AD’s Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Piping Business Unit hosted its second virtual fall meeting from Oct. 19-22, welcoming a record- breaking 1,090 independent distributor members and supplier partners from its U.S.-based Plumbing, Pipe, Valves and Fittings, and HVAC Divisions to the 2020 virtual North American meeting.

The North American meeting is the second virtual meeting hosted by the PHCP Business Unit this fall, following the Plumbing & Heating-Canada supplier meeting that took place in September. These meetings are part of AD’s slate of fall meetings that shifted to virtual, allowing members and suppliers the opportunity to network and invest in valuable relationships, despite travel restrictions.

Attendees participated in a series of sessions that included AD leadership-led member and supplier business meetings, which provided updates on group and divisional performance metrics while highlighting programs and services available from AD. The meeting agenda also consisted of AD’s signature one-on-one member and supplier sessions, with over 2,110 meetings taking place in two days.

The AD community has always been passionate about growth, and this year’s meeting theme of Let’s Grow represents the commitment that AD members, along with suppliers and associates, are making to build momentum and charge forward. Let’s Grow speaks to the challenges the world has faced this year and the countless ways AD’s members have innovated and partnered with each other, supplier partners, and AD to thrive in this difficult environment.

Each division within the PHCP business unit hosted unique member business meeting sessions, where AD’s PHCP Business Unit President Jeffrey Beall provided the opening remarks on what growth means to him, and to the AD community. Following, AD divisional leadership representatives highlighted key opportunities for partnership between members, suppliers, and AD.  

Reflecting on the first nine months of the year, AD’s president of Plumbing and PVF divisions Justin Dunscomb was happy to report that AD and its members continue to thrive in this challenging year.

“I am encouraged to hear the creative ways AD members are learning and adapting in 2020,” Dunscomb noted. “Their focus on continuous improvement allows them to remain nimble and drive growth to finish 2020 and into 2021. The group’s volume has been positively building since early summer, it is exciting to report and celebrate the group’s performance during our virtual meetings this week.”

Dunscomb also praised his fellow associates. 

“I am also proud of the AD team,” he said. “We have adapted and have found new ways to add value to our members and suppliers. The team’s industry experience, varied backgrounds and perspectives allowed AD to be best-equipped to develop and implement new programs such as improved real-time reporting and strategic supplier webinars. These are just two examples of value adds that made the group better through the pandemic and will continue to pay dividends into the future.”

Randy Lee, AD’s vice president of the HVAC Division, spoke to the impressive record year the existing division has had while welcoming strong new member and supplier additions to the group.

Brian Schlise, director of operations and parts sales for member-owner The Habegger Corporation and AD HVAC divisional board chairman, challenged members to find new ways to grow and use the AD tools available to explore innovative avenues to do business now and into the future.

“In a year such as this, leaders like we have within the AD community only become stronger and hold each other accountable to continue to raise the bar,” Schlise said. “The entrepreneurial spirit and the spirit of independents is a core driving force that continues to shine. Despite not being able to physically see the attendees, the strength of the group and the bonds I hold enable me to still feel the connection and receive the positive energy.”

Beall shared that he was inspired by the words of the board members during the member business meetings and the positive impact that shifting AD meetings to virtual had on the AD PHCP community, safeguarding the importance of connecting during this time. 

“Member owners comprise our boards and committees to lead in all areas of the business,” Beall said. “Not only is it imperative to for us to provide an AD update to our member-owners during our North American meeting, but this forum is also ideal for our community to hear from the strong industry leaders we have on our boards.”