It’s hard to believe we are in December already — time flies. As I look back on this year there are a handful of articles I wrote that standout to me personally. I also know what articles stand out to you all — our readers — thanks to online analytics. I am very happy to report that some of my favorite articles are also your favorite articles.
One story that hit a note with readers is about Gillece Services offering veterans’ hands-on training apprenticeships. Thanks to Gillece Services, creating training opportunities, military veterans can learn the trade via a plumbing apprenticeship with the company.
When interviewing sources for the Gillece Services article, I found out that the contracting company is a Nexstar member. I have attended numerous Nexstar conferences throughout the years, so I wasn’t surprised to find out the connection between Nexstar and Gillece Services. I have always been impressed with the Nexstar Network. It is founded on the premise of contractor success through education and sharing, which is exactly what Gillece Services exemplifies as a business.
After writing the Gillece Services article, I covered the Troops To Trades program, created by The Nexstar Legacy Foundation to help U.S. veterans obtain the necessary skill sets to work in the plumbing and HVAC industries.
In the most recent article, “Troops To Trades Helps Veterans, Plumbing and HVAC Industries,” Keith Mercurio, training manager for Nexstar Network, gives CONTRACTOR an update about the program, including a recent fundraising event that was held during the Nexstar Super Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, in September.
When I interviewed Mercurio for this article, he shared a Nexstar Network saying with me. It is a very powerful saying and it hit home for me, which is why I am sharing it with all of you.
“We embrace and teach a saying here at Nexstar, and it is built on the premise of asking, ‘what’s your ‘and,’" said Mercurio. “All of us need to be mindful of the legacy we create and think about the greater impact of our actions. The point of this is we may have a direct goal with what we say or do, but in every single interaction we make an immeasurable impact that we will never know. How will we take what we have achieved and share it with others? How will we appreciate our success ‘and’ help others? How will we reflect on what we've learned and teach others? It's all about appreciating what we have and contributing all that we can.”
I truly believe what Mercurio told me. We are all creating a legacy, which we likely are not aware of. For everything we do there is an impact that touches others. It’s pretty impossible to measure such an impact, but I like to use the analogy of dropping a pebble into water — the pebble makes a ripple. When you look at the pebble analogy from the perspective of measuring impact on others, you can see how everyone and everything is interconnected, thus, it’s so important to appreciate everyone, be grateful, and pay it forward.
Another one of my favorite articles from this year is “The Dwyer Group, Mr. Rooter Strive for Excellence, Execute Code of Values.” When I wrote this article I interviewed Dina Dwyer-Owens, the chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group. It is no wonder that The Dwyer Group strives for excellence on a daily basis — Dwyer-Owens’ passion is to help others become successful in business.
Plus, an organization’s culture is key to success, according to Dwyer-Owens. The Dwyer Group is known for its “Live R.I.C.H. culture.” Live R.I.C.H. stands for respect, integrity, customer focus and having fun in the process.
I personally believe that no matter who you are, and what your position is in your personal and profession life, it’s of utmost importance to treat people with respect across the board.
When I interviewed Dwyer-Owens she told me, “It’s about treating people right and if you do that you are rich in spirit and relationship building.”
Last but not least, the third article that stands out in my memory is a recent one I wrote for the magazine HVAC/R Hydronics Distribution Business. I interviewed Carol P. Wallace, president and CEO of Cooper-Atkins.
Again, respect is paramount. It’s a simple concept in theory: treat others the way you want to be treated. However, at times this can be easier said than done. At Cooper-Atkins, Wallace applies this theory to all channels across the board, from the employees to the distributors to the end-users; everyone is taking a part in the process and is valued and respected.
So there you have it – my favorite articles of 2014!
On another note, as we enter the holiday season, please let me know if your company is involved with holiday charity events. I would love to write an article about contractors giving during the holiday season. Please e-mail me at [email protected], and include what charity you are donating to and why.