The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Information Bureau, founded in 1919 to be the consumer public relations arm of the industry, closed its doors Dec. 31, 2000.

PHCIB was founded as an all-industry organization with membership encompassing all levels of the industry: contractors, wholesalers, manufacturers, manufacturers reps, trade associations, the trade press and the United Association labor union.

Throughout its 81 years, the primary mission of PHCIB was to reach homeowners with positive messages about the industry's services and products, with emphasis on the importance of installation by professional PHC contractors. The messages were sent via publicity in newspapers, consumer magazines, on radio and television and, in recent years, its Web site.

The current inventory of PHCIB promotional materials will be made available to state PHC contractor associations to pass on to their members, said Inge Calderon, executive vice president of the American Supply Association. The communications division of ASA had managed PHCIB since 1999. During the previous 20 years, PHCIB was under the management of the Chicago-based Marketing Support agency, with David Weiner serving as executive director.

The $5,000 remaining in cash reserves will be donated in equal amounts by PHCIB to the educational foundations of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association and ASA, said John McDonald III, PHCIB secretary-treasurer and CEO of Brock-McVey Co. (Lexington, Ky.).

PHCIB president for the last year was Robert Ryan, executive director of the Plumbing Council of Chicagoland.