Readers, Martha Leshine wants to hear from you. Especially if you are one of the approximately 1,500 people who attended NEFI Expo, June 14-15 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
The 2017 Expo was the first that Leshine presided over since being named acting president and CEO earlier this year. She noted that exhibiting companies numbered 189 and that truck manufacturers and upfitters displayed more than a dozen trucks. Hotel space in the city was sold out, she added. The educational program included sessions on propane, in recognition of the diversification trend among fuel oil marketers. Now Leshine is looking ahead, and she made a request for “suggestions and criticisms.” In a phone interview following the Expo, Leshine said, “We can’t improve things if we don’t know what people are unhappy with—or take things to the next level if we don’t know the things people are happy about.”
NEFI moved its offices from Lexington, Mass., to Worcester. The new address for NEFI is: 20 Franklin St., Suite 402, Worcester, Mass. 01608. The telephone number remains the same: 617-924-1000. The website also is unchanged: www.nefi.com. Leshine said the organization moved to Worcester to be centrally located for the members and region it serves. “And it made sense because we hold all our meetings here,” she said of the city that has a population of about 183,000 and which, according to some sources, sports a range of serious to light-hearted nicknames including “The Heart of the Commonwealth,” “City of Seven Hills,” “Wormtown,” and “The Woo.”
On the eve of the Expo, NEFI hosted a “Legends of Oilheat” banquet at the historic Mechanics Hall on Main Street in The Woo, a place with a distinguished history, including appearances by Charles Dickens, Susan B. Anthony, Enrico Caruso, Ella Fitzgerald, Yo Yo Ma, Mel Tormé and, as of the Legends of Oilheat banquet on June 13, add to that roster the illustrious Dick Horan, who served as master of ceremonies.
Finally, we note that in the week after the gathering in Wormtown, an entirely new conference made its debut: The Northern New England Energy Conference, organized by the Oil Heat Council of New Hampshire and the Maine Energy Marketers Association. It was held June 18-20 at the Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg, Maine. The event drew more than 200 attendees, 31 vendors who exhibited indoors, and truck marketers who displayed their vehicles outdoors, the organizers said. The second annual Northern New England Energy Conference is scheduled to be held at Mill Falls at the Lake, Meredith, N.H., June 24-26, 2018.
Stephen Bennett is the editor of Fuel Oil News.