A fundraiser, a groundbreaking, award presentations, industry meetings and new, improved facilities are highlights this month.

The three posters created Michael Thompson are pictured in the background, courtesy of © Michael Thompson/Artspace Company Y, 2011.

Central Plumbing Specialties Partners With INAX For Fundraiser

Central Plumbing SpecialtiesandINAX of Japanheld an event and fundraiser on March 31 at theGrande Central Showroomlocation on 56th St. in Midtown Manhattan (NY) to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The event was attended by local architects and designers. Art pieces by famous Japanese artists were on display and New York-based artist Michael Thompson created special posters for the event. Thompson’s posters were sold by the Art Space gallery of NYC, with the proceeds donated to the American Red Cross. INAX donated bidet toilet seats and several toilets as prizes for the drawings.

Johnstone Supply Focuses On Market Share And Service At Spring Sales Meeting

Johnstone Supply(Portland, OR), held its Spring Sales Planning Meeting and Trade Show in March in Orlando, FL, attended by nearly 1,000 people, including representatives from 127 top vendors.

The keynote speaker was Joseph A. Michelli, an author and organizational consultant, who spoke about the total customer experience and achieving customer service excellence. The event included strategic seminars and a vendor trade show. The HVACR cooperative provided updates on its current investments in customer service and data and online tools for its contractor customers. Working prototypes of a new data resource and new website were unveiled.

At the awards banquet, Ken Perkins and Greg and Missy Milligan, Charlotte, NC, received the “2011 Single Store Member of the Year” award; Larry and Pam Wines were recognized with the “Branch of the Year” award;  the award for “Multi-Store Member of the Year, Small Market” was presented to John Sisler and John Sisler, Jr. of Lexington, KY, while the “Multi-Store Member of the Year, Large Market” award went to Chris Ware and Henry Puente, Jacksonville, FL. Don Peck of Heat Controller accepted the Supplier of the Year award.

(L-R): George Yezbak, COO of Murray Supply; Jim Margoni, senior VP of wholesale sales at A.O. Smith, honored as Vendor of the Year; Charlie Murray, CEO, and David Murray, president, both with Murray Supply.

Murray Supply Hosts Recognition Dinner

Winston-Salem, NC-basedMurray Supply Co. hosted a company-wide recognition dinner in March, at which associates received awards based on their length of service, sales achievements and safe driving. Employees honored included: Christopher Smith, William Tisdale, Jeff  Honeycutt, David Byrd, Barbara Boger, Todd Killebrew, Bobby Belfield, Charlie Szymborski, Mike Wood, Rick Stewart, Shawn Cowen, Courtney Rogers, Bucky Hinson, Anthony Yarborough, Adam Kiger, Daniel Kelly, David West, Gregory Golden, Hansel Brown, Issac Leak, James Lackey, Jeffrey Setzer, Larry Fesperman, Leroy Davis, Mike Ricker, Reginald Jones, Terry Benfield, Tim Mabe, and Walter Utley.

Jan Worth received the Corporate Office Employee of the Year award, and Marian Borland was named 2010 Employee of the Year for the entire company. The Raleigh branch received the 2010 Branch of the Year Award. The Manufacturers Rep of the Year Award was presented to Rogers Sales.

PMI participates in a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward neighborhoods.

PMI Sees Good Times Ahead At Spring Conference

Plumbing Manufacturers International(PMI) chose the theme “Let the Good Times Roll…Again” for its spring conference in March held in New Orleans, LA. The theme refers to the economy improving and member companies seeing their businesses expand. Political strategist James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville spoke on the political environment in Washington, D.C., and shared his views on world issues in the opening keynote presentation. Terry Swack of Sustainable Minds LLC addressed the subject of Life Cycle Assessment. Scott McDougall of TerraChoice examined green marketing issues. Pat Cleary of Fleishman-Hillard gave a presentation on crisis communications and Norbert Gannon of the U.S. Department of Commerce discussed anti-dumping issues. Simone “the Demo Diva” Bruni, whose life changed after Hurricane Katrina when she entered the residential demolition business, was the closing speaker.

Afterwards, the attendees participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward neighborhoods still recovering from the 2005 devastation (pictured). PMI volunteers also saw the progress on Make It Right Foundation’s largest, greenest neighborhood of single-family homes in the U.S., as well as the completed success of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians Village. A financial donation was presented to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity during the conference.

The PMI 2011 Spring Conference featured a new separate marketing track and welcomed 12 first-time attendees.

PMI President Jack Krecek of Elkay Manufacturing Co. welcomed Paul Patton of Delta Faucet Co. and Tim Schroeder of Duravit USA as new Board members, and Tom Liebhardt of Moen as a new Member Service Committee co-chair.

Sally Remedios of Delta Faucet was recognized for her many years in the plumbing industry. Although she has retired, she will continue with Delta on a consulting basis.

Uponor’s new Brampton, ON-based distribution center is larger and more modern.

Uponor Opens Larger, More Efficient DC

To address the rising customer volume in eastern Canada,Uponorrecently moved to a larger, more modern distribution center in Brampton, ON. A seamless transition to the new facility occurred in late March. The new 24,000-sq.-ft. distribution center features 28 feet of clear-height warehouse space, according to Greg Lawler, vice president, supply chain. The Brampton facility, located in a new business park, will enable the company to work even more efficiently, said Bill Gray, general manager, Uponor Ltd., which supplies plumbing, fire safety and radiant heating and cooling systems for the residential and commercial building markets in Canada.

Bradley’s groundbreaking ceremony included government officials and reps, as well as business reps.

Bradley Corp. Breaks Ground For Manufacturing Plant

Bradley Corp.hosted officials and representatives from state, county and local governments, as well as business representatives, at a groundbreaking for its new manufacturing plant in the Germantown Business Park.  Located several minutes from the company’s Menomonee Falls, WI, headquarters and original plant, the new facility in Germantown, WI, will be operational by the end of the year or early 2012.

The Germantown plant, expected to measure about 190,000 sq. ft. and able to be expanded in future years to more than 300,000 sq. ft., will be the primary manufacturing location for a variety of commercial washroom products. Upon its completion, a smaller manufacturing facility in Milwaukee that was leased by Bradley will be closed, and all existing jobs will move to the new operation.

Pictured here, (L-R): Mike Sipek, COO, Bradley; Bryan Mullett, president, Bradley Fixtures; Rebecca Kleefisch, Lieutenant Governor, State of Wisconsin; Donald Mullett, CEO, Bradley; Erik Mullett, VP, Division 10 Sales; Cathy Stepp, Secretary, DNR; Christopher Mullett, customer service/sales, Bradley.