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I recently talked with the PVF Roundtable’s President Joe Pro to gain insight into how the official partnership between The Wholesaler and the PVF Roundtable will benefit you, the readers, and the PVF industry as a whole. He spoke candidly about some projects we are working on, and how he hopes to further help the PVF Roundtable’s scholarship. By raising awareness and educating the masses outside of Houston, the next generation will have a rewarding place in the PVF industry.
Danielle Galian: We are very excited about this partnership. Can you describe some of the goals within this partnership from the PVF Roundtable side?
Joe Pro: Danielle, our goals with this partnership are to highlight the great people and great work of the PVF Roundtable. The Wholesaler magazine partnership provides a vehicle (at no cost to our members) to spread our message to a much larger audience in the PVF Industry. With more than 200 members, we are growing faster than we ever expected. There is still a segment of our industry that views us a regional group tied to the energy corridor in Houston. We hope, through our news coverage, to educate everyone on how far and wide our membership has become.
With the incredible generosity of our sponsors for our meetings, golf and fishing tournaments, we are raising money for scholarships. With our donation this fall, which includes a direct donation of $25,000 from Ferguson Cares, we will reach $500,000 in donations to scholarships. Our goal is to reach the $1,000,000 mark by 2020. With the additional coverage of the PVF Roundtable and our Scholarship programs, we hope to expand the number of schools, regions of the country and by result, the number of students included.
The PVF Roundtable is currently providing scholarship money to four higher education institutions. Two of these schools (Texas A& M and University of Houston) have four-year degree programs in Industrial Distribution and Engineering. The other two (Lee College and SanJacinto College) offer Certificate Training Programs in areas such as Welding, Pipe Fabrication and Instrumentation.
DG: What are readers going to take away from the coverage?
JP: Danielle, our goal is to make sure that everyone who participates in the PVF industry is aware of our organization. Everyone needs to understand that this is not just a Houston regional group. We have members from all over the country who attend our quarterly networking events.
We want your subscribers to understand how easy it is to become a member, the benefits of networking with industry peers, and the tremendous value received for such a low annual cost.
Everyone who reads our monthly highlights will get to know our Board of Directors, and all those who volunteer to make this organization so great. We also hope to highlight our incredible list of sponsors. We want everyone to know these organizations and what they are doing for the PVF Industry and future employees.
In addition, our all-volunteer Board of Directors would like everyone to get to know who is working behind the scenes to make the PVF Roundtable such a great success. We hope in future issues to highlight many of our board members and their responsibilities with our organization. There is also a message we want to get out there and that is recognition for all the companies that the board and our volunteers work for. Our employers donate all their time, travel and expenses toward our efforts. It takes a lot of people from all levels of our industry (many quietly in the background) to make the PVF Roundtable a success.
DG: How can members get more involved with the PVF Roundtable community?
JP: The easiest way for members to get involved would be to volunteer or assist with our fundraisers or committees. As coverage of the PVF Roundtable in The Wholesaler expands, members will get to know the board members in charge of committees such as:
In future monthly articles in The Wholesaler, we will explain in more detail what we do behind the scenes as we hope more members become interested and active in participating. Volunteering on our committees expands your networking opportunities multiple times over. We need enthusiastic members to volunteer for our committees. Our ability to keep up with the exciting growth we are experiencing and meet the needs of our members will be dependent on volunteers.
DG: How do you foresee the PVF market evolving over the next year?
JP: We have already experienced some of the market evolution. Our quarterly meetings in the past were all sit-down dinners with a guest speaker. Our members approached us and asked if there was any way to eliminate the dinner and speaker portion of our meeting to allow more free time networking. We tried the four hours of networking with open bar and appetizers and it was an incredible success. We plan to do at least two of these type meetings a year. The younger generation in our industry is clearly very talented and very proficient with all forms of technology. Many find the time commitment of a sit-down dinner and speaker too long; and as our crowds grew, networking time was declined when we had a speaker and sit-down dinner.
We see many new and younger people entering our industry as the baby-boomers begin to retire. This will be a large transition that occurs starting in the next year or two with newer employees. Our networking events have expanded to include the Young Professionals group. Their last meeting attracted 90 people from the PVF Industry. Many of these younger people have not been able to attend our general quarterly meetings. (Each PVF Roundtable member company receives four dinner tickets per quarterly meeting with their paid membership.) While additional tickets can be purchased, not everyone has budgeted the added expense. So, what we are hearing is that often the four dinner/network tickets are used by more senior employees.
Danielle, I also think all of us expected there to be more consolidation during this business downturn. The good news is that we had an exceptional renewal rate for membership. It is obvious that our members feel strongly that our current membership charges are incredibly low for the number of dinner/network events covered and the number of attendees each member can send for no additional cost.
DG: What is the main message readers will take away from this partnership?
JP: By having the partnership between the PVF Roundtable and The Wholesaler, we will have an opportunity on a monthly basis to communicate to our current members and potential future members. The Wholesaler with its wide circulation throughout the PVF Industry will ensure that our message reaches a much larger audience then we are capable of on our own.
This partnership brings together two organizations that have shared many memories in the past. Many members look forward to The Wholesaler Hall of Fame Award presentation by Mr. Tom Brown. The coverage of our quarterly events and our scholarship fundraisers have received has been excellent. With this partnership we look forward to expanding our message and making sure everyone understands the role the PVF Roundtable has taken on.
DG: Where can readers go to gain more insight into the PVF roundtable?
JP: The place to start is our website at PVF.Org. There is a lot of information regarding our Mission, our Board of Directors, Members List, recognition of all of our Sponsors for our Scholarship Fundraisers, and contact points. The next place to gain more insight into the PVF Roundtable will be in each new issue of The Wholesaler. Our monthly articles are sure to pique interest in a host of topics as various members report. I would also encourage everyone who is not a member to look at our member list on our website. Find a member that you know and call your contact there and ask them how they feel about their experiences with the PVF Roundtable and the value they receive for being involved. Lastly, get someone on that member list to bring you to a quarterly meeting as a guest. Experience our networking for yourself.
DG: Please share some details regarding the next networking event.
JP: Our next quarterly Networking event for the PVF Roundtable will be held in Houston, Texas at the Marriott Westchase Aug. 15, 2017 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. Registration is open on our website, PVF.Org. Registration is also open for the annual Trout Blast Scholarship Fishing Tournament Oct. 12 and 13, 2017.
We are incredibly exited to share more information and news with our new media partners. Here is a list of the current PVF Roundtable Board of Directors:
What’s Next for the PVF Roundtable?
The PVF Roundtable quarterly meeting is taking place Aug. 15, 2017. Slated to be held at the Marriott Westchase in Houston, this networking event is a tremendous opportunity for all in the industry.
Each event attracts between 400 and 500 attendees. This is in part due to the ideal location of Houston, and part to the meaningful work the PVF Roundtable undertakes each quarter. The vast amount of talent and business acumen at each meeting gives us industry reporters a great amount of encouragement. To see this sector thrive after a couple of difficult years cements our commitment as well.
The last meeting for 2017 will be held Oct. 17, 2017 at the Marriott Westchase. For more information, visit PVF.org and stay tuned for more here at The Wholesaler and on PHCPpros.com.