By Kerry Stackpole, FASAE, CAE, PMI CEO/Executive Director
Some years ago, I met and had the opportunity to hear Gene Kranz — NASA’s lead flight director during the Apollo 13 mission — share his experiences and insights. During orbit, the Apollo space module suffered a crippling explosion some 205,000 miles above earth. He talked about the extraordinary work by NASA teams to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts and the command module safely back to earth. The enormous energy they brought to bear on the crisis gave rise to many team and leadership lessons.
I think a lot about those lessons and the vision and uncertainty inherent in space travel whenever the leadership conversation turns to questions of volatility, uncertainty or complexity, as they often do on today’s ambiguous landscape. It helps remind me that lots and lots of leaders faced with grave uncertainty and unforeseen challenges met them with great courage, inventiveness, and tenacity to ultimately find success.
In a real sense that’s the beauty of leadership. We build on the strengths and successes of those who have gone before us. PMI’s longtime leader Barbara Higgens is relieving the helm. Her extraordinary contributions to the renewal, growth and continued success of PMI are respected and well regarded by members, allied stakeholders, and her peers alike. I will build on her work as I take the helm at this moment in PMI’s journey to fulfill its vision – Safe, responsible plumbing. Always.
As an eight year old CEO of my young life, I was in charge of a lot of “micro businesses” – delivering newspapers, running a lemonade stand, picking farm vegetables, and stocking the milk cooler at a local convenience store. In these starter positions I learned the basics – honesty, integrity, reliability, consistency and the value of keeping your promises. I also learned lifelong lessons – exceeding customer needs leads to great relationships. Accepting responsibility and acting consistently builds trust. Remembering to think ahead, plan for problems, and watch out for hazards. My leadership is defined by all of these ideals.
Leading PMI however, is less about me — and more about you. Your company and your customers are the reason we’re here. With your ideas, energy and encouragement, our collective ability to influence influencers, persuade policymakers, and overcome obstacles — something none of us could accomplish on our own — is the great lesson of Apollo 13 and the great secret of working together for the greater good. I could not be happier to join you in this ambitious, exciting and rewarding endeavor.
By Pete Jahrling, PMI Board President and Director, Product Engineering and Intellectual Property, Sloan Valve Company
As you are all aware by now, at least from the front cover of this month’s Ripple Effect, Kerry Stackpole has joined PMI as our new CEO/executive director. Our previous leader Barb Higgens will assist Kerry in an advisory role throughout 2017. Our best wishes to Barb on her next adventure after being at the PMI helm for 19 years.
I want to make sure we all give Kerry our support, and for the time being, I would ask that industry reference lexicons be on “hiatus” and the full description of the meaning be used for Kerry’s sake. While the PMI website has a listing of the more popular designations (goo.gl/ji8x5k), it might be best to include the full description in addition to the acronym until Kerry gets his calibrations. Doing so may even serve as a reminder to some of the newer professionals who have joined our ranks.
I would like to pay a personal thanks to PMI Board of Directors Vice President Scott McDonald, Fluidmaster, Inc., and Immediate Past President Paul Patton, Delta Faucet Company, for their steadfast support, commentary and assistance as our PMI board core team worked with Kittleman & Associates in finding Kerry and bringing him onboard. During the process, Scott and Paul have been great teammates in the spirit of PMI collaboration. My thanks to them. I would also like to thank our Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) members Chris Baldwin, president, Kitchen and Bath Americas, Kohler Co.; Jai Shah, president, Delta Faucet Company; and William Strang, president, TOTO USA. These manufacturing executives helped our team in the final interviews, offering their executive perspective and confirmation to our selection. My personal thanks to them for their time and resources in assisting on this key employee placement.
Finally, I would like to thank the staff of PMI – Jodi Stuhrberg, Matt Sigler and Ann Geier for their continued diligent work ethic during what might have seemed uncertain times. The behind-the-scenes gang continues to shine to keep PMI moving.
We are fortunate to have Kerry on board and look forward to some exciting times with him at the helm. Please join me in wishing Kerry the best, perhaps by sending him an email of introduction at email@example.com until he makes his way to your facility to introduce himself in person.
New PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole hit the ground running, joining the PMI delegation during his first week on the job at the California Fly-In, held June 13–14 in Sacramento.
Kerry said the delegation thanks the members of the California legislature, the California Energy Commission, and the California Building Standards Commission for hearing and considering PMI’s advice on issues ranging from the use of recycled water, tub diverter regulations, and flow rates on plumbing products. “Sacramento was a great success, and it was an excellent way to start off,” he said.
He said water studies currently underway at Montana State (commissioned by PMI), Drexel, Purdue and Virginia Tech universities will help to inform water public policy.
With the D.C. Fly-In scheduled for Sept. 13–14, be sure to make your hotel reservation now as September is a busy time in Washington, D.C., and the hotels will sell out! The D.C. event is invitation only. For more information, contact Jodi Stuhrberg at 847-481-5500 ext. 107, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A group of PMI members and their lobbyists participated in a meeting on May 23 with Sarah Greenwalt, EPA senior counsel for water in the Office of the Administrator.
The purpose of the meeting was three-fold: introduce new EPA staff to PMI, discuss reasons why plumbing manufacturers support the EPA’s WaterSense program, and discuss PMI’s recently submitted comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (RLDWA).
The PMI group included PMI Board of Directors President Pete Jahrling, Sloan Valve Company; board member Nate Kogler, Bradley Corporation; Barbara Higgens, PMI; Jennifer Reid, Masco Corporation; Phillipe Bartholin, Kohler Co.; and Stephanie Salmon, PMI’s federal government affairs consultant.
Salmon said the meeting was productive, with the delegation having the opportunity to provide a detailed overview of WaterSense and the RLDWA. “Ms. Greenwalt was engaged, took notes, and asked questions,” Salmon said. “She did not share any details on the budget and of the next steps the agency will be taking. She did indicate that the administrator has received a substantial number of letters in support of the WaterSense program.”
As a follow-up to the meeting, the PMI group provided additional background information and extended an invitation to EPA to tour PMI member manufacturing and R&D facilities.
The Trump Administration has called for a steep 31 percent cut to the EPA in its Fiscal Year 2018 budget blueprint. If implemented, this budget proposal would eliminate 20% of the EPA’s workforce and more than 50 popular programs, including the PMI-supported WaterSense and Energy Star. Funding for drinking water infrastructure would remain intact. However, Congress has the power of the purse and will likely revise the president’s proposal during the long process of funding the federal government.
PMI continues to receive positive feedback and strong support for maintaining the WaterSense program during visits with Republican and Democratic staff.
In addition to meeting with the EPA, PMI continues to:
- Lobby key House and Senate lawmakers
- Advocate for report language to be attached to the FY2018 Interior/Environment Appropriations measure calling for the agency to preserve and maintain the WaterSense program
- Coordinate our activities with PMI member company lobbyists and other key stakeholders
- Work with Congressional staff to refine the WaterSense authorization provisions contained in the Clean Safe Reliable Water Infrastructure Act (S. 1137), the new bipartisan Senate water infrastructure legislation. The bill’s Republican champion is Sen. John Boozman (R-Arkansas), who represents a state where Kohler Co. and Sloan Valve operate facilities. PMI issued a press release in support of S. 1137 on May 19.
Contact Stephanie Salmon, PMI Washington Office, 202-452-7135 or email@example.com, if you have any questions about PMI federal government relations activities.
This decision tree guides PMI leadership through the process of determining the proper response to an urgent issue.
Three interesting and insightful keynote speakers have been booked for “PMI: The Spirit of Collaboration,” the 2017 PMI Conference, to be held Nov. 13–16 in Sonoma Wine Country, Calif. With one of these speakers kicking off each day’s program, attendees will benefit from inspiring messages relating to safe water and plumbing, environmental and economic sustainability, and water and energy policy. Registration will open in August.
Doc Hendley, Nov. 14
Doc Hendley calls himself proof that anyone, even a “tattooed keg-tapper,” can cure what ails some parts of the world – the lack of clean, safe water.
Doc is the epitome of the individual who has made a difference. Tens of thousands of people around the world have clean drinking water because an idea popped into this musician’s head. Doc realized that by using his ability to tend bar and create relationships with people, he could help solve the problem.
At the bars where he worked, he started raising money to provide clean water education the best way he knew how, by pouring wine and playing music. To date, Doc’s Wine to Water non-profit group has dug, repaired and sanitized drinking wells for 25,000 people in five countries and aims to do more to help the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water.
Doc has harnessed a powerful social force and multiplied the generosity of many, taking personal risks along the way. He has worked in dozens of refugee camps installing water systems for victims of Darfur’s government-supported genocide. Inside the United Nations’ dangerous “no-go” zones, he has distributed water or chlorine tablets to people with only plastic sheeting for shelter. He was named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2009 (chosen from over 9,000 applicants by a panel of judges including Gen. Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner and Sir Elton John).
Doc is turning wine to water for some of the neediest people on the planet for three simple reasons:
- At least one in six people worldwide lack access to adequate amounts of safe water for drinking and hygiene, according to the U.N.
- Waterborne illnesses kill far more children than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.
- Unclean water contributes to diarrhea, the leading cause of illness and death, and translates to 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.
Doc did not dream of dedicating his life to humanitarian efforts in developing countries. Far from it. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a communications degree he wasn’t sure how to use. While bartending to pay the bills, he noticed the men and women sitting on the stools seemed to want to be part of something bigger. He got inspired behind the bar, and started to fulfill his inspiration with wine tastings and a humble donation jar.
Bruce A. Vincent, Nov. 15
A third-generation resident of Montana, Bruce Vincent will bring insights gained as a logger and advocate for responsible environmentalism and rural communities to the 2017 PMI Conference.
The co-owner of the public relations firm Environomics, Bruce volunteers as the executive director of the Provider Pals rural-urban cultural exchange program and is a board member of the Evergreen Foundation, a forestry research and educational organization. He has testified on resource issues before Congress and has provided comment to media throughout the world, including 60 Minutes, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Bruce has been named Timberman of the Year in Montana and National Forest Activist of the Year. He received the inaugural Presidential Preserve America Award from President Bush, was named “Keeper of the 10th” by Women in Farm Economics, and received the American Agri-Women’s Veritas Award.
He recently co-wrote a book named “Against the Odds: A Path Forward for Rural America.” It is a powerful, firsthand account of life in rural America that offers a broad, probing look at the environmental tensions surrounding the collapse of many rural resource communities.
In 1984, after completing college, Bruce moved his family back to Libby, Mont., and joined Vincent Logging, a small family-owned business started by Bruce’s father in 1968, as business manager.
Bruce serves as president of Communities For A Great Northwest, a non-profit education and information group dedicated to the intelligent use of our natural resources. The group has members throughout the Northwest. The Great Northwest Log Haul, which helped focus national attention on resource supply problems in the Northwest, was the first of many of the group’s activities.
Bruce and his wife of 40 years, Patti Jo, have four children and 11 grandchildren. Bruce holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.
Andrew McAllister, Nov. 16
Andrew McAllister was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in May 2012, and re-appointed in January 2017.
Commissioner McAllister has been working on clean energy deployment and policy for his entire 25-year career. He has worked across the world to develop renewable energy generation, energy efficiency investments, and energy management systems, with counterparts ranging from tiny remote communities to the largest of utilities.
He administered two of California’s signature renewable energy programs (California Solar Initiative and Self-Generation Incentive Program), developed and operated energy efficiency programs for utilities, and performed a broad range of policy-related research for California and the U.S. government.
He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Alliance to Save Energy. His deep grounding in technology, policy and marketplace issues provides him with uncommon insight on the accelerating changes taking place in the electric power sector.
Before joining the California Energy Commission, he was managing director at the California Center for Sustainable Energy, where he worked for six years. Previously, he worked with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International, Ltd., in the electric sectors of countries in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Africa on a variety of renewable generation, load management, utility planning and remote power projects.
He was a project manager at an energy consulting firm and worked as an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, McAllister is a returned Peace Corps volunteer.
If you could describe Jay Burnett’s life with a song title from one of his favorite singers, “Travelin’ Man” by Bob Seger might be a good place to start. Jay, co-chair of PMI’s Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee, was bitten by the traveling bug early in his career, giving him a great opportunity to see much of the world. It also has provided him with a broad perspective on learning everything from how to conduct business within diverse cultures to understanding the subtleties of engineering and manufacturing from Europe.
Jay, vice president of engineering and quality at the Delta Faucet Company, said his involvement with PMI has required a bit of traveling, but closer to home. His PMI activities on the Advocacy/Government Affairs Committee have guided him into new and exciting territory, dealing with legislators and plumbing regulations.
“I went from an observer, attending the PMI fall conference, to quickly working intensely on issues with the California Energy Commission, which sought to lower flow rates for faucets, showerheads, urinals and toilets,” he said. Jay traveled to California with Joel Smith, a past committee co-chair, other PMI delegates and Jerry Desmond, PMI’s California government affairs consultant, to present PMI’s case to the commission. Their trip was a success – as they provided valuable collective input from the PMI membership and staff on setting acceptable flow rates and negotiated enough time for manufacturers to phase in production of the new lower-flow urinals and faucets.
Jay said the committee is currently working to help preserve the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) WaterSense program, since the Trump Administration has indicated the potential to cut the EPA’s budget. PMI members have signed a letter to Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s administrator, urging for the program to be preserved.
He noted the value of his PMI membership and committee involvement. “You have much more appreciation that we’re all going through this together. If it weren’t for PMI, we wouldn’t have that same collaboration and synergy in the industry,” he said. “There’s power in numbers, enabling us to influence issues that really matter.”
Jay shares his PMI experiences with his Delta Faucet team to keep them abreast of broader industry issues. He noted there is always something new to learn – even after working at Delta for 33 years. He has worked in most aspects of the business, starting in manufacturing and traveling the globe researching the best manufacturing equipment for Delta’s plants. His current work includes product design and maintenance, compliance, quality assurance and managing the engineering quality supply chain in Asia.
Looking back, he reflected on one of his most memorable projects – helping to develop Delta’s first pull-out faucet in the early 1980s. “They’re pretty typical now, but back then it was an engineering feat,” he said. A current career highlight – and music to his ears – is hearing customers’ opinions and suggestions. “As engineers, we have a deep understanding of how a faucet works. However, hearing customers explain how they might use them in unique ways is really eye opening,” he said.
Speaking of music, Jay will readily admit he’s a devoted fan of 1980s rock and roll, including the Eagles, Steve Miller and the Doobie Brothers. As a genuine enthusiast, he owns an extensive collection of classic albums, cassettes and 8-track tapes along with the stereo equipment to play them all.
When he’s not spinning records, Jay likes to travel with his wife Kyra. After recently digging into their family roots, they discovered the Burnett’s of Ley, Scotland, were a prominent 16th century family living in Crathes Castle near Banchory. Jay and Kyra took their dream trip to visit and privately tour the castle, which is now owned by the Scottish government. The castle is one of the few still preserved in original form and furnishings. They also traced their family tartan, a distinctive design woven into material, and brought back enough to make scarves for each family member, including their 16-year-old daughter Olivia.
A record 20 associations represented by the chief executives and their volunteer leadership attended the 6th annual meeting of the Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition (PILC), on May 24, 2017 at the headquarters of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) in Washington, D.C. The next meeting will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Emerging Water Technology Symposium, May 17, in Ontario, Calif.
Founded on April 30, 2012, PILC is the brain child of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and PMI. The vision of the PILC is to be a collaborative effort among all plumbing industry membership organizations and to discuss high level strategic issues impacting our industry to help shape our future.
PILC’s stated mission is: To provide a forum for the leadership of USA-based plumbing industry associations representing manufacturers, engineers and design professionals, labor, contractors, distributors, and other stakeholders having an influence on policy for the purpose of:
- Seeking common ground on plumbing industry issues and then addressing those issues as a unified coalition; and
- Sharing ideas to promote public health and safety, water efficiency, quality and sustainability of the plumbing industry while maximizing consumer choice and value in a fair and open marketplace.
While the list of attendees reads a bit like alphabet soup, the message is loud and clear: there is great interest in exploring ways in which the various groups within the plumbing industry can work together. Attendees included representatives from IAPMO, PMI, NSF International, TMB Publishing Group, International Code Council (ICC), Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA), American Supply Association (ASA), BNP Media, Water Quality Association (WQA), NIBS, Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI), Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC), Mechanical Hub, Copper Development Association (CDA), American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), and Penton Publishing. Guests and guest speakers included CSA Group, Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), and Andrew D. Sawyers, director of the office of wastewater management at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A preconference survey was sent to attendees to prioritize issues for discussion. The lengthy list provided rich content for future meetings in the years to come.
By Barbara C. Higgens, Advisor to the PMI CEO/Executive Director
My mother was very worried when I took the job at PMI. It was quite a career change from my 20-year career in the electronics industry as a marketing/advertising executive. While the role was defined, there was no clear roadmap. Little did I know then how close PMI was to disbanding back in 1998. But as I took this leap of faith, so did she. Neither of us really understood what the job would entail. What did I know about plumbing? (even with a brother named “John.”) As my biggest fan, Mom celebrated the opportunity by presenting me with a unique trophy (two rolls of toilet paper supporting a plunger inserted vertically through the tube and supporting a bouquet of flowers in the bulb) with a special message:
“I’m flushed with pride as you plunge into this new opportunity,” she wrote. “I’m sure your boss had a sinking feeling when you resigned.” And the puns went on and on…
I started with PMI in April 1998. Mom passed away unexpectedly in November of the same year and unfortunately she missed knowing how it all worked out. If I had the chance, I’d tell her that the past (nearly) two decades have been wonderful. I’ve loved every minute of it (well, pretty much!) and it has proven to be the “perfect” job for me, tapping into each of my skills and past lives. The relationships, the experiences, the problem-solving, together with the raised awareness of PMI, our members and issues, have combined to result in a wonderful ride. My hope is that you all feel the same way!
Since my announcement in September, I have been preparing both myself and PMI for the next chapter. I do so with the confidence that PMI is well-positioned for expansion, increased influence and success. The future holds exciting possibilities for PMI… and me!
It’s the right time for me to pass the baton and, in Kerry Stackpole, you’ve got the right person for PMI’s next phase. Like you, I was eager to learn the identity of the new CEO. Kerry has an infectious enthusiasm and, with his very different skill set, will take PMI to even greater heights. Well done, selection committee!
Good bye, good luck. Thanks for taking a chance on me and for the memories! It’s been a great run. (We did it, Mom!)