The Dance Is About to Change

Sept. 12, 2014
Editorial Director Mike Weil bids farewell to HPAC Engineering readers.

It’s pretty interesting how much has changed in the last five years. Back in 2009, the recession was bad, but no one could have predicted just how bad it would get or how long it would last. It was the year that we saw huge infusions of federal dollars to keep blue-chip industries afloat and people employed. Do you remember the Cash for Clunkers program?

It was in 2009 that the United States was in its eighth year in Afghanistan with no end in sight in the war on terror. Meanwhile, in Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won re-election, further polarizing that already unstable country.

Here at home, terror took an ugly turn with the shootings at Fort Hood, and of all things, the world was rocked by the death of Michael Jackson.

It was during 2009 that the health-care-reform debate began raging, causing extreme divisiveness in our government. While the country got embroiled over Obamacare, something called H1N1, or swine flu, swept around the globe.

It was while these whirling-dervish dances swept the planet that I stepped into a new role in my career as an editor in the HVAC trade press: I assumed the title of editorial director, and this magazine came under my jurisdiction.

In February 2009, my initial editor’s page was titled “Let Me Please Introduce Myself ...,” and though many assumed it was a typical introductory editorial (and it was), I did borrow the headline from the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.”

I spoke of synergies, and the words I wrote then still are true today: “Synergy. It’s been a buzzword in the business world for decades. It’s two or more things working together to create an effect that is greater than the sum of each working separately. In other words, to make disparate parts work better together than they do alone. Some call this efficiency. Everyone looks for better ways to work together to be more efficient, productive, and profitable.”

I brought decades of experience from the contracting side of our industry to the HPAC Engineering dance, and you, the readers, embraced me and the changes I helped to bring about (including a complete redesign of the magazine and of our website). For that I thank you.

HPAC Engineering is celebrating its 85-year anniversary this year and remains the predominant engineering magazine serving the HVAC industry.

But now the dance is about to change again. With this, my final Weil I’m Thinking of It ... commentary as the editorial director, I want to thank all of you. I’m stepping down to make room for new blood and new ideas in the continuous evolution of this brand. I will begin a new career, still as a member of this great industry, but in a new role with an organization named the National Comfort Institute, located in Sheffield Lake, Ohio.

I am leaving HPAC Engineering in very good hands. Executive Editor Scott Arnold, really the brawn behind this publication, remains and will continue to provide his leadership and insights.

In addition, Bob Mader, my counterpart on sister publication CONTRACTOR, will take over as content director for all three brands in the mechanical-systems space for Penton: HPAC Engineering, CONTRACTOR, and Contracting Business, as well as all of our ancillary publications, websites, newsletters, and so on.

Bob has been writing about plumbing, mechanical, green-building, and HVACR topics for more than 25 years.

It has been an honor to serve you.