Here are two letters we received from a couple of Supply House Times readers.

Darlington's Training Column An Inspiration To Wholesalers

Thank you for Hank Darlington's columns in Supply House Times. I always look forward to reading them. I'm writing in regard to his article on training in the October issue (page 113, "People - Your Most Important Asset, Part 2: Training The Best") and his offer to make available source information for the two sources of basic product information for our showroom staff: The College of Product Knowledge and The Instant Plumbing Product Knowledge book.

As Hank Darlington indicated, proper training and adequate resources are key, and people are our most valuable resource. They should never be considered - and are not - an expendable commodity. It is imperative that we be sure that our people are encouraged, supported and reassured that they are important to the success of our team. Training is only one facet in the overall plan for our diamonds-in-the-rough.

Hank Darlington's insight and perspective help us make the paradigm shift from the "wholesale" mentality to the reality and the possibilities and opportunities that the retail and showroom business adds to the overall equation for a leading wholesaler.

I continue to look forward to his words of wisdom.

Scott Smith
Merchandise manager
F.W. Webb Co.
Nashua, N.H. branch

A Letter From Brad Sell

Just about two years ago, at the age of 47, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My doctors told me that it would most likely kill me before I hit 50. I was shocked to learn that this disease is now considered to be an epidemic in men - yet very curable when detected early.

But many doctors don't test for it in younger men when this disease can be at its most fierce and deadliest form.

Visit the Web site: It contains a copy of the message I am presenting to company management and sales meetings as well as Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs, fire and police stations, church groups, local cable TV programs - any group who will listen. Two wholesalers are participating in this effort. F.W. Webb Co., Burlington, Mass., is offering a life-saving pamphlet for you to distribute to the men in your life. North Shore Plumbing Supply Co., Flushing, N.Y., provides the Internet access for you to download this important message in a format that you can give to others.

People ask me, "How do you cope knowing what is ahead of you?" Actually, I feel quite well and tremendously blessed to have the time and opportunity to help others in an attempt to give back in some small measure for the overwhelming support I have received from my wonderful industry partners, friends and family.

Over the years I have watched the work of a great organization, Community Chaplain Service, Inc., (CCS) and have completed training for a position as Chaplain in their nationwide nursing home ministry. My job will be to bring hope, comfort and peace to others facing end-of-life and critical care issues. Friendship, faith and contact with the outside world are just some of the assets CCS Chaplains bring to the 80% of nursing home residents who don't or can't leave their rooms.

CCS is a nonsectarian, nonprofit volunteer organization chartered to serve all faiths and all peoples, most especially those bound to nursing home rooms. CCS Chaplains are not paid any salary or compensation. Yet, in order to commit the appropriate time and effort in helping folks referred to as "the forgotten people," Chaplains are able to raise support for themselves and CCS through fully tax-deductible donations.

If you would like to support this work, please contact William H. Cain, Executive Director, Community Chaplain Service, Inc., and indicate that you are interested in supporting Brad Sell's Chaplaincy. Write to: 127 Chestnut Street, P. O. Box 6734, New Bedford, MA 02742-6734, or phone: 508-997-3174 or e-mail:

For more information, please contact me at the address or email listed below.

Brad Sell
Prostate Cancer Early Detection Message
P. O. Box 437, Mattapoisett, MA 02739

Editor's Note: Brad Sell, a 33-year veteran of the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping distribution industry, was executive vice president/secretary of two East Coast regional associations of the American Supply Association: the New England Wholesalers Association and the New York State Plumbing & Heating Wholesalers. In 2000 ASA appointed Sell as regional association executive of the Middle Atlantic states association, formerly MAWA, and executive vice president of the Wholesalers Association of the North East (WANE). He also served as chairman of ASA's Regional Association Executives Council and member of ASA's Education Foundation.