At its annual legislative awards dinner May 5, SMACNA presented Mark Nelson with the Legislative Contractor of the Year award.

WASHINGTON - At its annual legislative awards dinner May 5, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association presented Mark Nelson, of Los Angeles Air Conditioning Inc. in La Verne, Calif., with the Legislative Contractor of the Year award.

"Mark is involved in government and politics at every level and his contributions have been exceptional. When meeting with members of Congress, he doesn't hesitate to bring up the contentious issues to change a lawmaker's opinion when they don't agree with SMACNA," said SMACNA Legislative Committee Chairman John Ilten.

Nelson was recently re-elected to a second term as chairman of the legislative and political action committees of SMACNA's California chapter. He also serves as a member of the state's Legislative Advocate Task Force and Safety Committee.

Nelson is a member of the board of directors for the Californians for Compensation Reform and is a member of the Governing Committee for the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

Also receiving an award was Richard Buckley of Anderson, Rowe and Buckley Inc. in San Francisco. Buckley was recognized with the Distinguished Legislative Service Award.

"His contributions to the industry on the local, state, regional and national levels have been significant and lasting," Ilten said. "He was one of the founders of Bay Area Chapter SMACNA. Serving as it president and vice president, he worked tirelessly and was instrumental in forging a new outlook for the entire region."

A contributor to the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Political Action Committee for more than 20 years and a member of SMACNA's Congressional Insiders Club for 17 years, Buckley has supported the work of SMAC PAC through his consistent attendance at the annual Campaign for Quality Construction National Issues Conference and working for the industry through meetings with legislators, SMACNA officials said.

Not every legislative award winner was from the West Coast. Tony Adolfs, executive director of the Chicagoland Sheet Metal Contractors Association, was recognized as the Chapter Executive Legislative Advocate of the Year.

"This year's chapter executive award recipient serves as a great example for other chapter executives," Ilten said. "Tony hosts local events with his members of Congress and attends local fundraisers. With the impressive Chicagoland Joint Labor-Management Training Center right in his back yard, he frequently hosts tours for Congressional members to emphasize the SMACNA contractor's commitment to training and quality."

Each year, Adolfs brings a contingent of his members to Washington to emphasize the SMACNA position through face-to-face meetings with Congressional representatives. He has increased chapter participation in SMACNA's political action committee and developed a new younger generation of Congressional Insiders Club members, officials said.

Adolfs recently completed terms as chairman of SMACNA's Council of Chapter Representatives and as a member of SMACNA's Multi-Service Chapter Application and Selection Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and Chapter Executives' Institute Board.