The 2019 Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) conference took place in November 2019 at The Don Cesar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida. PHCPPros was pleased to be a Silver Sponsor of the four-day event.
PMI's first-ever Aspiring Leaders' Program set the tone as the kick-off event of the conference on November 4, 2019. Held at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, session topics included multi-generational leadership, workforce development, and more. The innovation-training experience was curated to offer attendees the opportunity to tap into their personal creativity and potential. The summit was full of top talent, as PMI member companies nominated high-potential employees to attend.
The organization’s board meeting was also held on the opening day of the conference. There, Joel Smith was elected president of the 2020 PMI Board of Directors. Director of Faucets Product Engineering at Kohler Co., Smith succeeds Nate Kogler, director of product management at Bradley Corp. Kogler will remain on the board as immediate past president. Smith presented a commemorative crystal gavel and Florida flag to Kogler in to commemorate his service.
Other positions on the 2020 board include: Todd Teter, senior vice president and general manager for House of Rohl, as vice president; Martin Knieps, director of Technical Marketing for Viega LLC, as secretary/treasurer. Other members of the 2020 board include: Michael Martinez, manager of Product Compliance for Delta Faucet Co.; Sal Gattone, vice president of engineering for LIXIL; Daniel Gleiberman, manager of Product Compliance and Government Affairs for Sloan Valve Co.; and Fernando Fernandez, director of Codes and Standards for TOTO USA.
Additionally, in 2020 the PMI Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee will be chaired by Lowell Lampen, of Kohler Co., and Troy Benavidez, of LIXIL. The PMI Technical Committee will be chaired by C.J. Lagan, of LIXIL, and Bob Neff, of Delta Faucet Co. The PMI Commerce Committee will be chaired by Elton Perkins, of Fluidmaster Inc., and Liz Renfro, of Delta Faucet Co. And, the PMI Water Efficiency and Sustainability Issue Committee will be chaired by Cambria McLeod, of Kohler Co., and Will Wang, of Fluidmaster Inc.
Day one ended with a reception for VIPs and first-time attendees, followed by a welcome reception for all attendees.
On day two, the PMI Aspiring Leaders had exclusive access to the morning’s keynote speaker at an invitation-only breakfast and booking signing. The keynote speaker, Lindsey Pollak, is a multigenerational workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author. She presented, “The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace” to all conference attendees after the breakfast.
The entire conference was emceed Joel Zeff. Taking a humorous approach at every opportunity, Zeff’s central takeaways for attendees were celebrating everyday successes, and increasing collaboration, productivity, passion and innovation.
Remaining sessions that day included a panel on human resources and workforce development and sessions on accessibility design and sustainable packaging. That evening, attendees were treated to a reception and dinner boat cruise aboard the Starlite Sapphire.
On day three, November 6, 2019, Plumbing Engineer Editor Ashlei Williams landed in sunny Florida to experience the conference. Zeff had Williams and PMI conference attendees in stitches as he started the day with the interactive keynote, “The Tao of Ta-Da: Watch What Happens When Work Becomes Play."
Down to business, the morning sessions included presentations on economic market outlook, advocacy, government affairs, trade and tariffs. Attendees minds were opened during the afternoon sessions with topics ranging from consumer data protection to plumbing considerations beyond the sewer model. The day concluded with the general membership meeting, followed by a reception and dinner at the resort overlooking the ocean and featuring local craft beer and live music.
Things got technical for the last day of of PMI19 as speakers focused on water safety and water quality. Presentations included research studies on potentially hazardous microbes and chemicals, water quality in buildings, hot water delivery, and more.