When this issue of pme finds its way to your desk, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in Florida and Arizona. As an avid baseball fan, this is my favorite time of the season.

This is because my beloved Milwaukee Brewers are never truly contenders. Sure, there are exciting seasons that come out of left field such as last year and flame out with a disheartening limp to the finish line. So I relish the six weeks during February and March, to scour the exhibition box scores and read all the newspaper reports on how the team is coming together.

The beauty of a small-market club such as the Brewers is that a surprise always comes out of camp. It could be a rookie middle infielder who pushes a veteran for a spot on the main roster or an older relief pitcher who is just looking to find a role that impresses the manager.

When I began to ponder on the upcoming spring training season my thoughts drifted to our industry. If you are in a role at your company similar to a manager of a baseball club, are you utilizing your talent in the proper spots? And are they getting every opportunity to enhance their skill set?

For starters, in 2015 I would consider shaking up how you delegate opportunities for employees to attend industry events. Trust me, I understand how company’s travel budgets are limited and not everyone can go. But I have seen it since joining this industry – and in the newspaper business before – we can all get set in our ways, including what events we attend.

Sometimes events such as last month’s AHR Expo (full coverage from pme coming in March) and NFPA Expo can be friendly excursions as much as they are work trips. We get to see industry friends who do not live in our hometowns. But have you ever thought about the benefits that may come from sending the company’s rookie? Could his development be expedited because of the experience he’ll gain? I know how much it helped me.

If you check out an item on page 18 in pme’s Industry News section, you will see that Viega has increased the amount of water quality seminars it will host in 2015. These one-day sessions are held in major U.S. cities and will provide engineers great knowledge on how to design systems to protect against Legionella.

A quick glance at the major associations’ calendar of events shows that the ICC is holding code meetings in April, ASHRAE’s Annual Conference will be in late June and the ASPE Tech Symposium will be in early October.

It is critical to get your players into the game. If they are just sitting on the bench, engaged in only their typical duties, it may cost your company a big game.

Take a chance in 2015, a year that experts believe will be strong for our industry, and develop the team.