The landscape of PHCP-PVF buying groups continues to change.
WIT and Co. Executive Vice President and COO Charlie Moorhead announced his plans to retire at the buying group’s 2016 Fall Networking Meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago.
Moorhead, who spent 33 years as a distributor in Austin, Texas, joined the group nine years ago after working five years on the plumbing/HVAC contractor side of the industry. He told Supply House Times his retirement is not immediate, and he will remain with the group through the naming and training of his successor.
“It was first discussed two years ago and I made a commitment to remain on board for an additional period of time,” he said. “We have everything in place for the transition and I’m looking forward to working with our Strategic Planning Committee to make everything happen. The process is open-ended and I will be here until we get it done.”
Moorhead said he won’t completely disappear from WIT after his retirement. “I plan to stay close to WIT,” he said. “I’ve made great friends within the group and I’ll be around to assist them if needed.”
Moorhead is proud of what the group has accomplished during his tenure. “We’ve been able to do it right the last nine years,” he said. “When I came aboard we had a number of irons in the fire – we were entering an economic slowdown and our board wanted to move our headquarters from Decatur, Ill., to Dallas. This involved hiring and training an almost completely new staff. Through the years, and despite a number of mergers and acquisitions, we’ve grown our collective purchases through the group, made advances in our processing and technology initiatives, and have become a tighter and more cohesive organization. I wouldn’t trade the WIT experience for anything.”
Moorhead added the group’s transparency is one of the things that impresses him the most. “There is nothing we don’t discuss or share with all of our distributors – from our internal processes to the details of all our programs,” he said. “In addition, we have a great board and volunteer leaders who guide us and support our initiatives. That’s a pretty hard combination to beat.”
During the meeting in Chicago, WIT announced the winners of its RISE Awards which recognize WIT member companies in any aspect of their businesses. Rubenstein Supply is this year’s winner for a marketing promotion it ran in 2015-2016 with its showroom arm and San Jose State University that included radio and television ads and extensive promotion at SJS athletic events. Rubenstein’s Matt Laiolo noted the campaign resulted in 30 new contractors and customers. “What impressed us the most is the Rubenstein campaign could be applied to a lot of different markets,” WIT Marketing and Meetings Manager Devin Agonis told the group.
Award-finalist Rampart Supply was honored for a marketing and promotion campaign that introduced the American Standard DXV line to customers and the designer community at The Showroom at Rampart Supply locations in Denver and Colorado Springs, while fellow finalist Dakota Supply was cited for its DSG Power Center interface update that helped increase internal communications throughout the company, which has branches in five Midwestern states.
WIT also honored outgoing president Bruce Tucker (General Plumbing Supply) for his service. Incoming WIT President Brian Cobble (G.W. Berkheimer) gave an impassioned speech during the meeting’s general session urging younger employees of WIT owners to become involved in the group and for the group to remain committed to forward-thinking initiatives in today’s changing supply-chain environment. “We will continue to push this group ahead and make it even better than it is today,” Cobble said.
WIT Executive Assistant Teresa Yosten also was honored for her service. Yosten, an original member of the suburban-Dallas based operation, is retiring from the buying group at the end of the year.
This article was originally titled “Changing of the guard” in the October 2016 print edition of Supply House Times.