Highlights from the buying group’s 2010 Distributor/Vendor Conference.

These wholesalers were recognized for their growth (L-R): Rod Essig, Carr Supply; Todd DeWald, Montgomery Plumbing Supply Co.; Bruce Tucker, General Plumbing Supply; Jim Woodruff, Woodruff Co.; Bill Vivlamore, Frontier Supply; David Lopatin and Larry Cohen, both with Next Plumbing Supply. (Not pictured:  Ramapo Wholesalers).

Awards were presented to the Top 20 owners based on their purchasing volume with WIT (L-R): David Weiner, SOLCO Plumbing Supply; Chip Lee, Lee Supply Corp.; Glenn Fuller, Northside Plumbing Supply; Craig Rubenstein, Rubenstein Supply Co.; Brendan Donohue, Cregger Co.; Brian Fowler, Security Supply Corp.; Sid Mealor, Plumbing Distributors; Dee Ward, Jackson Supply Co.; Bruce Tucker, General Plumbing Supply; Karla Neupert-Hockley, Consol Supply Co.(Oregon); Dick Fager, R. F. Fager Co.; Howard Rose, The Portland Group; Colin Perry, Rampart Supply; Corbin Ensign, VAMAC; Huey Long, Apex Supply Co.; Brian Cobble, G.W. Berkheimer Co; Bill Meyer, Wm. F. Meyer Co.; Steve Kelly, Goodin Co.; and Nick Formento, Jr., Canyon Pipe & Supply. (Not pictured: Plimpton & Hills).

BySupply House TimesStaff

The 2010 Distributor/Vendor Conference hosted by WIT & Co. in March at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL, not only created a networking opportunity for distributors and vendors, but also launched many business plans to be executed throughout the year.

It began with a board of directors meeting on Monday, March 1, and continued through Friday, March 5, with general sessions for WIT owners and vendors, WIT Works networking roundtable discussions, a purchasing agent workshop and two full days of distributor/vendor meetings. 

The distributor portion of the event kicked off on Tuesday, March 2, at the general session. Colin Perry, WIT president and principal at Rampart Supply in Colorado Springs, CO, recognized several owners for their contributions to the group. Ross Supply, Marion, IN, one of the five founding distributor firms of the buying group, was honored for its 35 years as a WIT distributor.

An award was presented to Charlie Wallace, chairman, president and owner of Ross Supply, who is a longstanding WIT owner. Awards were also presented to the top 20 owners based on their purchasing volume within WIT, including: SOLCO Plumbing Supply, Lee Supply Corp., Northside Plumbing Supply, Rubenstein Supply Co., Cregger Co., Security Supply Corp., Plumbing Distributors, Jackson Supply, General Plumbing Supply, Consol Supply Co.(Oregon), R. F. Fager Co., The Portland Group, Rampart Supply, VAMAC, Apex Supply Co., G.W. Berkheimer Co., Wm. F. Meyer Co., Goodin Co., Canyon Pipe & Supply and Plimpton & Hills.

Steve Deist, partner with the Indian River Consulting Group, led the purchasing agent workshop on March 3. He discussed “Mining Margins in the New Economy,” highlighting powerful but practical methods for improving profitability. The workshop was attended by more than 150 purchasing agents and others within WIT. The WIT Works sessions provided participants with the opportunity to share ideas and insights among non-competing owners. 

One distributor commented, “WIT and its owners really helped me understand that working together as a unit is far better than being by yourself as a company. The interaction with other suppliers has helped me gain knowledge and the ability to help my company grow over the next several years.”

WIT & Co. was established in 1974 as a member-owned buying group for the plumbing, heating and cooling industry. Its owners are independent wholesale distributors who are committed to growth and to each other. Its 92 members represent more than $2.5 billion in sales.

For more information, visitwww.wit-co.com.