From: "Richard Smith - Executive Director" <mha.association(at)yahoo.com>
To: MHA Board
Subject: MREA Show Report
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008
Greetings to All,
As you all know I just got back from attending the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Fair in Wisconsin. Rather than take the time at the July board meeting, I thought I’d give you all a report and include a couple pictures.
The MREA advertises that it holds the largest renewable energy fair in the US. I asked a MREA board member (Mark Klein, a MHA member also) how the show’s attendance was this year. He said it was about what it was in 2007 (about 20,000 if I remember right). There were times when we had 2 to 3 people stacked up in front of the booth. So the attendance was good, especially after the two seminars Mark Klein did on masonry heaters.
I would have had a terrible time if not for the help of William Wiedenhoeft and Jeff Kuczmarski. Bill was there Fri, Sat, and left about noon on Sunday. Jeff arrived Saturday and also helped on Sunday. There were times all three of us were busy. Both Bill and Jeff live about 100 miles from the show. Bill drove up and stayed with family, Jeff however, drove down then back on Sat. but hearing that I was going to close and be by myself on Sunday, he drove again to help. Both of these guys really helped MHA. I want everyone to know of their commitment to MHA and their tremendous donation of time and money. Without them the MREA shows would have be extremely difficult for me. They were professional and never once self serving.
It became obvious from the beginning that the vast majority of people wanted to learn more about masonry heaters than to purchase one. Education was the order of the day. We distributed about 800 MHA brochures and we handed out Marge’s Directories to those who we deemed needed them ( I printed 100 of them). The MHA website was the focus and everyone was told about its web presence.
The MHA Mission Statement talks about education and that was what this show is about. The highlight was that I made contact with three Technical (Vocational) Colleges that offer a mason program. I also made contact with a job corp. program that also has a mason program. All of them had no idea we were available to aid them and provide whatever they need to educate their young masons about heaters. I will be following up and hopefully MHA will become their authority on Masonry Heaters.
So in summary, I think the show was a success. We need a model so that people can see the concept of a heater. Something simple and easy to transport. I think that for next year, if Jeff and Bill could handle the show, it might not be necessary for me to be there. Though I could if need be. I think that MHA should look at having a presence at other energy fairs and expo’s. That member’s should man the booth and that MHA supply them with booth, brochures, and a sample. The backdrop, as you can see in the attachment, was fine because it was outside. However it is lacking for HPBA and needs to be upgraded.
Masonry Heater Ass'n.