Doug Barnard of Fresno, Calif., was the winner of the North American Technician Excellence "Top Tech 2005" competition.

Barnard was one of seven finalists invited to compete. The contestants are technicians who scored the highest on a NATE exam in specific U.S. regions.

The annual technician competition tests the competitors' troubleshooting skills through a series of timed, hands-on simulators. The simulators are programmed with heating and cooling problems. The technician who diagnoses the problems and corrects them the quickest is named "Top Tech."

"NATE certification sets the standard and the entire industry will benefit if NATE certification becomes a requirement," said Barnard.

PHCC awards $102,000 in scholarships

More than $102,000 in scholarships were awarded this year through the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Educational Foundation. The scholarships were made possible through several manufacturers and sponsors.

American Standard Bath and Kitchen provided $10,000 to fund four scholarships, which were awarded to Phillip D. Franco of Brooklyn Heights, Ohio; Ryan Ress of Hutchinson, Minn.; Stephen J. Swanick of Huntersville, N.C.; and Jacob A. Tabor of Breaux Bridge, La.

A.O. Smith Water Heaters provided a $2,500 scholarship. That money was awarded to Joseph S. Pung Jr. of Smith Creek, Mich. Another $2,500 was awarded to Jonathan Wenderoth of West Mystic, Conn., from State Water Heaters.

Bradford White Corp. provided $7,500 to fund three scholarships, which were awarded to Ted Cramer of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Travis Allen Cochran of Springfield, Ohio; and John R. Kennan of Atlantic Heights, N.J.

Six scholarships totaling $15,000 was provided by Delta Faucet. Recipients of the scholarships were: Christopher Bell of Beverly, Mass.; Dustin Duval of Lafayette, La.; Kristopher Falkena of Hospers, Iowa; Robert King of Las Vegas; Steven Swade of Riverside, Ill.; and John Tinius of Lincoln, Neb.

The PHCC Educational Foundation provided $60,000 for scholarships awarded to Christopher Bell of Beverly, Mass.; Erika Jon Glapinski of Hubertus, Wis.; Gabriel Ruiz of South Gate, Calif.; Jeffrey Smith of Long Grove, Ill.; Bruce K. Wenzlick of New Lothrup, Mich.; and Lee R. Wilson of Portageville, Mo.

The PHCC Past National Officers Scholarship was awarded to Johnny J. Mendias III of Fort Stockton, Texas.

For complete eligibility requirements and scholarship applications, visit