Just over 1,000 people attended the meeting and trade show in Chicago May 13-15, the organization said. By comparison, 1,300 people attended last year's RPA Conference in Bellevue, Wash.
"We did twice as much advertising this year," said Larry Drake, executive director of the RPA. "The Midwest is the slowest in the country for radiant heating."
The organization continues to grow at a 25 percent clip each year, Drake told PM. "We're growing at the same rate as the industry," he said.
Conference highlights included a presentation by Steve Thomas of "This Old House," a Radiant Basics course taught by Mark Eatherton, an Advanced Controls course taught by John Siegenthaler and Ellen Rohr's "Where Did The Money Go?" Other seminars covered pump sizing, cooling alternatives, selling comfort and condensing technology.
Eatherton's full-day course covered everything from elementary radiant concepts to sophisticated control strategies. Siegenthaler, a PM columnist, presented a four-hour preview of RPA's advanced control course. Rohr, also a PM columnist, led a full seminar in a panel discussion about small business finance and how to make money.
Awards All AroundThe RPA System Showcase and PM/PM Engineer Publisher's Choice Awards were handed out by master of
ceremonies Steve Smith, PM's editor. Smith's "Top 10 Reasons You Know You Are A Wethead" was the talk of the awards banquet. (The list is printed in this month's "Letters To The Editor" section.)
Winners of the System Showcase Award were:
Hydronic Residential Under 5,000 Sq. Ft.
- First Place: Daigle Oil Com-pany; Richards Residence; Madawa-ska, Maine
- Second Place: William Jannone & Sons; Hepp Residence; Sparta, N.J.
- Third Place: Aspen Solar Systems; Aspen Center For Environ-mental Studies; Aspen, Colo.
Hydronic Residential Over 5,000 Sq. Ft.
- First Place: Arab Technical Group; Saraf Villa; Amman, Jordan
- Second Place: Ambrey Mech-anical; Petrosky Residence; Breken-ridge, Colo.
- First Place: Behrends Mechanical Inc.; Wings of Alaska; Juneau, Alaska
- Second Place: Andy Stack & Sons; Schafer Development Company; Avon, Ohio
- Third Place: William Jannone & Sons; Landscape Materials; Hillsbor-ough, N.J.
- First Place: William Jannone & Sons; Mastroiani Residence; Martins-ville, N.J.
First Place: Lorton Plumbing; Diamond Building; Edwards, Colo.
- Second Place: Aspen Solar Systems; Curley Project; Bayfield, Colo.
- Third Place: Advanced Radiant Technology; Somerset Hills; Bellevue, Wash.
- First Place: Heatizon Systems; Paulos Residence; Salt Lake City, Utah
- First Place: Heatizon Systems; Giovale Library; Salt Lake City, Utah
The PM/PM Engineer Publisher's Choice Award winners were:
William Jannone & Sons; Bound Brook, N.J.
Best Web Site
Advanced Radiant Technology; Seattle, Wash.
Best Broadcast Ad
Northwest Mechanical; Seattle, Wash.
Best Print Ad
The Janes Co.; Mukilteo, Wash.
Best Other Promotion
Andy Stack & Sons; Avon, Ohio
New LeadershipThe RPA installed its new leadership for the 1999-2000 term at the conference. The association's new president is Ted Lowe, a contractor and manufacturer. Lowe owns Lowe Energy Design and works for Universal Flow Control. Ken Barney from Thornt-on Plumbing & Heating has return-ed again as vice president, Mike Lahti from Lochinvar is the secretary and John Beaudreau from Wirsbo will be the treasurer.
Next year's show is slated for Providence, R.I., May 11-13, 2000. For more information, call the RPA at 970/613-0100.