Visit www.supplyht.com for breaking news and Web Exclusives. News compiled by Suzette Rubio firstname.lastname@example.org HARDI Distributor Meeting Sets Course For 2012 Focus As a precursor to HARDI’s Annual Conference in October in Maui, distributor members converged for the first-ever Distributor Town Hall Meeting. Created to provide a forum to discuss issues impacting the future of HVACR wholesale distribution, the event, moderated by HARDI President Bud Mingledorff, Immediate Past President Richard Cook, and Executive Vice President and COO Talbot Gee, drew more than 70 distributor executives. The 2011 Annual Conference featured three days of business meetings and informative keynote presentations by industry experts Mike Workman (HARDI’s chief economist), Alan Beaulieu and the association’s first HVACR Contractor Panel. “We are very proud of our culture at HARDI of open meetings where any member and invited guests can attend,” Gee stated. “However, the downside has been we have very few venues for distributor-only discussions on industry trends, policy strategies and the general direction and performance of their industry association. The Distributor Town Hall was extremely well received, so I fully expect it to be a mainstay of future Annual Conferences for years to come.” Of the numerous topics discussed, and in line with the “Set Your Course” conference theme, HARDI identified three as issues to focus on for 2012: weakening supplier and distributor relationships; eroding channel integrity creating long-term growth and profit headwinds; and the need for distributors to better understand others’ strengths and weaknesses to better become true partners within the industry by collaborating to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses. The discussions also helped form the basis for HARDI’s 2012 Annual Conference theme, “Develop, Demand, Success is Deliberate,” intent on recognizing and developing HVACR distributors’ role as key influencers in sales and market-share growth. Next year’s conference will take place Oct. 6-9, at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, Fla. Xylem Launches As New Water Technology Company Xylem recently announced it completed its spin-off from ITT Corp. and has begun operations as a $3.2 billion standalone global water technology company. Xylem’s product brands, applications expertise and technological strength enable the transport, treatment, testing and efficient use of water in public utility, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. The company serves customers in more than 150 countries to address critical water issues such as growing water scarcity, aging infrastructure and more stringent evnironmental regulations. As of Nov. 1, Xylem will regularly trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol XYL and will list on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Banner Plumbing Honored For Showroom Of The Year Banner Plumbing’s state-of-the-art kitchen and bath showroom in Buffalo Grove, Ill., was named Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association’s “Showroom of the Year” at the recent annual conference in San Jose, Calif. The award is presented annually to an outstanding showroom for its business practices, customer service, human resource practices and industry support. After being nominated by an industry peer, the showroom is evaluated for training programs, marketing programs, customer service, involvement and support in the industry, merchandising, and innovative presentation of decorative plumbing and hardware products within the showroom. This is the first time that Banner has received this award. Michelle Henderson, showroom manager, is in charge of updating displays and ensures that a full range of lines are on the floor with a variety of price points and décor, a mix of manufacturers and an emphasis on green. Many of the displays are interactive and customers are even encouraged to make an appointment after hours to try out the tubs and showers. Senate Adds Veteran Employment Tax Credit The U.S. Senate recently added an amendment to provide tax credits to companies that hire veterans. That amendment was part of unanimously approved legislation to repeal a federal mandate that government agencies withhold part of their payments to contractors. The bill must now go back to the House for another vote. The bill is expected to pass the House. President Barack Obama indicated he will sign the amended bill. In addition to the withholding repeal, the legislation provides a $5,600 tax credit for each veteran a company hires who has been unemployed for at least six months. Companies also would be offered a $9,600 tax credit for hiring out-of-work veterans with service-related disabilities. According to a Businessweek.com report, unemployment among the youngest veterans, ages 18-24, was at 30% in October, up from 18.4% a year ago. Murray Supply Hosts 5th Annual Field Marketing Summit Winston-Salem, N.C.-based wholesale plumbing distributor Murray Supply Co. Held its 5th Annual Field Marketing Summit Oct. 7-8. A number of MSC sales personnel and 18 Valued Vendor Partners participated in the event. Murray Supply Co. Is a member of Affiliated Distributors, a national buying and marketing group that strongly encourages its members to participate in Field Marketing Summits to strengthen relationships between suppliers and distributors in the plumbing, PVF and HVAC industries. The two-day event offered booth sessions with suppliers to discuss sales, marketing and training goals for the upcoming year. The Valued Vendor Partners that participated in the Summit included American Standard, Anvil, A.O. Smith, Apollo Valve, Aquarius Bathware, Bradley, Cambridge-Lee, Charlotte Pipe, Elkay, Halsey Taylor, Lenox, Jay R. Smith, Matco-Norca, Moen, NIBCO, Oatey, Sloan and Ward. NKBA Market Report Shows Increases From 2010 The National Kitchen & Bath Association recently released results of the Kitchen & Bath Market Report for the third quarter, reflecting a rise in showroom traffic and an increase in kitchen remodels from a year ago. Although the number of bathroom remodels declined from the second quarter, results show a significant increase over bathroom sales of a year ago. “Although optimism seems to be taking a hit, the numbers from a year ago are encouragingly higher, ranging in increase from 4% to 85% higher on various points,” NKBA Executive Vice President Bill Darcy said. “The volatility of the third quarter is balanced by the overall increased consumer traffic, sales volume and remodeling prices in the past year.” Highlights of the report include showroom visits being up 8% from the previous quarter and up 42% from the previous year. A third of respondents anticipate an increase in the fourth quarter. Kitchen remodels sales volume was down 6% from the previous quarter, but up 36% from the previous quarter. Bathroom remodel sales volume decreased 9% from the previous quarter, but increased 85% from the previous year. Kitchen and bath revenue was up slightly from the previous quarter, but increased 69% from the previous year. PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Robertson Heating Supply appointed three people to vice president roles with the company. Kevin Duro was named the vice president of operations. Duro started with the company in 1989 as a sales trainee. Scott Middleton was named vice president of marketing. Middleton started with Robertson in 1993 and has been an outside salesman and director of showrooms, among other roles. Geoff Albert was named vice president of sales. Albert came to Robertson as part of an acquisition in 2005 and has been the director of sales since 2006. APR Supply Co. Hired Steve Wilson as a product specialist. Wilson previously worked for Rinnai as its business development manager in hydronics. Emerson Climate Technologies announced the appointment of Birch Taylor as vice president and general manager, Distribution Services. Taylor will be responsible for leading Emerson’s Distribution Services business organization, including sales, marketing, service engineering, distribution center and Educational Services. Hart & Cooley named Mike Winn president effective in July. Prior to joining the company, Winn was vice president and general manager at Titus, a commercial air-distributor manufacturer. Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) elected Stewart Yang, vice president of engineering, faucet design for Kohler Co., board president for 2012. Yang has served a variety of positions on the PMI board since 2008, including treasurer, second vice president and first vice president. Yang will move into his new role as board president in January 2012. Elkay recently announced that Robert R. Buck has been elected to serve on the company’s Board of Directors. Buck has more than 30 years of experience in operations, global finance, marketing and advertising and public accounting, primarily with Fortune 500 companies. Anvil International promoted Brandon Gunnell to director of marketing. In this role, Gunnell, a 10-year Anvil veteran, will manage the company’s global marketing campaigns for its complete product line. The company also promoted Lisa Turner to operations excellence manager. Turner has been with Anvil for 20 years and has held multiple management positions within the manufacturing area. Haws Corp. hired Wayne Wilson as its new marketing director. Wilson has more than 15 years of business-to-business marketing experience, focusing on the industrial and technical markets. Wilson had been a business development manager with ABB. BITS AND PIECES AWARDS... Rheem’s XR90 Extreme Recovery gas water heater was the winner of a 2012 AHR Expo Innovation Award in the plumbing category. ClimaCool’s SHC onDEMAND simultaneous heating and cooling heat pump system earned the award in the Green Building category. All Innovation award winners will be honored at the 2012 AHR Expo Jan. 23-25 in Chicago. Martin Siwy, ThermaSol’s Western regional sales manager, was named Manufacturing Professional of the Year and also earned the Distinguished Service Award at the DPHA annual conference in San Jose, Calif. Globe Union Group, parent company to Gerber and Danze, was a platinum sponsor of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s annual event in New York in October. Led by President and CEO Michael Werner, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006, the company helped to raise $1.1 million for lymphoma research. Werner also was honored with the foundation’s Freundlich Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leaders in the community who support the LRF’s mission. INDUSTRY NEWS... Prier Products appointed Brennan Brothers as the company’s exclusive manufacturers representative for Louisiana and Mississippi. Professional photographer Chris Crumley selected Victoria + Albert’s classic Victorian slipper tub for his “Mermaid and Bathtub Underwater” series. The series will be shot in a special 22,000-gallon pool Crumley built for his underwater work. Caroma’s Flow showerhead recently gained WaterSense approval. The Caroma Flow is the company’s first foray into shower products. The showerhead flows at 1.5 gpm at 80 psi.
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