Reports From The Front Lines # 6

Reports from the front lines # 6

This past week Friday I met with the team at National Comfort Institute for our monthly Reverse-Flow meeting.

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NCI is, in my opinion, the premier training and certification organization for the HVAC and Plumbing industry. It was founded in 1994 by Dominick Guarino and Rob Falke, two of my best friends.


They have just finished their eighth annual “Summit Meeting” this time held in Scottsdale, Arizona and the stories the staff told, on Friday, were exciting and powerful.

We’ve worked together on a continuing basis for over fourteen years. Many of the innovations and improvements to the Reverse-Flow process came from suggestions made by participants and NCI has been a leader in this process. Currently, in addition to the monthly meetings, I am working with Dom and the staff on special projects aimed at clarifying and streamlining, job descriptions, structure and process.

When, we started in ’96 there were just four of us in the room. Last Friday, eleven of us sat at the conference tables, Jeff was on speaker phone, three, who would have been there, couldn’t attend and our staff members in Tennessee and California are waiting for the video link equipment to be installed. Actually NCI has 28 full time and part time employees and instructors.  That would be 700% of where they were in ‘96.

Over 15,000 industry professionals have been trained and certified by NCI.

I remember when it all began. Dom was the editor of Contracting Business Magazine and one night in a bar in Cleveland Dom said to me, “I just met this extraordinary guy in California. His name is Rob and he just might be a genius. He really gets what it is all about.”

Some years later Dom, my wife Linda and I were driving back from a Comfort Tech in Nashville and the idea came up that NCI might someday move the “Performance Based” concept into the business side.

And now that dream is a reality. We have initiated the Business Leadership membership division.

What a ride. Over fourteen years we have identified over 245 issues and they have made in excess of 451 written decisions related to those issues.

And last Friday they did it again. The management team requested several modifications to Reverse-Flow that they believe will improve the process.

I’m going back this Friday to implement the changes to the board.

I love these people; they are not only innovators to HVAC and the plumbing industry but to their consultant, Business Navigators.

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