Austin, TX – As a winter storm brought record-low temperatures across the US, Unified Group members still made their way to the 2024 Service Management Forum which is an opportunity for growth and learning. Not even nationwide flight cancellations and delays will stop this group of like-minded professionals from getting together.

“Sitting next to the best of the best, sharing our successes and failures is powerful,” Chris DeMers of CMC Corporate Solutions said.

As the first day of meetings rolled out, our full-day speaker, Craig Woodall of Grinnell Leadership, led discussions, provided a new way of thinking, and broke down what it really means to be a leader. From drawing graphics on his flip charts to sharing information on maintaining a culture, communication, and retention, Woodall provided a surplus of knowledge and elevated attendees’ overall experience.

“He did a really good job with providing actionable steps instead of just highlighting general issues,” said Andy Gura of Blauch Brothers.

After a night of delicious barbeque, members returned to the meeting for another day of productivity. Day two was full of panel discussions, best ideas implemented, and member shares, but the highest rated segment was the “Recruiting and Retention” panel discussion. The panel covered characteristics to look for in new hires, incentives, successful retention programs members have in place, team bonding experiences, and more. Derren Saucier of Temperature, Inc. facilitated, and panelists were Daniel Gauthier of CMC Corporate Solutions, Mike Kerner of Cox-Powell, Erick Wheeler of Dean E. Norris, Jason Walker of B&I Contractors, and Gura. Members ended the night with a competitive ping-pong tournament.

For our last day together, members had the opportunity to ask for feedback and advice on any challenges that they have been struggling with, and two best ideas implemented were presented to the group to provide some insight into new products members have been using and why they have made an impact within their organization. These best ideas, shared by Chris Reiter of A&G Services and Steve Adams of Johnson & Jordan, were the highlight of day three. Reiter dug into his success using the Bluon App for purchasing, while Adams went through a brief demo of Company Cam and how it has helped them sell preventative maintenance agreements. Both platforms were well received by the attendees.

“If I hadn't attended the meeting, I would have missed valuable experiences and strategies,” Adams said. “These interactions are crucial for gaining new insights and perspectives, which can be instrumental in shaping and improving my own management practices and decision-making processes.”

Maybe the freezing temperatures did impact the 2024 Service Management Forum, but not in a negative way. If anything, attendees had more opportunity to be together, share laughs and camaraderie, and learn from one another.

Upcoming meetings include Technicians, Sales, Leadership, Financial, and Construction! If you are interested in learning more about attending a meeting or membership with The Unified Group, contact Janet Kelleher at