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Colorado Loves Dan Holohan

Dennis Bellanti_2
Dennis Bellanti_2 Member Posts: 36
edited May 2015 in THE MAIN WALL
Dan performed for us last week in Breckenridge Colorado. As always he was a star. He claims that this is his last year of speaking but then again, how many times have The Rolling Stones retired..... He has meant so much to all of us in the Rockies and has done so much to lead us with his wonderful words. I don't think anyone could have expressed our gratitude any better than Tom Olds of Advanced Hydronics. I asked Tom if I could share his letter to Dan with all of you. Here it is -

Dear Dan,

Today, you’re up in Breckenridge on your farewell tour and I am down in Denver wishing I was I Breckenridge. I managed to convince myself that there’s too much going on for me to break away for a full day to hear your stories one last time and pass along your wisdom and love of hydronics and life. But had I come, my primary purpose would have been to shake your hand and thank you for all of the lessons you’ve shared and tales you’ve told to make us all appreciate our trade and the people in it in ways that we otherwise wouldn’t have take time to.

I got my start in solar thermal which morphed into hydronics shortly after I went into business for myself in 1989. In 1992 I was working out of my basement in the house that I shared with my new bride, “The Lovely Linda” when Rick Meek of TM Sales, long-time reps for Wirsbo and Laars dropped off a binder full product literature and Dan Holohan reprint articles from P&M and Supply House Times. Don’t know if Teledyne was sponsoring you back then but if they weren’t, they owe you some royalties still! It’s no exaggeration to say that, that day changed my life. Your “everyman” writing style fused with humor and education captivated me and began to steer my focus and energy toward hydronics as the market niche I wanted to develop. I still remember my first radiant job. My apprehension caused me to snap lines on the floor to insure I laid out the tubing as flawlessly as I could and match circuit lengths within the space. It was a small job so, I used a stand-alone water heater as the heat source but it worked perfectly and my clients were thrilled! The success of that job led to emboldened confidence that only fueled my interest and peaked my desire to learn as much as I could.

From there, I met Dennis Bellanti when he was at Low Energy Systems and while neither of us knew much about hydronics, we knew it was what we wanted to pursue. We learned together and from each other and became good friends along the way. Our industry, at least locally, is filled with great people who recognize that sales are built on great support and I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of it from the aforementioned, Rick Meek, and Steve and Neil Duggin and Greg Gibbs of Shamrock Sales, Dennis of course, and a slew of wholesalers that are as equally important to our success. I am truly blessed Dan, and thankful for all of the relationships that have turned into friendships along the way.

None of those relationships turned friendships was more central to our growth and success than with my friend, Mark Eatherton. In 1998, Mark walked into my office looking for a new job. Can you imagine that? Knowing me, I probably put him off a few times before we finally got together but luckily for me, I saw how much passion he had for hydronics and knew he could elevate our company well beyond where we had ever gone before. With Mark’s help we became a real business and with Frank Blau’s help, I learned how to price our services correctly so I could afford to pay Mark (and myself) and provide the financial foundation to build and grow upon.

Additionally, this industry is responsible for sending me and “The Lovely Linda” to Europe twice where I marveled at ISH in 1996 and Brussels in 2010 courtesy of Buderus and Triangle respectively. Each of those trips led to side trips that landed us in the maternal home of my grandfather (Niederlahnstein, Germany) and Pairs, France. In Niederlahnstein, we met a cousin of my Mom’s she didn’t know she had. We sat in his living room showing pictures we had brought as they shared their own with the help of a young niece who could translate for all of us. The phone call I placed to my Mom that night after our visit was one of the fondest conversations I ever had with her. She was so proud that we took the time to see where her father grew up and eventually left to make his way to America. None of that happens without hydronics, Dan. I am forever grateful to Buderus and Triangle for their generosity in providing the opportunity to experience such things.

Two weeks ago, we moved into a new, 5000 sf facility thanks to hydronics. It’s very sweet both from the standpoint of comparing it to what we used to work out of and as symbol of how far I’ve come. And as I sit here now enjoying the radiant floors on a cool morning thinking of how it all began, none of it would’ve evolved the way it did without the fires you stoked thru your article and books and seminars. Even today, I was thumbing thru your binder of articles and came across one titled, “In Search of Magic” where you explain how to properly use steam condensate for hydronic purposes. Ironically, one of my guys came to me yesterday with a job where we can apply your “magic” to heat a small space. Your “gifts” to the industry Dan, are the best kind, the kind that keep on giving! Thousands of us have learned so much from you over the years and many more will learn going forward as they discover your writings. That influence is no small thing as we apply your lessons everyday and positively affect the performance of millions of hydronic systems which positively affects the lives of millions of people. That’s really pretty awesome when you think about it. And thanks to you, when we become the “Dead Men”, we’ll have left behind a life's work that was done well with honor and passion and love for this great trade!

So, I’m sorry I’m not in Breckenridge today, Dan. If I was, I would shake your hand and tell you how thankful I am for your life’s work and the influence it’s had on me. But a handshake doesn’t tell the whole story, so by staying here today it allowed me to tell you a little of mine. Best wishes to you and your family. And while you may not come out on the road again, I hope you will continue to write to teach and entertain us to keep the fires stoked!

With much gratitude, Tom
RobGRon Jr._3Harvey RamerSWEI

Comments

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,447
    Ah, shucks. Thanks, guys. Love you all.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    As I sit on an Italian train hurtling along at a mere 300 Km/h, reading my former partners words, three things come to my mind.

    1. I really miss working for AHI and am very appreciative of how far Tom and Jim have taken the company since my departure, and I agree with every word he said about Dan.
    2. I too wish I could have been in Colorado to see him, but suspect he will be back, if nothing else to visit Dennis and his other western friends.
    3. Had it not been for the efforts of Dennis Bellanti, I too would probably never made it to Germany and ISH and have been able to enjoy Hydronics in my own home.

    I owe all three ( 4 including Jimbo) of theses guys a great deal of thanks and appreciation.

    Come back to Colorado some time for a spin on Li'l Pepe my magic mule, and maybe take in a bike race, some cervesas and some Colorado beef.

    Gratze Mille for all you've done (and continue to do) for our industry my friend.

    Very much appreciated!

    Back to hurtling my way to Roma!

    Buon Viaggio!


    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,447
    Mark, for sure! Thanks, pal.
    Retired and loving it.
    Mark Eatherton