By Ken Nielsen, PHCC-National Association President (2018-2019)
Like just about everything else in our profession, one thing leads to another. I attended my first PHCC of Massachusetts tradeshow at about the same time my wife, Alice, and I started our business in 1988. A couple of years later, I was working in the PHCC of Massachusetts booth. Before I knew it, I was in charge of the entire show; that’s when PHCC’s then-past president told me I was going to be “chairman for life.” Well … seven years later, I’m still chairman of the PHCC of Massachusetts show, the largest one-day local tradeshow on the East Coast. I’m on a first-name basis with just about everyone involved, including our contacts at the host hotel. (They also know my wife, who is a registrar at the tradeshow!) They all know that, if there’s a problem, they can come to me, and I’ll find a solution.
That’s the beauty of the PHCC community, and that’s why enhancing our networking capability is a key area that I want to emphasize this year as president. As a PHCC member, you are part of a network of like-minded contractors, manufacturers, installers, business coaches, instructors and countless others who tried that product before, who will gladly share a software solution, who dealt with a similar HR issue, who have the answer you need. In fact, I have a half-dozen plumbers right now who call me on a regular basis to help them troubleshoot furnace issues. They know the boiler; I know the furnace. They’re all friends of mine. I refer work to them; they refer work to me. It’s a win-win. It’s the PHCC way.
The PHCC network, however, expands way beyond your circle of friends. It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, someone has had the same problem you are experiencing and can tell you how to get out of it. That’s why networking is one of the biggest benefits of belonging to PHCC. I was in a PHCC of Massachusetts meeting several years ago when I received a call from someone having trouble with a boiler. The caller was from an area code that I didn’t recognize, so I asked my fellow PHCC members at the meeting if they were familiar with that area code. One of our members recognized it and put the caller in touch with the proper, local supply house to find his needed part. Someone got heat and hot water all because of the networking that happened at a PHCC chapter meeting that night. That’s the PHCC way.
Another goal this year is to get more HVAC contractors involved with PHCC and focus more on the C (Cooling) in PHCC. Look for more HVAC resources this year through the new PHCC Academy and the Educational Foundation. Whether you’re an apprentice, a journeyman or a master, we want PHCC to be recognized as the place to go for education.
In addition, CONNECT 2018 was a great opportunity to network with the folks from both the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) and the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA), and I’m excited to attend the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) convention in San Antonio, Texas, in March and explore how we can collaborate more with its members. After all, when we unite with other trade associations, we can magnify the power of our voice on Capitol Hill as we push for legislation that benefits us all. We can share proven solutions on issues like health plans. And we can strengthen our impact on the biggest challenge we all face: the workforce shortage. That’s how we realize strength in numbers. That’s the benefit of being part of a community. That’s the PHCC way.