Thoughts on first live event since onset of pandemic


Saratoga Springs, NY -  BPI staff were thrilled to attend the first live home performance industry event since the onset of the pandemic. On April 11-14th, the Building Performance Association convened the National Home Performance Conference and Trade Show in Nashville, TN—the first live event BPI staff have attended in more than two years. 

CEO Larry Zarker, Director of Workforce Development Nancy Kaplan, and Technical Relations Representative Jeremy O'Brien all presented sessions, while Marketing Specialist Kelly Carey held down the exhibit booth. With over 1500 attendees, it was a busy and fulfilling time!

Jeremy O'Brien presented on coming updates to the Home Energy Professional and Core Certifications. All BPI professional certifications are periodically updated, and Jeremy covered the latest developments to the Building Analyst and Envelope Professional, as well as the recently released Site Supervisor Certificate of Knowledge. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback and asked questions during this session!

Nancy partnered with Diana McCarthy-Bercury of Earth Forward Group to give an in-depth look at workforce development programs from around the nation. They shared how these partners are taking on the challenge to meet the workforce gap in the building performance industry and attract the next generation workforce. Nancy also enjoyed participating on a panel discussion on bridging the workforce gaps with colleagues from CHH Consulting, Franklin Energy Services, Minnicks, and others. “It was exciting and invigorating to be back at a live conference and see the enthusiasm our industry has for home performance work," Nancy said. "I'm encouraged by their desire to move forward with understanding the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion."

Larry teamed with Joe Medosch of measureQuick and Kevin Kennedy of Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas City to present a packed session on Healthy Home Assessments. The group was highly engaged, a pattern we saw across all four of Larry's healthy housing sessions.

It warmed our hearts to see so many professionals thumbing over shared copies of the Healthy Housing Principles guide and shouting brainstormed ideas. In fact, the whole conference was overwhelmingly upbeat.

"It felt like the end of a freak show, where attendees put on big people clothes and had real face-to-face interactions after two years of peering into screens wearing their jammies," Larry said later on.  "I’d forgotten how real life conversation takes place. The Nashville NHPC was a refreshing re-entry point into life as we used to know it."

For Kelly, who joined BPI during the pandemic, it was an exciting opportunity to meet people face to face for the first time. "BPI's stakeholders are passionate about their work and proud of the difference they make in people's lives," she reflected. "I loved hearing about how this work is done in different ways all over the country."

We're grateful to everyone who helped to produce this event and to all who attended. We love meeting the folks who do this amazing work and feel honored to hear your stories. We hope that the education and networking were valuable for you all, and look forward to meeting again soon!