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Contractor Connect 2019 Closes in Tucson

Monday, November 18, 2019

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Last week, Technology Publishing Company conducted its third annual Contractor Connect event at the Omni Tuscon National Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The event ran Nov. 12-15.

As in the previous two years, the 2019 event was another hit for all involved, according to TPC CEO, Brion Palmer.

“The event was a great success, and it’s a perfect platform for us to connect contractors with the major suppliers in the industry,” Palmer said. “We take the responsibility of helping connect our two core audiences together seriously, and we take great pride in the continued growth and success of this unique event.”

Panel Discussions

In addition to the one-on-one meetings between contractors and suppliers, Contractor Connect was again highlighted by a series of panel discussions with industry experts touching on topics that affect painting project results.

Photos: Technology Publishing Company

Last week, Technology Publishing Company conducted its third annual Contractor Connect event at the Omni Tuscon National Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The event ran Nov. 12-15.

Tuesday morning opened with the Coatings Panel, where coatings manufacturers discussed their different product offerings and services they can offer contractors. Panelists included Paul Atzemis, of Carboline; Davies Hood, of Induron; Doni Riddle, with Sherwin Williams; Cory Brown, from Tnemec; Chris McMillan, of International Paint; and Steven Matthews, of PPG.

Tuesday afternoon, panelists participated in the Surface Prep Equipment Panel, discussing abrasive materials, blasting equipment and more. The panel included Russell Raad, from Abrasives Inc.; Robert Richter, from CleanWirx; Joe McGreal, from Ervin Industries; Pete Mitchell, from GMA; Shawn McCormick, from HARSCO; Ken Rossy, from HoldTight; Mike Vick, from Minerals Research; and Jason Vukas of US Minerals.

Wednesday featured two more panel discussions, including the Painting Project Equipment Panel, with Russell Roden, of ADI; Bill Nelson, from Axxiom Maniufacturing/Schmidt; Brent Luedtke, from BrandSafway; Kurtis Ohse, from Clemco; Eric Rennerfeldt, of Graco; Bob Nash, Sr., from Greener Blast Technologies; Greg Taney, from Marco; and Kevin Coleman, from Titan on the panel.

The final Workforce Panel featured Kevin LaRue, of SSPC; Simon Hazelwood, of LMCI; Steve Davis, from Coblaco; and Craig Ferrel, of Kodiak Industrial Solutions who discussed issues that affect hiring quality blasters and painters.

After the workforce panel wrapped, SSPC Executive Director Bill Worms and SSPC board member Doni Riddle, of Sherwin-Williams, updated the audience on the progress of merger discussions between SSPC and NACE International.

Special Events

The event officially kicked off Tuesday as attendees arrived and registered throughout the day. Tuesday night concluded with a poolside icebreaker reception and dinner, sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and Graco.

Wednesday morning, after the first panel discussion wrapped, attendees split up to take in some of the many different activities the Tucson area has to offer.

At the resort, BrandSafway sponsored the annual Contractor Connect Golf Tournament on the Omni’s Sonoran course, offering elevated mountain and desert vistas throughout the scramble-format round.

Other attendees were taken off-site for a day of sporting clay shooting at the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club, sponsored by Titan, followed by a visit to Tucson’s Del Bac Distillery to sample mesquite-smoked whiskeys and other libations.

Those not interested in shooting—be it golf balls or sporting clays—were bussed to the Desert Museum, where they took in scenes and learned about the different plants and wildlife native to southern Arizona. Others visited the Pima Air & Space Museum, an 80-acre facility that features over 350 historical aircraft as well as an outdoor “aircraft boneyard.” After, museum-goers were taken to Sand-Reckoner Winery for refreshments.

Wednesday night, after a steak dinner at Bob’s Chophouse, sponsored by Induron, attendees proceeded to the golf course for a Stars and Cigars reception, where astronomers from the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association set up high-powered telescopes to view the many different planets and constellations across the desert sky.

Thursday night, attendees hopped on the bus to the Old Tucson Movie Studio, the setting for more than 400 movies, television and commercial productions, for an Old West Experience sponsored by Tnemec. Dinner, dancing and a simulated shootout were just some of the fun attendees enjoyed in Old Tucson.


TPC would like to thank the following sponsors for making Contractor Connect 2019 possible and successful.

Diamond sponsors:

  • Sherwin-Williams; and
  • Graco.

Other sponsors:

  • Abrasives Inc.;
  • Atlantic Design Inc.;
  • Axxiom Manufacturing/Schmidt;
  • BlastOne International;
  • Borchers;
  • BrandSafway;
  • Carboline;
  • Cleanwirx;
  • Clemco Industries Corp.;
  • Ervin Industries;
  • GMA Group;
  • Greener Blast Technologies;
  • Harsco Minerals;
  • HJ3 Composite Technologies;
  • Holdtight Solutions Inc.;
  • Induron Protective Coatings;
  • International Paint/AkzoNobel;
  • Marco;
  • Minerals Research Inc.;
  • NACE International;
  • LMCI;
  • PPG;
  • SSPC;
  • Surface Prep Solutions;
  • Titan;
  • Tnemec Company Inc.; and
  • US Minerals.

As in the previous two years, the 2019 event was another hit for all involved, according to TPC CEO, Brion Palmer.

Contracting companies in attendance included:

  • A-O Painting;
  • Barch Industrial;
  • The Brock Group;
  • Coblaco Services;
  • D & H Painting;
  • DEM Enterprises;
  • F&H Insulations Sales and Services Inc.;
  • Gulf Atlantic Polymers;
  • Heels & Hardhats;
  • I.K. Stoltzfus Service Corp.;
  • J.R. Stelzer Co.;
  • Kodiak Industrial Solutions;
  • Mansfield Industrial;
  • Marcom Services;
  • Metalizing Technical Services;
  • Nelson Industrial Services, Inc.;
  • Noiles Industrial;
  • Revolution Industrial;
  • Seminole Equipment, Inc.;
  • Silverline Finishing;
  • Viking Industrial Painting; and
  • Zack Painting Co., Inc.

As Contractor Connect continues to grow, Palmer says the event will still offer the unique, close-knit experience attendees have come to expect.

“The event’s success is predicated on the intimate nature of it,” said Palmer. “We’ve grown it over the past few years, but it’s managed growth, because we want to keep that dynamic as one of the key value propositions for participants.”

Contractor Connect 2020

In 2020, Contractor Connect will return to the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida, Nov. 3–6. For more information, visit



Tagged categories: Business operations; Coatings; Conferences; Contractor Connect; Industry News; JPCL; JPCL En Español; NA; North America; Paint BidTracker; PaintSquare; PaintSquare Press; Program/Project Management; Technology Publishing Co.

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