The Forte Group’s annual conference took place recently in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency hotel. This year’s event drew 310 attendees in total (170 members and 140 vendors).

It started with a Texan-themed reception where attendees were able to gather before the conference’s events started. The kickoff meeting the next morning covered the changes and evolvement of the group. New initiatives were discussed including plans to take Forte from being only a buying group to a sales and marketing group.

“This year’s Forte conference had a renewed energy and lots of new and exciting initiatives that delivered a positive outlook for our future,” Forte President Jimmy Georgitsos (Astro Design Centre) said. “I am personally looking forward to being a part of Forte’s evolution and working alongside the industry’s best.”

Tuesday afternoon marked the start of rotations, where members were able to visit vendor booths to discuss new products, displays and for some vendors, introducing the brand to their showrooms. These rotations continued on until Thursday.

“It was a great 2019 conference,” said Robert Calabrese, export business development for Oceania Baths. “Forte dealer members and vendors are a group of visionary individuals that bring the high-end plumbing industry to another level. I was happy to be part of the experience.”

The conference ended with a big party, this year hosted at Brazos Hall.

“The 2019 Forte conference was a great success,” said member Samantha Rose, buyer at The Portland Group. “You could really feel the positive vibe and energy from the group as a whole. A lot of exciting opportunities are taking place.”

“The conference was a success thanks to all of you who were able to join us and participate in the week’s events,” Georgitsos said. “We enjoyed getting to see everyone come together for a great show and hope they left with further insights into the future of The Forte Group.”

Several awards were handed out during the conference. Mountain Land Design is the Forte member of the year, while Mountain Plumbing earned vendor of the year honors. California Faucets is the recipient of the best fusion page award, while board member David Kotkowsky (Advantage Gallery/Hydrology) was cited for his distinguished service to the group.

To download and listen to Nadia Askar’s podcast interview with Georgitsos, visit