WIT & Co. owners recently converged on Capitol Hill to speak to their members of Congress on numerous issues that directly affect the PHCP-PVF industry.

The visits, coordinated with the help of the American Supply Association, were part of WIT’s annual Fall Networking Meeting that took place at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C.

WIT owners spoke about such topics as the expansion of federal overtime regulations, the Remote Transactions Parity Act and commonsense reforms to the Affordable Healthcare Act. WIT owners oppose the overtime regulations, which would more than double the overtime exempt salary threshold from $23,400 to $50,400, which as a result could mean reclassified employees being at risk for losing benefits, flexibility, status and opportunities for advancement.

The Remote Transactions Parity Act would allow local sellers to compete on an even playing field against out-of-state Internet retailers and give states the ability to enforce their own sales-tax laws. “I was impressed with the way ASA and WIT put together our appointments with our senators and congressmen,” Modern Supply President-COO Dottie Ramsey said. “We had five very productive meetings and have had positive responses from some of them.”

A day later, WIT presented its first Recognizing Innovation and Strategic Excellence awards. The RISE awards recognize WIT owners for their innovative and successful initiatives.

Dakota Supply Group won the grand prize for its Finding My Trade campaign. The goal of the campaign was to help trade industries close the gap on the current labor shortage by encouraging Dakota partners to participate in sharing “the truth about the trades” to high-school students in their markets.

Finalists for the award included Nicklas Supply, Rubenstein Supply, Snow & Jones and VAMAC. Nicklas Supply was honored for its Splash 360 program that promotes continuous improvement within the Pennsylvania-based company’s showrooms.

Rubenstein Supply was honored for the opening and promotion of its new showroom in San Diego and expanding its reach through a successful social media campaign and an online virtual showroom.

Snow & Jones was recognized for its Dream Day Camp Plumbing Palooza, which supplied much-needed accessible restroom facilities for the Dream Day Camp in a national forest near Cape Cod, Mass. To benefit this charity for terminally ill children, the distributor worked with local contractors and other building companies to build eight working accessible bathrooms within the camp’s rustic cabins.

VAMAC was cited for its 100th anniversary campaign, which included corporate rebranding, customer-appreciation activities, a two-month growth promotion, monthly counter campaigns, a local charity event and four customer events.

Prior to heading to Capitol Hill, Fox News’ Chris Wallace was the event’s keynote speaker and touched on a variety of subjects, including the role of the media. “I have a ticket to be an eyewitness to history,” he said. “Our founding fathers knew what they were doing when they put freedom of the press in the Constitution. It’s up to us to live up to that responsibility.”


This article was originally titled “Making progress” in the October 2015 print edition of Supply House Times.