December 2014
Interview

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Ken SmyersEMAIL INTERVIEWKen Smyers and Ken Sinclair

Ken Smyers, VP and Co-Owner of DMS Controls Group, LLC, in Pittsburgh, has over 30 years of experience in the HVAC, Building Automation, and Controls Industry and is also Co-Founder of the ControlTrends Awards, which was established to recognize the superstars and heroes of the HVAC and Building Automation Industries.  Ken is also very much involved with Eric Stromquist and ControlTrends.org, a leading internet source for HVAC and Controls information.


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The 2014 ControlTrends Awards


Next comes the voting period, which begins December 15, 2014, and will continue until January 15, 2015.

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SinclairThe 2014 ControlTrends Awards Nomination period has ended and the voting period is about to begin.  Tell us about the nominees and were there any surprises? (See September interview for more details.)

Smyers:  The 2014 ControlTrends Awards finalists were announced November 1st, 2014. Congratulations to all of those selected and to everyone that participated. We were excited how the ControlTrends Awards Community grew -- and how many new people and organizations from around the world participated.  There were many more people, products, solutions, vendors, and manufacturers recognized by their organizations, colleagues, and customers.

SinclairThis year’s ControlTrends Awards are different.  Explain some of the differences.

Smyers:  We are always seeking to improve the process and based on the suggestions and inputs we received from last year, we divided four of the categories into large and small manufacturers, and added additional controller and thermostat categories, ultimately increasing the total number of categories to twenty-four.  More people, more products, and more solutions were recognized, presenting and highlighting, a much broader representation of our industry.

SinclairOkay, the nomination period is over, what can we expect next?

Smyers:  Well, next comes the voting period, which begins December 15, 2014, and will continue until January 15, 2015.  Everyone that has registered to vote will receive an email ballot.  If you haven’t registered to vote and wish to participate, please go to the ControlTrends website and use the link to register.

SinclairIn addition to the winners being announced and the ControlTrends Awards being given, what other events take place and what can the attendees expect?

Smyers:  We do our best to make the ControlTrends Awards as exciting and entertaining as possible.  The Prairie Ballroom is ideal and convenient venue for the ControlTrends Awards. The Hyatt Regency Prairie Ballroom is a short eight minute walk from the AHR Show floor inside the McCormick facility. The 6:00PM to 8:00PM time slot minimizes schedule conflicts with many of the other AHR and hospitality events.  Marc Petock will be our MC as usual.  We have a fast-moving, exciting, and entertaining agenda that promises to be a most memorable and enjoyable occasion for our industry.

Chicago is a fabulous city full of history and energy, which lends itself readily to this year’s (surprise) motif. Additionally, we’ll have the Hall of Fame inductees, the Petock Award, an update on the ControlTrends Museum, and something new -- the Young Gun Awards.

Control Solutions, Inc We really appreciate all of the support that you have given us in getting the Young Guns Awards started. The Young Guns Award is in direct support of your efforts to “Grow the Industry Younger.” Thank you for helping us find the appropriate spokesperson for the 2014 ControlTrends Young Gun Awards, Brad White, with SES Consulting, who epitomizes the award, and serves as an outstanding role model, having found success in our HVAC industry at such an early age.

SinclairAny last thoughts? What does the ControlTrends have in mind for the future?

Smyers:  Yes, we want thank all of our corporate and media sponsors that help make the ControlTrends Awards possible.  We are looking forward to many more exciting advances and successes as we continue our efforts to bring positive recognition and parity to our HVAC industry -- through the on-going acknowledgement of the heroes, great people and their achievements, and the companies and manufacturers in our industry, which together, sustain the modern world and make impossible things possible. ControlTrends will serve as a premiere industry portal and a conduit that tracks the trends and information that impact our industry.


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