The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI) held its 2003 Fall Meeting Oct. 26-29 in Washington, DC. Led by PMI President Ralph Herrback, 89 members, spouses/companions, guests, speakers, press and staff attended the meeting, making it one of the largest in PMI's history. The theme, "Shaping the Future," symbolized how PMI is continuing to shape the plumbing industry. The following are highlights from the meeting:

  • The Member Services Standing Committee attended a presentation from Carl Cullotta and Scott Sims of Frank Lynn & Associates on sales force effectiveness. The committee also agreed to investigate through F.W. Dodge the development of a statistical report on market share for plumbing products.

  • The Fair Trade Issue Committee heard presentations from Monika Brenner, chief of the special classification and marking branch of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection's Office of Regulations and Rulings, and Laura Koss, senior attorney with the FTC, on country of origin labeling and "Made in the USA" claims, respectively. The committee will continue to monitor the Foreign Sales Corporations/Extraterritorial Income Rules and World Trade Organization issues.

  • Leading expert Ken Schoonover of KMS Associates, Inc., provided insight on accessibility issues, and Dr. Jack Bacon, systems integration engineer with NASA, discussed the inside technology of the International Space Station.

  • The Government Affairs meeting included an update from Charlie Schnabel, PMI's lobbyist in Texas, along with a presentation by Greg Kats from Capital E on the LEED program.

  • The Trade Show Consolidation Committee met with an informative presentation by National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) 2003 President Les Petrie and NKBA CEO Larry Spangler.

  • The Technical Committee met to discuss issues relating to codes, standards and the EPA water efficient labeling program.

  • At the General Membership meeting, members approved the nominations for the 2004 Board of Directors and the 2004 annual operating budget. PMI Executive Director Barbara Higgens and PMI President Ralph Herrbach both gave remarks regarding the state of PMI and recent "wins" in the industry.

  • The meeting concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PMI and the Dept. of Commerce (DOC). Linda Conlin from DOC and PMI's Barbara Higgens together signed the MOU to continue the close working relationship on issues that impact the plumbing industry.

PMI will hold its 2004 Spring Meeting Apr. 25-28 at the Doubletree Sonoma Wine Country in California. For more information, visit