Executive Director’s Message

October in July? Setting the Pace for Our 2014 Fall Conference

By: Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO/Executive Director

Barbara C. Higgens

While for most of you, summer has just begun, for PMI staff fall is upon us! Plans for the 2014 Fall Conference: “Setting the Pace” are being solidified and it’s tough to imagine that in only about 60 days, we will have reached the deadlines for conference and hotel registration. Such is the life of meeting planners. We are living in the future!

The remodeling of the Westin O’Hare in now complete and we are confident that you will be impressed by the results. As in Austin, TX for last year’s Fall Conference, the majority of the conference will be held in a well-appointed auditorium with theater-style, banked seating. We’ve put together another action-packed series of meetings but with some new twists as we move to our new template of a single, annual conference.

First, the conference will begin one day later in the week than has been our tradition. The Board of Directors meeting (invitation only) will be on Monday afternoon, October 27, followed by a Welcome Reception that evening. Please plan to spend time networking at this energizing event.

The Conference itself will kick off Tuesday morning with a PMI Executive Panel Discussion, back by popular demand! Media personality Bill Kurtis will moderate the event to be held from 8:30 am to 10:00 am on October 28, 2014 (Tuesday). The distinguished panel will share their insights on our industry from their unique vantage point as captains of industry and answer your questions.

As many of you will recall, the panel held in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2011 PMI Fall Conference, was a roaring success. The 2011 panel was comprised of seven executives including: Keith Allman, Delta; David Lingafelter, Moen; Jim Westdorp, Kohler; Tim Jahnke, Elkay; Bill Strang, TOTO; Don Devine, American Standard and Tim O’Keeffe, Symmons. The event kicked off with a video introduction of the panel participants, sponsored by PMI allied member, Chase Brass and was efficiently moderated by author and pundit George Will.

Invitations have gone out to members of PMI’s Strategic Advisory Council plus the other CEOs of the companies represented on our PMI Board of Directors. Stay tuned as the list of panelists is assembled. So far we have commitments from executive leadership of Moen, Kohler, Delta and Symmons.

Another twist will be the passing of the gavel to our 2015 president during the General Membership meeting, as there will be no Spring Conference in 2015. Tim Kilbane, Symmons remains PMI president through the end of 2014 and Fernando Fernandez, TOTO will officially take over the role on January 1, 2015. We’ve got a number of new ideas up our sleeves to enhance networking opportunities. The conference will conclude on Thursday, October 30 with our continued interactive panel discussion of “The Future of Water.”

Read more about the 2015 Conference on pages 4 and 5 of the July issue of Ripple Effect! You won’t want to miss it!