Nextstar hosted this year’s Owners’ Spotlight Series in Clearwater, Fla., March 19-20.



At Nexstar’s Owners’ Spotlight Series event, held March 19-20 in Clearwater, Fla., business author Bob Prosen (right) encouraged independent plumbing, HVAC and electrical service business owners from across the continent to “Kiss Theory Goodbye” and move toward superior leadership. Members walked away with tangible tactics for sharpening their leadership skills and turning the tide toward a consistently profitable business, including hiring strategies and ideas to improve communication with employees.

“I really liked what he said about hiring practices, specifically his recommendation to ask a potential employee for a single-page description of what they intend to accomplish in the first 60 days,” said Marlene Solomon of Bruce Solomon Plumbing, Heating and Air (Baltimore). “It shows perceptiveness and strategic thinking.”

Kevin Wolf, president of plumbing and HVAC company Laney’s Inc. (Fargo, N.D.) picked out these key messages from Prosen’s presentation:
  • Leadership is the relentless pursuit of vision and results.
  • We can’t let cash flow get in the way of being entrepreneurial.
  • Great leaders never give up - fearless determination and passion brings results.
  • Great organizations change before they have to. Typically, if the pain of change is higher than the pain a business owner is experiencing, he resists moving to a higher level of pain.


Winner of this year’s Frank Blau Jr. Award, Andrew Deckert.

Nexstar Legacy Foundation Scholarships Awarded

The Nexstar Legacy Foundation announced its 2010-2011 scholarship award winners March 20 during the Owners’ Spotlight Series. Applications for this year’s scholarships were received from 150 high school students, college students and industry professionals; seven students will receive scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 to pursue education in preparation for careers within the plumbing, HVAC and electrical industries.

Scholarships are awarded based upon merit, chosen by a scholarship selection committee comprised of industry leaders from inside and outside the organization. The largest annual award is the $6,000 Frank Blau Jr. Award, named after Nexstar co-founder and PM columnist Frank Blau Jr.. This year’s recipient is Andrew Deckert (Green Bay, Wis.), attending Michigan Technological University. He was sponsored by Drucks in Menasha, Wis.

Other scholarship winners are:
  • Apprenticeship ($1,000): James Fingerman (San Diego), attending Thomas Edison State College. Sponsored by Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, El Cajon, Calif.
  • Technical College ($2,000 each):
    - Kal Gossett (Corning, N.Y.), attending Lincoln Technical Institute.
    - Lincoln Deitrick (Zanesville, Ohio), attending the University of Northwestern Ohio.
  • Four-Year College ($3,000 each):
    - Sarah Masters (Allendale, N.J.); school unconfirmed. Sponsored by Martin Masters Plumbing, Midland Park, N.J.     
    - Graham Thurber (Topeka, Kan.), attending Washburn University.
    - Jesse Thornburg (Cambridge, Mass.), attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Nexstar Legacy Foundation has awarded more than $84,000 in scholarship grants in four years. The scholarship program is the major gifting program of the foundation, which annually gifts double the federal requirement. For more information on the Nexstar Legacy Foundation or to make a donation, go to www.nexstarfoundation.org or contact Renee Cardarelle at 651/789-8518 or info@nexstarfoundation.org.

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