Krys Burrows of Littleton, Colo., and Brad Messmer of Jasper, Ind., accept their scholarships from John Ward (left), president of the foundation,and Brad Martin, the foundation''s vice president. Not present were two other scholarship winners.

Three budding mechanical engineers and a hopeful CPA split $12,000 in becoming the first recipients of Nexstar Legacy Foundation scholarships. The foundation is a new charitable and educational trust set up by Nexstar Network, a 400-member affinity group of PHC and electrical PHCE service contractors started in 1992 as Contractors 2000.

The top scholarship prize, the Frank J. Blau Jr. Award, was worth $6,000 and went toBrad Messmer, a mechanical engineering and business student at Purdue University. His family operates Messmer Mechanical in Jasper, Ind. The top award was named after formerPMcolumnistFrank Blau, a co-founder of Nexstar and the driving force behind numerous of its educational initiatives.

Three additional scholarship awards worth $3,000 apiece were given to:
  • Krystin Burrows, an accounting assistant employed by Denver’s Applewood Plumbing and Heating Co., who is pursuing a degree in accounting, finance and information technology at the University of Colorado.
  • Justin Latta, an HVAC apprentice with Aux Mechanical of Bessemer, Ala., who intends to study mechanical engineering at either Auburn University or the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
  • Joshua Roden, who is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota in Duluth.
Three of the four initial scholarship recipients worked for Nexstar member firms. However, Legacy Foundation trustees are emphatic in welcoming scholarship applications from nonmembers and throughout the industry. Legacy Foundation scholarships are intended for students pursuing technical and business careers with an interest in the PHCE trades. Scholastic goals may include trade school, college or trade certifications. Interested applicants can find out more

The scholarship awards were showcased at Nexstar’s biennial Super Meeting, held Oct. 12-14 in Denver. A golf outing on Oct. 11 helped boost foundation coffers.

The foundation had planned on presenting its first scholarships next March. Fundraising was ahead of schedule and enabled the organization to move up the timetable by six months.

Established last February, the foundation had raised about $160,000 at the time of this writing and had set a goal of reaching $250,000 by the end of July 2007. Trustees have committed to spending 10 percent of the foundation’s funds each year on scholarships and other charitable and educational endeavors. The latter initiatives had not been determined by the time of this writing.

The trustees stress that the Legacy Foundation is intended to benefit the entire industry, not just Nexstar members. They have expressed interest in collaborating on educational programs and charitable activities with other nonprofit organizations from both inside and outside the PHCE industry.

Service Stars:Nexstar recognized 52 of their nearly 400 independent business members with the Nexstar Select Service® certification. To be selected, a member must have superior performance within the three pillars of success in the service industry: to deliver superior customer satisfaction in all its dealings; to be an organization where its employees independently claim it to be a great place to work; and be financially well-managed and profitable.

The top 10 companies earning the Nexstar Select Service certification are: Precision Plumbing & Heating (Boulder, Colo.); Peterson Plumbing (Grand Junction, Colo.); Able Plumbing & Electrical (Chico, Calif.); Kramer & Sons Plumbing Services (Alexandria, Va.); Corley Plumbing & Electric (Greenville, S.C.); Applewood Plumbing & Heating (Denver); F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning (Manassas, Va.); Iceberg Heating & Cooling (Monroe, Mich.); My Plumber (Manassas, Va.).