PMI Annual Conference to focus on ‘proactively engaging influencers’

Receptions, panel discussions, guest speakers, networking opportunities and workshops will take place from Oct. 24 through 27 at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.

Plumbing Manufacturers International has opened registration for its 2016 PMI Annual Conference – its annual gathering of plumbing and water sustainability professionals – and unveiled the schedule supporting this year’s theme, “Proactively Engaging Influencers.” The theme considers how to effectively collaborate with others and influence change. Receptions, panel discussions, guest speakers, networking opportunities and workshops will take place from Oct. 24 through 27 at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill.

“PMI members and allies have come to expect depth and relevance of material at our annual conference. This year will not be different,” said Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO and executive director. “Plumbing manufacturers are energized to embrace and influence change, and our October meeting will help them prepare on a number of issues.”

The conference kicks off on Oct. 24 with a PMI Board of Directors and Strategic Advisory Council meeting and executive briefing by Ken Gronbach, president of KGC Direct and author of “The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm.” That evening, PMI will host an initial reception for first-time attendees and VIPs and a welcome reception for all conference attendees.

Highlights for Oct. 25 will include Gronbach presenting the impact of generational size on sales and moderating a panel discussion with executives about demographic trends of plumbing manufacturing customers. In the afternoon, another panel conversation will cover water efficiency and sustainability topics in the built environment. Panelists will include Andrea Cooper-Lazarczyk, Living Building Challenge materials petal and declare manager, International Living Future Institute; Dirk Mason, principal and co-founder, The Compass Group, representing the U.S. Green Building Council; and Vicki Worden, executive director, Green Building Initiative. The afternoon will conclude with the interactive workshop, “Proactively Engaging Influencers,” followed by dinner at the Hofbrauhaus.

On Oct. 26, the newly created Allied Member Committee will meet bright and early, with Chuck Ramani, president, International Accreditation Service. The day’s events have tracks for both technical and outreach/communication interests. George Tchobanoglous, Ph.D., professor emeritus, University of California, Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will discuss “Impact of Low Flow on the Sanitary Sewer System” and “Direct Potable Reuse.” Mark Rossi, Ph.D., executive director, Clean Production Action, will present “Green Chemistry and Plumbing Products.” Ralph Suppa, president and general manager, Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, also will provide an update.

The outreach/communication track will feature presentations by Luca Ferrari, new business developer, BRG Building Solutions, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). An afternoon meeting with PMI’s Fair Trade Issues Committee will have Gary Stanley of the U.S. Department of Commerce as the featured speaker. Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the U.K.’s Bathroom Manufacturers Association, will report on “Brexit” implications during the same meeting.

The conference concludes on Oct. 27 with a panel discussion titled “Next Steps: What You Can do to Advocate for Water Infrastructure Restoration, Efficiency, Sustainability and Safety.” It will feature Terry McGhee, from the DuPage Water Commission and American Water Works Association; Darren Olson, from Christopher B. Burke Engineering and the American Society of Civil Engineers; Amy Barrilleaux, from the Madison (Wis.) Water Utility; and a representative from the EPA. The conference will conclude with the Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee meeting and Hill Visit Tutorial by PMI government affairs consultants Stephanie Salmon (Washington, D.C.) and Jerry Desmond (California). Conference agenda daily schedules, registration, sponsorship opportunities, and hotel and transportation information are available at safeplumbing.org/2016conference.

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