MSCA STAR Summit focuses on marketing and branding

ROCKVILLE, MD. — The Mechanical Service Contractors of America hosted its annual MSCA STAR Summit, focusing on marketing and branding, this April at the LEED Silver-rated Palazzo Resort Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

At the summit, attendees participated in educational sessions, focusing on developing marketing expertise and branding in a challenging economy, and toured the heating and cooling command center for the facility, which is one of the largest LEED certified buildings in the world. According the U.S. Green Building Council, the Palazzo is four times the size of the second-largest LEED certified building.

MSCA Board of Managers Chairman Jeff McCoy said, “MSCA makes this kind of opportunity available to those members who have reached the highest levels of qualification in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration system service. We sited this summit with special focus on the opportunities that a national emphasis on sustainability and responsible maintenance affords to our industry.”

Attendees participated in a focused strategy session led by Don Neal, a marketing, branding and customer management professional based in Washington, D.C. Neal reviewed an up-to-date marketing plan tailored for mechanical service companies operating in a challenging business environment.

Chris Klehm, a staff member of the USGBC LEED faculty, spoke to attendees about possible opportunities and roadblocks in the coming months. As a green building professional, Klehm has been involved in more than 30 LEED projects over the past 30 years. He is also the founding chairman of Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance and author of the USGBC Program LEED for General Contractors and Construction Managers.

Klehm described key aspects of the stimulus package — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — that are important to service contractors. He also explained how to take of advantage these opportunities.

Summit attendees also received company-specific marketing materials created and provided by MSCA to communicate the standards-based quality of service provided by MSCA STAR and GreenSTAR contractors.

MSCA STAR is a qualification program recognizing contractors who meet or exceed operating and training standards set by MSCA. To become a GreenSTAR, an MSCA STAR contractor must meet additional criteria, including that the company employ at least one LEED accredited professional, be a member of the USGBC, verify that at least 5% of employees participate in green training, demonstrate the promotion of environmental responsibility by offering sustainable services and recommending green procedures and equipment, establish an internal commitment to green by attaining LEED certification for their building or by developing an internal “green policy,” and participate as part of a project team with a LEED-EB or LEED-NC registered project within the three years previous to application.