The Southwest Pacific Distributors, a region of ASA, held its annual SWPD Awards Dinner in Long Beach, California on Oct. 6.

The history of SWPD, formerly the Pacific Southwest Distributors Association, goes as far back as 1946 —or more than 75 years. And the group’s Distributor of the Year Award was first given in 1962. This strong tradition of networking, friendship and family was highlighted throughout this year’s dinner.

“Going back almost 60 years, the SWPD Installation and Awards Dinner gives its members the unique opportunity to get together not as competitors, but as allies,” said Smardan Supply’s A.J. Benton, the chair of the SWPD Advisory Council. “This long-standing tradition allows people within our industry to catch up with old friends, or sometimes put a face to the voice you’ve been speaking to for years.  We recognize our members for their service to our industry, honor those who are no longer with us, and provide the next generation the opportunity for exposure within our association.”

Carhill Company’s Bill Rante, also a member of the SWPD Advisory Council, added: “Another great SWPD Awards Dinner in the books. With attendance surpassing 200-plus attendees, it was great to see this event is still meaningful to our distributor, rep, and manufacturer partners.  The dinner is a great tool in introducing the future management and youth of their companies to our industry.”


The following award recipients were honored during the dinner:

  • Pioneer Award – Gary Grosslight, Ferguson (retired)
  • Industry Honor Award – Phil Harrigan, Carrhill Company
  • Woman of the Year Award — Debbie Brumback, Smardan Supply
  • Distinguished Service Award — Tom Duddy, Mega Western Sales
  • Distributor of the Year Award — Tom Morrow of Todd Supply/Reece

The attendees took a moment of silence in remembrance of those SWPD members lost over the last year:

  • Dan Mariscal, Hirsch Pipe and Supply (1938 – 2022)
  • Jay Rapport, Mega Western Sales (1931 – 2022)
  • Michael Gavin, Mega Western Sales (1945 – 2022)
  • John (Jack) Reynolds, Keyline Sales (1934 – 2021)
  • Bob Hicks, Ferguson (1982 – 2021)
  • Herbert (Lew) Johnston, Orange County Windustrial (1953-2020)
  • Joseph (Joe) Delacruz, Orange County Windustrial (1958-2022)

“It is my great pleasure and honor to serve as the ASA staff liaison to the SWPD family,” ASA Director of Codes and Standards Jim Kendzel said. “As I listened to those who introduced the award winners, I could not help but notice common themes: leadership, commitment, friend, mentor and team member. As I listened to the award recipient’s acceptance speeches, I again recognized similarities: humility, gratitude, family and recognition of those who played a role in their success. Most importantly, I walked away from the evening thankful that I am part of an industry that has a significant impact on the health of our nation and an association comprised of such caring and loving people.”