Plumber Industry News: March 2021

A roundup of recent industry news exclusively for plumbing professionals

NuFlow welcomes vice president of product development
NuFlow Technologies welcomed Jim Foresi as NuFlow’s vice president of product development. Foresi was most recently vice president of product development at TriLumina. Previous positions include roles at Sandia National Laboratories and Emcore. Foresi has a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in addition to a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Boston University and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Franklin Electric announces recipients for outstanding achievements
Franklin Electric held its 2021 Commercial Summit, which included educational sessions, keynote presentations and celebrated sales achievements for its U.S. and Canada water operations. The winners of the company’s awards are: Franklin Electric Salesperson of the Year, Alex Bracht, territory manager – Western Region; Field Service Engineer of the Year, Todd Hofstra, senior field service engineer – Western Region; and Team of the Year, Northeast Region – sales, field service, marketing and customer relations, Jim Sacriponte, Bryan Defoe, Dan Kolath, Robert Rufh, Tom Mitchell, Jennifer Ford, Ilse Gallegos, Jim Hartmann, Ryan Horner and Bob McClain.

Jeff Gabrielse
Jeff Gabrielse

HammerHead Trenchless announces leadership transition
Jeff Gabrielse has been named managing director of HammerHead Trenchless, assuming leadership of the HammerHead brand within the newly formed Rehabilitation and Replacement division of The Toro Company. Gabrielse will be overseeing the HammerHead Rehabilitation and Replacement business, continuing its focus on delivering innovative trenchless equipment and solutions for the water, wastewater and gas markets.

Neighborly experiences network growth in 2020
Neighborly, a franchisor of 28 home service brands, ended 2020 with 382 new franchise agreements awarded, setting new records for signed agreements in three quarters. Neighborly’s presence consists of 4,500 franchises representing 28 total brands across nine countries.

Nick Farrara
Nick Farrara

Boshart Group announces leadership appointments, transitions
Gary Boshart, founder and chair of the Boshart Group, and its newly appointed CEO, Jeremy Kuepfer, announced leadership appointments and transitions in their North American operations. Kuepfer most recently served as the senior vice president of IT and operations. Kuepfer announced that as of March 1, Bo Andersson, who has served Flomatic for over 50 years, most recently as president, will transition to a new role as director of research and development for Boshart. Also effective March 1, Kuepfer said Nick Farrara will be appointed president of Flomatic.

RWC joins forces with Home Builders Institute to address labor gap
Reliance Worldwide Corporation is partnering with Home Builders Institute, a national leader in career training for the building and construction industry, as the exclusive trade sponsor for its 22 plumbing programs across the U.S., primarily serving Job Corps students and justice-involved individuals. HBI’s programs help approximately 10,000 students each year receive hands-on training and find meaningful careers in the trades. HBI also provides them with job placement and transition assistance, and qualified graduates are able to enter advanced training programs to expand their education and experience.

Jennifer Joiner
Jennifer Joiner

W.E. Rawson adds Joiner as marketing services manager
Jennifer Joiner has joined W.E. Rawson’s group of companies Applied Felts, MaxLiner and Ferratex Solutions as marketing services manager. In this new role, her responsibilities will be market development, new product promotion, and maintaining a positive experience with current and prospective customers. She brings over 13 years’ experience in CIPP for the water and wastewater pipeline rehabilitation industry. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting with a minor in business management and is a licensed commercial and residential general contractor.

Ranger Design announces new team members
Ranger Design named Michael Diaz as director, fleet upfit solutions, to help meet demand for its van solution manufacturing needs for small and large fleets. Diaz joined Ranger Design in 2019 and previously led business development for Ranger Design’s central U.S. market. Prior to Ranger, Diaz spent 13 years with Enterprise Holdings including 11 years with Enterprise Fleet Management.

The company also announced Jim Bigelow joined Ranger Design and will be responsible for clients in the telecommunications and utilities sectors. During his 30 years in the fleet industry, Bigelow held senior fleet positions with DHL Express, Pinnergy, ServiceMaster and UPS.  Most recently at Cox Enterprises, Bigelow oversaw a national fleet of more than 16,000 vehicles.

Mark Whittington
Mark Whittington

Bradley Corp. names new vice president of business development
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Bradley Corp. appointed Mark Whittington to vice president of business development. In his role, Whittington will be responsible for growing Bradley’s plumbing products business. He has held various sales, operations and supply chain leadership positions in the plumbing industry for 20-plus years, most notably with Elkay Mfg. as executive vice president, plumbing.

A. O. Smith wholesale partners celebrate essential workers
A. O. Smith recently partnered with more than 35 U. S. wholesale manufacturer’s representative agencies to honor plant employees with a COVID-compliant luncheon. To thank essential workers and show appreciation for employees’ dedication during the pandemic, the agencies organized donation efforts to provide boxed lunches to more than 4,500 employees at five plant locations: Ashland City, Tennessee; Johnson City, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; McBee, South Carolina; and Juarez, Mexico. 

“A. O. Smith plant employees have dedicated their efforts to supporting our businesses throughout the pandemic. Nationwide, my colleagues and I felt a deep need to show our gratitude,” says Steve Kidwell, president and CEO at ROI Marketing in Millersville, Maryland, who led the donation efforts. “In a normal year, reps and contractors from across the country visit the A. O. Smith facilities to meet employees and see product production firsthand. That sense of community is core to our industry, and this is a first step to get it back.  While many businesses saw massive delays due to COVID, the A. O. Smith team kept things moving, so our customers could continue to serve theirs.”


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