned.

And lastly, I would like to thank Angie Simon and Al LaBella for their service and tenure on the executive committee. For both past presidents, their terms weren’t exactly what they pictured when they started, but both navigated work, family and SMACNA in the best ways possible. SMACNA is forever grateful for their time and commitment.  

Aaron Hilger is CEO of SMACNA, bringing more than two decades of executive association leadership to this role. Hilger is focused on building a stronger, more competitive environment for all SMACNA contractors.