Eight professional plumbers from across the country competed Oct. 29 in the second annual Kohler Co.-sponsored "Fastest Plumber Contest" at Lambeau Field, home of the Packers, in Green Bay Wis. The Packers' pre-game plumbing showdown tested the installation speed and agility of professional plumbers while emphasizing the installation features of Kohler and Sterling bathroom products. Rick Schulz of Schulz Plumbing in Middleton, Wis., posted a winning time of 1 minute, 29 seconds and was crowned "Fastest Plumber" by event emcee Ed Del Grande, a master plumber and host of "Ed the Plumber" on the Do-It-Yourself Network on cable TV. Schulz took home the grand prize of $3,000.
In support of the plumbing profession and recognition of the winner and the competition, Kohler contributed two $2,500 scholarships to the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Educational Foundation.
Second-place winner Guy Miller Jr. of Crawford Mechanical Services in Gahanna, Ohio, received $1,500. Third-place winner Larry Mondik of Airco Mechanical in Round Rock, Texas, won $1,000 while fourth-place contestant Anthony Crawford of Affordable Drain in Virginia Beach, Va., won $500. All winning $200 were Derek Yaeger of Wolcott Plumbing in Oregon City, Ore., fifth; Robert Rousch of Domco Plumbing in Cool, Calif., sixth; Willie McRae of Hallett Plumbing in Chino, Calif., seventh; and Mike Whitley of Tri County Plumbing in Rio Linda, Calif., eighth.
Kohler, in conjunction with plumbing wholesaler Ferguson Enterprises, kicked off the nationwide competition by hosting 46 qualifying events across the country. Contestants competed for the fastest time to install a Kohler toilet featuring its proprietary water connection system, a Kohler center-set lavatory faucet and a multi-piece Sterling tile shower made of Vikrell material.
The eight finalists won all-expense paid trips to the final showdown in Green Bay. The trip included a two-night stay at Kohler's American Club resort and a ticket to attend the Packers' football game following the competition.
"Kohler's Fastest Plumber contest is a great way to call upon the best plumbers from across the country and demonstrate their talents, as well as the quick and easy installation of Kohler and Sterling bathroom products," said Steve Zielke, Kohler's wholesale channel marketing manager. "It was exciting to showcase this event in front of thousands of football fans and potential do-it-yourselfers. And this year, Kohler was especially proud to contribute $5,000 toward PHCC scholarships to help educate next-generation plumbing contractors."