The PVF Roundtable recently named Penn Machine’s Joe Pro as its new president. Pro, who was slated to be introduced earlier this month at the industrial PVF best practices/networking organization’s winter meeting in Houston, takes over from longtime President Danny Westbrook (Westbrook Manufacturing), who will remain on the PVF Roundtable Board of Directors.
“When Danny made the decision to step down there was an opportunity for anyone interested in the spot,” Pro told Supply House Times. “I had been on the board for a few years and had participated at what I felt was a high level.”
Pro, the president of Penn Machine, noted the spiking popularity in Roundtable special events such as the annual golf tournament and the recently added Trout Blast fishing outing — both of which raise funds for PVF Roundtable-sponsored college scholarships — has placed a larger workload on the strictly volunteer board members. He’d like to see even more Roundtable members get involved.
“We have 500 people coming to these meetings now, plus we had 288 golfers last May and raised $50,000 in scholarship money there. We raised another $25,000 with the fishing tournament,” he said. “We have a lot of internal committees that work hard. It’s almost a full-time job with everything going on. We want to make sure everything is properly structured and resourced to get these jobs done. As we’ve grown quickly, we haven’t addressed balancing committee workloads. We want to solicit help from more members for our committees.”
Pro said he’s incredibly honored to join a Roundtable president’s list that includes Westbrook’s father, Sidney, and Ron Merrick. He also thanked Danny Westbrook for his service and guidance over the years. Westbrook played a major role in the group’s meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years. The PVF Roundtable meetings have consistently drawn more than 500 attendees to each meeting the last two years, even necessitating a move to a larger venue to accommodate the increased interest.
“This is a position you have to take incredibly seriously,” Pro said. “You have to respect the legacy of where this organization came from. This room represents billions of dollars of business. Danny is an incredible ambassador for our group. I’ve been able to learn a lot from him the last few years. Danny’s contributions have been a large part of why we are seeing this type of growth. We have a board that works well together and has achieved common goals. A lot of that is because of Danny. I really hope I can follow in his footsteps.”
Pro said his goal is to continue to shepherd the organization’s growth whether that be with new members or via new programs available to the membership, such as a benchmarking outlet.
“We have so many industry leaders participating in this organization. We want to take advantage of that knowledge and find ways to best utilize it,” he said. “Our membership is a who’s who in the industry. With this growth we have the opportunity to take this to a new level.”
Pro noted the current plan for the 2015 quarterly gatherings is to have two meetings that feature a guest speaker and two meetings that will be devoted entirely to networking (as was the case at the fall 2014 meeting).
“The word excitement is probably an understatement to describe how I feel about this group,” Pro said. “PVF Roundtable is something that crosses all the different groups in our industry. When I work the registration table I look up and smile and see all the great people and the size of the companies they represent. There is a lot of positive energy in that room.”