ASA’s Women in Industry division is the association’s fastest-growing group. That was evident from the record turnout at the fifth annual Women in Industry conference held this year at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Georgia.

More than 200 women from the PHCP-PVF industry attended the conference, which mixed in networking opportunities with educational sessions. And more than half the attendees were making their first appearance at a Women in Industry conference.

Keynote speaker Anthony Huey gave an informative and practical talk on the importance of great communication. “Perception is truth,” he said. “What people perceive is what people believe. People only will remember 20 to 30% of what was said.”

Huey suggested using the “rule of seven” when communicating in the business world. “You need to expose your audience to your message at least seven times. Put strategic thought into content. What do you want people to remember?”

Huey also said using “bits” or subtopics within larger presentations with help as well and also stressed the importance of practicing any type of communication being presented to a group.

“Make your words sound conversational,” he said. “The one rule for any new bit added into a presentation is to practice it out loud at least 10 times. The sheer act of reading something out loud and repeating it, you will start committing it to memory. Never try to memorize something 100%. About 85% gives you the flexibility to move a few words around. “

Stacey Hanke kicked off the educational sessions talking about the topic of influence. “Influence is the ability to drive people to take action long after the interaction has occurred,” she said. “Influence means your body language and messaging is consistent Monday to Monday. If people like you, they will listen. When people trust you that’s when the buy-in happens.”

When communicating with people Hanke suggested using pauses and making sure eye contact is being made. “Pausing is your money skill. Let pauses guide you where you need to go,” she said. “Only speak when you see eyes. No eyes means no talk.”

And Hanke left attendees with this important takeaway. “You get to determine what reputation you have Monday to Monday,” she said.

Also, Women in Industry Executive Council members Rebecca Falish (InSinkErator) and Christy Maloney (Coburn Supply) sought out the opinions of attendees regarding the value they saw in this year’s conference. Here’s a sampling:

“This group is incredible. The positive energy, wealth of knowledge and mutual respect shared by all is beyond impressive.” Judy Kimble, Sales & Marketing Manager, First Supply;

“I liked meeting women in all the different roles that make the industry work and getting different perspectives. I am going to change some things!” Kelsey Danielson, Showroom Specialist, Battersby, Danielson & Associates;

“The biggest value I received is the encouragement and empowerment from being with so many women in the industry.” Brinkley Boykin, Accounts Coordinator, The Distribution Point;

“Networking with other women facing the same day-to-day challenges in the industry.” Sheri Newman, VP, Lion Plumbing Supply;

“The educational sessions on communication and negotiations were amazing!” Dawn Ford, Manager, HR Services, NIBCO;

 “Confidence to continue what I started.” Alina Gavrilut, Commercial Quotations, Hollabaugh Bros. & Associates;

“Getting advice from wonderful, strong women and the ability to network and make lifelong connections.” Hanna Breckenfeld, Student - Industrial Distribution Major, Texas A&M SWID;

“The biggest value was being able to spend time with like-minded women who deal with many of the same situations and issues that I run into every day in my career. Hearing how they handle anything that may come their way is so helpful!” Megan Jones, Industrial Market Manager, SE, Apollo Flow Controls.

For more on the Women in Industry division, visit