Common Ground

Common Ground Common Ground specializes in marketing communications and business-to-business PR, serving the broad construction industry. Our focus: the radiant heat, hydronic, geothermal, plumbing & mechanical, HVAC and energy markets.

Common Ground, Uncommon Communications, found September 11, 2001 is a marketing, communications, and B2b public relations firm serving the broad construction industry. Our focus: the radiant heat, hydronic, geothermal, plumbing & mechanical, and HVAC markets. We work exclusively with manufacturers, industry service providers, and associations.

Operating as usual

Pictures from an ExhibitionAHR Expo is our Superbowl.  The Patriots could only dream of our 50 “rings” – that’s how many...
03/25/2020

Pictures from an Exhibition

AHR Expo is our Superbowl. The Patriots could only dream of our 50 “rings” – that’s how many years of the game we now have with my 33, Dan’s 10 + Rachel’s 7. This year’s crowds were strong and engaged. Of note, Taco celebrated its 100th year anniversary at the show. Not to be outdone by that celebration (it was big, we can assure you), their newest technology summoned the crowd’s attention, and showgoers weren’t disappointed. Similarly, Watts’ Smart/Connected campaign ties a tight, strategic alliance between their many interconnected technologies. We also represent Fujitsu + EVAPCO, whose technologies won the spirited admiration of show attendees and journalists alike.

Who can't love a story like this one? Looks like ClimateMaster got involved, and good for them! Why, this guys's the Woo...
09/25/2019
Dad Lives In Abandoned High School With His Wife And Baby After Turning It Into Their Home

Who can't love a story like this one? Looks like ClimateMaster got involved, and good for them! Why, this guys's the Woody Harrelson of Sustainability! A smart, smart guy with a passion for people, efficiency + good living.

Nearly 20 years ago, Charles Shaw seized an amazing opportunity. In 1996, he and his wife Lisa bought an abandoned, vacant high school in Durango, Colorado. The 45,000-square-foot building was in poor shape, but its walls were solid brick. Charles saw the potential to make a long-time dream come tru...

Our friend Tom McCormick of Taco Comfort Solutions recently posted a photo of a certain greenish motorcycle in their HQ ...
02/25/2019

Our friend Tom McCormick of Taco Comfort Solutions recently posted a photo of a certain greenish motorcycle in their HQ lobby. The bike was built by CG's Dan Vastyan. It's now one of three Harleys owned by Taco President & CEO Johnny White, and there's a fun story to how that happened. It's as American as hot dogs, baseball and Taco’s 007e.

In 2012, Common Ground (Ok: mostly Dan) built the “TacoBike,” inspired by them, and their pilot, Johnny White, who's an avid biker and Harley enthusiast. Shortly after seeing the bike, Johnny called Dan to ask if he could acquire it (why, sure). That was several years ago now, and it's since had a facelift.

“There’s no other machine like it on the road,” confirms Dan. "From its Taco ‘tattoos’ and big, fat whitewall tires, hand-crafted leather seat and a WWII artillery shell casing air filter frame, to its custom, rigid frame – the machine was built to evoke the spirit of this unique manufacturer.

“We now know so many people in the Taco camp, with loads of bikers,and loads of customers on two wheels, too,” Dan added. “The inspiration to build a bike honoring them was an easy thing to do – and a whole lot of fun in the process."

01/30/2019
Taco Comfort Solutions

It seems that Taco hits it out of the park each year at AHR Expo. This year was no exception.

Join Mark Chaffee, VP Governmental Affairs & Sustainability, as he introduces the Air-to-Water Heat Pump concept in partnership with Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions.

We just learned that our New England BioLabs case study - with special attention to liquid cooling - won the top spot in...
05/07/2018
Process Cooling System Saves Both Water, Energy at New England BioLabs

We just learned that our New England BioLabs case study - with special attention to liquid cooling - won the top spot in this months' issue of HPAC Engineering, appearing as the cover story.

Hybrid fluid cooler allows new cleanroom facility to maintain quality production with lower water and energy consumption.

09/15/2017

Are you a mechanical outlaw? Find out what one is, right here. Dan and Vanessa developed this video after a very cool acquaintance with a young hydronic pro, Keefer Rader, in New Mexico. Their visit also resulted in some excellent Common Ground copywriting, and yet another experience with a stellar craftsman in our own chosen industry. This is the stuff that makes our lives - and work - so interesting! Not settling for just a happy reaction at Taco, Inc. and a compelling look at the new 007 circ, they developed a video specifically for the contractor to help him promote his own firm - their way of thanking him for his time and expertise.

01/23/2017
www.seekcg.com

Thanks to Scott Arnold, Editor of HPAC Engineering, John’s article about new-age hydronics received broad readership.

http://www.seekcg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/HPAC-Engineering-Trends-in-Hydronics-12-16-issue.pdf

12/29/2016

We asked a question recently of plumbing + mechanical experts, pundits and industry thinkers: “What are the key things folks do to ruin residential plumbing systems?” We’ve compiled a . . . Darwin Awards for plumbing systems, of sorts. But *we know* you know more. Please: chime in!

- Leaving hoses connected over winter. If you're one of those folks that leaves your Christmas lights up year round, you may be guilty of this one. Unlike Christmas lights, however, hoses can cause damage when left out year round - leading to the freezing of the outdoor spigot, then its stem in the wall.

- Using the toilet as a trash can. It’s as though, in the back of our minds, we believe that if we can just get it to flush away, it’ll magically be out of our lives forever. As if, at the other end of the toilet, there’s nothing but a black hole - a portal to a subterranean outer space that swallows up everything we toss, whisking it off into oblivion. Unfortunately, that oblivion is actually a 3-inch drain pipe.

- Pouring grease or chemicals down the sink. It’s Sunday morning, you make the family bacon and eggs. If you’re in the habit of pouring bacon grease down the kitchen sink drain, you might as well try to stuff the whole pig down there, too. Grease and gooey meat scrapings are great at clogging drains; plumbers and cardiothoracic surgeons know this all too well. Other chemicals like chlorine bleach, paint and abundantly-used anti-bacterial soaps kill essential waste-eating bacteria in the septic tank, and you can guess the result.

- Using vent pipes for anything other than venting (believe it or not, some people really do think the only purpose for vent pipes is to look ugly). Most common example? Homeowners running things like TV cables down the plumbing vent pipes coming up through the roof. Cutting a hole in the vent inside your home not only taps into a perpetual supply of sewer air, it doesn’t help the TV picture quality, either.

- Clogged drain? Using too much drain cleaner CAN BE a bad thing. Used as directed, on the right kind of clog, drain cleaners can be effective and relatively safe for drains. When used with abandon, drain cleaners can corrode some drain materials, make clogs worse and be harmful to septic systems. It’s also not pleasant for the plumber who you *will* eventually call to unclog said drain.

- Screwing, nailing or cutting into a wall with hidden plumbing pipes. Hey DIY plumbers, this one’s for you! Do this with a screw and you might hear a fine spray of water hitting the back of the drywall. Do it with a reciprocating saw and you’re in for a gusher.

- Joining two different metals in piping. Another one for the DIY’ers. When dissimilar metals - like copper and steel - are touching, galvanic action occurs, which leads to corrosion. Corrosion leads to leaks. Leaks lead to a whole lotta bad. Ever heard of stachybtrys atra? “Black mold” will probably google faster.

- Untreated aggressive, hard or unsanitary water; aka low pH, acidic, bacteria-rich. Do yourself and your family a favor: get your water tested. Aside from health risks, aggressive water can take a huge toll on the health of your plumbing system, too – causing leaks, corrosions and pinholes, the list goes on.

- Planning a vacation? Loads of folks leave a home’s water pressure on when away for a day or more. We all know if something bad is going to happen, it’s going to happen when you’re not there. Water damage from frozen pipes, ruptured washer lines, leaking supply lines and dripping water heaters costs billions every year, nationwide. Don’t be a casualty.

Rachel's recent article for PM Magazine is about a brand new Jumanji-esque exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo, which features Watt...
10/05/2016
PlumbingandMechanical September 2016 Page 50

Rachel's recent article for PM Magazine is about a brand new Jumanji-esque exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo, which features Watts Radiant radiantly heated "hot rocks" and sand bars for Komodo dragons, Malayan tigers and Chinese alligators. Part II of the article to follow after the exhibits' grand opening, in 2017.

By Rachel Ruhl Lost — but comfortable — Kingdom Tulsa Zoo utilizes radiant technology in multimillion-dollar renovation. Johnson Tiger, McIntosh, works to install the more than 50 lineal ft. of ProMelt electric radiant heat cable encased in each of the 24 sq. ft. tanning beds, dishing out 50 watts p...

07/18/2016
Outlaw Mechanical 007e Tetimonial

Are you a mechanical Outlaw? Find out what one is, right here. Dan and Vanessa developed this vid after a very cool acquaintance with young hydronic pro Kiefer Raider in New Mexico. Their visit also resulted in some excellent Common Ground copywriting -- and another experience with a stellar craftsman in our own chosen industry. This is the stuff that makes our lives, and work, so interesting! Not settling for just a happy reaction at Taco, Inc. and a compelling look at the new 007 circ, they developed a video specifically for the contractor to help him promote his own firm – their way of thanking him for his time n’ expertise.

https://vimeo.com/164718286

This is "Outlaw Mechanical 007e Tetimonial" by on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Watts Water takes training to the next level.  Editorial guests included Brad Burnside and Danielle Galian, TMB Publicat...
04/21/2016

Watts Water takes training to the next level. Editorial guests included Brad Burnside and Danielle Galian, TMB Publications; John Mesenbrink and Eric Aune, mechanical-hub.com; John McNally and Mike Miazga, BNP Media; Bob Mader, Penton; Michael Perleberg, Plumbing Perspective; Greg Dalgetty, Mechanical Business; Peter Leonard, HPAC Canada; and Louis Iannaco, Tile magazine.

Watts Water takes training to the next level. Editorial guests included Brad Burnside and Danielle Galian, TMB Publications; John Mesenbrink and Eric Aune, mechanical-hub.com; John McNally and Mike Miazga, BNP Media; Bob Mader, Penton; Michael Perleberg, Plumbing Perspective; Greg Dalgetty, Mechanical Business; Peter Leonard, HPAC Canada; and Louis Iannaco, Tile magazine.

A night to remember
04/21/2016

A night to remember

A night to remember

We're proud of Dan and four other young members of the Radiant Professionals Alliance who are recognized for their perso...
02/01/2016

We're proud of Dan and four other young members of the Radiant Professionals Alliance who are recognized for their personal/professional contributions to the RPA and its membership. What a nice occasion to add to this years' AHR Expo!

Our columnist Max Rohr among five, each under 30, recently named “Rising Radiant Professionals" by the RPA: http://ow.ly/XGqaK

Gosh, this was fun. Let's do it again.
12/30/2015

Gosh, this was fun. Let's do it again.

Gosh, this was fun. Let's do it again.

12/23/2014

How can we not feel blessed? Think of it: half way around the world, our boys and girls -- now grown men and women -- are once again moving into the very pit of terrorism. Every time I feel just a twinge of self-pity for anything (hamburger too well done, flat tire, another broken shoelace: not again?!) . . . I think of their sacrifice and how blessed I was to be an American soldier long ago in a time of peace. So Christmas is here, once again. Be thankful to have the ones you love nearby. Be loving and empathetic in all that you do. Or, as the Great Dan Holohan says: hug your kids.

10/01/2014

13 years ago today
Common Ground’s Tumultuous Beginning

Fall, 2001: I’d made it to the “top” as a VP/Lancaster branch manager and B2B PR expert for Bethlehem, PA-based SWB&R, an advertising agency. Throughout my 18-month position with the firm – following 12 years at Godfrey, closer to home – I was off-kilter, uncomfortable with my fit in their culture.

In early September, 2001, our CEO called to say, "John, things aren't looking very good. We haven’t supported your new business efforts sufficiently, and PHCC [Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors Association] just told us they don't need you at their national convention. I’ll come down on Tuesday, the 11th, to discuss this with you.”

CEO Dan Wells pulled into our lot as the second jet plowed into the World Trade Center’s second tower. He’d come with my pink slip and severance package.

Todd Walter, Dan Wells and I watched it all unfold on TV as the towers fell. Soon, the Pentagon took a punch in the solar plexus and Flight 93 ended in a rural Pennsylvania field. I recall sitting in a chair, discussing the loss of my job while watching – over and over, and over again – images of the jihadist’s attack here on home turf.

Reeling from that news, at home and without a job, I learned the next day that client Norma Kahn, PHCC's marketing manager, lost her life in the jet that dove into the Pentagon. She was en route to the convention in Reno. Was my ticketed seat, as expected, next to hers? I'll never know. I don't want to know. I can only thank God that they chose to fold the program and didn't need me there.

For two worrisome weeks, I’d been looking for a job. It was exhausting and stressful. I filed for unemployment compensation and received one check for $275. A week later, one more.

Then, on September 30 – today, 13 years ago – I received a call from Mike Chiles, CEO of Springfield, MO-based Watts Radiant. We’d met at an ASHRAE show a few years earlier and immediately liked each other. We spoke about my role at the show for other firms at the big convention. Mike was one of the hundreds of folks I left voicemail and email messages for, scouting for a new position.

Out of the blue that morning – or was it? – Mike called to say, “John, Watts Radiant needs what you do.”

The company without a name – weeks later to be “Common Ground,” took flight. Tragedy, sadness and prayerful thanksgiving all wrapped up in one, a time to remember.

Today, son Dan and daughter Rachel also excel at this business of HVAC trade PR. Over the years, Watts Radiant grew into a terrific relationship with Watts. Today we also serve the fine folks there and at Laars, Bradford White, Modine, Fujitsu and Taco. How can I not be thankful for the mystery and the amazing grace of God’s goodness in our lives?

Our prayers remain with those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, those who selflessly ran to their rescue, the survivors, and the many families who lost loved ones at the hand of crazed terrorists.

– by John Vastyan, September 30, 2014

Common Ground's cover photo
07/08/2014

Common Ground's cover photo

Candace Ruolo, senior editor of CONTRACTOR Magazine, recently returned from a trip to Bradford White's manufacturing and...
11/06/2013
Bradford White: Made-in-America, Made-in-Michigan | Sustainably Speaking

Candace Ruolo, senior editor of CONTRACTOR Magazine, recently returned from a trip to Bradford White's manufacturing and training facilities in Michigan. She was impressed, and we think you will be, also! Here’s her story...

Those words – Made in America and Made-in-Michigan — are of utmost importance to Michiganders. I know since I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area. The past years in Michigan have been very tough economic wise.

"Give me paper, or give me death!" was the famous quote attributed toPatrick Henry, derived from a speech he made to the...
10/17/2013
PR Insider: PR is Dead. Actually, Long Live PR!

"Give me paper, or give me death!" was the famous quote attributed to
Patrick Henry, derived from a speech he made to the Virginia Convention in
1775.

Aw, now you know we're ribbing you, but making a slight adjustment to the
quote somehow helped make the point that books (remember those cumbersome,
heavily-bound texts?), newspapers, newsletters and -- of special importance
to our business -- trade magazines are still an important, viable source of
information today.

No doubt, electronic information and social media are the trend-setters.
Masses of folks are tweeting, Facebooking, snapchatting, posting pictures on
Instagram, checking in on Foursquare....

But, know this, friends. Traditional media and PR practices and techniques
aren't dead.

We found this article, smartly written by Evan Zall, on a topic you'll
appreciate. It appeared recently on PR Newsline:

The most impactful campaigns will be run by teams that embrace multiple channels and keep the emphasis on smart content; those that sacrifice one in favor of the other will miss opportunities and weaken client brands over the long term.

Oil Heat Cares ride / OESP Show 2013
05/31/2013

Oil Heat Cares ride / OESP Show 2013

05/17/2013

OESP show coming up next week & the Oil Heat Cares motorcycle ride on Monday. It's going to be an exciting few days! Will we see you there?

01/11/2013

Common Ground is gearing up for the AHR show. Will we see you in Dallas?

Rachel is very happy this morning. We hooked up her other monitor to mirror the iMac so she now has a standing desk. We ...
12/27/2012

Rachel is very happy this morning. We hooked up her other monitor to mirror the iMac so she now has a standing desk. We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

12/21/2012

Merry Christmas everyone! Here at Common Ground we're settling in for an easy, enjoyable holiday with loads of warmth. No trips planned, and no late night visits to the mall. Oh, sure, we'll probably fiddle with a few news releases, and various pre-AHR loose ends. We'll be thinking about you. Thankful too: for God gave his only Son . . . .

Common Ground @ Mechanical Systems Week, Schaumburg, IL. Check out our blog + new website!
10/01/2012
CG Blog

Common Ground @ Mechanical Systems Week, Schaumburg, IL. Check out our blog + new website!

John and Rachel recently attended the 2012 Mechanical Systems Week/Comfortech Show in Chicago, IL (well, Schaumburg, actually) hosted by our friends at Penton Media. While there, they participated in ClimateMaster’s “GeoDay” event at Serosun Farms in Hampshire.

Address

Manheim, PA
17545

Telephone

(717) 664-0535

Website

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Common Ground posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Common Ground:

Videos

Nearby media companies


Other Manheim media companies

Show All