The Learning Continued at MCAA 2017

March 13, 2017

Tuesday afternoon offered MCAA 2017 attendees three very different learning experiences.

MCAA 2017 Student Chapter Competition

Student Chapter Competition Showcased Future Industry Professionals

During the Student Chapter Competition, attendees looked on as teams from the MCAA student chapters at Colorado State University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the University of Missouri – Columbia and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln presented their plans and ideas for the renovation of the Chippewa Falls, WI wastewater treatment plant.

The teams—each acting as the general contractor to the project—had to coordinate the completion of the design of the plant’s new improvements and strategically plan and execute a very detailed construction effort using all involved trades.

Teams also presented preventative maintenance and service proposals. And, an extra-credit challenge encouraged the teams to suggest short- and intermediate-term technologies and arrangements to assist and protect the community from lead exposure during the renovation and replacement of the city’s lead pipes.

MCAA 2017 Roundtable Discussions

Learn From Your Peers Roundtable Discussions Encouraged Attendees to Learn from One Another

At the Learn From Your Peers Roundtable Discussions, attendees shared ideas and insights, whether new or tried and true.

MSCA presented two roundtable discussions, Maximizing the Value of Your Business with Service, moderated by Chris Carter of Murphy Company and Bob Lake of EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems, and Using the National Service and Maintenance Agreement to Grow Your Service Business, moderated by Frank Norton of EMCOR Services Northeast, Inc. and Kip Bagley of EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems.

The NCPWB roundtable—Reduce the Cost and Risk Associated with Welding and Brazing, moderated by Bob Silvia of Process Engineers and Constructors—discussed ways to reduce welding and brazing costs while at the same time increasing productivity. NCPWB Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) and Brazing Procedure Specifications (BPS) were among the topics discussed.

Best Practices in Plumbing, sponsored by the PCA and moderated by Scott Wallenstein of Neptune Plumbing & Heating Co., covered resources to help plumbing contractors increase profitability, including fabrication, new technologies and tools.

The Achieving Safety Excellence roundtable, moderated by Pete Chaney, MCAA’s Director of Safety & Health, discussed the most challenging occupational safety and health issues for mechanical construction and service companies, among other topics.

MCAA 2017 Attendees with Porcupine

Special Session Brought the San Diego Zoo to MCAA 2017

The Special Session Featuring Joan Embery and her Wildlife Ambassadors: Conservation for Wildlife and Humans brought the world-famous San Diego zoo to MCAA attendees, who lined up to feed a sloth and pet a variety of animals, from snakes and birds to a porcupine and a hedgehog.


Wednesday found attendees back to the business of education.

Josh Bone and James Benham reviewed a brief history of virtual reality, augmented reality and wearable devices during their session on The Rise of Virtual Design and Construction. The presenters also analyzed case studies of how industry leaders are using innovative technology to inspire collaboration and design.

During Greater than Yourself, sponsored by Winsupply, Steve Farber shared leadership and mentoring tips. He encouraged attendees to out mentoring candidates whose values align closely with their own.

“The GREATEST leaders make OTHERS greater than themselves.”

In Exit Planning – Dancing in the End Zone, Patrick Ungashick led attendees through a series of interactive exercises designed to help them determine whether the decisions they are making today are helping or hurting the potential for a successful exit. He explained the difference between growth and value and showcased the Seven Elements of Transferable Value, providing attendees with the tools they need to assess their business’ strengths and weaknesses in each area.

In Delivering Lean IPD, Victor Sanvido explained how this methodology can bring projects to completion more quickly, efficiently, productively, and profitably. How? By eliminating waste, duplication, delays, excess costs, and misunderstandings between owners and contractors.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Management Methods, moderated by Dennis Shuman of Speer Mechanical, Chairman of the Management Methods Committee, with help from committee members Robert Lindbloom of Apollo Mechanical Contractors, Terry James of Murray Company and Richard Perosa of H.T. Lyons, Inc., explored one of MCAA’s most valuable resources, its Management Methods Bulletins. These unique resources have helped many MCAA contractors grow their businesses and become even more successful. Visit our website for a full list of Management Methods Bulletins.

During Leadership Lessons from Black Hawk Down, sponsored by DEWALT, Sgt. Matt Eversmann shared leadership lessons from the front lines, when lives are on the line.

In Mechanical Contracting 2017—It’s Still about People and Pipe, John Koontz explained that while technology has evolved, getting it built is more important than the tech you build it with. He encouraged attendees to embrace “Management by Walking Around,” saying that “Getting out of the office and visiting your jobsites has never been more important.”

“Your Paradox: Survival requires change. The basics don’t change.”

During The ConAppGuru Reviews Tables and Apps for the Field, Rob McKinney reviewed the evolution of mobile technology used throughout construction projects. Among the topics discussed were: app selection, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, and hardware selection.

Eddie Osterland reprised his Power Entertaining with Food and Wine session, again sponsored by Sloan Valve Company. He showed attendees how to wow friends, families and business colleagues by entertaining in different ways. Among the tips he offered, he suggested educating guests about new foods and wines to give them a unique experience that will leave them wanting more.

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