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2nd Annual Contractor Connect Wraps in FL

Monday, November 12, 2018

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Technology Publishing Company recently held its Second Annual Contractor Connect event last week, Nov. 6-9, at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. CEO Brion Palmer called the event a success, dialing in on the unique nature of the conference.

"The objective of Contractor Connect is to create a unique, intimate dynamic for high-level executives across the industry to network, meet, share information and develop mutually beneficial business relationships,” said Palmer.

“This year’s roster of delegates included executives from 21 painting contractors and 22 manufacturers and suppliers including all the major coating companies and equipment manufacturers."

Images: Technology Publishing Co.

On Wednesday evening, the crew departed for a reception at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, sponsored by Induron. Here, Brion Palmer (middle) of TPC enjoys the reception with Chuck Flower and Kevin Coleman of Titan.

Presented by TPC properties Paint Bidtracker, PaintSquare and PaintSquare Press, the “Hosted Buyer” event brought together the professionals through a mix of scheduled meetings, panel discussions and Florida fun.

Outside Activities

After guests arrived on Tuesday, they were greeted with a welcome reception at one of the resort’s many private lawn areas, right beside the beach.

On Wednesday, guests were given the option to partake in three social events: a golf outing, sponsored by BrandSafway; a fishing expedition, which departed from the Conch House Marina in St. Augustine, sponsored by Titan; and a bus/walking tour of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States.

That evening, the crew departed again for a reception at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, sponsored by Induron. There, guests were treated to a mini dolphin show and a tour of the facility with a cocktail hour. Attendees were met with another dinner reception at Hammock Beach to cap the night.

Panels & Meetings

On Thursday, guests got down to business with three panel discussions and a day full of one-on-one meetings.

Dave Odnokon, VP, Park Derochie, participating in a panel discussion during Contractor Connect.

The panels included:

  • Coating Systems: Key Attributes in Purchasing – This panel discussed how system attributes impact purchasing as well as what contractors value in performance, price, ease of use and availability, to which suppliers on the panel gave their responses. The panelists included Larry Haack, AkzoNobel; Dwayne Meyer, Carboline; Davie Hood, Induron Protective Coatings; Mike Masorli, PPG; Allen Farris, The Sherwin-Williams Company; and Cory Brown, Tnemec.
  • Beryllium: Truths & Myths Panel – This group, moderated by Alison B. Kaelin, owner of ABKaelin LLC, a provider of EHS coatings quality assurance, consulting and related services, attempted to educate guests on the status of beryllium rules in the industry and also tested the knowledge of the audience with a live interactive quiz. Panelists included Russell Raad, Abrasives Inc.; Dominic DeAngelo, HARSCO; and Jason Vukas, U.S. Minerals.
  • Surface-Prep Equipment: Key Attributes in Purchasing – The last panel again turned to asking contractors questions including whether they typically buy, rent or lease equipment; what factors influence that decision; and whether distributors are preferred over manufacturers. Panelists included Russell Roden, Atlantic Design Inc.; Bill Nelson, Axxiom Mfg./Schmidt Engineered Abrasives; Pete Blackmur, Clemco Industries Corp; Bryce Gapinski, Graco; Bob Nash, Sr., Greener Blast Technologies; and Chris Keenan, MES LLC.

The rest of the day was filled with one-on-one meetings, something unique to Contractor Connect within the industry.

“We could easily grow the event, but I strongly believe one of the key attributes of Contractor Connect is the intimate aspect of the event offers,” said Palmer.

“We control the number of attendees so everyone has the chance to meet and engage with other participants at multiple times throughout the event. This value proposition has been shared consistently by past attendees as being one of the most unique and valuable attributes of Contractor Connect."

The Surface-Prep Equipment panel  turned to asking contractors questions including whether they typically buy, rent or lease equipment; what factors influence that decision; and whether distributors are preferred over manufacturers. Panelists included Russell Roden, Atlantic Design Inc.; Bill Nelson, Axxiom Mfg./Schmidt Engineered Abrasives; Pete Blackmur, Clemco Industries Corp; Bryce Gapinski, Graco; Bob Nash, Sr., Greener Blast Technologies; and Chris Keenan, MES LLC.

Thursday capped off with a reception inside the resort along with a casino night, sponsored by U.S. Minerals, where attendees gambled to win several top prizes, as well as a cigar bar, sponsored by Rhino Linings.

A half-day of meetings on Friday topped off the event, with many attendees noting how productive and unique the set-up was for them.

“It is very rewarding to hear the delegates say that there isn’t anything like this in the industry or that Contractor Connect easily pays for itself,” said Palmer.

"That means we have brought together the right people and have provided the right environment for them to engage with one another.” 

Event Sponsors

Platinum sponsors for this year’s Contractor Connect were:

  • Abrasives inc.;
  • Axxiom;
  • Carboline;
  • Clemco;
  • Graco;
  • Greener Blast Technologies Inc.;
  • Harsco;
  • International Paint;
  • PPG;
  • Sherwin-Williams;
  • SSPC;
  • Tnemec Company Inc.; and
  • U.S. Minerals.

The gold sponsor was:

  • MES.

The silver sponsors were:

  • GMA and
  • Painters and Allied Trades LMCI.

The bronze sponsors were:

  • Atlantic Design;
  • Brandsafway;
  • Ervin; and
  • Induron.

Other sponsors were:

  • Rhino Linings;
  • Strategic Materials; and
  • Titan.

Participating contractors were:

  • A&M Construction;
  • Advanced Prep-Coat Inc.;
  • Blastco;
  • Coatings Unlimited;
  • Coblaco Services; Conomos Industrial Painting;
  • Elite Industrial;
  • Exceletech Coating & Application;
  • Global Coatings;
  • Hitech Painting;
  • Metalizing Technical Services LLC;
  • Niagara Coatings Services;
  • Niles Industrial Painting;
  • Park Derochie;
  • Performance Paintibg Contractors Inc.;
  • Riley Industrial Services;
  • Seminole Equipment Inc.;
  • Thomas Industrial;
  • U.S. Tank Painting; and
  • Vulcan Painters Inc.

Editor's Note: Corrected name.