NORCO, CA — Kyle Thompson is starting as Plumbing Manufacturers International's new technical director, and he will be focused on making friends.
"My (eight-year-old) son asked me, what am I going to be doing in my new job? And my response was that I'd be making friends," Thompson said. "The way I see it, my position facilitates communications and the exchange of information between people. I like the idea of open information and building relationships. So that's a big draw for me with PMI."
With a start date of July 19, Thompson comes from PMI member IAPMO, where he spent more than 10 years working as a standards development engineer. During this time, he often participated in PMI's Tech Talk and other PMI Technical Committee initiatives, giving him a first-hand look at PMI's collaborative, consensus-driven process that requires reconciling different perspectives. "PMI's culture is everybody working together for the common good, and I'm looking forward to getting on board," he stated.
Thompson's job requires him to find and pay attention to legislation and codes that are in development for manufacturers, and to report those developments to the PMI membership. At the same time, many manufacturers are getting related information from other sources. "If I have built the relationship the right way, which I'm looking forward to doing, and members have information to contribute, I can share it with the entire membership," he explained. "So I see it as an exchange – looking for information from our members that is important to them and appreciating their letting me know when they find out about things. If it's important to an individual member, it's highly likely that it's important to everybody in the PMI organization."
Before joining IAPMO, Thompson worked for a solar design and installation company while working on his degree in mechanical engineering from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. His experience with this company first made him familiar with off-grid, decentralized building systems, which have become the subject of various pilot programs because they require less infrastructure and have the potential to save water and energy. "I can see plumbing going in a similar path eventually, where we get away from municipal processing plants where everyone's waste goes" and transition to a neighborhood approach focused on recycling and alternative energy sources, he said.
A resident of Norco, Calif., Thompson said he will enjoy continuing to work remotely as part of PMI's team, whose members span the nation. "Remote working enables me to be here with my family," he stated. "I've enjoyed being able to be at work and then go out and see how they're doing with their school and their growth."