Rob Grim and Joe Maiale of InSinkErator present the First Place service proejct award to Gail McWilliams, Becky Davis and Bev Potts of the Illinois PHCC Auxiliary.

Announcing the PHCC – National Auxiliary Cox Awards 2019

Oct. 21, 2019
The awards are an opportunity for the PHCC to celebrate the work auxiliary members have done to promote the trades over the past year.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) National Auxiliary, in cooperation with the PHCC—National Association, promotes public awareness of the industry through education and communication. At PHCC Connect 2019, the Auxiliary, through the help of various corporate and media partners, was able to recognize members for their outstanding contributions over the past year through the Robert M. Cox Humanitarian Awards.

The Auxiliary is this year celebrating their 100th Anniversary. Over the decades the women (and now men as well) of the group are proud of their accomplishments which have contributed to the health of the nation. 

Illinois PHCC Auxiliary (Janice Graybeal) | Community Service Projects

Each year, the Illinois PHCC Auxiliary Board plans a service project in conjunction with its annual meeting. The event includes board members and chairs. In past years, the service projects have helped support local groups such as deployed military members, children and senior citizens.

This year, the auxiliary is partnering with Home Sweet Home Ministries in Bloomington-Normal. The organization’s mission is to help the poor and hungry and to demonstrate Christ’s love through innovative approaches that instill hope, restore lives and build community. The shelter provides supportive services to individuals and families in need, including beds, meals, clothing and linens, home supplies, showers and toiletries. The auxiliary meeting was held in June in East Peoria, where auxiliary members were accepting donations of supplies. The next week, three auxiliary members visited the home to drop off the donated supplies in addition to a $900 check for the organization.

AWARD: First Place

Baton Rouge PHCC Auxiliary (Richela Roy) | Community Service Projects

In March 2019, the local Junior League of the PHCC Baton Rouge Auxiliary hosted a successful event called Touch a Truck, where children in the community came to see, touch and explore big trucks and heavy equipment, build toys out of pipes and fittings and win plumbing related prizes. Auxiliary committee members – 10 women – helped plan the event and assisted children at the different stations. Nearly 7,800 people, including children and their families, attended the event. The auxiliary was able to raise $50,000 from the one-day event.

The purpose of this event was to introduce the next generation to the plumbing industry and get them excited about a potential future career in the trades.

AWARD: Second Place

PHCC of Washington State (Greta Flinn) | Legislative Efforts

For the past three years, the PHCC of Washington State’s Political Action Committee (PAC) has worked on a bill that would rewrite the laws that govern the state’s plumbing industry. Unfortunately, the bill was pulled from the committee before it could reach the floor for a vote. However, the PHCC’s lobbyists and PAC continue to hold successful bimonthly stakeholder meetings with Union Representatives and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, during which attendees discuss editing the proposed law to ensure its successful passage in 2020. Several other industry issues are discussed at the meetings to address the secure future of the plumbing trade in the state.

Although the original bill did not pass, the association has plenty of hope that it will be a success in 2020. The stakeholders will continue to work positively together by holding meetings, strategic planning sessions and building strong relationships. The PHCC’s “Open” Non-Union Shops and the Union have been working together closely and successfully to address the present and future needs of the industry.

AWARD: Third Place

Illinois PHCC Auxiliary (Janice Graybeal) | Conventions & Trade Shows / Legislative Efforts / Professional Image Awareness

The Illinois PHCC Auxiliary has a standing Legislative Committee that reports on legislative and regulatory issues that affect the industry. The Chairman works with the Executive Director to identify concerns, which are then addressed at each Board meeting and at the annual meeting.

Auxiliary members serve on the Illinois PHCC Convention Committee, on which they help plan the auxiliary portion of the event but also provide input into the overall event. The Illinois PHCC Expo is the association’s annual tradeshow held every March.

Licensed plumbers in Illinois are required to have 4 hours of continuing education (CEU) each year in order to renew their licenses. This year, 575 plumbers registered for the 2019 class before the Expo. After completing the CEU class, auxiliary members work the event’s registration and give tradeshow attendees badges and other information materials they’ll need. The auxiliary provides attendees and exhibitors with a souvenir program book that contains the show floor layout map, the list of vendors and other important information. This past year, around 1,600 attendees received books as they passed through the Expo entrance. The book made a profit of $5,690.

During the tradeshow, the auxiliary also hosted a silent auction, from which it raised $2,572 to support a scholarship fund. Fun T-shirts were also sold to raise scholarship money. Illinois Plumbing Code books were sold to raise money for both the auxiliary and the PHCC. Funds generated by the Expo program book, shirts and code book sales allowed the auxiliary to present $4,000 to the Illinois PHCC, which was used to purchase new office equipment

AWARD: Honorable Mention

PHCC of North Carolina Auxiliary (Sheila Haas) | Community Service Projects

PHCC of North Carolina held its Summer Convention at Wrightsville Beach this summer, from July 30 through August 4, 2019. In conjunction with the convention, the PHCC of North Carolina Auxiliary also held its annual meeting on August 1. At this year’s convention, a donation was made to the Good Shepherd Center of Wilmington, North Carolina to help the needy of the community. The Good Shepherd Center supports various missions to help others, including to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, provide short-term housing and supportive services to veterans and provide basic medical services.

Before the convention, the auxiliary sent an email to the attendees, asking them to bring items to donate to the Good Shepherd Center, such as school supplies, snacks and hygiene products. A total of 43 donation bags were assembled by four young women volunteers at the annual meeting, then delivered directly to the Good Shepherd Center during the convention.

AWARD: Honorable Mention

New Orleans Auxiliary PHCC (Linda G. Bienvenu) | Community Service Projects

The New Orleans auxiliary selected Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) as its community project to promote awareness of its plumbing, heating and cooling contractor industry. Linda and her husband Keith have a strong connection to the organization, which helped their daughter when she was diagnosed as a young teenager. With more funding and research, there is hope that a cure will be discovered.

On August 15, several auxiliary members met with the Southeast Louisiana Development Manager of JDRF to present her with a $1,000 check. They hope this gift will allow the organization to get closer to finding a cure.

AWARD: Honorable Mention

PHCC Auxiliary of Delaware (Geraldine Calfo) | Community Service Projects

Each year around Christmastime, the PHCC Auxiliary of Delaware fills stockings for the Salvation Army. This past year, the auxiliary filled 25 stockings at a member’s home. The auxiliary also works with the PHCC on a spaghetti dinner / silent auction to raise funds for the PHCC. The auxiliary members work at the auction and solicit the items to be sold.

The auxiliary also attends the open houses at the vocational-technical schools, at which they hand out copies of the magazine “Constructing Your Future” along with a brochure produced by the plumbing teacher. Efforts were taken to bring knowledge of the industry to a local elementary school, at which members distributed coloring books, puzzle books and safety information to students. Auxiliary members also created a book of helpful hints about how to fix common household issues before calling for professional assistance.

This submission showed a desire to educate up-and-coming tradespeople at a younger age and give practical advice to customers and the general public.

AWARD: Honorable Mention

PHCC Auxiliary of Louisiana (Carla Waguespack) | Community Service Projects

The PHCC Auxiliary of Louisiana donated $500 checks to the Ronald McDonald Houses of South Louisiana and North Louisiana. The organization will use the money to help families who travel over 100 miles to get treatment for their children. The money will also help provide food and cover the cost of living, which saves families money from renting hotels as well as getting transportation and meals.

AWARD: Honorable Mention

The Robert M. Cox Awards

PHCC of Lincoln Auxiliary (Karla Tinius) | Community Service Projects

The Auxiliary is involved with a variety of local volunteer and community outreach events. They supplied gift cards and welcome baskets to veterans staying in the OVER House, bought Christmas gifts for children at Jacob’s Well, created Easter Baskets for children receiving services at Friendship Home and made summer fun baskets for the Student Parent program at a local high school. They also collected tools, literature and promotional merchandise for thank you bags distributed at the annual Nebraska Skills USA contest.

This submission showed continued efforts to serve and support the community and introduce opportunities through PHCC.

AWARD: First Place

PHCC of Nebraska Auxiliary (Karla Tinius) | Convention & Trade Show

There is an insufficient pool of qualified workers in the plumbing industry in Nebraska. Therefore, the Contractor and Auxiliary Presidents Dave and Karla Tinius came up with “Teamwork” as the theme for their 2018-2020 terms. The mission is for members and contractors to work together to grow the plumbing, heating and cooling industry in Nebraska.

Each year, the Nebraska PHCC and Auxiliary team up to host the Nebraska State Convention Trade Show. The auxiliary collects tools and prizes to give away during the show and holds a raffle for college students interested in entering the industry. This year, the auxiliary sponsored a “Trade Show Recap,” a room in which contractors could connect with members.

The auxiliary members also teamed up with Southeast Community College to launch the school’s first-ever plumbing program. Students enrolled will be able to receive one year’s worth of credit towards an apprentice license in just two semesters.

Auxiliary member Tammie Huenink worked with Army Veteran Ken Colson, the Veteran Outreach Program Specialist for the Vet Center in Lincoln, which helps connect veterans to the resources they need to make their transitions to civilian life easier. In April, auxiliary member Nancy Bouwens attended the SkillsUSA competition with contractors.

AWARD: Second Place

PHCC Auxiliary of Delaware (Geraldine Calfo) | Promoting Industry Careers & Recruiting into the Industry
The number one priority of the auxiliary is vocational-technical education. It continues to provide awards to outstanding seniors in plumbing, HVAC and sheet metal in three local schools. $100 cash rewards are given to each of the students who are nominated by their instructors.

The auxiliary also sponsors the SkillsUSA plumbing contest and grants awards to the winners. In addition to being a key sponsor, the auxiliary also provides lunch for the contestants, judges and staff, reaps in donations of the materials used by contestants and solicits PHCC members to be judges.

AWARD: First Place

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