“Hawaii, USA; Hawaii, USA. We’re flying, coming your way. Aloha, Hawaii, USA. Gee it’s great to be in that 50th state; the land of enchanted dreams. What an isle, where it’s heaven tropical style…”

Green-building expert Jerry Yudelson will explain what the popular movement means for contractors during “Catching the Green Wave: New Business Opportunities in Sustainable Design and Development,” a part of the Oct. 20 HVAC Contractors Forum.

Sessions set

Here’s a look at some of the other sessions planned by convention organizers. As in past years, SMACNA will be holding a small trade show. This year’s show takes place from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 21.

At 7:30 a.m. Oct. 20, these sessions are scheduled:

• Jerry Yudelson, a licensed professional engineer and a certified green-building expert, will host “Catching the Green Wave: New Business Opportunities in Sustainable Design and Development,” as part of the HVAC Contractors Forum.

Yudelson will explore the current - and growing - state of green building in America and how SMACNA contractors can take part in this profitable development. Yudelson is the author of eight books on green construction and numerous magazine articles. He has spoken at many industry events.

• The Architectural Forum will have Scott Kriner of Green Metal Consulting Inc. answering the question: “Can Cool Metal Roofing Prevent Global Climate Change?”

Kriner, an expert in cool metal roofing and Metal Construction Association technical director, will explore how the material fits into the sustainability movement and what local, state and federal incentives are available for contractors.

• Stephen E. Yoch of Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon and Vogt will host “Two Old Dogs Learn New Tricks: A Comparison of AIA A401 and ConsensusDocs 750.”

In September 2007, a large group of contractors, building owners and industry organizations released a new group of model contracts called “ConsensusDocs.” Two month later, the American Institute of Architects released revisions incorporating some of these changes. Yoch will explain what this all means for SMACNA members.

Tom Grandy of Grandy & Associates will talk about how to not only get paid, but save taxes on what you earn each year during his Oct. 20 session.

Leaders

• “The Dynamics of Leadership” will be explained by John Garofalo of Callahan/Roach and Garofalo. He says in the past, leaders were defined by titles such as “boss” or “supervisor.” Today, however, leaders are those who have the skills to get a company’s goals accomplished.

Garofalo will explain what skills owners need to develop to create the same cultures in their businesses.

• “How to Manage Safety Legal Issues and OSHA Inspections” is the topic of a discussion by attorney Adele L. Abrams. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues that could affect sheet metal contractors will be explained.

• “How to Collect Your Money” will have Tom Grandy of Grandy & Associates explaining how to not only get paid, but save taxes on what you earn each year. Tips on increasing deductions, avoiding Internal Revenue Service audits and when to go to court will be explored.

At 9:45 a.m., these sessions are planned:

• The Residential Contractors Forum will also feature Grandy, this time talking about maintenance agreements. Grandy will tell why he calls them a “golden goose” for contractors that are good for customers as well.

Welding

• Welding consultant Lynn Petersen will be the focus of the Industrial Contractors Forum. His session, “Optimizing Welding Parameters for Improved Productivity and Cost Reduction,” will explain how to use the appropriate amount of energy for different welds, which saves time and money.

James Shoulders from the International Training Institute is also scheduled to speak.

• “HVAC Systems: Understanding the Basics,” will be presented by frequent SMACNA speaker Thomas E, Glavinich, a Ph.D., and P.E.

The session will delve into the association’s “nontechical” manual of the same name, covering the wet and dry sides of HVAC systems, components and commissioning.

• The New Horizons Foundation project on writing a risk-management manual for HVAC and sheet metal contractors will be presented by Rob A. Biedermann of J.B. Henderson Construction Co., and Paul Frascione, director of SMACNA IT & Systems.

• Another repeat SMACNA presenter, Richard Flint, will talk about the common problem of putting things off. “Understanding and Controlling Procrastination” will offer tips on overcoming this behavior.

• At 2:30 p.m., “Business Information Modeling: The Key to Unlocking Your Future” will be explained by Matthew D. Cramer of Dee Cramer Inc. and Dana K. Smith of the buildingSMARTalliance.

‘BIM'

Building information modeling uses digital representations of a facility to represent the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. The speakers will tell what this means for SMACNA members.

• “The HVAC and Sheet Metal Industry Futures Study: Industry Trends and Drivers Shaping Alternative Futures” will also be at 2:30 p.m.

• Another New Horizons study, it will predict what the industry will look like in 2017 and how companies can prepare themselves for these changes.

• At 9:30 a.m. Oct. 22, three sessions are scheduled: “Project Coordination - Everyone Can Win When it’s Done Right” will feature an update to a 1998 SMACNA document with the same name.

• “SMACNA Guide to Cost Recovery for Sheet Metal and HVAC Equipment,” presented by Matthew W. Smith and Steven L. Streimer, will be another session explaining updates to a SMACNA publication - in this case, its “blue book.”

•        The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Awad S. Hanna, Ph.D., P.E., will talk about his research into “Project Tracking to Improve Labor Productivity.”

For more information on SMACNA’s 2008 convention, write to the group at 4201 Lafayette Center Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151-1209; call (703) 803-2980; fax (703) 803-3732; see www.smacna.org on the Internet.

Iowa contractor deals with flood aftermath as he starts presidency

It won’t be easy for John Ilten to leave the 106-year-old Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company that bears his family’s name when he takes over as SMACNA president Oct. 22.

Ilten’s Inc. is still rebuilding from the massive flooding that hit parts of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois last June. The company saw its offices and warehouse complex wiped out, along with an appliance showroom.

Still, the company has been able to keep generating work as it rebuilds, and Ilten said he is looking forward to his year as association president.

It could be considered the pinnacle of a 30-year (so far) career in the HVAC industry - and an industry-related family history that goes far beyond that. Ilten, 51, currently serves as company president. It’s a position that many Iltens have had before him, going back to his great-grandfather, Henry Ilten, who started the company in 1892.

From its start as a sales and installation company for oil, gas and coal furnaces, today’s Ilten’s, which has 40 or so employees and does around $6 million in residential and commercial work, is a diversified business overseen by John and his brother Tim.

It keeps them all busy.

“We’re small enough that you really don’t have just one thing that you do,” John Ilten said.

John Ilten of Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s 106-year-old Ilten’s Inc. will be SMACNA’s 2008-2009 president.

A change

Ilten will be leaving the company in good hands as he starts his year as an ambassador for the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, visiting sheet metal shops, union halls and other locations across the country. The expected trips to Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; Miami, San Francisco and Vermont fit in with John Ilten’s view of SMACNA, which he sees as a great vehicle for relationship building. He’s long been active in the association at the local, state and national levels, ever since he was chairman of the Cedar Rapids chapter in 1986.

“It’s been very enjoyable for me,” Ilten said. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people in a lot of different markets.”

Convention returns to Maui for first time since 2004

“Maui no ka oi” - Maui is the best - is a Hawaiian phrase often repeated by travel agents and residents of this idyllic island.

And SMACNA must agree, because the association is returning to the island for its convention this month - the first time they’ve held the national meeting here since 2004.

This 728-square-mile island boasts forest-covered mountains, sandy beaches and grass-covered plains. Perhaps this natural beauty is why, when King Kamehamena united the islands in 1802, he made the Maui city of Lahaina his capital. Today, Maui is an active commercial and tourist center, drawing more than 2 million visitors annually. With an average annual temperature in the mid-70s, it’s not hard to figure out why.

While Maui, along with the “big island” of Hawaii, is probably the best-known island of the chain that makes up the 50th U.S. state, it is actually one of eight islands formed by millions of years of volcanic activity. Each island - Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau, Hawaii, Kauai and Oahu - was created at different times, making each one unique in landscape.

A sudden beginning

Maui was created by the eruption of the now-extinct 5,788-foot Puu Kukui volcano and the long-dormant, 10,023-foot Haleakala, which is now part of a national park. The red soil still shows its volcanic beginnings.

The Hawaiian Islands are one of the most remote chains in the world. For thousands of years, they were barren, until the wind and sea carried a variety of flora and fauna to the islands. By the time the first inhabitants discovered the islands, they were covered with lush valleys and sandy beaches.

Hawaii’s first residents were Polynesians. According to legend, the great Chief Hawaii Loa guided these travelers from Southeast Asia to the islands. Using the star Arcturus as a compass, they were led to the “heavenly homeland of the north.” They brought with them many of the flowers and plants that are considered “native” to Hawaii: plumeria, pineapples, orchids and mangoes.

For more than 5,000 years, these people traveled the sea, also settling on the islands of Fiji, Micronesia, Samoa and Indonesia.

Storied history

In 1779, British Capt. James Cook sailed into Kaelakekua Bay, opening the islands to visitors. Legend has it future King Kamehamena took note of Cook’s men and their weapons and battle tactics. He used this new knowledge in a war to unite the islands as part of his kingdom.

In the 19th century, the Maui city of Lahaina was a whaling capital, attracting sailors from around the world. Today the city is registered as an historic landmark.

Today the old mixes with the new in Maui. Many parts of the island are tourist meccas, and new golf courses, hotels and condos are not far from the historic mansions and settlements of the island’s first visitors. Tours of a number of these structures are available.

Whether you’re into hiking, biking, swimming or golf, Maui offers plenty to do. The island is home to more than a dozen golf courses, including the north and south courses of the Makena Resort. These courses host the Hawaii State Open. Golf experts say the north course is laid out to make visitors feel comfortable amid the natural surroundings. They say the course is distraction free, unless you are bothered by beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and sandy beaches. The south course is a par-72, 6,739-yard park with rolling fairways and views of the mountains.

Legendary golf

Another group of celebrated courses are the “Blue,” “Gold” and “Emerald” courses of Wailea Golf Club. The Blue course is often called “the grand lady” of Maui’s resort courses. It sits amid the upscale architecture of this city. The Gold course is laid out along the lower slopes of south Maui’s Mount Haleakala. The par-72 course was designed to take advantage of the naturally rugged terrain of the region. The Emerald course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and stretches more than 6,800 yards. Officials say it was made to be a “pure golf” course in the middle of a tropical garden.

If golf isn’t your favorite activity, Maui offers many other options. The Maui Ocean Center is one of the largest aquariums in the world, with more than 50 marine habitats on display. The center also contains a large ocean exhibit and another one focusing on whales.

Also popular is Oheo Gulch, also known as “the Seven Sacred Pools.” Situated on the Hana highway, the gulch contains a number of connected waterfalls and pools, eventually leading into the Pacific Ocean. The area is a good place for swimming.

Galleries and museums

If you’re a lover of art, visit the Hana Coast Gallery, called one of the best such places in the state. The gallery contains furniture made from extinct wood and a large collection of feather art.

Sugar has been one of Maui’s main exports for centuries, and that heritage is celebrated at the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum. The smell of sugar cane hangs in the air as visitors learn about the history of one of the state’s most important cash crops.

Maui is full of natural beauty, but among the most beautiful areas is Iao Valley State Park, highlighted by the Iao Needle. The 2,000-foot mountain peak ranks among the island’s most-photographed images. The park contains several routes that visitors can take to hike to the needle. It also has picnic areas and gardens. The valley was the site of a battle centuries ago. Some locals believe the area remains haunted by those who lost their lives.

Maui’s celebrated cuisine runs the gamut. Chain restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe mix with independent establishments. Hawaiian food is available at many hotels through a replica of the traditional Hawaiian luau. Asian food is also very popular, which is not surprising considering the island’s proximity to Japan.

Another common Hawaiian cooking style, known as “Pacific Rim,” combines Asian and Western cuisine.

Of course, the Hawaiian Islands are known for fresh seafood, but many food experts also say the island’s farms produce delicious vegetables as well. The Maui onion is one example. Very sweet, it is similar to the Vidalia onions of Georgia.

As for seafood, mahi-mahi remains a perennial best seller. Other creatures of the sea you may want to try include hebi (short-bill spearfish), nairagi (striped marlin), kajiki (Pacific Blue marlin), or onago, a ruby snapper.