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From our friends at the RPA (Dan H.)

DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,492
Loveland, CO - If you want to find hardcore radiant people and enthusiastic "newbies", the REX show is the place. Some of the best radiant heating and cooling installers, most proficient designers and top suppliers from all over North America congregate at this annual event. REX was held this year in Hartford, CT, August 22-24. The numbers may not be high, but the energy level certainly is.

With featured speakers like NBA All-Star player, Walter Davis, and business/marketing guru, Matt Michel, teamed with industry favorite, John Siegenthaler, and a host experts, the seminar sessions where the best ever. Well-attended seminars covered things like geothermal heat pumps, thermal solar, low powered pumping, green heat transfer and the LEED program. There were also seminars for the serious businessman and marketer.

Matt Michel, CEO and President of Service Nation and Service Round Table, stood in for Mark Matteson who found himself on injured reserve. Matt dove through over 250 great ideas in just over an hour for improving a business. It was fast-paced and hard-hitting. Everyone, from installers to manufacturers, came away bristling with new ways to grow their businesses.

Walter Davis and his NBA teammate, Eddy Hughes, told a moving story of rising from the son of a sharecropper in South Carolina to the Olympics and basketball stardom. A personable and approachable person, Davis illustrates how, in America, a person with talent, drive and persistence can rise to the top. He also emphasized how important it is to treat your teammates well because it can't be done without them. Hughes told how he was a prime example. As Davis's point man, it was up to Hughes to feed him the ball so he could become an all-time high scorer. Both men advised everyone in any business to treat their point men, whoever they are, well. It takes a team to win the day.

A highlight of the General Session with Walter Davis was the recognition of the RPA's Radiant All-Stars. This group has been named by their peers as individuals who have contributed in some outstanding way to the industry. Eight of these All-Star nominees will be chosen by a committee for induction into the Radiant Hall of Fame at the 2008 RPA Annual Conference.

The REX tradeshow was terrific and the exhibits where impressive in both their appearance and their products. The well-established manufacturers proudly displayed their latest equipment from boilers to controls, tubing and manifolds. Electric radiant manufacturers and suppliers impressed the group on the phenomenal growth that is occurring in their portion of the radiant market. There were numerous exhibitors new to REX displaying solar, geothermal, exotic materials, and green technologies. New tools and support materials were in every aisle. Although the traffic was light, those that attended were serious shoppers. Many exhibitors said that they had the chance to spend quality time with qualified customers; often not the case in larger shows.

Several evening events were a great success and a good time was had by all. The opening reception co-sponsored by Grundfos and the RPA, was a wonderful time of renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. It was a great kick off to the three days and the food was terrific. John Barba made everyone wonder about his sanity when he launched into a rendition of a Looney Tunes guess-who challenge at Wednesday night's System Show Case Awards Dinner, sponsored by Federated Insurance. As usual, he kept everyone laughing while doing an excellent job of explaining both the challenges and rewards of his task as a judge for this year's competition.

RPA Board member and past president, Ted Lowe, guided the program through the award presentations. Award winners in each category accepted their trophies and plaques and gave heartfelt thanks to their staff, the industry and the RPA. There were a number of moving acceptance speeches, particularly from Greg Jannone of William Jannone and Sons, as he introduced his retired father who had started the business. William Jannone and Sons has won several System Showcase awards in past years, but this was the first time his father was able to attend the ceremony.

Paul Rohrs accepted the Judge's Choice award on behalf of Biggerstaff Radiant Solutions of Lincoln, Nebraska. The Judge's Choice award is given to the project with the highest number of overall points given by the judges.

Throughout the three day event NBA memorabilia was given away by drawings. There were a number of basketballs autographed by both Walter Davis and Eddie Hughes as well as some balls signed by the entire Denver Nuggets team. The most prized item awarded was a single ball bearing the autograph of Dirk Nowitzki with the Dallas Maverick, named 2006-2007 NBA Most Valuable Player.

RPA is already planning the next REX, which will take place August 13-15, 2008 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center just outside Chicago, Illinois. For more information on REX and other RPA events, visit www.RPAconference.com

Click <a href="http://www.rpa-info.com/REX07%20PHOTOS/REX07%20PHOTOS.html"target=_blank">HERE</a> for event photos.
Retired and loving it.
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