Noting that we have record attendance at MCAA 2017, MCAA President Tom Stone opened the convention Monday by encouraging everyone to take a moment to reflect on our success.
“[T]he people in this room are successful because we never stop learning. This week we will listen to exceptional leaders and visionaries and technical gurus – and take home with us what we learn. Our annual convention is unparalleled in our industry.”
—Tom Stone, MCAA President
He attributed our success to continuous learning, whether at in-person events or through independent study using the more than 600 resources available for download from mcaa.org free as a benefit of membership.
He cited partnerships with the best manufacturers and suppliers in the world, investing in the future, working together to advocate for our industry in Washington and the best union workforce in America as additional contributors to our success.
After recognizing those who lead the association and pausing to remember those who are no longer with us, President Stone bestowed the Distinguished Service Award (DSA), MCAA’s highest award, on MCAA Past President Mark Rogers, who is President of the Mechanical Contracting Education & Research Foundation (MCERF).
The new DSA statue embodies the infinity loop, the never-ending loop of learning, succeeding and giving back to others is MCAA’s core value. It signifies the essence of the DSA and an individual who exemplifies these qualities.
The Honorable John Boehner, the 53rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, followed. He thanked attendees for their work, saying that small businesses are the heart and soul of America. Among the skills he picked up during childhood, Boehner said one of the most useful to his career was learning the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
Asked about the most significant event he experienced while he was Speaker of the House, Boehner cited Pope Francis’ historic speech to Congress in September 2015.
In answer to another question, Boehner noted that the top three challenges facing America today are:
- Economic growth and job mobility
- The threat of terrorism from overseas
- Educational disparity
He noted that the deficit is another problem, saying, "We’ve got to get serious about living within our means.