PHCC GLAA Flow Expo 2017 – A Day To See It All, by Jerry Threlfall, CAPHCC Correspondent

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February 4th marked another wildly successful PHCC GLAA Flow Expo P-H-C Tradeshow. The 42nd annual event is the largest of its kind in the nation, and boasts over 146 vendors displaying more than 300 product lines.  Held once again at the extraordinary Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach California, the show brought together, in one location, everything the PHC professional might need to improve their business outlook for 2017 and beyond. Whether a technician was looking for the latest tools and techniques to hone his skills or a PHC contractor with an eye out to improve some aspect of his business model, this show likely had what you sought. “From worker’s compensation issues to sewer re-lining, it’s all here to learn and profit from,” said Bob Purzycki, Chairman of PHCC/GLAA Tradeshow.  “We started out all those years ago with 10 table tops. We would hand a homemade sandwich to each registrant as they came in,” chuckled Purzycki.  “It’s awesome how we’ve grown and where we are today.”

Upstairs on the promenade level, multiple seminars convened throughout the duration of the show. With seven seminars covering everything from legal advice on mechanics liens to tankless water heaters and more, the seminars and the information they passed along to our PHC fellows is critical to maintaining the high standards of the PHC professional. Every attendee walked away with knowledge that would lend itself in making” Best People, Best Practices” a part of their company culture. “Our industry driven mission is to present the contractors and technicians with the information and the knowledge that will allow them to excel in their professions”, said Dorman Kehr, PHCC/GLAA Tradeshow Manager.

On the event main floor five PHCC apprentices took part in the PHCC-California Apprenticeship Competition. This is an all day test of the apprentice plumber’s knowledge of his trade. Tasked with constructing a complete bathroom water and drain system, the apprentices worked throughout the day exhibiting their capabilities. At day’s end, the panel of judges, Arnie Rodio, Pete Tenace and Pete Sandoval, examined the work done. Win, place and show was determined according to exacting guidelines established by the UPC and the PHCC Plumbers Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee.

The student apprentices attending from PHCC local chapters  across the state were vying to represent California in the National PHCC Connect Apprenticeship Competition in the fall of 2017. Taking first place and earning the right to represent PHCC of California at the PHCC National Connect Convention was Rene Renaud, employed by Fox Pump Systems from PHCC of San Diego.  Second place went to Matthew Bonetti employed by Frank Bonetti Plumbing from PHCC of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and, third place went to Carlos Cardena employed by Gabriel Plumbing from PHCC of The Greater Los Angeles Area. Brandon Pedrioli employed by Custom Plumbing from PHCC of the Redwood Empire and Alfonso Escareno employed by J. Noble Binns, PHCC at large, made phenomenal efforts as well. All apprentices received a trove of tools and supplies donated by our generous affiliates and sponsors. “The apprentice competition wouldn’t be possible without the support of our affiliate partners.  They provide the materials for the contest, and the prizes rewarding our hardworking apprentices.” said Tracy Threlfall, EVP CAPHCC, “We also want to acknowledge staff members Dorman Kehr, Sandi Soleta and Chris Lighthart who provide the coordination to make a contest of this size possible, and our volunteer judges who donate their time and expertise for this contest”.  “These guys worked hard all day and really gave it their all” said judge Arnie Rodio, PHCC National Secretary and PHCC of California Code Chair, “ the PHCC training facilities they are attending have done a fantastic job, they should be as proud of themselves as we are of them.”

From the kick off pasta bar reception dinner Friday night, to all that was available at the convention center Saturday, this was a must attend event for anyone in the PHC industry. Making his way around the convention floor and representing PHCC California at the PHCC Pavillion, CAPHCC President Geno Caccia said, “The Flow Expo is one of our PHCC superstar events every year. I’ve had the opportunity to network with current and potential members as well as having the pleasure of signing up some new members, which is awesome.  The benefits they’ll enjoy as member contractors will only increase over time.  Tradeshow Chair Bob Purzycki, Tradeshow Manager Dorman Kehr and PHCC GLAA Executive Director Sandi Soleta, as well as all the members of the Flow Expo Tradeshow Committee have done another great job and should be proud of this event.”

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of next year’s Flow Expo Tradeshow to be held March 3rd, 2018 at The Long Beach Convention Center. For registration and information visit http://www.flowexpousa.com/ or contact Sandi Soleta, PHCC GLAA Executive Director at (323)913-7335 or email at info@phccglaa.org.

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