As we returned from AAPEX and are working on the last Cooling Journal of 2022, I am reflecting on the past year. 2022 is the first year since 2019 that we had a complete meeting schedule and the management team of NARSA/IDEA is grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Board of Directors, our sponsors, and hosts who helped us to achieve one of our best years ever.
As the new management team took over the business affairs of NARSA/IDEA in July of 2019, we had great hopes and aspirations for the upcoming years. We completed the fall Heavy Duty Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma and AAPEX in November of 2019. Everything was looking very promising. (This next part is very redundant so forgive me for mentioning it again.) Then in the first quarter of 2020, the unthinkable happened. Our personal and business lives were disrupted like never before. Who knew when life as we knew it would resume? More importantly for us who manage NARSA/IDEA, when would we be able to meet in person again?
Through lockdowns, travel restrictions and all other types of disruptions NARSA/IDEA continued to evolve and offer content to our members. We hung in there and weathered the storm. Now fast forward to 2022, and we had a renewed excitement in the beginning of the year by being able to plan and facilitate in-person events. This year has renewed the enthusiasm of members, the Board of Directors, and the home office. We have had three hugely successful meetings this year. We started off at Don Hart’s Radiator in Waller, Texas for our 2022 Spring Conference. Then we had a hugely successful International Tour in the United Kingdom where we visited G&M Radiator and Advanced Radiators. Finally, we had a great AAPEX convention the first week of November.
At AAPEX, we were back at our original location on the main floor and hosted the Member Appreciation Reception in Harrah’s where it has always been held. The most impressive thing about AAPEX is the people from all over the world who attended the show and belong to NARSA/IDEA. Attendance at the Member Appreciation Reception was one of the best ever. We had members from Australia, Argentina, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Germany, United Kingdom, Jordan, and UAE. It was really special to see so many familiar faces along with new ones. This event is free to all members in good standing, and we are very grateful to our sponsors who make this reception possible. Our sponsors have chosen to support this event for the benefit of our industry and association. Management and the NARSA/IDEA Board of Directors cannot thank these companies enough for their participation and support of this member benefit.
It has been a real thrill to travel from Houston to Scotland and then to Las Vegas and be with the people who are so dedicated to growing their businesses and supporting this association. We wish more members would take advantage of these opportunities. There is no substitute for personal interaction among your peers and industry leaders. The board and I would encourage you to try to attend an in-person event. And if you can’t personally attend, please send your service manager or technician to an event.
As we prepare for a new meeting season, please mark your calendars for the International Tour which will be in the Middle East in March 2023. Then, we will have a Heavy-Duty Conference at Empire Radiator in Rochester, New York on April 27-28, and finally AAPEX in Las Vegas October 31-November 2, 2023.
A huge thank you to those who volunteer their time and their finances throughout the year either in the form of volunteering on the board or a committee or by having their company sponsor events. I would also like to give a big thank you to the three ladies on the NARSA/IDEA team: Sandy, Linda, and Mary Margaret who keep me on point and do such an awesome job for our members.
We are committed to providing that one idea, one opportunity and one connection that will help you make more money. You may read this and ask why just “one?” Well, that is a very good question, and it’s one that I can answer through my personal experience. Back in 2006, I had a friend who I had met because of NARSA and had known for over 20 years. That friend had a suggestion that would transform my business, his business, and one other business which would make it possible for all three of us, ten years later, to sell our businesses to a fortune 500 company. That “One Idea” is all it took to transform my life and my family’s life forever. If I had not shown up for the AAPEX show that year, my life would look completely different today. We never know what opportunity lies ahead or where or who we will get the idea, opportunity, or connection from but one thing is for sure, it is not going to happen when you never leave your business.
Please, make a New Year’s resolution and join us in 2023!
NARSA/IDEA Executive Director
This editorial was originally published in the November/December 2022 issue of The Cooling Journal