by SCOTT LYNCH, President & CEO, American Boiler Manufacturers Association, Vienna VA
ABMA recently wrapped up its 2021 Annual Meeting which was converted to a fully virtual format just months earlier. This was not the event we initially envisioned but we adapted and still brought together the leading companies in the boiler industry for thought-provoking speakers, interactive sessions and enjoyable social interactions. This meeting was a culmination of a challenging 2020 that has forced everyone to adapt to today’s realities.
Everyone is now grappling with whether 2021 is going to look more like 2020 or 2019. I think it is safe to say that the first half is going to look more like 2020, and vaccine progress during this time will have a significant impact on the second half of the year.
ABMA enters 2021 with what I would call “practical optimism”. We expect the second half of 2021 to be the beginning of a recovery that will lead to many successes in 2022. As an association, we need to be ready when that recovery begins.
In anticipation of this timeline, ABMA moved its inaugural boiler technology conference to April 2022 and renamed it BOILER 2022. This event was supposed to begin our direct engagement with the end-users of our products and, while we are looking forward to BOILER 2022, ABMA is finalizing plans to launch additional end-user engagement opportunities that will still launch in mid-2021, as well.
ABMA will also use 2021 to continue its expansion into the hydronics sector. In 2020, we created the Hydronics Product Group, with Rich Simons from Laars Heating as the Group Chair, and Brian Iske from Lochinvar as Vice-Chair. The group also welcomed new hydronics members Bryan Steam, Grundfos, PB Heat, RW Beckett and Thermal Solutions.
PLANNING FOR SUMMER
ABMA still expects to bring the ABMA membership together for the 2021 Summer Meeting this June at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, FL. I am confident we have the right team in place here to address the challenges of in-person events coming out of a pandemic. And the success of our virtual 2021 Annual Meeting proved to me that we can quickly shift gears and continue to offer value to our members.
So, I remain optimistic that better days are ahead, while remaining practical. ABMA has continued to find ways to offer significant member value, making changes and altering direction when situations dictate. But we are ready to reach new heights following these challenging times.
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Based in Vienna VA, the author has been President & CEO of the American Boiler Manufacturers Association since June 2014.