Two Ways Congress Can Create More Incentives for Water Savings

Congress has a marvelous opportunity as members negotiate the various elements of tax reform and the federal budget. Our senators and representatives have the chance to revise tax rules to reward consumers who save water and to authorize the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s WaterSense program, which has saved 2.1 trillion gallons of water over a little more than a decade. Authorization, or codification, would provide the WaterSense program with greater permanence by giving it a direct annual congressional appropriation rather than leaving its annual budget up to the EPA’s discretion.

Barb Higgens’ Farewell Speech – November 13 Dinner

Thank you for this lovely evening. It’s great to see you all and I appreciate the effort and investment you’ve made to be here. Thank you to Pete and Nate for inviting me to this part of the conference. I promise that I won’t overstay my welcome. Thanks to Kerry, Jodi, Matt and Ann for putting it all together.

I feel like you’ve heard a lot from me over the years both here at conferences and through the Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) newsletter, the Ripple Effect. I’ll keep it brief – just 90 minutes or so – and hold the reminiscing to a minimum. We have covered the highlights of the past nearly two decades in the retrospectives published in the Ripple Effect and also through some wonderful articles by our trade press. Thanks for the coverage! I have a hunch that you all know that PMI holds a special place in my heart.

A Look Back at 20 Years of PMI Volunteer Leadership

This issue of Ripple Effect features a look back at our PMI Board of Directors presidents (and one chairman) from the date of PMI’s re-birth in 1998. Each one left his/her own unique imprint on the organization. Some led from the front with innovative ideas and fanfare. Others moved quietly behind the scenes and affected changes in a more subtle but equally effective way. Much has been written about individuals like Abraham Lincoln, who history seems to have put in place to achieve a particular goal. The same can be said about our PMI board leadership, starting with Bill O’Keeffe (Symmons) who was the last to carry the title of “Chairman of the PMI Board of Directors” before the bylaws changed the role to “Board President.”

PMI’s Approach to EPA’s WaterSense Program: Voluntary! Unless …

The Trump Administration has proposed cuts to the EPA’s 2018 budget that include eliminating the EPA WaterSense program. PMI is fighting these cuts aggressively by meeting with the staffs of dozens of U.S. congressional offices and writing letters to the EPA administrator and key U.S. lawmakers. It is a good time to revisit PMI’s policy, based on direction from our Board of Directors, toward proposed changes to WaterSense water consumption levels for plumbing fixtures and fittings at different levels of government.

PMI’s Relationships Critical to Our Success

Have you ever had a moment in your life, personal or business, where you said to yourself, “I should have called him” or “I should have met personally with her,” as you reflect on how an outcome could have been different? (Sales professionals know this well in the “ABCs” of customer relations). Consider these historic relationships and their improbable impacts; Romeo and Juliet, Lewis and Clarke, Bonnie and Clyde, Daimler-Benz & Chrysler, Jobs and Wozniak (Apple), Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft), Proctor and Gamble.

In the Beginning… A Look Back at 19 Years

As recorded last month in this space, I’ve been focused on the upcoming transition as I look to the next chapter of my life. While my spirit and drive are usually aimed at “onward and upward,” lately my thoughts center on the wonderful journey I have had with PMI.

Organizing The Organization: The Three Ds of Paperwork

In previous issues of Ripple Effect, we’ve established that I am a pack rat. The habit stems from both my sense of sentimentality/nostalgia, and paranoia that the moment I toss something out, someone will need the item or document. As I prepare for the next chapter of my life and approach the end of my PMI career, I’ve been focusing on setting up my PMI office for the next CEO. I have a unique but personally effective style when it comes to organizing, as the other PMI staff members will attest. (I know exactly which pile I need to dig into to find what I’m looking for.) I’m now fine-tuning my system to make it more conducive to passing the baton.

Involvement in PMI is the Key Ingredient to Successful Initiatives

I’m into my first hundred days as PMI Board of Directors president, and while I in no way see my tenure as important as the governance of our republic, I do have reason for great optimism and promise. Manufacturing is alive and well in the U.S. and by all accounts the present administration in Washington, D.C., plans to emphasize our manufacturing industry landscape, positioning PMI as vital to our industry initiatives. Behind the scenes, our search for a new PMI CEO/executive director is well underway with the board’s hiring of Kittleman & Associates as our executive search firm. I want to thank Paul Patton, Delta, immediate past board president, for heading up the search committee and board vice president Scott McDonald, Fluidmaster, for his valued input. Stay tuned for updates on our progress.

Keeping an Eye on the Prize While Focusing on Mutual Goals

PMI is in the consensus-building business. Like all industry trade associations, PMI brings together diverse (and often competitive) groups with the notion of working toward a common goal. PMI continues to enjoy much success in this arena. And, we have expanded our effectiveness by reaching out beyond our membership to network with groups throughout the U.S. and across the globe.