Industry News - July 2020

A roundup of recent industry news exclusively for plumbing professionals

Industry News - July 2020

Rajendra retires as executive chairman of A. O. Smith Water Heaters

A. O. Smith Water Heaters announced that executive chairman Ajita Rajendra retired effective May 1. The company’s board of directors has elected Kevin Wheeler as chairman of the Milwaukee-based water technology company effective upon Rajendra’s retirement. Wheeler will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer of the company. Rajendra will remain a member of the company’s board of directors. Rajendra joined A. O. Smith in January 2005 as president of its Water Products Co., a manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters and boilers, and he was named an executive vice president of the corporation in 2006. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer in August 2011 and was elected to the company’s board of directors in December of that year. Rajendra was named executive chairman of the corporation in September 2018 as he continued to lead the company’s board of directors.

Pipe Lining Supply adds new technical representative

Pipe Lining Supply hired Steve Maszczak for the technical representative position serving the Northeastern U.S. He brings more than 10 years’ CIPP experience to Pipe Lining Supply. He started as a CIPP technician, moved to a CIPP foreman and worked in sales and project management for the past seven years. Maszczak will support the company’s customer base with training, advice and sales for CIPP lateral lining and AIPPR pipe coating projects for drain, waste and vent in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

Uponor distribution center powered by wind energy

Uponor North America announced that its Lakeville, Minnesota, distribution center now receives 100% of its electrical power from wind energy, and it is the first major manufacturing customer to participate in Dakota Electric Association’s Wellspring Renewable Energy program. As a partner in the program, Uponor will annually purchase approximately 2.2 million kWh of wind-generated electricity, which is equivalent to powering 263 homes’ electricity use for one year.

Oatey promotes Suriner to vice president

Oatey announced the promotion of Brian Suriner to vice president, wholesale national accounts. In 2014, Suriner joined Keeney Mfg., which Oatey acquired late last year, as vice president of marketing and commercial sales. In his new role, he will manage the corporate relationships at Ferguson Enterprises, IMARK, Affiliated Distributors, Winsupply, Hajoca, Commonwealth and Reese for the Oatey and Keeney Mfg. businesses.

U.S. Boiler launches new online training platform

U.S. Boiler launched its new online training program, called U.S.B-U (U.S. Boiler University). U.S.B-U was developed to provide an archive of readily accessible information to help heating professionals perform service and installations quickly and with a high degree of confidence. The new training platform delivers educational content in video and blog format. Live online training seminars are also offered. The training material is developed by U.S. Boiler’s technical sales and support staff. To learn more, visit

Viega launches new rewards program

Viega launched a new rewards program that will allow contractors to earn free Viega products and tools. Viega Rewards launched in early April. It’s open to small- to medium-sized contractors who use Viega products. Qualified participants will be awarded points according to annual spending tiers: bronze, silver and gold. Rewards include free fittings, tubing, press tools, swag and training at Viega’s seminar centers.  


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