NEW ORLEANS — Plumbing Manufacturers International hosted its Spring Conference Mar. 27-30, 2011, at the Hotel Monteleone here. “Let the Good Times Roll…Again” was the theme for the meeting. The theme captured the idea that as the economy picks up speed and member companies see their business expand, the good times will come back to manufacturers.
The meeting started with an opening keynote presentation by political strategist James “The Ragin' Cajun” Carville. Carville spoke on the political environment in Washington and offered his opinion on world issues. Terry Swack of Sustainable Minds LLC followed Carville and spoke on the subject of Life Cycle Assessment. Continuing on the topic of sustainability, Scott McDougall of TerraChoice examined green marketing issues.
Pat Cleary of Fleishman-Hillard gave a spirited presentation on crisis communications and Norbert Gannon of the U.S. Department of Commerce talked about anti-dumping issues. Simone "the Demo Diva" Bruni, whose life changed significantly after Hurricane Katrina when she saw an opportunity to create a new reality for herself in the residential demolition business, offered a lasting impression to close the meeting.
In addition to learning from Bruni's story of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, PMI members and conference attendees participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans' Ninth Ward neighborhoods still recovering from the 2005 devastation. PMI volunteers also saw the progress on Make It Right Foundation's largest, greenest neighborhood of single-family homes in the U.S., as well as the completed success of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians Village. Supporting these efforts, a financial donation was presented to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity during the PMI conference.
The conference saw a new feature: a separate marketing track was offered in addition to the traditional technical track. This new, dual-track system generated a great deal of interest and welcomed 12 first-time attendees.
PMI President Jack Krecek of Elkay Mfg. Co. also welcomed two new board members, Paul Patton of Delta Faucet Co. and Tim Schroeder of Duravit USA; and a new Member Service Committee co-chair, Tom Liebhardt of Moen Inc.
Bidding adieu, Sally Remedios of Delta Faucet was recognized for her many years in the plumbing industry. Remedios has retired but will continue with Delta on a consulting basis.
PMI’s 2011 Fall Meeting will take place September 18-21 at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington.