I just got back from the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) event in Orlando, hosted by the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and several other trade organizations, and I am happy to day that I was surprised by the climate. The climate on Orlando itself was brisk, even cool on some days, which came as a shock (especially since I was fighting off a bad cold, and hoped that some warm sunshine might do me good--that didn't exactly work out). The business climate, on the other hand, was much nicer. HDAW tailors its seminars to business issues, and the speakers by and large were confident that we would likely see an upturn in the economy by the third quarter of 2009, and things would definitely be on the mend by the fourth quarter. Conversations at the trade show booths were positive as well, with vendors showing off new products and services just like always. The emphasis was on seizing opportunity and ficusing on long-term growth, and it was a welcome message. Hats off to Tim Kraus and everyone at HDMA for giving the industry a shot in the arm and a healthy dose of optimism!