Celebrating the third year that the Oil and Energy Service Professionals (OESP) and Eastern Energy Expo (EEE) shows have been combined, both organizations pulled out all the stops. The show was held at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut on May 20 – 23.
“Attendance was great,” said Ralph Adams, president of OESP. “The floor was packed. We had roughly 230 exhibitors, and everyone I spoke with – both exhibitors and attendees – said they were impressed.”
The positive feedback didn’t come as a surprise though. Both OESP and EEE delivered in a big way when it came to education. For the first time ever, NORA Gold classes were offered on steam and advanced controls. OESP had a lot to do with development of those programs, so the show was a fitting venue for their inaugural courses. NORA Advanced Venting was also offered.
“The classes were packed,” said Adams. “The only complaint I heard, and I heard it more than once, was that there were too many good classes running simultaneously. I figured that was a good problem to have!”
In addition to the big opening reception on Monday evening, one very enjoyable element of the trade show was the Networking Reception, which began at 3:30 on Tuesday. Drinks and a variety of food were served on the show floor while the show was still in session. This provided some relief for people who’d spent the day on the floor, and spurred plenty of conversation for everyone in attendance.
A keynote to remember
In addition to great attendance throughout the show, the keynote speaker on Wednesday morning drew a great crowd. Major Dan Rooney, the founder of Folds of Honor, spoke about the experiences that lead him to becoming the first person in the world to pilot F-16 fighter jets and a PGA pro golfer. The crowd was riveted from beginning to end.
Rooney, whose call sign is “Noonan”, identified those two goals as a child, and never gave up on either. After retiring from the military, and unsure of exactly what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, Rooney had an experience that made the decision simple. He was traveling as a passenger on a commercial flight when the pilot announced that a fallen soldier was being transported home on the same flight.
The child of that soldier became the first recipient of a Folds of Honor scholarship. Today, the organization provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. Their motto: Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy.
Folds of Honor is somewhat unique in that the organization provides scholarships for technical and trade programs in addition to college scholarships. To date, it has raised more than $30 million for the noble cause. Directly after the keynote address, Taco Comfort Solutions presented Folds of Honor with a $32,000 check.
“I had heard that Rooney was a fantastic presenter before the Expo,” said Adams. “By all accounts, that was an accurate assessment, and we’re glad that we invited him to speak at the show.”
Something for everyone
Even before OESP and EEE joined forces, the show has been known for its comradery and the fact that it has something for everyone to enjoy.
Women in Energy’s (WE) 3rdannual conference was held in conjunction with the EEE show. WE is now an official organization, and events took place on Sunday and Monday. For the ladies in attendance, it all started with a Sunday brunch, and included a wide variety of courses, panel discussions, and a keynote address by Ann Ward, titled Ladies Who Lead.
WE classes included High Powered Communications, The Ugly Truth about Cash, Strategies for Leadership, and Understanding Bioheat and New Technologies for “Non-Technical” personnel.
Women in Energy’s goal is to create a community for energy professionals focused on education, mentorship, and growth.
A foundation that cares
The OESP show and the Oil Heat Cares charity have been closely linked for a long time, and this year was no exception. Connecticut provided a beautiful spring day for the Care to Ride event, which included a motorcycle ride, bicycle ride, run and walk. All told, the event raised over $10,000. The money goes toward providing new heating systems for needy persons who might otherwise go cold next heating season.
For those that preferred to golf, The Annual Dave Nelson Scholarship Golf Tournament teed off at 10:00am at the Elmridge Golf Course in Pawcatuck, benefitting students interested in pursuing careers in the energy-service industry. Since 1999, over $250,000 has been awarded in the form of scholarships.
“Combining the OESP and EEE shows has been a home run for both organizations, and this year was no exception,” said Adams. “We’ve seen better participation under one roof. It’s really a win-win.”
The show will be held at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA next year. Don’t miss it!