Sponsored by Delta Faucet Co., the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association's (PHCC) Plumbing Contractor of the Year and Plumbing Apprentice of the Year awards have become symbols of excellence throughout the industry. This year, the organizations proudly recognized Cory Hoopes of Focus Plumbing in Nevada as the PHCC Plumbing Contractor of the Year, and Ed Zalko, a third-year apprentice with PHCC’s Greater Sacramento Area (GSA) Plumbing Apprentice Program, as the PHCC Plumbing Apprentice of the Year. The award recipients were honored during the PHCCCONNECT2020 Awards Ceremony, a virtual event this year.
Plumbing Contractor of the Year
In the presentation of the award to Hoopes, Ali McKinney-Feldman, national pro strategy and business development leader for Delta, said that the Focus Plumbing owner represents what “being a PHCC member is all about…care and concern for his employees and their families, helping young people become licensed professionals, helping to improve the industry, and maintaining great relationships with fellow members.”
Hoopes’ support of the PHCC of Nevada chapter and its Apprenticeship Training Program “is overwhelming,” she added. Not only does Hoopes currently serve on the chapter’s board of directors, but his company can be counted on to sponsor and participate in apprentice events, build classrooms and benches for apprentice competitions, and much more. In fact, four of Focus Plumbing’s journeymen are instructors in the program, and the company consistently has 20 to 30 students enrolled in the program.
McKinney-Feldman also recapped how Focus Plumbing “quietly supports the community and a multitude of charities,” citing remodeling efforts at a U.S. Vets kitchen, plumbing for apartment units that provide affordable housing for homeless and at-risk clients, as well as donations of time and materials for groups like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Opening in 2009 with 12 employees, Focus Plumbing now employs more than 450 people and has 87 trucks on the road that proudly display the PHCC logo.
Plumbing Apprentice of the Year
Recognizing the outstanding skill and achievement of those enrolled in a plumbing training program, the PHCC Plumbing Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Zalko, who was sponsored by James Caccia Plumbing of San Mateo, California.
During the ceremony, Delta’s McKinney-Feldman described Zalko as “self-starter” who begins each day with a “set of goals he wants to meet that day.” In just two years, he has become a team leader who not only exceeds in his own studies but is always willing to lend a hand to instructors and his fellow students.
Zalko is in the top of his class at the PHCC GSA Training Facility and earned first place in a local apprentice contest in 2019. “His skills and knowledge sharpen each day, and he is constantly looking for better ways to perform those skills,” the Delta rep reported. “He is a hard worker and stays with a project until it is completed.”
For his attitude toward the job, enthusiasm, knowledge, accuracy and compatibility with co-workers, PHCC and Delta proudly presented Zalko with this honor.