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A. O. Smith announces 2014 scholarship recipients

October 29th, 2014

MILWAUKEE – A. O. Smith released the names of the recipients of A. O. Smith Merit Scholarship program. There were a total of 21 students from the U.S., Mexico, Canada and China who received scholarships.

The recipients, children of A. O. Smith employees, were selected based on their academic record, participation in school and community activities, work experience and honors.

The 2014 recipients were:

  • Justin Bates of Milton, Georgia; son of John and Lisa Bates – Bates is a student at the University of Georgia, majoring in finance and accounting.
  • Casey Burks of Milton, Washington; daughter of Aaron Burks and Devin and Rob Olson – Burks is a first-year student at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., where she plans to major in chemical engineering.
  • Kassandra Glover of Camden, South Carolina; daughter of John and Jennifer Glover – Glover is a first-year student at Presbyterian College where she majors in pharmacy.
  • Raoul Helmes of Leiden, the Netherlands; son of Ger Helmes – Helmes is a student at Leiden University, majoring in medicine.
  • Ning Hu of Nanjing, China; daughter of Hu Yonchun and Li Xia – Hu is a student at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, majoring in civil engineering.
  • Xiaoyu Liu of Nanjing, China; daughter of Yongin Ling and Cheng Liu – Liu is a student at Yangzhou University, majoring in finance management.
  • Ye Liu of Nanjing, China; daughter of Zhuhua Liu and Li Ye – Liu is a student at Nanjing Finance College, majoring in accounting.
  • Shawn May of Plymouth, Michigan; son of Linda and Rick May – May is a student at Michigan State University, majoring in supply chain.
  • Elizabeth Metcalf of Kingsport, Tennessee; daughter of Tony and Donna Metcalf – Metcalf is a first-year student at East Tennessee State University and plans to major in nursing.
  • Luz Areli Nicolas Garcia of Juarez, Mexico; daughter of Ceforino Nicolas Arrurdo and Silverio Garcia Nova – Nicolas is a first-year student at the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez where she plans to major in administration.
  • Grace Nyikes of Royal Oak, Michigan; the daughter of Scott and Dawn Nyikes – Nyikes is a first-year student at Saint Louis University where she plans to major in business and pre-law.
  • Nathan Poplin of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; son of Lee and Laurie Poplin – Poplin is a first-year student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and plans to major in biochemistry and molecular biology.
  • Matthew Putman of Watertown, Tennessee; son of Ben and Dana Putnam – Putman is a first-year student at Tennessee Technological University and will major in chemical engineering.
  • Xiaoqing Qiu of Nanjing, China; daughter of Jiuqiang Qiu and Yanzhen Wang – Qiu is a first-year student at Hohai University in Nanjing and plans to major in architecture.
  • Andrew Shumaker of Bristol, Tennessee; son of Andy and Pennie Shumaker – Shumaker is a first-year student at Clemson University and is majoring in mechanical engineering.
  • McKenzie Smith of Sumter, South Carolina; daughter of Herbert and Lynn Smith – Smith is a first-year student at the College of Charleston and plans to major in biology.
  • Carmin Yuritz Velo Medina of Juarez, Mexico; daughter of Rufina Medina Armendariz – Velo is a second-year student at the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez, majoring in business management.
  • Maureen Vento of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; daughter of Sarah and Paul Vento – Vento is a first-year student at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where she will major in fine arts.
  • Colin Waters of Florence, Kentucky; son of Jim and Doris Waters – Waters is a first-year student at Western Kentucky University and plans to major in theater/communications.
  • Yue Wu of Nanjing, China; daughter of Wanyong Wang and Sumei Wu – Wu is a student at Anhui Agricultural University, majoring in English.
  • Runsheng Zhang of Nanjing China; son of Yan and Zongshan Zhang – Zhang is a first-year student at the China University of Mining and Technology and plans to major in engineering.

The A. O. Smith Merit Scholarship program is open to the children of employees in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, China and India. To be considered, the student must be a graduating high school senior or currently enrolled in an undergraduate college or vocational school degree program. Scholarships help cover a portion of the tuition costs at an accredited two-year or four-year college or vocational technical school of the student’s choice.

The company awards scholarships annually, which may be renewed for up to three additional years or until the recipient earns a bachelor’s degree. The A. O. Smith Scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a program of ScholarshipAmerica of St. Peter, Minn.


Delany Products announces appointment of new Representative for Northern California

October 28th, 2014

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Delany Products announced the appointment of Elmco + Assoc. to represent its Northern California and Northern Nevada markets.

In 1945, Elmco was founded in California by Earl L. Morris. Soon after, Morris recognized his passion was in selling products specified by engineers rather than generic products. His principle for the company was to provide specifiers the finest engineered plumbing products available. Today, Elmco. continues to build on that principle in Northern California and Northern Nevada offering cutting edge plumbing and mechanical solutions from its offices in Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.

Elmco’s mission to successfully differentiate its manufacturing partners in the mind and heart of customers through innovative thinking, professionalism, integrity, product education and unyielding service, is a good fit with Delany Products’ own mission of continually providing superior flush valves and faucets that deliver the best quality, efficiency and reliability at a fair price.

Scott Delany, president of Delany Products, welcomes Elmco’s expertise.

Delany said, “The strong management style and the attention that Elmco’s leadership places on trend-setting and innovation fits with Delany’s own vision as we continue to introduce ground breaking products and solutions in the flush valve and faucet category.”

Kirk Kleinen, president of Elmco, said,“Delany Products has the most innovative and dependable products in the market today and we are proud to be able to deliver these valves to our clients. We believe in service from the bid stage through the life of the product. With Delany Products we can be confident of long-lasting top quality valves being installed at our client’s facilities.”


DDI System and MITS partner on distributor analytics solutions

October 27th, 2014

NEWTON, Conn. – DDI System, a leading provider of ERP distribution management software to wholesale distributors, and MITS, a provider of reporting and business intelligence software for distributors, announced a partnership to offer the MITS Distributor Analytics solution to DDI System’s Inform ERP software users. With this new option, distributors using Inform ERP can easily analyze business performance to grow sales, improve operational efficiency, and better manage inventory.

“MITS’ Distributor Analytics takes analytical and notification capabilities to the next level. MITS helps unlock the potential of the robust data available inside Inform ERP” stated Adam Waller, president and founder of DDI System.

MITS’ Distributor Analytics includes two reporting tools, covering analytical and ad hoc reporting, as well as 200 plus reports, dashboards and scorecards that are pre-built using data pulled from DDI’s Inform software. The MITS solution, designed for executives and other non-technical users, is browser-based and accessible via desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. DDI System Inform users have already begun working with key staff at MITS.

“We are excited that DDI System has chosen MITS as a Preferred Solution Partner for advanced reporting and analytic features,” said Mickey Lass, senior vice president of sales and business development at MITS. “With their leading reputation in the wholesale distribution market and a commitment to data access and ease-of-use, DDI is an ideal partner for us.”

MITS helps distributors and manufacturers leverage the data in their business systems to make better decisions, every day and at every level of the organization. Established in 1996, MITS’ interactive reporting and business intelligence software combines industry best practices with the flexibility to meet the unique needs of every customer. From standard to custom reports, dashboards and scorecards, MITS drives sales growth, profitability, and operational efficiency for competitive advantage.

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WILO names new national sales manager

October 24th, 2014

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Wilo USA, a provider of pumps and pump solutions for water management, building services and groundwater, has named Samuel D. Messana as National Sales Manager – Building Service and Regional Sales Manager for the Northeast.

In making the announcement, Matthew Beasley, director of Sales said, “Sam brings a very robust background and a unique ability to understand the characteristics and demands of our market. He will make a definite contribution in our efforts to continually offer market leading options for the industry.”

Messana will be responsible for directing, managing, implementing and driving Wilo sales strategies. With more than 20 years of experience as a hands-on sales and product marketing executive, he has a strong background in the global pump, hydronic and the OEM marketplace.

Prior to this position, Messana was OEM Sales Manager for Watts Regulator developing strategic plans and new products for OEM customers and meeting sales revenue targets. He also served as National Account Sales Manager, Western Regional Sales Manager and Product Manager for Armstrong Pumps, Inc., where he developed global markets, partnerships and products in the HVAC, Industrial, Rental, Refrigeration and MRO marketplaces.


Viega expands manufacturing capabilities

October 23rd, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. – Viega announced that manufacturing of its MegaPress carbon steel press fittings will begin at the company’s manufacturing and distribution facility in McPherson, Kan. Viega plans to break ground in November for an 80,000-square-foot addition to the 439,000-square-foot facility, with full production expected to begin in 2016.

“Adding production capabilities in McPherson will ensure that we are prepared for future growth and the continued demand for Viega products,” said Dave Garlow, president and CEO of Viega.

Viega is the industry’s premier manufacturer of pipe joining systems for plumbing, heating and industrial applications. The McPherson facility currently manufactures plastic products for the PureFlow plumbing and Viega ProRadiant product lines, including the Viega ManaBloc homerun water distribution system and the Viega-assembled panels for easy radiant heating installation.

Viega owns and operates five strategically located manufacturing and distribution centers around the U.S. Each facility is ISO 2008:9001 certified and operates with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art quality management system that guarantees the best possible products and services.


Manufacturers urged to develop, adopt Communication Protocols​

October 22nd, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — ACCA, the association of indoor environmental systems professionals, is urging the industry’s manufacturers to become engaged in the development and implementation of universal communication protocols for equipment commissioning and on-going diagnosis for the purposes of ensuring that HVAC equipment is properly installed and maintained. Similar to what the automotive industry has achieved, initial objectives would be the development of a common set of error codes and a standardized access method (e.g., connection port or wireless) for data collection.

Developing and implementing a universal communication protocols and diagnostic tools for HVACR equipment will have numerous benefits, positioning the industry to overcome some of its toughest challenges; such as:

  • Improved ability to properly diagnose system problems the first time, limiting misdiagnosed equipment and reducing call-backs.
  • Improved opportunities to provide better service/maintenance contracts through improved communications.
  • Increased productivity through potential failure alerts and prognostics that identify potential failure points.
  • Help OEMs with installation verification of their equipment (and subsequent warranty issues).
  • Reduced service and installation costs for contractors through better and more reliable equipment/system information and analysis.
  • The ability to show potential next generation workers that the industry embraces technology.

“Universal communication protocols for diagnostics are something that many industries are already utilizing successfully, and it’s time that our industry gets on board,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. “I have been involved in this situation before when I worked for the American Trucking Association. There were objections and fear about moving to this type of plug and play system for diesel engines and truck maintenance. But once the productivity and efficiency benefits were made known to truck owners and mechanics, demand peaked and it was implemented and greatly improved the industry.

Stalknecht continued, “I know there are a number of concerns in the HVAC industry about adopting these types of protocols, such as encouraging DIY customers, and manufacturers losing their ability to distinguish themselves from the competition through proprietary equipment design. However, we risk losing more if we sit back and do nothing, or worse, let another entity (perhaps the federal government) develop it and be forced to accept their protocols.”

ACCA believes that the industry can come together to develop and implement universal communication standards. To help move the initiative forward, the ACCA Board of Directors adopted the unanimous motion, “To implore the manufacturers of HVAC equipment to develop and implement open (non-proprietary), universal, on-board diagnostic (OBD) communication protocols for HVAC equipment self-commissioning and on-going diagnoses.”

The ACCA Board of Directors asked that this motion and issue be presented to the AHRI Board of Directors for their consideration, and hopeful action, at its next meeting.


Kohler and NIBCO recognized by PHCC Educational Foundation

October 21st, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The PHCC Educational Foundation recognized the continued commitment of two corporate supporters – Kohler Company and NIBCO INC. – with its Chairman’s Awards. Presented in New Orleans at PHCC’s CONNECT 2014, Educational Foundation Chairman Roger Peugeot commended these manufacturers for their continued contributions toward “allowing the foundation to make a difference to our industry each and every day.”

Kohler Company has been supporting the PHCC Educational Foundation since its pledge to the foundation’s Endowment Fund in 1989. Through the years, the company also has been instrumental in bringing business management training to contractors and their employees by supporting the Foundation’s webinar and seminar series.

“That adds up to more than 550 education programs reaching almost 24,000 industry professionals,” Peugeot said.

Kohler is passionate about supporting the next generation of skilled workers, sponsoring and donating materials to both the SkillsUSA plumbing contest and PHCC Educational Foundation’s own Plumbing Apprentice Contest, held each year at PHCC’s CONNECT event.

Likewise, NIBCO INC., a leading provider of valves, fittings, and piping products, was a key visionary behind the formation of the foundation more than 25 years ago, providing crucial funding to get the foundation started and holding one of the original seats on the Board of Governors. Not only has the manufacturer been a long-time supporter of PHCC’s Plumbing Apprentice Contest, but it also was the first to step up as a sponsor for the Foundation’s HVAC Apprentice Contest, which debuted at CONNECT last year. Additionally, NIBCO provides matching contributions to the Foundation’s annual Invest in Your Future Campaign.

At the CONNECT event, Peugeot praised NIBCO Chief Executive Officer Rex Martin as “a leader in our foundation since day one.”

As the manufacturer representative on the foundation’s Board of Directors, Martin is consistently in front of industry issues, serving, for example, as the driving force behind the Foundation’s formation of the Get the Lead Out Plumbing Consortium, which was instrumental in preparing the industry for the new lead-free laws that went into effect last January.

“We’re stronger because of the support of Kohler, NIBCO, and all our industry partners,” Peugeot said. “With that, I’m proud to present this Chairman’s Award to two manufacturers that have been with us from the beginning and continue to be strong supporters of the Foundation’s mission.”


Sloan Valve names new VP Marketing

October 20th, 2014

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. — Sloan Valve Company announced that Parthiv Amin has joined the organization as vice president of Marketing. The announcement was made by Kirk Allen, president and CEO of Sloan.

“Parthiv brings leadership skills and strategic thinking to our company,” Allen said. “His extensive experience in building marketing plans from the ground up will ensure that Sloan remains the global leader within our industry.”

Amin, who has over 20 years of global marketing and business development experience, will have responsibilities that include developing key strategies and formulating global marketing plans to ensure the continued success and profitability of the organization. Prior to joining Sloan, he worked at Enerpac as vice president of Global Marketing and Engineering where he built and implemented the company’s go-to-market strategic plan. Before Enerpac, Amin was at Northern Power Systems as President of the Distributed Wind power market. He also spent four years as President of the Americas to the Wind Drive Systems entity of the Siemen’s Corporation.

“I am excited to join Sloan, the premier brand in the industry,” Amin said. “I look forward to working with the team, customers and partners to develop business strategies to expand Sloan’s global leadership position.”

Amin graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering and received an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland. He will be based in Franklin Park, Ill.


Williams Comfort Products names new Sales VP

October 20th, 2014

COLTON, Calif. — Williams Comfort Products introduced James Gill as its new vice president of sales. In this role, Gill will be responsible for Williams’ worldwide sales operations including the company’s newest line of air curtains.

Gill comes to Williams Comfort Products with more than 15 years of sales and management experience. Most recently he served as the vice president of sales and marketing where he was responsible for the development of worldwide sales and distribution networks and a number of new product introductions in the HVAC and food service industries through plan and spec, wholesale and retail channels.

Gill has also served on Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) Sales & Marketing Committee and as key vendor strategist on several customer committees.


TOTO launches facility in India as part of vision plan

October 17th, 2014

MORROW, Ga. – TOTO, announced that it has commenced manufacturing at its first plant in Southern Asia. The new 645,834 square-foot factory in Gujarat, India, which sits atop a 44-acre site, will produce 500,000 toilets annually to service the fast-growing Indian market and the company’s subsidiaries in Europe and the Middle East.

As it did in North America, TOTO entered the Indian market by investing heavily in the local economy and becoming a major provider of jobs for its citizens. The newly-minted TOTO India Industries, Ltd., will hire 500 Indian employees to staff the new plant.

Marketing to the Americas through its subsidiary TOTO USA, Inc., which marks its 25th anniversary this year, the TOTO Global Group will celebrate its centenary in 2017. As part of its corporate vision plan for the run up to its centennial, the TOTO Group has focused significant attention on its international housing products business through its subsidiaries worldwide. The company sees this market sector as a large contributing factor its future growth and has identified India for the establishment of its newest subsidiary.

Investing upwards of $57 million in this emerging market, TOTO began the design and construction of its first production plant in India in 2009. With the completion of the new factory, TOTO plans to establish itself as India’s primary plumbing manufacturer. The company will now set about to increase its nationwide sales network, which currently numbers 90 kitchen and bath showrooms.

Among the notables attending the new plant’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were Anandiben Patel, chief minister of the State of Gujarat; Takashi Yamauchi, executive vice president of Mitsui & Co., Ltd.; Madoka Kitamura, president and representative director of the TOTO Global Group; and Kazuo Watanabe, president of TOTO Asia Oceania, Ltd.

Addressing the assembled dignitaries, Kitamura said, “With production facilities in Southeast Asia, the Americas and China, TOTO has continued to draw on advanced manufacturing technologies developed in Japan to provide local customers with the very best in hygienic plumbing equipment.”

The new Indian plant will enable TOTO to provide its citizens with technologically advanced, water-efficient toilets.

Kitamura added, “to developing our business in partnership with the local community, so that we can establish roots here in Gujarat and earn the affection of people throughout India, now and in the future. I hope that everyone in India will come to know and love TOTO products and continue to use them as a hygienic part of their everyday lives for many years to come.”

Daijiro Nogata, CEO of TOTO USA, Inc., said, “We congratulate the management and staff of TOTO India on the launch of their new factory. The expansion of the TOTO Global Group’s production capacity is a great success story. We look forward to working along side our newest subsidiary as the TOTO Group continues to lead the international plumbing industry. Together, we will continue striving to contribute to the betterment of people’s lives throughout the world.”


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