Pike Place 5

First Canadian Conference a Resounding Success

July 17, 2023
Boiler manufacturers are still abuzz after ABMA's productive and collaborative summer meeting in British Columbia.

By SHAUNICA JAYSON, American Boiler Manufacturers Association

At the end of June, ABMA convened its 2023 Summer Meeting at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort, located at the base of the beautiful Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, British Columbia.

With attendance exceeding 200, the lively gathering in Canada took our ABMA events to new heights at our first international meeting. Based on the initial feedback, the event was a big success and offered attendees an experience that far outweighed their investment.

“ABMA was excited to host our first membership meeting in Canada," said ABMA President & CEO Scott Lynch. "Attendees truly had a unique experience in Whistler and many explored the surrounding areas of British Columbia, as well.”

This year's meeting also featured a very special opening, as Ambassadors from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre provided a Native blessing and song customary of the Squamish and/or Lil'wat Nations.

Of course, it would not be a true ABMA meeting without a little bit of fun. That arrived in the Opening Keynote from the always entertaining Pike Place Fishmongers, who joined us from Seattle. They engaged our audience in the action by tossing fish across the aisles and then selecting volunteers to try to help them throw and catch even more fish during their interactive demonstration. (Pictured at top.)

The Fishmongers wrapped it all into their presentation about how highly engaged teams can be all the difference between a thriving organization and one that is faltering. Toward that end, they stressed that an important key to employee engagement and high morale is a positive workplace environment where deep trust and mutual respect form the backbone of an organization. 

For our closing keynote speaker John Grotzinger, NASA's Chief Scientist and Head of Strategic Planning for the Mars Rover Mission took us to outer space with a presentation about the challenges, discoveries, teamwork, and leadership that all came together to make that mission a success.

Grotzinger talked about how to fail intelligently using the best-practice approach of “test as you fly, and fly as you test,” resulting in significant risk reduction. He outlined how his team confronted and resolved unexpected challenges along the way and still accomplished remarkable achievements.

Educational sessions also had many highlights. They included these topics and speakers:

  • Importance of Proper Water Chemistry in RentalsJeff O’Hara, Delval Equipment;
  • The Supply Chain of Workers Compensation and How You Can Use It to Your AdvantageChristopher Yanakos & Kevin Tracey, Reli;
  • Cybersecurity for Control Systems, Kent Nelson, UL;
  • 2023 Changes to the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code/International Codes Using ASME as a BasisJay Vattappilly, P.E., HSB;
  • Alternative Fuels for Packaged BoilersKent Nelson, UL;
  • Predict & Prevent - Insurance, Jon DeWald, HELIXintel;
  • Essentialness of Boilers, John Bartley, Louisville Medical Center.