Total attendees: 158, made up of training coordinators, instructors, business managers, contractors, trustees and other stakeholders. Some of the best-represented locals included Northern California’s Local 104 with 17 participants, Local 20 in Indiana with 12 and Arizona’s Local 359 with 10.
Local unions represented: 41
States represented: 34
New certified professionals across four disciplines: 56
- TABB Supervisor – 7
- Infection Control Awareness – 18
- Fire and Smoke Damper Supervisor – 16
- Smoke Control Systems Supervisor – 15
But numbers tell only part of the story. By any standards, the 18th Annual ICB/TABB Conference, held in Seattle from May 5 – 7, was an unqualified success. The joint labor and management educational event, featuring a Certification Track and a Business Track, opened on Sunday evening with a Recognition Dinner in which Vince Alvarado, Local 49 New Mexico business manager, was honored for helping spearhead the nation’s first statewide FLS legislation.
In addition, Davor Novosel, former chief technology officer for NEMIC, was inducted into the TABB Hall of Fame, which recognizes deserving individuals for their dedicated service to the Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau of the sheet metal industry.
Monday’s schedule kicked off with a Fire Life Safety Peer to Peer Discussion, in which two FLS contractors, James Larsen of Mechanical Test & Balance in Indiana, and Ohio’s John Sickle, President of Duct Fabricators, shared their 10-year journeys as pioneers in the inspection, testing and repair of fire and smoke dampers. The conversation included legislative efforts and marketing tactics that have led to success for both employers, creating increased man hours and more consistent cash flow.
Other day-one business track workshops included an update on California Title 24, a discussion on the power of implementation groups, presentations by Funds administrators James Page of the ITI and Randall Krocka of SMOHIT, demonstrations of innovative sheet metal construction and management software such as Bluebeam, AiRNAB and TABopts, and an introduction to VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) systems.
Second day events drilled down even deeper, with dialogue on results-driven business promotion techniques, getting in on the ground floor of codes and standards technical committees, a detailed rundown of the SMART Members Assistance Program (MAP) by SMART education director Chris Carlough, and ending with a spirited contractor-to-contractor best practices discussion.
All this, plus a vendor trade show and raffle providing valuable prizes for attendees.
Participants were engaged throughout, as summed up by Carl Catlett, owner of Complete Mechanical Balancing in Denver: “The Conference was even better than I thought it would be. I got some awesome technical and marketing ideas. Now I just need to implement them.”