The PVF Roundtable experienced another year of exceptional growth in 2019 — in membership, sponsors and event attendees. We are supported by an all-volunteer board of directors and dozens of individual volunteers at each of our events.
We completed four networking events through October 2019, with one more scheduled in December at the Bell Tower. The December networking event theme will be a toy drive for the Houston community. It will be held in conjunction with the Young Professionals.
Our quarterly networking events are attracting between 300 and 400 PVF industry participants. The first three of the year are designated as appetizer and drinks only. This format was requested by many attendees as a way to increase the time spent with other PVF people. The sit-down dinner format was not giving them enough talk time. The new format has been huge success, with attendance growing at every meeting.
The fourth meeting of the year is still our traditional formal dinner event. This year Ferguson/Wolseley Industrial donated funds to sponsor our guest speaker, four-time Super Bowl champ Terry Bradshaw. This was on the heel of 2018, where Weldbend Corp. sponsored “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe. Our meetings are successful because of the generosity of our sponsors. Our guests have been treated to incredibly entertaining speakers.
PVF Roundtable’s goal of increasing membership was accomplished as we now have more than 230 paid memberships. We are clearly viewed as great value for the dollar. Our $850 membership fee remains extremely affordable, especially considering that four tickets to each networking event are included in the membership fee.
At the beginning of 2019, the PVF Roundtable Charitable Foundation set a goal of reaching $250,000 in scholarship donations. We are on track to achieve this goal. If we do, we will reach $1,000,000 in donations over 10 years. We currently provide scholarship funds to seven schools; two are traditional colleges (Texas A&M and the University of Houston) and five are trade schools (Houston Community College, San Jacinto, Lee College, ABC and Lamar Tech).
The annual PVF Roundtable sholarship golf outing in memory of Don Caffee once again was a record-breaking event. More than 400 golfers spread out over three championship courses at Kingwood in Humble, Texas. This course was made famous in the scene from “Tin Cup” with Don Johnson going for it all. With the tremendous help of all our volunteers and sponsors, the golf outing contributed $100,000 to the scholarship fund. Sponsors had a breakfast with the board of directors and a chance to meet some of the scholarship recipients.
Our fishing tournament, the Trout Blast, is our second fundraising event of the year. Our tournament takes over the entire town. There were more than 400 fishermen and women in more than 100 boats this year. Prizes galore, a Captain’s dinner and all sorts of fund-raising events will bring in another $90,000 in scholarship donations. This is another event that requires dozens of volunteers from all different member companies to accomplish.
We renamed our marketing department as media relations. Margie Dalton coordinates our effort to maximize our exposure to increase awareness and participation in the PVF Roundtable.
The Young Professionals have been the stars this year. They are achieving attendance numbers between 75 and 125 per event. About 20 percent of each event’s attendees are first-timers. The YP’s hold various networking events at different locations, raise funds with a clay shoot event and are instrumental in arranging for the toy drive in December. This is a great opportunity for young people in our industry to mingle, create some contacts and make new friends.
Another feature of the YP’s is their Pro’s Knows series. Here, guest teachers from other companies join them for training, lectures and industry insight.
An Exciting 2020
Sara Alford of Newman’s Valves will be the new president of PVF Roundtable and PVF Roundtable Charitable Foundation. She joins Joe Costanzo (vice president) and Ginger Restovic (secretary/treasurer).
New initiatives are being rolled out with PVF Roundtable New Member Welcome Kits. These kits include a membership certificate for display, details on the PVF Roundtable, meeting dates, scholarship schools, W 9 forms and details on the Young Professionals.
We have a full schedule of events in 2020 with three networking events at the Bell Tower, one formal sit-down dinner event (location to be announced later) and our Christmas celebration and toy drive to be held at the Bell Tower. The board is working on a themed August 2020 event with a Charity Casino Night.
We will continue to hold both our scholarship golf outing at Kingwood in May 2020 and our Trout Blast fishing tournament in October 2020.
There is a full slate of articles and updates each month that will appear in The Wholesaler magazine.
The Young Professionals also have a complete calendar of events scheduled for 2020. The year starts off with networking and a clay shoot. There are multiple happy hours scheduled throughout the year, as well as a continuation of the Pro’s Knows series.