We did it. Another year in the books. And for HARDI, what a great year it was. We started this quarterly newsletter as a way to take a step back, check in, and give you a big-picture look at what your organization is up to. With this being the inaugural Winter Edition Thermostatus, we thought this is the perfect opportunity to report some of the growth milestones we achieved in the last year, while also looking ahead to some of our goals for 2018. After all, as HARDI grows, so does the value of your membership, as well as the positive impact your organization has both on and for our industry.
Under the leadership of 2017 HARDI President Tom Roberts of cfm Distributors, we made some big strides in several aspects of the association. Where to start?
Brandon Baulo, Connor Luft and I all joined the HARDI headquarters team early last year, expanding our internal resources to improve our Membership & Sales, Marketing & Communications, and Advocacy operations. We got the chance to meet many of you at some HARDI events over the course of this past year, and we could not be happier being a part of an incredible organization surrounded by intelligent industry leaders and fantastic members. On behalf of us three, thank you all for the warm welcome.
HARDI’s Focus Conference series was a hit, with a record attendance set at our Marketing & Sales Focus Conference in Philly. While these events have always been great networking opportunities, your HARDI team has worked diligently to bring you carefully curated content to equip Focus Conference attendees with valuable, current takeaways along with the connections they make.
Your increased engagement isn’t just at our events either, more and more of you are discovering the value of our Benchmarking services, many of which are included in your membership. We saw a huge uptick in usage of our Distributor Performance Dashboards (DPD), a valuable business check-up tool, and we are so close to the required participation level for our Unitary Market Report to offer comparison data to your state-level market, along with the regional-level reports participants currently receive. If you don’t already take advantage of these programs, this is definitely the time to do so and tee yourself up for 2018.
We’re also constantly boosting our HARDI Talent offerings available to members as well. Last year, we opened up an HR consulting service to members with labor law attorney and human resources expert Pam Krivda. We also launched our Conference in a Course series, expanding the access to some of the sessions we host at our events throughout the year.
Your HARDI Advocacy team made some big strides last year with the tax reform package as well. We had the privilege of getting the bipartisan HEAT Act introduced, which aimed to allow full, immediate expensing of qualified HVAC equipment. This came as a direct result of your efforts at our Congressional Fly-in back in May, which also had a record attendance. The language from the HEAT Act eventually went on to be included in the historic Tax Reform bill passed and signed last month. You can find our full Tax Reform analysis here.
Over the last six months we successfully launched a new Mexican division of HARDI with Executive Director of HARDI Mexico Guitze Messina. The last letter of our name stands for “international,” and as Gui says, HARDI Mexico has been an initiative of ours with which we now dot the “i”.
Last but not least, HARDI Annual Conference: NOVA 2017 was the biggest HARDI event yet. We had roughly 1,600 people in attendance at the Aria in Vegas. At NOVA we also announced Emily Saving’s promotion to Executive Vice President, and that our DC-based duo in Palmer Schoening and Alex Ayers have been appointed HARDI’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Director of Government Affairs, respectively.
Thank you for an amazing year together. But as your organization and with our mission of keeping wholesale distributors the channel of choice for HVACR manufacturers and contractors, we’ve got our sights set on setting the bar higher and breaking a few more HARDI records in 2018. And with a passionate 2018 HARDI President in Troy Meachum of APR Supply at the helm, we are confident that we’ll make meaningful progress towards solutions to issues facing our industry.
Cheers to a successful 2018,
Anthony Lagunzad Public Affairs Specialist, HARDI