This year, many of you may have had the opportunity to take part in the Oil and Energy Service Professionals Convention and Trade Show, held in what is often referred to as Chocolate Town USA, or Hershey, Pa.
Let me first say, hats off to Judy Garber, executive director of OESP and the convention committee, for planning such a great event. The trade show was held on two days and there was something on display for any and all tradesmen with even give-away circulators.
There were exhibits both inside and out and training classes held in both locations. Additionally, literature and free novelty samples were in no short supply.
One event that is dear to my heart is the Dave Nelson Scholarship Fund Golf Outing, which since being established in 1999 has awarded over $221,000 in scholarships to those students planning on continuing their education in the oil industry. This year’s golf outing was held at The Deer Valley Golf Course and raised enough money to add another $9,000 to the DNS fund.
The success of this event was attributed to the hard work of Chairman George Fantacone (Santoro Oil) and his committee. Also, let’s not forget all of the sponsors who made financial contributions to the event.
This year’s scholarship winners were: Alrick Crowe (sponsor Honeywell), Zachary Baylor (sponsor R.W. Beckett Corp.), Samuel Gumbert (sponsor Boston Southeast Chapter), Roger Bruso (sponsor R.E. Michael Co.), Robert Papale (Mid Atlantic Service Managers Award), Nicholas Micheletti (sponsor Taco Manufacturing Co.), and Patrick McConnell (sponsor Weil-McLain).
Another great event is the Care to Ride fundraiser, which for several years has consisted of a group of motorcyclists, bikers and walkers. This year, the group raised over $53,000 that will go towards purchasing oil heating equipment for those families who can’t afford to replace it on their own.
I also attended some of the NATE and NORA CEU certified classes that were offered in the areas of A/C, gas troubleshooting to understanding efficiency-FUE, to name a few. I must say the classes I attended were full to capacity, and I heard the same from other class attendees.
The main event was the Awards Banquet, which was held in the banquet hall and was filled to capacity. Several people were presented with special awards for their contributions to the industry. This year’s award recipients were for the Hugh McKee Award Paul Cuprewich and Charlie Bursey; the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Steve Rinaldo; Angel Gonzalez was named Instructor of the Year, the Lou Ehrich Award went to Rick Glownia; Manufacturer of the Year went to Bock Water Heater; and Service Manager of the Year went to Bob Daros.
The convention’s curtain came down with a Kentucky-Derby themed party. There was a dinner, horse and buggy rides, live music, and all the unforgettable ladies who showed up with their personally-decorated, fancy derby hats.
The 2014 OESP Convention and Trade Show is already in the works. The convention committee is exploring two events, one at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on May 12-
13 and another in Gettysburg, Pa. on September 22-23.