In the first week of March, selected MEP Club students spent a week in San Diego, California to attend the Mechanical Contactors Association of America Conference for the first time ever in the club’s history. MCAA is a National Convention where industry professionals, their families, and students attend educational workshops, riveting special sessions, supplier/manufacturer and student chapter exhibits, student chapter competitions, social functions, and major events. This convention grows every year, with attendance this year topping 4,000+ participants. Noteworthy attendees in 2017 included: Former Speaker of the House John Boehner, Former Dallas Cowboys player Emmitt Smith, Oscar & Golden Globe Winner Goldie Hawn, CEO & Scientist Dr. Peter Diamandis, and 1St Sgt. Matt Eversmann from the 1993 civil war in Somalia (Black Hawk Down), and on the last night they were given a special concert from OneRebublic.
The MCAA convention started Sunday night, March 5th, with an Opening Celebration on the USS Midway, the famous 74 year old aircraft carrier that was commissioned a week after World War II and was the largest ship in the world until 1955. The celebration consisted of a live band, great dinner, interactive exhibits, and ended with a firework show on the deck. Student, and MEP Club Vice President, Wyatt Rapp said, “The conference was awesome. Where else could you sit at a fancy dinner on the deck of an aircraft carrier while a live band plays ‘Danger Zone’ with fireworks shooting off into the background? My guess is nowhere.” After the kick-off celebration, the week continued with multiple different seminars, workshops, and the 2016-2017 Student Chapter Competition where the Final Four student chapter teams present their project proposals to 5 judges. Although they did not compete this year, the MSU Chapter is looking forward to compete in the student chapter competition next year.
On the last day of the conference, Missouri State students were recognized for creating a new Student Chapter of MCAA at the Awards of Excellence Breakfast hosted by the former Dallas Cowboys player Emmitt Smith The students, chapter advisor, and industry sponsors were brought up on-stage to receive their new Chapter Charter plaque in front of 4,000+ attendees. Student, and MEP Club President, Emily Bozarth said, “I was absolutely blown away by MCAA and attending this conference was a once in a lifetime experience. Being first timers at MCAA and becoming a new chapter was amazing in itself, and everyone that welcomed us with open arms. Getting recognized in front of that many people was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.”
All who went on this exciting trip had a great time. Needless to say, the MEP Club is excited for the upcoming 2017-2018 MCAA Conference, which will be held in the 3rd week of March 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.