The PVF Roundtable wraps up 2018 on a continued all-time high for the Houston-based industrial PVF networking group. The group’s fall meeting was held in mid-October at the Norris Center in Houston where more than 470 registered attendees were treated to the usual networking activities prior to a sit-down dinner and keynote address from multimedia personality and professional trades advocate Mike Rowe.

The evening was sponsored by Weldbend Corp., and the Coulas family. Prior to dinner, Weldbend invited the PVF Roundtable Board of Directors to meet with Rowe. During that meeting, the PVF Roundtable Charitable Foundation was presented with a check from Weldbend for $75,000 to the PVF Roundtable Scholarship Fund.

The donation will enable the PVF Roundtable Charitable Foundation to achieve the goal of donating $250,000 in scholarships across seven different colleges this year. The scholarship fund has now raised $775,000 in its 10 years of existence, PVF Roundtable President Joe Pro noted. Weldbend’s donation is the largest ever made to the group.

During his well-received talk, Rowe discussed, among other topics, the disconnect in society between the skilled trades being taught and the push for four-year college educations.

Prior to the fall meeting, the PVF Roundtable hosted its annual Trout Blast in Matagorda Bay, Texas. The event raised more than $90,000 for the PVF Roundtable Scholarship Fund and attracted more than 450 fishermen and featured 43 sponsors, including title sponsor Welding Outlets Inc. (WOI). 

In other PVF Roundtable news, the group’s Young Professionals arm hosted its second Pros Know event at Sunbelt Supply in Houston. The event attracted about 40 individuals. The best practices panel included Sheryl Michalak (President and owner, Welding Outlets Inc.), Bob Hunter (Branch Manager, Ta Chen), Curt Raney (Sales, Weldbend) and Kevin Bernard (President and owner Bernard Specialties), and featured a combined 123 years of industry experience.

The second Pros Know event touched on topics such as social media in future marketing plans, acquiring young talent, how to learn from failure, how to get and stay motivated in the industry, the importance of networking, travel tips and self and professional development, as well as a discussion on leadership.

The PVF Roundtable also held a special fifth networking event in mid-December at the Belltower on 34th Street that doubled as a holiday toy collection event In conjunction with Houston firefighters. Items were donated for Operation Stocking Stuffer to help kids in the Houston area. The Young Professionals Q4 networking event in early December at Lucky’s Pub in downtown Houston also served as a holiday toy collection event.

The PVF Roundtable’s next event is its second annual PVF Young Professionals Clay Shoot to be held at American Shooting Centers in Houston on Feb. 1.