September 2014

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Ken SmyersEMAIL INTERVIEW – Ken 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, a leading internet source for HVAC and Controls information.

The ControlTrends Awards

ControlTrends Awards has finalized their plans for the show at the 2015 AHR Expo, Chicago.

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SinclairThe ControlTrends Awards has finalized their plans for the show at the 2015 AHR Show in Chicago.  Tell us about the time and location – and why they are significant. 

Smyers:  The venue for this year’s ControlTrends Awards will be completely different than the two previous shows, which harnessed the ambience or flavor of the host city’s location:  Eddie Dean’s Ranch in Dallas, and the B.B. King Blues Club in NYC.  With the help of Lynxspring, we were able to make this year’s show very convenient and accessible, considering Chicago’s wintry weather. 

The Hyatt Regency Prairie Ballroom is a short eight minutes’ walk from AHR Show floor inside the McCormick facility. And 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.

SinclairExplain a little about the new categories and the other changes made to the categories.

Smyers:  We received a lot of useful feedback from last years’ show that led to a few category accuracy improvements -- that both increased the number of categories, as well as divided certain categories into large and small manufacturers or vendors.  The driving force behind the ControlTrends Awards is to highlight and recognize as many of the products, solutions, and people making the biggest or most important impact within our HVAC world each year. Adding more categories and changing the category criteria ultimately allows us to recognize more of these products, solutions, and people.

SinclairBesides the new categories, tell us about the new awards.

Smyers:  This is an exciting aspect of the ControlTrends Awards that gives us the opportunity to focus the spotlight on people and events that don’t fall into a category yet are significant within the HVAC world.  Among this year’s featured Achievement Awards is The Young Guns Award, which is about recognizing the young systems integrators and service technicians in the HVAC industry who have achieved prominence beyond their years and serve as the inspirational role models that we, as an industry have failed thus far, to recognize.  Eric and I, along with many other industry members, such as Jim Sinopoli, Paul Oswald, Rick Warner, and Marc Petock, have taken your cue to join forces on educational initiatives.  It will be quite a challenge to remedy this conspicuous absence of young people migrating to the HVAC industry; so, maintaining relentless and concerted attention towards resolving this industry shortfall -- is a must.

SinclairWith regards to the ControlTrends Awards, what happens between now and the January 26, 2015?

Smyers:  The ControlTrends Awards nomination period began last week and will end October 17, 2014.  The top six nominations in each category will be listed on the final voting ballot.  The period between October 20, 2014 and December 12, 2014 will be the review period where ControlTrends Community will review all the media collateral available and make their voting decisions.  The final voting period will be from December 15th to December 31st, 2014.  Then, the excitement builds, until the winners for each category are called to the stage at the ControlTrends Awards show.

Please go to to register to vote! There are sponsorship opportunities still available.  For more information email: or

SinclairWe wish the ControlTrends Awards all the best and we look forward to the show in Chicago.

Smyers:  Ken, thank you as always.  We also look forward to covering your educational sessions at the 2015 AHR Show and we’ll keep in touch.  ControlTrends is heading for EASYIO’s Annual World Event and Conference in Madrid, Spain, September 15-17, 2014, and that promises to be an interesting change of pace. We are sure to see our industry from a very different perspective.


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