Nexstar Salutes Blau, Announces New Programs
About 400 people attended Nexstar's Super Meeting, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Minneapolis, the 25th such meeting since the company began, with a look ahead to new programs and back to celebrate one of its founders, Frank Blau.
Greg Niemi, president and CEO of Nexstar, unveiled “The Vault,” a new Web-based training service for members. The group spent the past year editing and digitizing much of the group's extensive training manuals printed over the past 12 years. The new password-protected site will allow members to easily search for specific topics.
“No more manuals,” Niemi explained. “No more hunting for information. It will all be just a few clicks away.”
Members also will be able to take an online assessment of their current business knowledge. The results will instantly show them their strengths and weaknesses, and customize a lesson plan to improve their skills in running their businesses. Other online assistance will include what to do if the member wants to add a new line of service or even sell his business.
The group's new Nexstar Legacy Foundation is designed to help members and nonmembers alike improve and grow their businesses.
“Much of the motivation to set up the foundation has come from Nexstar members who become successful in their own companies and see this as an opportunity to give back to the industry,” Niemi said.
The foundation was founded by John Ward, Applewood Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, along with the help of Brad Martin, Scottco; and Keith Broyles, Broyles Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. Frank Blau will serve as the foundation's first director.
Donations started coming into the foundation during the Minneapolis Super Meeting. A golf fundraiser held the day before the start of the meeting netted $15,000. A silent auction held during the meeting's last day brought in another $17,300.
The meeting concluded with a tribute dinner to honor Blau. The dinner included speeches by many of the members who had their businesses and lives turned around by Blau's financial management methods. Speakers included Jack Simonson, who retired at 31 thanks to Blau's teachings; Dan Weltman, Weltman Plumbing & Heating; Jim Hamilton, who now serves as a Nexstar business coach; Craig and Eric Haft, Sunray Services Inc.; and Kenny Chapman, Peterson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.