2019 Annual Meeting Recap

Lauren L’Herbier

In Case You Missed It!
Follow first-time attendee Lauren L’Herbier’s experience at this year’s Annual Meeting.

My parents started our company back in 1996, when I was just 3 years old, and joined NADCA in November 2001. Growing up, I remember going off to grandma’s house while my parents both headed to warmer weather for NADCA’s conference. I joined the family business after graduating college in 2015, and today I am our Marketing/ HR Manager. This year, I was finally asked to join my parents at NADCA’s 30th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee. After arriving a few days early to explore the city, it was time to get down to business.

It’s the night before the conference begins, and I am heading over to the Welcome Reception at the Exhibit Hall. I enjoyed a few drinks and some delicious hors d’oeuvres while I browsed through the exhibits. All the exhibits were geared toward the air duct cleaning industry, and the vendors were friendly and informative. The booth that caught my attention the most was NADCA’s Virtual Reality Training, though I did not get to try it myself. It was so neat to hear more about this new technology and how it can give your technicians a hands-on experience from right inside your office.

DAY 1: APRIL 1, 2019
Breakfast started at 7:30 am sharp. As I enjoyed the delicious southern breakfast, I talked to fellow NADCA members from all over the world — from Alaska to Hawaii and even Italy — about themselves and their companies. It is amazing to hear how climates and cultures affect our industry in so many ways. Right at 9:00 am we all gathered in the main conference room for an introduction and to officially kick off the conference.

Keynote speaker Steve McClatchy was excellent. He spoke about what society thinks balance is versus what he has found balance to be. Steve said when you move toward your goal, your life will get better. I couldn’t agree more; when you are working toward something to better yourself in any way, or just because it will make you happy, you will be happier. He mentioned how we need to gain benefits and prevent consequences. The have-to’s, like paying your bills and putting gas in your car, prevent consequences — you can’t not do them. The don’t-have-to’s are usually the things you put off until tomorrow, like going on a hot air balloon ride or getting your MBA, but they bring you closer to achieving your life goals and they’re often the things you will remember forever. To ensure that you achieve the have-to’s as well as the don’t-have-to’s, Steve suggested getting a calendar. When you add a task to the calendar, you make a commitment to doing that task. When you say you don’t have time to do something, it is true, but you make time for the things that are important to you. Steve said to schedule it, defend it, play catch up and, if you can’t get something done on your own, hire someone.

Following the Keynote, I attended NADCA’s General Business Meeting, followed by lunch. After lunch, we then had the option between two sessions. I chose to attend “The Latest in Marketing Strategies for Your Business” with presenter Paul Chernin. Paul discussed some tips and trends on how to increase your business’s visibility. The one thing that really stood out to me was when he mentioned that it’s not just a sale, but an experience. People today go where they can have a good experience. They can buy your product or service from you or your competition; offer them an experience that they will always remember and want to keep coming back for in the future.

At the end of the day, we all headed to Jason Aldean’s bar on Broadway Street for some good food, drinks and live music. NADCA truly outdid themselves! We all were dancing and singing the night away.

DAY 2: APRIL 2, 2019
After a fun-filled night, we arrived at breakfast at 7:30 am to kick off the second day of the conference. My favorite session would have to have been Michelle Anderson’s “Prevailing Wage Rates.” Our company is working on a project where our technicians are on prevailing wage, and because I am in charge of our payroll, it was extremely helpful to have Michelle go through some gray areas of this process and to clear the air. It can be difficult to get a clear-cut answer from the Department of Labor, so it was nice to have Michelle answer any questions that I and others had.

After lunch, Bill Lundquist presented “15 Tips to Launch Your HVAC Cleaning Business to the Next Level.” Bill did an excellent job of keeping our attention and even wore a construction workers’ hat and vest. A few things that really stuck out to me in this session was when Bill talked about how you have to have a unique selling position, you have to give a reason for these potential customers to buy you. Bill then proceeded to go through some good and bad examples of unique selling positions. As an example, a good statement would be, “Dependable, Quick, Clean Service.” He then went over how important it is to take care of your employees, pay them well, offer benefits and treat them well. Your employees are your top priority — treat them well and everything else will fall into place. They will treat your customers well and will want to do the best job they can for you, ultimately making your company stronger.

Overall, my experience at NADCA’s Annual Meeting was very beneficial. I made so many great connections, gained some more knowledge on air duct cleaning as well as prevailing wage rates, and I heard so many new great ideas to take back to our office in Pittsburgh. I can’t wait to implement these new ideas, and I am really looking forward to next year’s meeting in Coronado, California.

About Lauren
Lauren L’Herbier is Marketing and HR Manager at Air Duct Maintenance, Inc. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the University of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1996 by Lauren’s parents, Kevin and Debbie L’Herbier, Air Duct Maintenance, Inc. services the Western Pennsylvania area, primarily in Pittsburgh.