One of the messages the association tries to convey is the importance of face time with industry peers along with the ability to see other companies in action. Everything the association does involves trying to offer One Idea, One Opportunity and One Connection. These are the benefits of membership which will allow our members to make more money. I know of no other way to express to our members the importance of leaving your business to gain empirical knowledge.
On Friday, September 9, 2022, we concluded this year’s two-day NARSA International Tour (NIT). This was the fourth such event, and I can say emphatically it was a huge success for all of the attendees. This year’s tour was of G & M Radiator Manufacturing in Glasgow, Scotland and Advanced Radiators in Washington, England. A heartfelt thanks to both companies and their staff as they hosted the attendees with great disruption to their operations. The International Tour would not be possible without the willingness of companies like these to make the sacrifice of time and energy to be a host. G & M Radiator Manufacturing along with Advanced Radiators join the group of companies who have made the commitment to NARSA/IDEA in past years. Those include Industria Core, SA (Dominican Republic), Aurubis and NRF, (Netherlands) and PHAR Radiator, (Mexico).
No matter the level of sophistication of yours or someone else’s business, I can assure you there is always something to learn that will make a difference in your business. New ideas are created by exposing yourself to the ideas of others. The greatest compliment to another individual or company is when you take an idea that has been shared and make it your own. Just like all of your relationships in life, they are only as good as the effort that you put into them.
The association’s heartfelt thanks go out to Jeff Thorpe of G & M and Phil and Mark Riches of Advanced Radiators for taking the time to help the industry they are so committed to. Speaking of commitment, we have several members who have attended all four of the International Tours, David Bienvenu, Ron and Donna Dowler, Aaron Morrow and Bobby Duran. A big thanks to these people and their commitment to this annual event.
I have been in the business for almost 40 years; 36 years as a business owner and over 3 years as Executive Director of NARSA/IDEA. I am always amazed at the things I see when I visit other businesses. There is never a time that I don’t see or hear something new about our industries. No matter the size of your operation or the amount of work that you are behind on, attending NARSA/IDEA events should be a priority for anyone who makes a living in our industries. There is so much to glean from the interaction with peers and seeing the types of operations your fellow members are performing.
What stands out to me the most about visiting G & M and Advanced is the intense interest in every aspect of their operations by our attendees. From seeing solder coated louvered fins, large pvc ductwork and an exhaust scrubber at G & M to the large haul trucks being bought and dismantled at Advanced, you got a sense from everyone there was at least one thing to be learned. After all, NARSA/IDEA’s vision is One Idea, One Connection and One Opportunity. I can honestly say this International tour satisfied all of these areas in a big way. I have already heard from some members who attended and each of the three areas of the association’s vision was fulfilled on this trip. For me, that makes it a huge success.
There were lots of great moments on the trip, but the night we stayed at Beamish Hall, we were told about the ghosts who occupied the hotel. Beamish Hall was more than a country inn; it was a very large Manor House converted into a hotel and apparently construction on the manor began in the 13th century. When the subject of ghosts was brought up, it made a lot of us feel uneasy, and I know speaking from personal experience, I did not sleep well that night keeping one eye open looking for ghosts. After a sleepless night and after conversing with the other guests, I can say the entire ghost thing was a hoax. I think there is a picture where someone has a table cloth or napkin over their head. The weather was overcast and rainy which led to this eerie feeling anyway, and we were literally out in the country. It was a beautiful place, but I don’t think many people slept well that night.
Since my involvement in the radiator industry is different from our members, my biggest takeaway from this event was how going on this trip was like taking a holiday with your friends who have a common bond because of the business we are in. Most everyone on the trip I have known for at least a decade and after two years of the pandemic, it felt extremely good to get away with good friends for a couple of days. From when we first met for dinner in Glasgow on Wednesday night, you got a sense of the camaraderie among the attendees. I think everyone had a great time.
Once again, a big thanks to the attendees and host companies who make this International Tour event a reality!
The next 2023 International Tour will be at Dolphin Manufacturing in Dubai, U.A.E. in March 2023. We are in the process of making the arrangements so watch out for our newsletter and announcements on social media about the NIT for 2023.
And our NARSA/IDEA Spring HD Conference which will be hosted by Empire Radiator in Rochester, New York in April 2023. Both events will continue the great tradition our members have come to expect.
The NARSA/IDEA Board of Directors and staff wish you a great end to your summer and look forward to seeing you at AAPEX. As always if you have any concerns or questions please contact me at email@example.com.
NARSA/IDEA Executive Director
This editorial was originally published in the July/August issue of The Cooling Journal