With a lineup of speakers that began with retired Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkopf and went on to include well-known management consultant Tom Peters and Olympic gold medallist Rulon Gardner, leadership was the clear theme throughout the MCAA 2002 Convention, Feb. 3-7 in Boca Raton, Fla.
Much of the convention's proceeding can be best summed up by Ron Magus, director at FMI, who led an afternoon seminar on building a leadership culture:
"Talent matters," Magus said. "It matters more than tangible assets, such as tools and building materials or even more than intangible assets such as brand name and marketing position. But we spend more time on project management than on developing talented people."
Developing your own talent was also the main point of another keynote speech by Barry Gibbons, the former chairman and CEO of Burger King. While taking some potshots at himself for being a "burger flipper" talking to a crowd of mechanical contractors, Gibbons went on to discuss how the idea of a "brand name" applies to more than just product.
"The science of branding is about you," he explained. "About how you can make yourself clearer in the marketplace."
The following are just some highlights of the 2002 convention, which was attended by 1,700 people:
Kinetics won for its quality program dubbed "The Five S's," which are sorting; simplifying; sweeping; standardizing; and self-discipline. First developed in Japan and later adopted by American manufacturers, the Kinetics program reduced wasted time spent searching for tools, materials and information. The program helped Kinetics increase available space in its workshops without building new facilities. As part of the effort, Kinetics was able to use $5,000 worth of otherwise unutilized material.
This year's competition included such high-caliber companies that MCAA also named two finalists. Midwest Mechanical Contractors of New Jersey was honored for its safety program; and the Brewer-Garrett Co., was chosen for its electronic bar-code systems used for preventive maintenance and repairs.
The following affiliated trade associations received the MCAA's Best Practices Awards that recognize "excellence in programs, services and activities:"
Finally, Robert W. FitzGerald, CEO of FitzGerald Contractors, Shreveport, La., became president of MCAA. Thomas L Williams, president of the construction division of McKenny's Inc., Atlanta, Ga., was elected president-elect. Anthony P. Marandola, president of Marandola Mechanical, Warwick, R.I., was elected senior vice president and treasurer. Michael W. Gossman, chairman and CEO of Midwest Mechanical Contractors Inc., Overland Park, Kan., was elected vice president and assistant treasurer.
Elected to the board of directors were: Lonzo Coleman, president of Coleman Spohn Corp., Cleveland, Ohio; Kathy Crosby, vice president of Harding Mechanical, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Mike Olinger, president and CEO of J.H. Kelly, LLC, Longview, Wash.