Brown and Caldwell announced Michael Karl has been recognized by The Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN) with an outstanding leadership award for his contributions toward advancing digital twin architecture, a breakthrough optimization technology for the water industry. Karl received the award for leading a SWAN panel of worldwide digital technologists, modeling experts, and engineers from 2019 through 2020 to develop the industry-first reference architecture for digital twin. The architecture serves as a base map for utilities on planning and implementing digital twins and continues to be referenced throughout the industry today.

The leading global hub for the smart water sector, SWAN, is a non-profit that brings together leading international water utilities, solution providers, academics, investors, regulators, and other industry experts to accelerate the awareness and adoption of data-driven solutions in water and wastewater networks globally.

KAI announced the expansion of its Build Group with the addition of project managers Cameron Welch, Adam Link, and David Bradley at its St. Louis headquarters. Welch has nearly a decade of construction industry experience, including several years as an architect. His experience working within critical environment markets, highly complex chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical laboratory facilities has given him a unique insight into complicated mechanical and electrical systems, KAI said. Link has worked his way up the ranks in the construction industry through the trades to project manager and has performed every job in between, KAI noted. His areas of expertise include project management, carpentry, low-income housing, senior housing, new construction and remodels. Bradley has nearly 20 years of construction industry experience in St. Louis, Nebraska and North Carolina. His areas of expertise include education, hospitality, multi-family, retail and residential.

With industry leadership a longstanding cornerstone of Uponor North America, the company proudly welcomes the recent election of Bill Hooper, regional sales manager – Atlantic with Uponor Atlantic, as the 74th chair of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH). The announcement was made at the CIPH’s 89th annual general meeting, held virtually June 15.

“I cannot think of anyone who is better suited to the CIPH leadership role as a representative and spokesperson for our industry,” said Bill Gray, president, Uponor North America. “Uponor fully supports and encourages professional development, as it fuels the positive evolution of our field.”

NIBCO announced the promotion of Joe Choflet to vice president of sales, reporting to Ashley Martin, executive vice president. In this role, Choflet will lead the company’s sales efforts for wholesale, retail, specialty, and international. Since joining NIBCO in 2017, Choflet has held sales leadership positions, including most recently vice president of retail sales, and director of wholesale sales west. Choflet holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Franklin Electric Co. announced Jeffery L. Taylor has been appointed vice president and chief financial officer, effective June 14. John J. Haines retired as vice president and CFO of the company, but will support Taylor through an interim period to ensure a seamless transition. “Jeff brings strong financial leadership, operational expertise and public company experience to Franklin Electric," said Gregg C. Sengstack, CEO and chairperson of Franklin Electric. "His deep experience in supporting commercial and manufacturing organizations, and proven track record of driving change that supports long-term value creation will be invaluable. I look forward to his unique perspective and skills contributing to our outstanding leadership team.” 

SVF Flow Controls announced Wayne Ulanski is retiring as president of the valve and automation company. Ulanski has done a great job leading the company, in addition to writing many white papers, articles and books throughout his career, SVF Flow Controls noted. “Wayne has continued the SVF Flow Controls legacy: a commitment to excellence, integrity and ethics, and recognizing that teamwork is a key component of our success,” said Jack McDonald, president of parent company Matco-Norca. “We will continue this legacy by applying these same values to the work we do every day at SVF Flow Controls. On behalf of the company, I would like to wish Wayne and his entire family much health and happiness.” Ulanski joined the company in 1995 and served in a variety of roles within engineering, sales, marketing and management. He will be greatly missed, the company noted.

Plumbing Manufacturers International announced the hiring of Kyle Thompson as its new technical director, and will be focused on making friends, the association stated. "My (eight-year-old) son asked me, ‘What am I going to be doing in my new job?’ And my response was that I'd be making friends," Thompson said. "The way I see it, my position facilitates communications and the exchange of information between people. I like the idea of open information and building relationships. So that's a big draw for me with PMI." Thompson comes from PMI member IAPMO, where he spent more than 10 years working as a standards development engineer. During this time, he often participated in PMI's Tech Talk and other PMI Technical Committee initiatives, giving him a first-hand look at PMI's collaborative, consensus-driven process that requires reconciling different perspectives. "PMI's culture is everybody working together for the common good, and I'm looking forward to getting on board," he stated.

Each year, Leonard Valve Co., located in Cranston, Rhode Island, distributes its annual Frederick C. Leonard (FCL) award to the most outstanding overall sales representative firm. This prestigious award encompasses the century-old heritage of Leonard’s core values as well as performance throughout the year, the manufacturer noted. Leonard would like to extend congratulations to the recipient of the 2020 FCL sales award to Denver-based Contact Sales Co. “Their hard work and dedication through one of the most challenging years to date is simply put, exceptional,” Leonard Valve stated. “Congratulations, Contact Sales on a phenomenal year.”

Fujitsu General America has chosen DelRen HVAC as the applied representative for plan and spec markets in New Jersey, Delaware and Philadelphia. DelRen’s offices in Barrington and Monroe Township, New Jersey now represent Fujitsu’s full product offering with a focus on the Airstage VRF commercial heat pump line. “Fujitsu is excited to partner with DelRen HVAC,” said Derrick Paul, Fujitsu director of sales, airstage product. “Since 1965, DelRen has been one of the most successful and respected heating, cooling and ventilation manufacturers representatives in the Tri-State area. We firmly feel the DelRen team will represent Fujitsu well in its territory as Fujitsu offers new solutions for the associates at DelRen and the professionals they serve.”

PR/communications firm Sonnhalter is partnering with Habitat for Humanity again for its 12th annual Sonnhalter Tool Drive. In the past decade, Sonnhalter has raised more than $310,000 worth in donations for the organization. 

Through Tuesday, Aug. 31, organizations, businesses and manufacturers are encouraged to donate extra inventory, demo models, tools and building materials to the Sonnhalter Tool Drive to benefit Habitat for Humanity’s cause and its efforts of eliminating substandard housing. “We never imagined how big the tool drive would become. More than a decade later, we are still working with our wonderful partners at the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “Since our efforts began in 2010, we are once again counting on the generosity of our clients and business colleagues, as well as businesses to clean out their extra inventory, overstocked materials and demo models, and donate to this very worthy cause. We’re looking forward to exceeding the donations of past years.”

Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 300 homes since 1987 and today engages more than 3,000 volunteers, who provide more than 93,000 hours of service per year to Cleveland’s most distressed neighborhoods. The donated items will be used for Habitat for Humanity projects or will be sold at one of the organization’s ReStore, a recycled building materials store. Proceeds from ReStore sales are used to help Habitat build and rehabilitate homes for those in need.

Tools and materials can be shipped to Attn: Tool Drive, Sonnhalter, 1320 Sumner Ave., Suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. For information on how you can participate in the Sonnhalter Tool Drive or to coordinate larger shipments i.e., pallet size, please contact Rosemarie Ascherl-Lenhard from Sonnhalter at 216.242.0420 x130 or To make a monetary donation, please make checks payable to “Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity” and mail to Sonnhalter, 1320 Sumner Ave., Suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44115.

O’Connor Co. announced its partnership with Samsung HVAC, a manufacturer of residential and commercial heating and air-conditioning products as well as consumer electronics and home appliances. Samsung HVAC adds to O’Connor’s extensive product portfolio that includes Trane, American Standard, RunTru, Ameristar, Mitsubishi Electric, Bosch and ClimateMaster. “When looking at our options, the team felt Samsung VRF provides quality equipment, a strong support system across all markets and competitive pricing,” said Jennie Bryan, O’Connor Co. vice president of operations.