Speakers

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Monday Opening General Session Featuring Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis’ entrepreneurial spirit bloomed at age 12 when he started a lawn mowing service to generate money for a candy business while enlisting his friends for their help. You know him from CNBC’s The Profit, where he tries to save struggling small businesses across America with capital, elbow grease, and tough love. He also starred in CNBC's Streets of Dreams with Marcus Lemonis, traveling to the most influential streets in the country that fuel America's business cultures. Upcoming is a new series called, The Renovator on HGTV, helping homeowners fix their most valuable personal asset—their home. Through his 3P (People-Process-Product) mantra, Lemonis helps people drive results through collaborations, partnerships, and relationships. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: know your numbers, trust the process, and remember that he’s 100 percent IN CHARGE!

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Tuesday Brunch with Geena Davis

Hosted & Sponsored by Ferguson

Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks, like Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own. Davis is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winner, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa and is becoming recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls.  

She is the founder of the non-profit the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to reduce gender stereotyping.

In 2019 Davis was honored with a second Oscar, this time the academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in recognition of the work Davis has done over the decades to fight gender bias.

Brunch will be served.

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Wednesday Annual Awards of Excellence Breakfast Featuring Cris Carter

Breakfast & Speaker Sponsored by CNA and MILWAUKEE TOOL

Pro football hall of famer and longtime broadcaster Cris Carter is one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. After having grown up in a low-income family in Ohio, Carter finished his NFL career as the second all-time leading receiver and with the second-most touchdowns in league history. Carter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.  

Heralded for his ability to inspire any audience with honest and empowering conversations, Carter speaks about the challenges and triumphs of his storied career, his powerful recovery story, and how to use life's most challenging obstacles to emerge a stronger, better version of yourself.  

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Thursday Closing General Session

Mark McManus, United Association General President

In August 2021, at the UA’s 40th General Convention, Mark McManus was unanimously re-elected to a second term as General President of the United Association (UA), where he will continue to lead the nation's most progressive and influential trade union, representing more than 375,000 highly skilled mechanics in the plumbing and pipefitting industry.

Mark began his career with the UA in 1983 when he was initiated into Plumbers Local 24 in Newark, New Jersey. He was elected Business Agent in 1994 and Business Manager in 1997. His talents and leadership brought him to the United Association General Office in 2007, where he has served as International Representative and Administrative Assistant to the General President. He served five- year terms as General Secretary-Treasurer and as General President prior to being re-elected to a second five-year term as General President.

General President Mark McManus is responsible for supervising the day-to-day affairs of the United Association and for decisions concerning internal union governance, as well as rendering decisions and adjusting disputes and other matters affecting the organization. He is the Chairman of the UA General Executive Board, UA Strategic Planning Committee, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees on multiple UA pension funds. Mark McManus supervises the development and implementation of all major policies and programs of the United Association, including the industry-leading UA Veterans in Piping®(VIP) Program.

In addition, he serves as Vice President of the Executive Council of the Metal Trades Department, is a member of the Building Trades’ Governing Board of Presidents and serves on the Board of Directors of Helmets to Hardhats. In April 2020, General President McManus was appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to serve on his Coronavirus Recovery Team, where he worked in part to advise the Governor on the necessary steps for restarting Maryland’s economy and reopening businesses across the state. Mark and the UA are extremely active in all aspects of the political world—national, state, and local—in a bipartisan manner.

Mark McManus has had a distinguished career in support of our nation's hardworking men and women and is unwavering in his commitment to a strong and mutually beneficial partnership between labor and management.

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Thursday Closing General Session

Erik Wahl, Artist, TED Speaker & No. 1 Bestselling Author

Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized artist, TED speaker, and No. 1 bestselling author. He discovered an alarming truth early in his career as a partner in a corporate firm: organizations that encouraged the mental discipline of creativity did better than those that did not put innovation as a priority mission. So, Wahl set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking.  

His new book, The Spark and the Grind, activates the essential components of translating ideas into action. His presentation inspires organizations to be increasingly agile and outlines how to use disruption as a competitive advantage.  

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Monday Featured Speaker Adam Steltzner

Into the Unknown: How Leadership, Ingenuity, and Perseverance Put a Rover on Mars

An aspiring rock star turned Ph.D. rocket scientist, Adam Steltzner is praised as a cutting-edge innovator and a leader. Adam served as Chief Engineer of the Mars 2020 Mission & Rover Perseverance. Steltzner and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team of 6,000+ were forced to operate remotely due to the pandemic. After a 6-month journey through space, history was made when the Rover Perseverance landed on the Martian surface. 

Steltzner has mastered the art of managing complex teams and the concept of “making ideas reality.” He knows first-hand how collaborative cultures foster innovation and how team-minded engagement fuels performance. And he inspires audiences to dare greatly – to embrace the power of curiosity, creativity and courage to do what others say is impossible. 

 

Sponsored by Apollo Valves

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Wednesday Featured Speaker Michael Rogers

Your Business in 2029

Michael Rogers is a technology pioneer and futurist-in-residence for The New York Times Company. As a best-selling novelist, Rogers’ fiction explores the human impact of technology. His first job was at Rolling Stone before going on to co-found Outside magazine and then launching Newsweek’s technology column. At Newsweek, Rogers created the magazine's Technology section, earning numerous journalism awards for his work. Then as vice-president of the Washington Post Company’s new media division, Rogers earned several patents and won awards for his online coverage of September 11.   

His new Amazon e-booklet, Finding Henrietta Lacks, recounts the 1976 article he wrote for Rolling Stone that broke the Henrietta Lacks story and revealed the woman behind the cells used to develop the polio vaccine.  

 

Sponsored by Trimble

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Adele Abrams

President, Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C. Read the Bio

Adele Abrams

President, Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C.

Adele is an attorney, safety professional and trainer who is president of the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C. in Beltsville, MD, Charleston, WV, and Denver, CO, a multi-attorney firm focusing on safety, health and employment law nationwide. Adele is a certified mine safety professional and she also provides consultation, safety audits and training services to MSHA and OSHA regulated companies.  

Adele is the host of “Ask the SafetyLawyer,” a podcast on the Safety Justice League channel. She is a regular columnist for numerous magazines on legal, employment, mine and occupational safety/health issues, and is co-author of several books related to mining, construction, employment law, and occupational safety and health. 

She is a member of the Maryland, DC and Pennsylvania Bars, the U.S. District Courts of Maryland, DC and Tennessee, the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC, 3rd and 4th Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. She is a graduate of the George Washington University’s National Law Center, and earned her B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.  

Her professional memberships include the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, the Industrial Minerals Association-North America, and the American Bar Association. In 2017, she received the NSC’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award. She is a multiple recipient of the ASSP’s Safety Professional of the Year Award.  

Armand Kilijian

President, O'Brien Mechanical, Inc. Read the Bio

Armand Kilijian

President, O'Brien Mechanical, Inc.

Armand Kilijian was elected President-Elect of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America at the association’s Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, in March 2019.  

Armand is the President of O'Brien Mechanical, Inc. II, a family-owned, full-service plumbing/piping/HVAC contractor headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The company self-performs a wide range of plumbing and piping installation work for commercial projects throughout the Greater Bay Area.  

His thirst for professional knowledge brought him to the Northern California MCA where he held leadership positions including the offices of president, vice president and treasurer. In addition, he was a member of the organization’s board of directors, as well as a member of the Budget and Nominating Committees. He co-chairs the Northern California MCA Local 38 Negotiating Committee and is a trustee of the UA Local 38 Trust Fund.  

Armand’s first experience with MCAA was at an annual convention. He went on to chair the Plumbing Contractors of America (PCA) and serve on the Education, Construction Technology, and Management Methods Committees. He was elected to the MCAA Board of Directors in 2012.  

On a personal note, Armand enjoys spending time with his wife, Tamar, and their three children, Shant, Talar, and Aram. The family keeps busy with the kids’ sporting events, as well as volunteering as coaches and scouting assistants within the Armenian community. The family enjoys traveling, snow skiing, and just hanging out in San Francisco whenever they get a chance.  

Brian Hughes

President, Hughes Environmental Engineering Read the Bio

Brian Hughes

President, Hughes Environmental Engineering
Brian Hughes is the fourth generation owner of Hughes Environmental Engineering, Inc. in New Jersey. Specializing in HVACR mechanical service and Design/Build, Hughes serves hundreds of commercial properties in the New York City metropolitan area. Brian has held many different positions in the mechanical service business, including Dispatcher, Service Contract Sales, HR, and Operations Manager.

Chris Carter

Vice President of Service, Murphy Company Read the Bio

Chris Carter

Vice President of Service, Murphy Company

With nearly 20 years of experience in the mechanical construction and service industry, Chris Carter has an intense passion for providing valuable solutions for customers. In his current role as vice president of service for St. Louis-based Murphy Company, the nation’s 16th largest mechanical contractor, Chris is responsible for leading both sales and operations. 

Chris received significant management training and experience in previous roles with Murphy Company, Johnson Controls, and Berg Incorporated. His early experience as a craftsman and jobsite superintendent, followed by training in estimating, project management, service management, sales management, and overall leadership, provides keen insight into employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and operational excellence. His experience with complex, multi-disciplined organizations helped sharpen his people skills. Along with leading strategic direction for service, Chris plays a key role in identifying and developing improvement initiatives, defining group policy and procedures, and recruiting new talent. He also manages the performance and development of key service leaders and sales professionals. 

Initially, Chris studied computer science at Louisiana State University and later completed his degree through the University of Phoenix in business administration with a focus on management. He also holds industry certifications in various disciplines and is a licensed commercial plumber in multiple states. 

An active member of the Mechanical Service Contractors of America, Chris was elected to the MSCA board of managers in 2012. He served as the MSCA Chairman in 2017. He has served on the organization’s national education committee since 2010. He also is a member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Outside of work, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, Christy, and their three children, Christiana, Christian and Colin, playing music and various sports. 

Chris Kuehl

Managing Director, Armada Corporate Intelligence Read the Bio

Chris Kuehl

Managing Director, Armada Corporate Intelligence

Dr. Chris Kuehl is a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. He provides forecasts and strategic guidance for a wide variety of corporate clients around the world. He is the chief economist for several national and international organizations. 

Prior to starting Armada in 1999 he was a professor of economics and finance for 15 years – teaching in the U.S., Hungary, Russia, Estonia, Singapore and Taiwan. He holds advanced degrees in economics, Soviet studies and East Asian studies. 

Chris is the writer/editor of Business Intelligence Briefs and a writer for the Black Owl Report – both publications from Armada. He is an economic analyst for the Armada Strategic Intelligence System and is responsible for the Credit Manager’s Index from NACM as well Fabrinomics from the FMA. 

James Benham

CEO, JBKnowledge

James Benham is a maker, a creator and an innovator. He started his journey as a tech entrepreneur in his Texas A&M dorm room in 2001 and has had a wild ride of challenges and successes ever since. James and his amazing team at JBKnowledge built and sold one of their products, SmartBid, in a groundbreaking deal with ConstructConnect in 2018. They have since built and grown two other products, SmartCompliance and TerraClaim.

JBKnowledge currently has over 240 employees in the USA, Argentina and South Africa and is a leading provider of technology products and services for the insurance and construction industries. Based in College Station, Texas, James served two terms on the College Station City Council and served for 5 years as an adjunct professor of Construction Science at Texas A&M. He’s a pilot with a passion for aviation and flies himself to most of his meetings. He also plays the piano and the guitar.

James’s philosophy for fellow entrepreneurs is to build self-funded businesses that are financially sustainable and growth oriented - an ideology that was passed down to him by his successful entrepreneur father. As the CEO of JBKnowledge, James continues to innovate tech for the insurance and construction industries.

You may have even heard him sharing his wisdom and insights as the host on his popular weekly podcasts: The ConTechCrew and The InsureTech Geek, or in one of over 400 conferences he has spoken at in the last 15 years. James also was recently appointed by Texas Governor Abbott to serve as a Regent on the governing board of Texas Southern University.

John Koontz

Director of Project Management Education, MCAA Read the Bio

John Koontz

Director of Project Management Education, MCAA
John Koontz, MCAA’s Director of Project Management Education, brings a balance of academic and practical experience to his presentations. A former tenured associate professor in Purdue University’s Department of Building Construction Management, he served as Purdue’s mechanical construction management coordinator. He has been teaching since 1992. Prior to this, he spent 15 years in the employment of MCAA contractors in a variety of positions including senior project manager, project manager, project engineer and estimator. 

Kip Bagley

Vice President Service, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems Read the Bio

Kip Bagley

Vice President Service, EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Systems

As Vice President of one of the nation’s largest mechanical service companies, Kip oversees Mesa's 12 offices HVACR service operations, production and recruiting. This includes supporting customer’s maintenance, repairs, automation, facility and energy requirements. Kip's growth initiatives include Mesa's National/Regional service department which overlap office geography and require single line of customer communication for all multiple site customers with repeatable continuity across California, Arizona and Nevada.  

He understands the importance of every Mesa office having financial responsibility and accountability while creating their own "local" feel and presence with customer relationships. He also assists in the start up, deployment and continued operations of multiple offices that increased Mesa's footprint and created "service self performance" in the largest and most populated area of the country.  

During his tenure, Mesa has deployed hundreds of field work order devices (currently i-pads) that support wireless dispatching and work order generation along with deployment of fleet GPS to streamline response times and increase productivity. Kip is consistently researching and guiding Mesa's service business to new heights in customer satisfaction, revenue, margins and maintenance base while maintaining focused goals and objectives internally and externally with new, existing and longtime customers.

During the course of his career, Kip has either worked directly with or had oversight in all aspects of the mechanical HVACR customer service business including field, dispatch, sales, operations, and finance departments. His 17 years of field experience set him apart from many in service management and provides a unique perspective for leadership and oversight of the service business beyond the profit and loss statements. 

His career after graduating from college started in the field and led to completion of five year United Association Apprentice Program in Los Angeles. From there Kip moved to Journeyman, then Foreman and progressed to Service Manager for Comm Air, then Cal Air Inc. in Fresno, California and eventually relocated to Sacramento. His understanding of California's multiple areas of populated geography along with his association and understanding of all local unions in California is beneficial to Mesa's growth in the service business. Mesa’s maintenance base has grown from $5million to $24million during his tenure and Mesa’s service revenue has grown from $8million to over $110million.

Kip holds an AA degree from Fullerton College and a bachelor’s degree in Education from California State University Fresno. He has certified journeyman air conditioning status along with universal EPA and OSHA 10 certifications. Kip is a member of the Executive Board of Directors for Mechanical Service Contractors of America and is chair of MSCA’s Education Committee. He is chairman of Local #250 Joint Journeyman Apprentice Training Trust and is also a member of the  Northern California Oversight Committee.

Kip is married to his childhood sweetheart, Trish for 37 years and they have three children, Jimmy, Jenny and Jeanne and one grandchild Delilah. Kip enjoys all water activities along with golf and family trips to the desert. 

Landon Funsten

Chairman, FMI Corporation Read the Bio

Landon Funsten

Chairman, FMI Corporation

Landon Funsten works extensively with contractors throughout the country, focusing on buyer and seller representation, business continuity and stock valuations. In addition to his investment banking experience, Landon worked for several years in FMI’s Management Consulting practice.  

This combination of experience and expertise gives him a unique knowledge of the difficult organizational, operating and strategic issues facing owners in the process of transition to a third party or internal buyer. He also possesses a thorough understanding of transaction structures and valuation issues.  

Landon is a recognized thought leader and has published several articles on financing alternatives, enhancing construction company valuations, and ownership transfer and succession. He also is a sought-after speaker for national and regional construction industry groups, providing insights on mergers and acquisitions and ownership transfer issues and trends. 

Lee Smither

Principal, FMI Corporation Read the Bio

Lee Smither

Principal, FMI Corporation

Lee Smither provides strategic planning guidance to engineering and construction companies to improve their corporate performance. He specializes in market strategy and consulting, developing and implementing organization-wide change initiatives and other leader-focused engagements. 

He oversees client engagements of all sizes and has worked with a broad spectrum of industry firms, including many of the nation’s largest engineering and construction firms, general contractors, specialty constructors and construction managers. Lee served for nine years on the FMI Board of Directors as the treasurer and chairman of the finance committee, and led the firm's CEO Forum, which hosted the Top 100 leaders from the industry annually in Washington. 

Having worked in the utility industry prior to joining FMI, Lee has a practical and objective perspective. He has published articles on a wide variety of topics in numerous construction trade journals such as “Transportation Builder,” “Midwest Contractor,” “Journal of Construction Accounting and Taxation.” He currently serves as a board member for several industry associations and client firms. 

Mark Rogers

Chief Operating Officer, West Chester Mechanical Contractors, Inc. Read the Bio

Mark Rogers

Chief Operating Officer, West Chester Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

Mark Rogers is a Past President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. 

Mark is the President of West Chester Mechanical Contractors, an HVAC, service and plumbing contractor that serves the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. The company was named Plumbing & Mechanical’s 2017 Mechanical Contractor of the Year.  

Mark started out as a steamfitter in Philadelphia, then started West Chester Mechanical in 1996. The company specializes in private commercial work in the healthcare and educational arenas. The company is built on repeat business with a strong emphasis on a family atmosphere and outstanding customer service.  

When Mark started the company, he immediately got involved with MCAA, serving on a number of task forces that developed education programs. Eventually, he was asked to be Chairman of the Education Committee. Now the committee’s Chairman Emeritus, he serves as the committee’s representative on the Manufacturer/Supplier Council Executive Committee. He is a graduate of MCAA’s industry-leading Advanced Leadership Institute and the 2017 recipient of MCAA's highest honor, the Infinity Award for Distinguished Service.  

In 2003, Mark was appointed to the MCAA Board of Directors. He currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council. He also serves as the President of the association’s foundation, the John R. Gentille Foundation (JRGF) and Co-Chairs the UA/MCAA Strategic Planning Committee along with UA General President Mark McManus.  

Mark's passion is education for everyone involved in our industry, and he continues to help develop programs and sessions for the association. Several of his company's employees have also gotten involved nationally and locally with MCAA and their offerings and committees.  

Mark has voluntarily presented the “Real Cost of a Manhour” over 125 times over the past ten years to over 20,000 UA Members and continues to do so. He has also taught sessions on Jobsite Profitability at MCAA’s Field Leaders Conferences, as well as Leadership Sessions to the UA Business Managers/Agents/Training Coordinators and at MCAA’s Advanced Institute for Project Management in Austin, Texas.  

Mikki Williams

Motivational Speaker Read the Bio

Mikki Williams

Motivational Speaker
Mikki Williams is a CSP, certified speaking professional, a member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and a TEDx speaker. A global celebrity speaker and transformational storyteller, she was chosen as one of the best speakers in the country by Meetings and Convention Magazine along with Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, and Lou Holtz. Mikki is an award winning Vistage speaker, the world’s leading executive organization and a Master Chair of two of their peer advisory boards. If that’s not enough, this busy entrepreneur runs Speaker Schools, The Mikki Mouth Club, Keynote Kamp, Outrageous Orators and she was recognized in Forbes as a top executive speech coach. She has spoken in every U.S. state, every Canadian province and every continent except Antarctica…where she can’t wear her stiletto’s.

Natalie Fikes

CEO, The Greater Purpose Society LLC Read the Bio

Natalie Fikes

CEO, The Greater Purpose Society LLC

Natalie Fikes, is a performance and development coach that helps professionals improve performance and get what they want in life and business. She is the CEO of The Greater Purpose Society LLC, and the founder of The Greater Purpose System™ a multifunctional system that provides improved performance in the areas of mental wellness, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, execution and self-leadership.  

Natalie is passionate about providing solutions to underserved communities such as foster care, at-risk youth, homelessness and sex-trafficking. She is currently the VP of Community Affairs, and Board Chair for The African American Association of USA, and regularly volunteers at The City of Refuge in Atlanta, Georgia.  

One of Natalie's core values is to add value to others. She does so through public speaking, coaching, consulting, writing and acting. She is responsible for developing the bottom 20% of the sales and service consultants in the Verizon Southeast Region increasing performance by 83%, and increasing membership and engagement in the Central Region of the International Association of Women by 85%.  

Natalie has been featured on CBS Nightly News, CBS46, has spoken on platforms with Elizabeth Gilbert and Lisa Nichols, and was named Orator of the Year and John Maxwell's Top 100 Leaders. She was recently named one of the "Best Speakers of Today" by Northstar Meetings Group.  

Neal Schelberg

Partner, Proskauer LLP Read the Bio

Neal Schelberg

Partner, Proskauer LLP

Neal Schelberg is a partner in the law firm of Proskauer LLP. He practices exclusively in the employee benefits area and provides legal counsel to single employer and multiemployer pension and welfare funds and their sponsors. Schelberg writes and speaks frequently on employee benefit law topics. He is a co-author of the ERISA Fiduciary Answer Book (Panel Publications) and of the “Cases and Rulings” column for Pension Management.  

Schelberg is a contributing author to the Trustee Handbook, Seventh Edition, in which he wrote the chapter entitled “Legal Considerations of Real Estate Investment,” and to Fiduciaries and Their Professional Advisors, in which he wrote the chapter entitled “Arbitration of Benefit Disputes.” He has taught employee benefit courses at Fordham University Law School and New York University. Schelberg is listed in Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500 United States: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, the New York Super Lawyers and the Euromoney Legal Group Guide to the World’s Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers.  

He has been selected as one of the “Top New York Lawyers” in a survey published in The New York Times, and The National Law Journal recognized him as one of the 40 top benefits lawyers in the United States. Schelberg has served as a member and chair of various International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans committees. He has served as chair of the ERISA Advisory Council by appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Labor. Schelberg is a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. He is a graduate of Hofstra University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center.  

Nick Espinosa

Chief Security Fanatic, Security Fanatics Read the Bio

Nick Espinosa

Chief Security Fanatic, Security Fanatics

An expert in cybersecurity and network infrastructure, Nick Espinosa has consulted with clients ranging from the small business owners up to Fortune 100 level companies for decades. Since the age of 7 he’s been on a first name basis with technology, building computers and programming in multiple languages. Nick founded Windy City Networks, Inc at 19 which was acquired in 2013. In 2015 Security Fanatics, a Cybersecurity/Cyberwarfare outfit dedicated to designing custom Cyberdefense strategies for medium to enterprise corporations, was launched.  

Nick is regular columnist, member of the Forbes Technology Council, on the Board of Advisors for both Roosevelt University's Center for Cyber and Information Security as well the College of Arts and Sciences. He’s also is the Official Spokesperson of the COVID-19 Cyber Threat Coalition, award winning co-author of a bestselling book, TEDx Speaker and host of The Deep Dive nationally syndicated radio show, Nick is known as an industry thought leader and sought after for his advice on the future of technology and how it will impact every day businesses and consumers. Nick is an accomplished speaker and regularly speaks to audiences about Cybersecurity, technology and business management.  

Rick Gopffarth

Vice President of Preconstruction, Dynamic Systems, Inc. Read the Bio

Rick Gopffarth

Vice President of Preconstruction, Dynamic Systems, Inc.

Rick Gopffarth is Vice President of Preconstruction in Dynamic Systems’ North Texas Division. Rick currently oversees all business development, estimating, and engineering activities throughout North and West Texas. Rick began with Dynamic Systems in the fall of 1990 and has over 30 years of experience managing complex mechanical projects within the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, mission-critical, healthcare, laboratory, and large commercial industries.  

Rick currently serves as Assistant Treasurer on the MCAA Executive Committee and Chair’s the Association’s Education Committee. Rick became involved with the MCAA in the early 2000s and served as the Dallas MCA President from 2006 – 2007 and eventually served as Texas MCA President from 2017 – 2018. 

Rick graduated from Texas A&M in 1988 with a Bachelor of Environmental Design and completed a second degree in Building Construction from Texas A&M in the summer of 1990. Rick’s education and experience working with an Architecture firm while attending Texas A&M provided a foundation for a successful career in the Mechanical Contracting Industry.  

Robert Beck

President and CEO, John W. Danforth Company Read the Bio

Robert Beck

President and CEO, John W. Danforth Company

Robert Beck was elected Vice President/Assistant Treasurer of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America at the association’s Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, in March 2019. 

Robert is the President & CEO of the John W. Danforth Company, one of the largest mechanical contractors in the Northeast United States. The company, founded in 1884, operates four offices across New York State and provides turn-key solutions for any HVAC, refrigeration, plumbing, critical environment, custom metal fabrication, energy performance, or specialty mechanical project. Danforth is proud to be a charter member of the MCAA as well as a 100% employee-owned company. 

Recognizing the importance for continued education and industry involvement, Robert joined the Western New York Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (WNY PMCA), where he led initiatives on the Piping & Service Industry Coalition Committee, a local labor-management initiative. He also served on the WNY MEP Trade Tripartite Committee and is currently a New York State Pipe Trades Fund Trustee. 

Robert’s first experience with MCAA was at a Mid-Year Education Conference. He is currently serving as Chair of the Project Managers Education Committee, and has been both an instructor and a facilitator for MCAA’s Institute for Project Management (IPM) and Advanced Institute for Project Management (AIPM). He has also presented at MCAA’s Annual Convention and serves on the MCAA Audit Committee. He is a graduate of the IPM and AIPM as well as MCAA’s Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI). He was elected to the MCAA Board of Directors in 2015. 

Outside of work, Robert volunteers his time to local community and charity organizations such as Kaleida Health Foundation Board, WNY Make-A-Wish Advisory Board as well as volunteering for his children’s various activities. Robert enjoys outdoor adventures and activities with family and friends. 

Robert Bolton

CEO and President, Arden Building Companies LLC Read the Bio

Robert Bolton

CEO and President, Arden Building Companies LLC

Robert M. Bolton was elected Senior Vice President/Treasurer of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America at the association’s Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, in March 2019. 

Robert is the CEO and President of Arden Building Companies LLC, a full-service mechanical, sheetmetal and electrical contractor offering engineering design, construction and maintenance services. The company is located in Pawtucket, RI, with offices in Boston, MA and Waterbury, CT. 

His desire to stay on top of the latest industry best practices led him to the New England MCA, Inc. where he serves as President. He is a member of the organization’s board of directors and the Industry Improvement Fund. He chairs the Collective Bargaining and Labor Management committees for UA Local 51 and the IBEW Local 99 in Rhode Island. In addition, he is the Co-Chairman of the UA Local 51 Pension Annuity Plan, and Co-Chairman for the IBEW Local 99 Pension Annuity Plan. 

Bob’s first experience with MCAA was at a Mid-Year Education Conference. He went on to serve on both the Project Managers Education and Management Methods Committees. He was also a facilitator for MCAA’s Advanced Institute for Project Management (AIPM). He was elected to the MCAA Board of Directors in 2015. He is a 2016 graduate of MCAA’s Advanced Leadership Institute Program. He currently serves on the Education Committee and the Industrial Relations Council. 

On a personal note, Bob enjoys spending time with his family. He loves skiing, boating, fishing and biking with his sons Douglas and Connor whenever they get a chance. Bob supports many local community programs such as the RI Food Bank and RI Children’s Hospital golf fundraiser. 

Ryan Foley

Managing Director, FMI Corporation Read the Bio

Ryan Foley

Managing Director, FMI Corporation

Ryan Foley’s investment banking career is focused almost exclusively on serving middle-market companies with merger and acquisition transactions, private placements, and public equity and debt offerings.  

With more than 20 years of experience, he’s the co-head of FMI Capital Advisors’ Contractor & Construction Services industry practice, primarily serving specialty trades such as mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors in addition to general and heavy civil companies.  

Prior to FMI, Ryan worked at Green Manning & Bunch, a Denver-based M&A advisory firm, and at Allegiance Capital, where he led the execution of sell-side M&A transactions on behalf of privately held, family-owned businesses in oil field and electric power services, construction, food and chemicals.  

Earlier, Ryan worked at BMO Capital Markets in Houston supporting public and private debt and equity transactions for oil and gas exploration and production firms. He began his career at Janney Montgomery Scott, a full-service investment bank in his hometown of Philadelphia.  

Scott Berger

President and COO, Arista Air Conditioning Corporation Read the Bio

Scott Berger

President and COO, Arista Air Conditioning Corporation
Scott is President of Arista Air Conditioning Corporation and Past Chair of the MSCA Board of Managers. He is also the CEO of Big Alice Brewing Company. Scott’s career can be defined in many ways by the phrase “service to others”. He has a true passion coupled with an impressive history of furthering the growth and development of others through strong leadership and collaborative learning environments. Scott’s dedication to the advancement of others is evidenced by his commitment to the multitude of organizations that continue to benefit from his experience, expertise and leadership ability.

Steve Harvey

Owner/General Manager, W. A. Soefker & Son, Inc. Read the Bio

Steve Harvey

Owner/General Manager, W. A. Soefker & Son, Inc.

Steve Harvey is the Owner/General Manager of W. A. Soefker & Son, Inc. He has been in the HVAC business since 1978, coming up through the ranks as a service technician. Harvey started Soefker Services in 1991 from scratch and today, it has become the largest service contractor in Memphis, TN.  

Harvey served on the MSCA Marketing Committee and MSCA's Board of Managers. He currently serves on the national MCAA Board of Directors. Harvey also serves on the Moore Tech HVAC Department Board, the Northwest Junior College HVAC Department Board and the MCA of Memphis Board. 

Harvey has been married for 45 years with seven children and eight grandchildren (so far). 

Thomas Holsman

Consultant, Holsman Consulting Read the Bio

Thomas Holsman

Consultant, Holsman Consulting

Thomas Holsman is a consultant to contractors and developers as well as a strategic planning facilitator. He was previously the chief executive officer of Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California, the largest statewide construction trade association in California. The chapter maintains one of the largest multiemployer bargaining units in the nation.  

He has more than 40 years of collective bargaining and trust fund experience. Holsman’s experience includes participating in the development of various labor-management cooperation trust funds, with expertise in promulgating legislation and regulations affecting employers in California. He has served for more than 30 years as a trustee on various Taft-Hartley trust funds, including the Northern California Operating Engineers Pension, Health and Welfare, Annuity Pension Health, and Welfare and Training Trust Funds, as well as the National Laborers and the International Laborers Staff and Affiliates Pension funds.  

Holsman previously served on the Empire State Carpenters Fringe Benefit Funds. He is a Past President of the International Foundation and is currently a member of the Strategic Initiative Steering Committee. Holsman formerly served as Executive Committee Liaison on the Apprenticeship, Training and Education; Financial Review; and Government Liaison Committees. He was also a member of the Accountants, Educational Program, Financial Review, Trustees and Multiemployer Value-Based Health Plan (Ad Hoc) Committees, in addition to previously chairing the Strategic Initiative Steering Committee. Holsman earned his B.A. degree in psychology/biology and a graduate degree in education from the California State University of Sacramento. 

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