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Many companies have cancelled non-essential travel this year, but they’re still finding ways to stay connected and host the annual events that their employees and clients have come to enjoy. That’s why The Unified Group — an association of leading independent HVAC commercial contractors in the industry — recently held its Annual Meeting and Owners’ Forum via Zoom.
On the first day, the group shared how they are keeping people connected and enhancing their culture during these trying times. Paul Gosserand of CMC Corporate Solutions shared his organization’s way of successfully engaging a remote workforce. The second day saw Phil Van Hooser, certified speaking professional and member of the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, leading a discussion on how to manage “new breed” employees. These can be individuals of any age or generation who expect a different outcome from their work and/or career than the generation that preceded them.
“It’s always interesting to hear the challenges other people have and realize the commonality, whether it’s current or challenges from the past,” said Rick Cowley of Mechanical Service and Systems Inc. “The Unified Group has really developed what works and adapted it well to these extenuating circumstances.”
Large group discussions and breakout groups on service trends and projections for the upcoming year allowed the group to explore strategic issues and challenges that are important to their organizations. Gary Griffin of B&I Contractors Inc. and Chris Schaff of Air Controls talked about their company strategies, how they’ve been successful in new niche markets and shared some bumps in the road. Throughout the forum, members presented best ideas from monitoring cash flow and the impact it has on an organization.
“Besides realizing that every contractor faces similar challenges at one point or another, this meeting gives ideas that work to help you solve a problem faster or avoid a pitfall so you can get back to what you love to do — taking care of your customers,” said Sherri Flesher of Arctic Air.
“2020 has been a grind and mentally draining,” Derren Saucier of Temperature Inc. added. “This meeting was a rejuvenating breath of fresh air.”
In addition to working on business solutions together, members enjoyed a fun mixology cocktail hour with spouses to kick the event off.
The Unified Group also announced Florida-based B&I Contractors Inc. as the association’s 2020 Making the Difference Award recipient. Gary Griffin, President of B&I Contractors Inc. accepted the award virtually during the annual meeting. Each year, the award is given to a member company that embodies The Unified Group’s core goals of assisting the membership in growing their businesses and improving their bottom-line profits, raising the level of excellence in the HVAC industry, providing members with the opportunity for continued improvement in all aspects of their businesses and sharing best practices.