Don’t miss out on the biggest event of the year! Join the International Roundtable in Philadelphia September 17-20, 2013.
The convergence of Alliance Day, International Roundtable and Comfortech 2013 is the absolute best way to get face-to-face contact with a wide range of residential contractors, industry experts, manufacturers and distributors. The interaction that takes place in meetings, on the tradeshow floor and at social events will put you in touch with the best and brightest in the industry. The knowledge you take away will enable you to make the best choices for your future success.
This year’s event brings together amazing speakers, exclusive social events and cream of the crop Vendor Partners like never before! PLUS, Service Roundtable members who register for Comfortech 2013 through the Service Roundtable site receive:
|8:00 am - 9:00 am||Breakfast (HVAC and Plumbing Alliance Members only)*
Sponsored by Aeroseal
|9:00 am - 4:00 pm||Service Nation Alliance Day (HVAC and Plumbing Alliance Members only)* |
Room 121 B + C, Philadelphia Convention Center
|6:00 pm - 9:00 pm||Evening on the Battleship New Jersey Sponsored by Lennox
(For all Service Roundtable and Alliance Members)
Bus departs at 6:00pm near the Marriott Downtown from the 12th Street Tunnel @ 12th & Filbert.
|7:00 am - 8:00 am||Breakfast Sponsored by Barnett|
|8:00 am – 12:00 pm||International Roundtable (Service Roundtable and Service Nation Alliance Members)|
Room 121 B + C, Philadelphia Convention Center
|12:30 pm||Comfortech Opens|
|2:00 pm||Product Showcase Opens/Happy Hour in the Hall|
|6:00 pm||Product Showcase Closes|
|9:00 pm – 11:00 pm||Heavyweight Champions Party
JW's 2nd floor Mezzanine, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
|8:30 am||Comfortech Opens|
|11:45 am||Product Showcase Opens|
|3:30 pm||Product Showcase Closes|
|6:30 pm||Comfortech Closes|
|7:30 pm – 11:00 pm||Comfortech Thursday Night Extravaganza|
|9:30 am||The Mechanical Town Hall Featuring the "Fab 5"|
|11:45 am||CEO Leadership Symposium Lunch|
|1:00 pm||Comfortech 2013 Closes|
*Alliance Events are exclusively for members of the Service Nation Alliance at no extra cost. All Service Roundtable and Service Nation Alliance members are invited to the dinner on Tuesday night. Please note all times are subject to change.
Author of Duct Tape Marketing
How to Build a Referral Engine
Referrals are the lifeblood of most practices and often the driver of the most profitable business and yet few firms focus the appropriate attention on systematic referral generation. In this session, best selling author John Jantsch will teach participants the key elements required to build your very own referral engine.
Participants will learn how to:
Benson's Heating and Air, Inc.
Benson's Heating and Air, Inc.
Wednesday 18th, 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Contractor and President & CEO at Red Falcon Equity
Is your business just a job? A lifestyle choice? Or is it a real business that someone will want to buy from you, or that you can pass on to your heirs? Ken Goodrich created and grew wildly successful residential services businesses, then bought and sold many others. Now Ken is the President of Red Falcon Equity where he buys, grows, and sells residential service businesses. Learn how Ken did it, and what you need to build a business that you will be able to sell.
Vicki and John LaPlant
Thursday 19th, 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Owners of Vital Learning Experiences
Family owned-and-operated business have unique problems and opportunities. How do you structure a family business to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls? What can you do to prepare the seamless transition from one generation to the next? Vicki and John LaPlant, in addition to working together in their own business, have worked with many family owned businesses, have encountered the problems, and understand the issues. Don’t miss this if you’re working with family, bringing family into your business, or hope to pass your business on to heirs.
Thursday 19th, 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Owner at Ron Smith Consulting & Coaching
Ron Smith is the Godfather of Residential Service Contracting, so we’re gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse: Listen to Ron Smith and you’ll get great ideas to transform and grow your business.
Thursday 19th, 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM
There are huge opportunities with Mobile Computing to reduce costs, improve service, and increase sales. But where do you start? What do you need? How much will it cost? Who should you contact? Why will it pay off? Where is it going? David Heimer, COO for Service Nation, will moderate a panel of leading software vendors and contractors who have successfully implemented mobile tablet computing. Among the panelists are Eric Rausin with dESCo and Russ Duker with Trade-Serve. Why reinvent the wheel, and why make all the same mistakes yourself? Learn from others! If you’re considering mobile computing, you need to see this!
1201 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is the hotel that connects to the convention center. The deadline for the group rate expired Friday, August 19th.
Phone: 215-625-2900 / 1-877-212-5752.
(Deadline for hotel reservation is Friday, August 19, 2013. After this date, we cannot guarantee availability and/or group rate)
Discover one of the premier hotels in Philadelphia when you stay at Philadelphia Marriott Downtown for our International Roundtable. Their hotel in Philadelphia commands a towering presence in the heart of America's original capital. Surrounded by rich revolutionary history and culture, Philadelphia downtown hotel's location exceeds the expectations of both business and leisure travelers. Business guests will enjoy the hotel's close proximity to the Pennsylvania Convention Center. A collection of fine restaurants are located on-site or within walking distance of the hotel’s downtown Philadelphia accommodations, in addition to the city's best shopping and entertainment venues. Easy to reach by any mode of transportation, the hotel is just one mile from the 30th Street Train Station and 10 miles from Philadelphia International Airport.
Philadelphia International Airport - PHL
Airport Phone: 1 215 937 6937
Hotel direction: 10 mile(s) NE
Head east from the airport. Take the ramp to PA-291 E. Take exit 13 to merge onto PA-291 E toward I-76 W/Valley Forge. Turn left onto S 26th St. Take the ramp onto I-76 W. Take exit 344 to merge onto I-676 E/U.S. 30 E toward Central Philadelphia. Take the exit toward Broad St/Central Philadelphia. Slight left onto Vine St. Keep right at the fork. Turn right onto N 12th St. Turn right onto Market St. Destination will be on the right.
This hotel does not provide shuttle service.
We work with the greatest companies in the world. Interested in sponsoring the International Roundtable? We have different levels of sponsorship available for events, refreshments, and more—but these opportunities fill up fast.
For more on Sponsoring with The International Roundtable please email Liz Patrick at Liz.Patrick@serviceroundtable.com.
The International Roundtable would like to recognize and thank our Sponsors for their generous support of the Roundtable events and programs. Click on a logo to be connected to a sponsor's website.
Contact our Success Consultants at 877.262.3341 for assistance with registration or questions about the conference.
Mark is the founder and President of Pinnacle Service Group, Inc., Lynnwood, WA. His clients include T-Mobile, American Honda Motors, Lynnwood Honda, York International, United Products Group, Honeywell, Carrier, Amana, Bryant, GE, MSCA, SMACNA, NYSERDA, PSE&G, Ferguson, Johnstone Supply, Comfortech/ Contracting Business, PHCC, ACCA, and MCA.
Mark has ben called A Street Scholar, an Idea Reporter an insightful Business Humorist. He is author of three books including the best seller, Freedom From Fear.
On stage and off, Mark Matteson is like a force of nature. I’m in awe of his speaking skills and more in awe of Mark as a person.
Because Mark is drawn to others, people are naturally drawn to him. We were both speaking at a conference in Istanbul last year. The speakers arrived a couple of days before the conference to adjust to the time zone and do a little sightseeing. As a group, we would notice Mark was missing (and at 6’8”, it’s hard to miss Mark). Invariably, Mark would be behind us, surrounded by a group of Turkish school children getting his picture taken, engaged in a conversation with some, or offering to take the picture of a couple of tourists. While the rest of us were absorbed by the architecture and exhibits, Mark was absorbed by the people.
Mark is into people. He’s all about people... about their growth and about their development. You cannot spend time with Mark Matteson without him positively affecting you in some way, usually in a way unimagined.
Visit his website for more information.×
John Jantsch has been called the World’s Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies.
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine.
He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world.
His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes, was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine.
He is the featured marketing contributor to American Express OPENForum and is a popular presenter of workshop and webinars for organizations such as American Express, Intuit, Verizon, HP, and Citrix.
His practical take on small business is often cited as a resource in publications such as the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, and CNNMoney.
Visit his Google Profile Page for even more information.×
Charlie Greer is well known in air conditioning and plumbing, primarily as a consultant and industry trainer for salespeople and technicians. Charlie cut his teeth in the industry as a salesperson working alongside Tom McCart at Ron Smith’s Modern Air Conditioning. At Modern, Charlie established himself as one of the top replacement sales people in the HVAC industry, eventually becoming the company’s top producer and later, its sales manager.
Charlie paid his dues in the field and embarked on a consulting career to share his knowledge and approaches with others. From time to time, former clients would seek Charlie's input on the possibility of becoming consultants themselves. After he sent them a long letter describing the duties and requirements, most had second thoughts.
The problem with Charlie’s consulting work was that he could only reach a few people at a time. Charlie took a year off from travelling and plunged into video, learning the ins and outs of video production and editing. The result was the “Tec Daddy” DVD training program for technicians.
Tec Daddy wasn’t Charlie’s first foray into training via media. He created the air conditioning industry’s first audio sales training program, "The NO EXCUSES! Workshop on Residential Replacements." He later added "Overnight Success in P.M." and new CD program, “The Slacker’s Guide to HVAC Sales.”
Despite a busy training and media production schedule, Charlie finds time to write. He pens a monthly column for Contracting Business Magazine. Visit his website for even more information on his products.
Visit his website for even more information on his products.×
Is Your Marketing as Simple, Effective, and Affordable as Duct Tape?
Let's face it, as a small business owner, you are really in the business of marketing. The problem for most small business owners is that they suffer from "marketing idea of the week" syndrome instead of implementing a systematic approach to the problem of small business marketing.
In Duct Tape Marketing, renowned Small Business Marketing guru John Jantsch shows you how to develop and execute a marketing plan that will give your business the life and longevity you knew you could have when you made that decision to go out on your own.
About the Author
John Jantsch is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System. For more than twenty years he has coached and consulted small business owners and independent professionals in simple and low-cost methods for growing and promoting their businesses. His blog, Duct Tape Marketing, was recognized by Forbes magazine as the best blog on small business and marketing. Follow him at www.DuctTapeMarketing.com.
Scott Robinson started work with the family construction supply business at the age of 16. Later, Scott became a partner in a heating-related business for 3 years, inclåuding sales and installation of gas and oil furnaces and boilers, solar heating systems and wood heat appliances. Some of the work included residential new construction HVAC.
In 1985 Scott founded Apple Heating, Inc. along with partner David Pinelli. Starting with just two employees, Scott grew the business to two locations employing 32 co-workers and generating in total over $4.5 million in annual sales. Scott sold the business in March of 2013.
Scott has been a presenter twice at ComforTech – once with Arzel Zoning, and once presenting a talk on the topic of private labeling of HVAC equipment. Scott was selected as Contractor of the Year for the Air Conditioning Contractors Association Ohio Chapter and winner of Spirit of ACCA award at the annual ACCA convention.×
Brandon Jacob’s career spans over 20 years and includes extensive experience in business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, exit strategy planning, finance and accounting. In the contracting trades, Brandon has 15 years of experience assisting in the sale and/or purchase of contracting businesses. Brandon currently operates Contractors Financial Opportunity, LLC, a financial consulting firm dedicated to guiding privately held contracting business owners in the areas of business valuations and exit strategies.
Spanning the years 1996-2002, Brandon was involved in the completion of over 100 business transactions involving privately held air conditioning and plumbing businesses totaling approximately $850,000,000 in acquired revenues.
As an independent consultant and CFO of Contractors Financial Opportunity, Brandon has assisted in over 50 business transactions since 2002 including the successful sale of privately held HVAC and plumbing business to publicly traded utility/national operating businesses, to private individuals, and to privatively held HVAC contractors. In addition, he has been involved in due diligence projects for buyers analyzing acquisition candidates and completion of business valuation projects representing $200,000,000 in revenues.
No one in has more complete hands-on experience with HVAC and plumbing industry business transactions. Brandon has seen it all. Today, Brandon is the “go to guy” not only for consolidators, utilities, and contractors seeking acquisitions, but for contractors looking to make their companies more attractive and valuable as acquisition candidates.×
Few people have had as much influence on an industry as Ron Smith. From a $500 loan and a dream, Ron built one of the country’s most successful air conditioning companies. In today’s dollars, Modern Air Conditioning’s annual revenues would total $40 million. For an air conditioning company located in Fort Myers, Florida, a small, one season market with a transient population, that’s not bad.
Ron was one of the air conditioning industry’s great innovators. He literally invented the residential service agreement. When Ron started his company, air conditioning was still largely new construction driven, with some add-on installations. Service was seen as a necessary imposition. Ron changed that and taught the industry that service and replacement work was highly lucrative.
Another of Ron’s innovations was retail air conditioning salespeople. Traditionally, sales were made by technicians or owners (and most owners were technicians). Ron hired Tom McCart and Charlie Greer to sell replacement and add-on air conditioners. At the time, no one thought salespeople taken off the street, without HVAC experience could sell air conditioners. Once again, Ron fundamentally changed the way many contractors approach the industry.
Today, many people who never knew Ron’s story are learning about him through his excellent, best-selling book, HVAC Spells Wealth. The book has sold on word-of-mouth about the quality of information. Plus, thousands of contractors who Ron helped have purchased his book.
Few people have directly and indirectly helped so many in the air conditioning industry. Few are so ready to share knowledge.×
Steve has been with Jerry Kelly since 1994 (serving as General Manager since 1999). Among other things, he's known throughout the HVAC community for his invention of the Visible Defects Heat Crack Inspection System.
Terry Barrett is a real air conditioning contractor. He has been in the residential home services business for over 15 years. He has been a trainer of sales and service to technicians for over 5 years. Terry is a Christian who strongly believes in the power of a good work ethic. A man who dedicates his life to helping others, Terry is happily married to the wonderful Stacy Barrett, and they have seven children together, both biological and adopted.
With the amazing training skills he has honed and that he can pass on to you, Terry manages a company that has gone from yearly revenues of $600,000 to over $4 million. He’s motivated to help you succeed in the right way. He’ll show you to win, and one important way you’ll win is when you succeed in retaining technicians. Companies that invest in their technicians reduce turnover rates. The goal is to provide a rewarding and satisfying place to work, which will make your company rewarding for you.
Another important tool Terry can teach your company is how to retain and strengthen client relationships. You need your best clients to rave about your company and to do business with you again and again. You can also find out how to increase leads from your technicians and build higher average ticket sales from your existing calls!
Terry has a deep passion and a proven track record for building companies through their service department. Let him show you how he does it.×
Ben Stark may be the E.F. Hutton of the service trades. When he talks, people listen. They listen because Ben is one of the great students of business and invariably offers wise counsel. He built his ﬁrst company from a scratch start to 18 employees and $2.5 million in sales in 1996 before selling to Service Experts. As General Manager, Ben oversaw the combination and operational merger of four companies resulting in a 100 employee, $12 million business.
After fulﬁlling his contractual obligations to Service Experts, Ben did it all over again. Starting from scratch in 2000, Ben built Stark Air into a 44 employee, $6.5 million company with consistent double-digit net proﬁt. His company is a repetitive Consumer Choice Award winner and Ben has been an ACCA member of the year. As a serial entrepreneur, Ben not only has air conditioning and plumbing ventures to his credit, but also direct marketing, home energy and testing, and more.
Ben is widely respected for his acumen and generosity. He shares with anyone who asks and is a Service Nation Alliance Advisory Board Facilitator.
Few people have directly and indirectly helped so many in the air conditioning industry. Few are so ready to share knowledge. Ron has directly helped thousands of contractors through Service America, Dominant Market Share, writing, and training. Through global mission work, he’s helped many beyond the industry.
Follow him at
Facebook: Click Here
Youtube: Click Here
LinkedIn: Click Here
Imagine taking the secrets of some of the most successful HVAC contractors and distributors in the nation and leveraging their business practices into a systematic approach to doing business.
This is the mission behind Vital Learning Experiences. Owners Vicki and John LaPlant have taken their combined 49 years of experience working with some the nation's top producing HVAC contractors and distributors to develop a unique series of training programs that are designed for one simple purpose – to transform your contractor or distributor organization into a thriving and profitable business enterprise.
All the seminar materials – textbooks, training aids and videos – have been written and developed by Vicki to facilitate the learning process. You will enjoy Vicki and John's unique teaching style that brings practical, real-world business practices to life as they show you proven techniques that get results. The seminars focus on business management, customer service and sales.
Since 1996, Vital Learning Experiences Enterprises has successfully conducted training for more than 7,500 HVAC contractors and their employees.×
Eric Falconer is the Operations Manager at Dutton Plumbing in Los Angeles, California. He took an early interest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology while a student California State University, Northridge, and has implemented internal processes that have allowed Dutton Plumbing to improve their marketing efforts by taking advantage of this rapidly spreading technology now in use at companies such as Starbucks, Fedex, and even manufacturing giant Kohler. Eric attributes his rapid rise in the plumbing business to the advice and support of his mentor Eric Dutton and has adopted a similar management style focused on empowering his staff and helping them advance in their careers.×
Ed O’Connell, founder of, and for 28 years owner of a well-respected plumbing company, has overcome a great deal of adversity in his life to create and run a very successful small business alongside his wife, Rebecca. A lifetime suffering with dyscalculia and a ten-year struggle with alcoholism meant that Ed has had to build his business up from nothing to become one of the best in his area. Now officially a consultant to his wife of 23 years, who is 51% owner of the company, Ed has some amazing and inspiring stories to tell about how he got here, and the sort of person it has made him today.
Ed puts his success down to embracing community in all its forms, whether that is personal support groups like the Human Awareness Institute and AA, or business support groups like the Service Roundtable and Service Nation Alliance. Ed says his company was doing mediocre business until they decided to bite the bullet and become fully fledged Alliance members. Having overcome a sizeable contracting debt, the standards and practices he has put in place have enabled him to take a step back from his successful business, which still employs eight people and is based in the San Rafael, CA area.
If Ed could give one piece of advice to fellow contractors, it would be “it’s easier, smarter, faster, and more economical to do it in a community of like-minded companies rather than go it alone.”×
Today, Matt is CEO and President of the Service Roundtable, the world's largest contractor alliance. He began his career in 1983 and has held engineering, marketing, and senior management positions with leading organizations such as the Turbo Refrigerating Company where Matt designed the first solid state control system for a thermal energy storage system; Lennox Industries where he transitioned from an engineering position as head of corporate factory automation to marketing where he led Lennox' marketing west of the Rocky Mountains; Titus where he led a turnaround of the company's VAV air terminal and DDC controls business units and was named a Tomkins Industries Innovator for his contributions to the company's cold air distribution technology; the Aire Serv franchise system that he started from scratch and grew to a #233 ranking in the Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500 just 24 months before being tapped to head marketing for Dwyer Group Trade Services (Aire Serv, Mr. Rooter, and Mr. Electric); and Decision Analyst where Matt led the Advanced Technology Group, providing marketing research and marketing consulting to leading technology, telecom, and building products companies and organizations, and created the American Home Comfort Survey, which is the air conditioning industry's largest syndicated research study.
An award winning writer, Matt has published a vast number of technical papers and trade journal articles. He writes "The Rant," a bi-monthly featured column for Contracting Business Magazine. He is also a contributing writer for a number of publications, including Contractor Magazine and Southern PHC News.
Matt is the publisher of Comanche Marketing, a leading internet-based marketing publication for small service businesses. His articles have been reprinted in numerous newsletters, magazines, and websites, and his work has been reprinted in sources as diverse as Sales & Marketing Management Magazine to The Limbaugh Letter.×
Ted Puzio has been in the electrical industry for over three decades. In 1995, Ted migrated from New Jersey to southern Virginia with his two young sons and started his own electrical company, Southern State Electric. As a master electrician, he primarily focused on wiring new construction, commercial work and residential homes. Ted quickly redirected his business’ focus to servicing residential clients and implementing flat rate pricing, target advertising and many of the strategies and principles that the Service Roundtable teaches.
In 2011, Ted acquired his Master plumber’s license and developed a plumbing service department with one plumber. Within a year’s time the singular plumber was so overwhelmed with work that two additional plumbers were hired.
In response to his clients’ expressed need for quality HVAC service, Ted again went back to school and received his Master HVAC and Gas fitters license. The evolution of Southern State Electric, Plumbing & Heat/Air has continued as he strives to provide the services that his loyal customers have grown to expect.
Ted has been recognized with numerous awards. In 2012, he received recognition from SRT as Contributor of The Year and is a recipient of the SML Regional Chamber’s Excellence in Marketing Award. Ted and his staff at SSEPH/A enthusiastically support their community by constantly participating in countless local charitable organizations.
Southern State’s new colorful logo is reflective of Ted’s equally colorful personality. His creativity and quick wit have facilitated his transition from being an electrician in business for himself to a businessman providing a full palette of services to meet the needs of his residential clients.×
Larry Taylor started in the HVAC business in 1965 and attended Oklahoma State Tech before working for TD Industries for 19 years. He purchased AirRite in 1990. Under Larry Taylor’s leadership, AirRite received the 2004 Residential Contractor of the Year Award from Contracting Business Magazine, 2012 Residential Contractor of the Year Award from ACCA and several other national awards and accolades.
Larry was 2001 Chairman of ACCA, 1989 Chairman of TACCA, Founding President of TXHERO (Texas Home Energy Rating Association) and founding member of Service Roundtable.
After 23 years of ownership Larry sold AirRite at the end of 2012 with intent of entering retirement but instead is staying busy continuing as an advisor in the industry.
He and his wife, Linda, are active in local community organizations in an effort to give back to the community some of that which has been given to them.×
Kenneth D. Goodrich is a seasoned entrepreneurial executive with over 26 years of experience in acquiring, integrating and developing HVAC, plumbing and service contracting businesses. Currently, Goodrich is the President and CEO of Red Falcon Equity, a private equity firm focused on acquisition, growth and development of trade businesses. Through Red Falcon Equity he is the principal of Arizona based Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning and The Sunny Plumber.
He began his career in a Las Vegas- based HVAC residential and commercial building maintenance firm which he became the CEO and Principal and ultimately sold and transitioned into a VP role for that company and led them to $100 million in annual sales while in operating in four states. He eventually created another HVAC and plumbing contracting business Yes! Air Conditioning & Plumbing and sold, in 2008, to the largest privately-held nationwide provider of comprehensive HVAC and plumbing maintenance, repair and system replacement. He took the role of President, Western Zone and Principal for that same company oversaw 34 business units until 2012.
Goodrich creates high-performance leadership teams with a focus on growth, process improvement, customer satisfaction and accountability for performance. He has assembled some of the industry’s most innovative business processes that have transformed once marginal companies into market-specific leaders. He has proudly built and sold eight businesses over his career, each of which increased their value an average of 12 times, and has dedicated his career to the advancement of the mechanical trades industry. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.×