The inaugural Remodelers Conference & Vendor Expo provided a day for learning and networking. On Friday, February 9th, more than 60 remodelers attended sessions earning CEUs throughout the day on topics from best business practices to safe work environments. During session breaks and lunch, remodelers visited the 30 vendor tables, discovering a range of products and services.
Mastodon Moving owner J.J. Przybylski proudly hosted the conference and vendor expo in his Ashland warehouse. He noted that Asher Nichols brought him into EM NARI as the first moving company. Mastodon works with remodelers and homeowners prior to construction to pack and move their belongings in and out of their homes. Every item is inventoried and stored in the warehouse until the project is finished. Then the Mastodon team preps the home to make sure nothing is damaged when returning the furnishings.
Gold Sponsors included Divine Stoneworks, CPS HVAC and Granite Group/Ultimate Bath Store. Manning the Divine Stoneworks table, Business Development Specialist Dakota Lotz said, “People think that this event is just about a lot of people getting in front of as many people as they can and to sell as many jobs as they can. But I find these events are great opportunities to connect and learn from people.”
Mitzi Negic, Outside Sales Representative, from the Granite Group/Ultimate Bath Store agreed. “It’s always a good way to network and get to know members.” She is looking forward to the next EM NARI meeting being held at one of their showrooms.
Phil Baldwin, President of CPS HVAC said, “It’s a good place to contact remodelers who want training. They are the best to work with.”
Among the other Vendor Expo tables were Silver sponsors National Lumber, Pella Windows and F.D. Sterritt Lumber Company and Alpine Environmental.
The conference program was created through a joint effort of the Education committee and the Government Affairs committee, headed by Roger Gallagher, Gallagher Remodeling. Talk of a Remodelers Conference had been tossed around but “the right executive director made it happen,” he said. “Industry issues tie in to education for remodelers. We wanted to cover the differences between the new and old building code and hit high points remodelers need to know.”
Three sessions were held in the morning: Running LAPS to Grow Your Small Business by Roger Gallagher, Gallagher Remodeling, Inc.; OSHA Compliance on the Jobsite by Judson Ludeking, Contractors Risk Management; and Understanding Home Energy Use & the Savings Potential of Energy Retrofits by Rachel White, Byggmeister.
White used several case studies and examples of houses, including her own, to show the benefits of tracking energy consumption and ways to improve energy use.
Not surprising, New England falls into a higher energy use rate than other parts of the country, partly due to weather and partly due to the age of housing stock. Byggmeister has found that energy retrofits can reduce consumption anywhere from 5% all the way up to 75% depending on the space treated and the extent of the project.
Lunch was catered by 45 in Medway. After lunch two more sessions were held: Understanding the 2015 Building Code & Significant Changes by Peter McLaughlin, Boston Code Consultants; and Lead-safe Work Practices: What They Mean for You and Your Clients by Ron Peik, Alpine Environmental. Thanks to Jay Groccia, OnSite Studios, for capturing the photographs of the event!