HARTFORD CONN. — At its first-ever annual convention in New England, the National Association of Oil Heating Service Managers set best-ever records for attendance and exhibitor space.
The convention took place May 15-17 here and attracted more than 5,100 registered guests, an 8% increase over NAOHSM’s previous best attendance.
The event also drew more exhibitors than ever before. Exhibitors filled 294 inside booth spaces and 22 outdoor spaces.
Despite the success of the trade show, the primary emphasis of the NAOHSM is education, Executive Administrator Judy Garber said.
May 15 was Management Day, and NAOHSM members attended a seminar on “Recruiting, Hiring, Training and Maintaining Technicians,” led by Bob Hedden. The day also included a panel discussion on fuel quality.
Dan Holohan conducted a seminar May 16 on “How to Deal with those Problem Customers.” The day’s schedule also included technician roundtable discussions as well as the first day of the trade show.
On the trade show floor, vo-tech students and technicians competed in a timed competition to disassemble and reassemble burners. The contest was open to service techs for the first time.
During the convention, the following awards were presented:
Service Manager of the Year – Frank “Skip” Lincoln, a 40-year industry veteran, currently employed by Southern Maryland Oil Co. in LaPlata, Md. He is the founder of NAOHSM’s Washington-Metro Chapter.
Associate of the Year – Vic Kerbe of Ridgefield, N.J., currently employed by Smith Cast Iron Boiler. He is a founder of NAOHSM’s Westchester (N.Y.) Chapter.
Manufacturer of the Year – Smith Cast Iron Boiler, part of the Mestek group of hydronic components and creator of the Heating Pros educational program.
Hugh McKee Award – Harold “Mickey” Gill for his more than 40 years’ service to the heating oil industry. He founded NAOHSM’s Rhode Island Service Managers Chapter in his home state, worked to advance fuel storage tank designs, and represented the industry on countless occasions before code and regulatory boards.
NAOHSM was founded in 1953 by oil-heat service managers and today the organization has more than 1,200 members from Maine to Virginia. The Hugh McKee award is named after the group’s first president and presented to someone who has dedicated his life to oil-heating service education.
Also presented at the convention were six $2,000 educational scholarships awarded to students wishing to pursue a career in the oil heat industry.
NAOHSM will return to New England in 2004. In 2003, the convention will be May 18-22 in Hershey, Pa.