The National Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals hosted its 61st Annual Convention and Trade Show May 17-21 in Hershey, Pa. OESP honored Executive Director Judy Garber for her contributions to the heating industry. The convention marked the final national event for Garber, who is retiring.

The Hershey event also was the last OESP convention to feature an educational workshop presented by Plumbing & Mechanical columnist and author Dan Holohan. His classes have been a well-attended mainstay for many years of the group formerly known as the National Association of Oilheating Service Managers.

 “Our name changed a few years ago to reflect an evolution in our industry and our membership,” OESP President Al Breda said. “Many conventional fuel oil dealers are adding propane to their offerings, as well as HVAC services and maybe even plumbing, electrical and so on. We are here to help with the educational classes and certifications that can better prepare the managers and field personnel to handle the new challenges.”

OESP’s educational program included two of the National Oilheat Research Alliance’s new courses on air flow and hydronics. The convention offered a two-day trade show as well. 

At the awards banquet May 19, Garber received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Holohan the Instructor of the Year Award. The following individuals and companies also were recognized for their dedication to the industry:

  • Service Manager of the Year: George Fantacone;
  • Hugh W. McKee Memorial Award: Charles Holmes;
  • Lou Ehrich Memorial Associate of the Year Award: George Pavlik; and
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Carlin Combustion Technology and Hydrolevel.

OESP’s convention featured two charitable events: the Dave Nelsen Scholarship Golf Tournament and Oil Heat Cares’ Care to Ride. Since it was established in 1999, the scholarship fund has presented more than $250,000 in awards to students interested in pursuing careers in the energy-service industry. This year’s recipients are: Roger Bruso, Jeffrey Comitz, Thomas Daros Jr., Erik Graff, Michael Boylston and Garth Reish.

Oil Heat Cares’ Care to Ride raised funds for oil-heating equipment replacements for people who are struggling to heat their homes. PM supports this charity by donating a portion of advertising revenue from its annual Oil Heat Cares section in its May issue. OESP named both Garber and Holohan as recipients of this year’s Oil Heat Cares Cup. The following people also were recognized for their commitment to Oil Heat Cares:

  • Top Fundraising Team: Team Connecticut;
  • Top Fundraiser Motorcycle Division: Ralph Adams;
  • Top Fundraiser Bicycle Division: Roger Marran; and
  • Top Fundraiser Walking Division: Dan and Marianne Holohan.

In 2016, OESP will join the Atlantic Region Energy Expo May 22-25 for a combined convention and trade show in Foxwoods, Conn. More information on OESP and its educational offerings throughout the year is available at