Connect Event Marks Another Successful Year


Last month, Technology Publishing Company’s fifth annual Contractor Connect concluded at the Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Coast, Florida.

The hosted-buyer event took place from Oct. 25-28, in which qualified buyers (contractors) and sellers (suppliers) came together for a variety of networking activities, educational sessions and prescheduled one-on-one meetings.

Private Meetings & Panel Discussions

Contractor Connect kicked off its educational sessions on Wednesday with its Coating Panel, covering coatings products development, industry concerns such as supply chain issues and price increases, and more. For this panel discussion, TPC invited the following speakers to represent the industry:

  • Allen Farris, Sales Director, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine;
  • Mark Thomas, Vice President-Marketing, Tnemec Company, Inc.;
  • Davies Hood, President, Induron Protective Coatings;
  • Steven Matthews, Director of Sales, PPG; and
  • Rick Brown, Vice President of Sales, Carboline Company.

Immediately after the panel, Jim McBrayer, CEO of McBrayer & Associates hosted a session on business development, “Unlocking the Power of Persuasion,” for attendees.

On Thursday morning, attendees returned for the event’s Innovation Panel to discuss new equipment, technology, training and more. For this panel discussion, TPC invited the following speakers to represent the industry:

  • John Lihwa, National Sales Manager, Graco Inc.;
  • Aaron Wimmer, Product Manager, Clemco Industries Corp.;
  • Jeff Taylor, Business Development, BlastOne International;
  • Jeremi Day, Chief Technical Officer / Managing Partner, CRW Consulting & Distribution/Corr-Ze; and
  • Ken Rossy, President, HoldTight Solutions.

After lunch sponsored by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and one-on-one meetings, the final educational session, the Abrasives Panel, discussed topics such as surface prep, blast media and availability. The following industry professionals sat on the panel:

  • Russell Raad, President, Abrasives Inc.;
  • Aaron Holdread, National Sales Manager, U.S. Minerals;
  • Matt Fraley, Midwest Regional Sales Manager – Abrasives, Strategic Materials;
  • Kevin Zimont , Vice President - Blast Division, GMA Garnet; and
  • Jonathan Bernard, Global Marketing Manager, Harsco Corporation.

All Contractor Connect panels were moderated by McBrayer.

At a later date, PaintSquare is slated to publish the panel discussions in a webinar format so that those who were unable to attend, or were interested in listening to the discussion, may do so.

Special Events

To kick off the event on Tuesday evening, PPG sponsored an outdoor icebreaker reception and dinner at the resort.

After panel sessions on Wednesday, attendees split up into groups to participate in a series of recreational group networking activities, including oceanfront golf (sponsored by PPG), deep sea fishing (sponsored by Graco) and a kayaking ecotour.

Wednesday night concluded with a reception and dinner, including a one-of-a-kind bourbon and wine tasting, sponsored by The Sherwin-Williams Company on the Grand Event Lawn.

The following evening, delegates were treated to a dinner and Casino Night sponsored by Tnemec Company at the Loggerheads Bar and Patio at Hammock Beach. Once the sun set and the stars came out, the evening transitioned to Stars and Cigars, sponsored by CRW, Corr-Ze.


TPC would like to thank the following sponsors for making Contractor Connect 2022 possible and successful.

This year, the 2022 Platinum event sponsors included:

The 2022 Silver event sponsors included:

The 2022 Support sponsors included:

Celebrating the Event

As the sun set on Contractor Connect, attendees continued to share their success with the TPC team and praise for the event as a whole.

“Every time we come here I meet more and more people in the industry that I didn’t know before and I learn from all of them,” said Odorzynski. “We learn a lot from the other suppliers that are here. We manufacturer paint, but everyone here manufacturing equipment, abrasives, things like that, they all touch what we do, so that’s important to us.”

“This event met all my expectations,” said Vinny Lagares, Manager, Dynamic Sandblasting and Painting. “Food was great, events were great, I definitely will leave here with a lot of friends and good business contacts.”

“The best part of this event was meeting the vendors, and it goes beyond just meeting them,” said Lew O’Neill, Industrial Sales Representative, Vanwin Coatings. “It’s getting to know them personally and them knowing exactly what us contractors need from them.”

“It was a great honor to participate in the 2022 Industrial Contractor Connect, especially to sit on thee esteemed ‘Coatings Panel’ with guys that I truly respect,” Hood wrote in a comment on LinkedIn.

“As one of the few who have participated in EVERY SINGLE Contractor Connect, I highly recommend this truly valuable networking event. The ‘culture’ that this event has developed is really cool and something that I look forward to annually!”

“Thank you for putting on another excellent event. We were a very proud sponsor and look forward to next year!” wrote CRW Consulting & Distribution.

“Another great year of connections at Industrial Contractor Connect in Hammock Beach, Florida, networking with industry professionals,” wrote Steven Brook, Director of Sales & Business Development at Abrasives Inc.

Be on the lookout for conference and event updates for next year’s Contractor Connect and other upcoming events on PaintSquare Daily News.


Tagged categories: Abrasives, Inc; Allredi; AMPP; Asia Pacific; BlastOne; Carboline; Clemco; Conferences; Contractor Connect; Contractor Connect; Contractors; CRW; DH Tech; Education; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Ervin Industries; GMA Garnet; Graco; Harsco Environmental; HoldTight; Induron Coatings; Industrial Contractors; IUPAT/LMCI; JPCL; Latin America; McBrayer and Associates; Nationwide Overspray; Networking; North America; Paint BidTracker; PaintSquare; PPG; Program/Project Management; Sherwin-Williams; Strategic Materials Inc.; Technology Publishing Co.; Tnemec; U.S. Minerals; Winoa; Z-Continents

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