Gard’s first work conference since COVID – sun, sand and indoor air quality

At the end of March, Gard CEO Liz Fuller and I attended FILTXPO at the invitation of our client, Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V).

This three-day conference took place in Miami Beach, Florida, and was the first time many of the big names in the filtration industry had seen each other since the pandemic began.

The Hollingsworth and Vose booth at FILTEXPO.
H&V’s booth at FILTXPO.

It also allowed us to network face-to-face with H&V after more than two years of Zoom meetings, email threads and new faces – my own being one of them as one of Gard’s newer account managers.

There was a lot of preparation before we could take off to sunny Miami. We worked tirelessly on designing the booth, the invitation for H&V’s customer reception and ads/profiles for various industry publications. We also helped set up a surprise appreciation ceremony for H&V’s retiring CEO, Val Hollingsworth, who was honored at FILTXPO with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the industry.

Closeup of Chelsea Punian's FILTEXPO participant badge.

While at the conference, Liz and I listened to various panels, such as “How to Achieve Better Indoor Air Quality,” which was moderated by H&V’s new CEO, Josh Ayer. The discussion between the panelists on the current state of indoor air quality, the difference in filter quality between home and work, and the precautions that many of the panelists take in their own homes, was informative and made me want to go home and check which filter my own home was using.

One of the panelists also brought up a new paper that cautioned about allowing pets in the workplace – putting a damper on mine and my colleagues’ current campaign to allow our “Gard pets” to join us when we return to the office!

A Floria boardwalk with sky, sand and a palm tree.

My favorite part of the conference was the interview I organized and recorded with Josh Ayer and Dave Rousse, president of the association that runs FILTXPO. I was able to use skills I’d learned from a recent A-Team training on capturing interviews with our phones. The interview was a success, and I got quality experience to use for other clients. 

All in all, the conference was a welcome relief after two years of COVID. We networked with our client, became more familiar with industry publications and enjoyed the sun. Here’s hoping we are invited back to the conference next year!