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PORTLAND, ME - On Wednesday, September 15, more than 40 attendees from 20 different member companies all over the nation came together to participate in the 2021 Construction Forum. Wednesday night at 7:00 P.M., members met inside of a Portland Regency Hotel & Spa conference room for the Welcome Reception and Dinner. The first night consisted of friends reuniting with friends, and new faces sharing laughs with the veteran members. “I’ve probably met some of my best friends with The Unified Group,” said Jaime Quello at Peterson Sheet Metal.

To begin the meeting, three companies shared their best ideas -- Scott Krum and Casey Corbin with Legacy Mechanical, Inc., Bryant Fair with H.C. Blake Company, and Jake Emerson at Service Unlimited, Inc. Following, Tim Smerz at Air Comfort Corporation covered the COVID-19 topic. All presentations created a collaborative environment and were open to sharing and receiving content. “The best part of the meeting was discussing issues that others are dealing with as well as solutions to the issues,” Brandon Giles at Mechanical Services & Systems, Inc. said. A tour of Johnson & Jordan, Inc. was surely the highlight of the 2021 Construction Forum -- half of the members went to the office space, tools, and warehouse, while the other half visited the current fab shop. After 40 minutes, the groups switched locations. The tour ended with both groups meeting at their new fab shop, where members were providing ideas and suggestions for the new layout.

Day two began with a tour recap where outstanding questions from the tour were answered. Robert Wilson with Cullum Mechanical Construction and Patrick Zulick with Johnson & Jordan, Inc., kicked off the morning session. After a short break, attendees came back together to learn about Detailing and Prefab from David Moorhead with B&I Contractors, Inc. and Paul Caldwell with Intech Mechanical. Three best ideas were shared to conclude the first half of the day, which came from Gerry Wiegmann with Wiegmann Associates, Quello, and Mike Porch at Dean E. Norris.

After lunch, Quello presented on what to include and exclude during Pricing and Budgeting, which led to the biggest challenge breakout groups. “During the breakout, while we discussed our greatest challenge and what we are respectively dealing with, most items were universal. Nice to see my concerns are not local and everyone is experiencing the same issues. I got some really good ideas to help lessen some of the impacts for my company,” said Caldwell. To conclude Friday’s session Chris Jordan and Brandon Walker at Gregory-Edwards, Inc. presented on Labor Tracking and Cost Coding.

The final morning began with three best ideas from Nate Cole with Peterson Sheet Metal, Jay Cederberg with Air Controls, and Tracy Auen with A&G Services.

Mick Muscat and Michael Keenan both with VHV Company, in addition to Josh Byler with Blauch Brothers covered Manpower Tracking. Coming to an end, Jim Batson with H.C. Blake Co. Inc. explained how to grow from within your company. The final session of the meeting came from Cole and regarded the topic of Field Communication. 

Overall, members provided excellent feedback to one another and had great ideas and questions. Members left the 2021 Construction Forum with a surplus of knowledge, significant conversations, and memories that will last forever.