NEW YORK — FAST Remodeler Live, a business software event for remodelers and home improvement professionals who are ‘focused on agile systems and technology’ recently received one of the most prestigious awards in business-to-business media.

Qualified Remodeler magazine and SOLA Group Inc. received the honor at the 69th annual Jesse H. Neal Awards ceremony held April 21 in New York City. The award recognized outstanding business content for the company’s creation and launch of the conference, which was held for the first time in May of 2022.

The second annual FAST Remodeler Live event kicks off this month—Tuesday, May 16—at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor. The event is open to residential remodelers and home improvement professionals.

Patrick O’Toole received the award on behalf of SOLA Group Inc.

Neal Awards are the Pulitzer Prizes of business-to-business media,” said Patrick O’Toole, co-owner of SOLA Group Inc. and chief of content for the company. “That is why our team is tremendously honored to have won a Neal Award for this conference. The award reflects our team’s effort to deliver business information that boosts the professionalism of our audiences regardless of how our content is presented—online, in print or via face-to-face interactions at a conference like FAST Remodeler Live.”

Several factors led to the creation of FAST, SOLA’s Neal Award submission explained. Amidst a time of strong demand for services, the industry suffers from a lack of skilled labor. At the same time, there has been a surge in the amount of business software and technology aimed at designers and contractors. The goal of FAST is to help industry participants to better utilize technology to be more efficient and profitable with existing staff, the award submission said.

More than 300 remodelers and home improvement pros registered for the first event. And it drew more than 25 sponsors seeking to get their messages to technology-minded residential construction professionals.

“This initiative is not only bold and effective but also adds significant value to journalism enterprises,” the Neal Award judges said in presenting the award to FAST Remodeler Live, which is produced by SOLA’s Qualified Remodeler team. “From a live event to insightful newsletter content and a curated list of paid exhibitors, the system is truly comprehensive and poised for renewal year after year.”

Tracks for Different Industry Segments

When the 1.5-day event opens on May 16, FAST Remodeler Live will unveil two distinct tracks of content: one for design-build and full-service remodelers who engage in major remodeling and renovation projects, and another for specialty and replacement contracting professionals also known as home improvement professionals. The two groups merge only for three ‘cross-segment’ panel discussions which will address topics of tech leadership, change management, as well as the planning and execution of implementing new software and technology.

To view the roster of 21 expert speakers and to explore the topics that will be presented go to

Video from 2022 FAST Event

Edited video presentations from the inaugural FAST Remodeler Live can be accessed at They offer a mix of vision and ground-level thinking that have helped a mix of remodeling professionals get the information they need to stay current on technology and make plans to differentiate their businesses by offering greater efficiencies in all parts of their businesses, which ultimately leads to greater profit. Major topics of the 2023 conference include:

  • new ways to drive more and better lead flow,
  • faster and more accurate estimates,
  • providing real-time project updates to clients and trade partners,
  • improving client experience (UX) before, during and after construction and repair activities,
  • improving financial management to boost net profit,
  • and strategies for implementing new software and technology without disrupting the regular flow of business activity.

The 2023 event has drawn the support of 25-plus sponsors as well as the involvement of several key industry groups including, The Professional Remodeler Organization or PRO, The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), Remodelers Advantage, Certified Contractors Network and Dave Yoho Associates.

Seats for the second annual event remain available. And inquiries for scholarships are still being accepted. Please send those requests to SOLA director of events Heidi Riedl at QR

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