The fall PVF Roundtable meeting in October at the Marriott Westchase in Houston featured a changing of the guard for industrial PVF networking/best practices group.
Penn Machine’s Joe Pro announced to the crowd he is retiring as the group’s president after a five-year run. Newmans Valve’s Sara Alford, a member of the PVF Roundtable Board of Directors since 2016, was announced as the new president. Pro will continue as a board member and will remain as the group’s committee chair on finances.
“Being president of the PVF Roundtable has been an incredible honor,” he said. “To have been only the fourth president was a bit overwhelming. I have witnessed the dramatic growth in membership, sponsors and attendance at all our networking, golf and fishing events. We have expanded the number of schools receiving scholarships to seven, including five trade schools. We updated our bylaws, established committee chairpersons, and have seen the emergence of our Young Professionals, a group that has grown rapidly and clearly represents the next generation of leaders in the PVF industry.”
Pro said he is most proud of having been asked to represent the PVF Roundtable Board of Directors and all the volunteers that make up the group. “The trust our members have placed in us to be stewards of their sponsorship and donation dollars has been very rewarding,” he said. “I also am very proud of persevering for more than a year with the IRS in achieving charitable status for the PVF Roundtable Charitable Foundation 501 (c)(3).”
Alford is ready to hit the ground running in her new post. “I am excited to step in Joe’s shoes and continue to grow the PVF Roundtable along with the other board members,” she said. “Joe has been a great leader to the board and I will continue to follow in his path of success.”
Continued growth is on the horizon, Alford added. “I see the organization with more EPC, fabricators and end users while continuing to grow our strong distribution membership,” she said. “This will allow us to grow significantly and be able to provide more opportunities for scholarships to touch more young lives. With more educational sessions, we will bring back prior members by offering more than just a networking session. We will continue to grow our PVF Young Professional Committee to help bridge the gap between the tenured folks and the young professionals coming into the industry.”
The group’s recent TroutBlast event in Matagorda Bay attracted 430 fishermen with 116 boats. The captain’s dinner attracted more than 500 individuals. Gibson Products was this year’s title sponsor.
“I cannot express the gratitude I have to all who sponsor and donate items each year,” Alford said. “This event, along with the clay shoot and the golf tournament, allows us to give more scholarship dollars to those young adults who need it.”
Pro said, pending final accounting of several year-end events, he believes the group will make its budgeted $250,000 goal for scholarships in 2019, which would bring the group to the $1 million mark in total scholarship money since the program was started a decade ago.
The fall PVF Roundtable meeting had 550 registered guests who heard from NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who was sponsored by Ferguson/Wolseley Industrial Group. Bradshaw also spoke at the fall meeting in 2016.
“The Roundtable is heading in a great direction,” Pro said. “Our scholarship committee is meeting with all the schools that receive scholarship funds. The schools are reporting to us how many students have received funds. New schools are being identified for help. The fundraising events continue to grow and attract more attendees. The Young Professionals have established great networking events and are huge volunteers for all our events.”
Alford added: “We will continue to grow our event fundraisers that will allow us to give more scholarship dollars, while increasing the value to our current members and adding new members at the same time.”
— Mike Miazga reporting