The Equity Plumbing buying group once again packed the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport in late October for its annual meeting.

Equity President Matt Roos told Supply House Times during the event that the buying group has grown to 412 distributors operating 567 total locations with a total combined group volume just shy of $1.8 billion.

“Our members are more engaged than ever and have embraced our marketing programs,” he said.

In addition to continued growth, Equity has been busy rolling out several new programs for its members. Roos revealed an incentive program has been established to reward members for growth in activities performed directly with supplier partners. Additionally, a new Equity website is in the works that will feature a number of interactive tools built around education and designed to help members further thrive in their marketplaces.

Vice President of Sales Bob Snyder noted Equity also is debuting an exclusive credit-card program with MasterCard for its members that will enable them to provide up to 120 days dating to their contractor customers.

“This is an exclusive program to the plumbing industry,” Snyder said. “It’s very unique and it’s easy for the customer to use. This is available only through an Equity distributor. It’s going to help our members grow their businesses and will help project our members in their marketplace as unique companies.”

The continued growth of the group’s annual meeting has necessitated a change to an even larger venue. The 2015 meeting takes place Oct. 10-12 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in Atlanta.

“We have a great group of members,” Roos said. “These are smaller- and middle-market distributors that are successful because they can react very quickly in the market. We offer programs that are beneficial and accommodate all sizes of distributors.”

During the meeting, Equity held its annual awards recognition program. On the member side, Carolina Supply (Burlington, N.C.), H20 Supply (Lewisville, Texas), Murray Supply (Medford, Mass.), New York Replacement Parts (Yonkers, N.Y.) and Roche Supply (Honesdale, Pa.) were cited for superior performance and support.

In the vendor categories (as voted by Equity member companies), JC Whitlam (merchandising), Delta Faucet (product), Legend Valve (marketing), Lenox (promotions) and Smith-Cooper (delivery) were honored.