Falls Church, Va. — It is with great sadness that the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) reports the April 2, 2022, passing of Past National President Joe Schmitt (2008-2009) of Englewood, Ohio. He was a member of PHCC since 1968 and was a highly respected leader in the plumbing-heating-cooling industry. “Joe Schmitt’s steady leadership was just Read more
Falls Church, Va. — It is with great sadness that the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) reports the April 2, 2022, passing of Past National President Joe Schmitt (2008-2009) of Englewood, Ohio. He was a member of PHCC since 1968 and was a highly respected leader in the plumbing-heating-cooling industry.
“Joe Schmitt’s steady leadership was just what PHCC needed during the economic crisis that began in 2008,” said PHCC National President Joel Long. “He was the ‘calming force’ during turbulent economic times and the initiatives he created had a lasting positive effect on PHCC for many years.”
Schmitt served as PHCC of Ohio President (1989-1991) and was a partner of Joe Schmitt & Sons Plumbing & Heating, Englewood. The PHCC “A Heritage Unique” history book reports that as an experienced business owner, he was a specialist and teacher of the art and science of backflow prevention. One of his first actions was to ask the PHCC—National Association Board of Directors to approve a strategic plan that was both simple and workable and focused on the core mission of supporting members.
Achievements during his term in office included:
- Producing numerous business-building programs that members could use to ‘survive and thrive’ in trying times—and position their companies for an expected upturn.
- Advocating to secure favorable small business and personal tax breaks in the federal stimulus package.
- Facilitating an invitation for a PHCC member to meet with President Obama and also participate in press conference highlighting the tax credits in the stimulus package.
- Maintaining an active role in “green” construction and the water and energy conservation arenas.
- Launching the PHCC Educational Foundation’s first online plumbing home study program, a precursor to a popular program in place today.
Schmitt passed down a love of the p-h-c profession to his son Ron, who now runs the family business. Ron is a current member of the PHCC National Board of Directors.
A celebration of life for Joe will be held 5-7 p.m. April 7, 2022, at the Kindred Funeral Home, Englewood, Ohio A funeral service will occur at 10:30 a.m., April 8, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Englewood, Ohio, where Joe was a founding member.
Leading manufacturer announces its continuing investment in the plumbing and HVACR trade organization’s training, education and workforce development programs Bradford White Corporation, an industry-leading manufacturer of water heaters, boilers and storage tanks, and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) announce the renewal of their exclusive strategic partnership agreement and confirm their joint commitment to promoting and strengthening the Read more
Leading manufacturer announces its continuing investment in the plumbing and HVACR trade organization’s training, education and workforce development programs
Bradford White Corporation, an industry-leading manufacturer of water heaters, boilers and storage tanks, and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) announce the renewal of their exclusive strategic partnership agreement and confirm their joint commitment to promoting and strengthening the plumbing and HVACR industries.
The continuing partnership between two of the PCHP industry’s most trusted organizations reflects their shared mission to support professional contractors and their teams through investments in training, education, recruiting and advocacy resources.
“Our exclusive strategic partnership is based on the foundational values that drive Bradford White and PHCC,” said Joel Long, president of PHCC. “Bradford White’s deep, demonstrated commitment to the priorities of contractors aligns with PHCC’s dynamic initiatives for advancing the industry, and together we can enhance the positive effect we have on the lives of professionals on the ground who are providing essential plumbing, heating and cooling services now and in the future.”
Through its strategic partnership agreement with PHCC, Bradford White supports a range of scholarships, programs and initiatives dedicated to the advancement of contractor education and excellence, contractor business development, and promoting the value of the trades, including:
- The PHCC Educational Foundation, which provides innovative educational programming to enhance the growth and success of the plumbing and HVACR industry workforce.
- The SkillsUSA Plumbing Championship, a national competition for high school and post-secondary students featuring more than 16,000 competitors, instructors, industry representatives and volunteers.
- The Invest in Your Future Campaign, a fundraising effort supporting future workforce development.
- PHCC Education Partner, in support of PHCC education and training that provides PHC business owners and their employees with easy access to high-quality education and training opportunities.
“Bradford White’s unique relationship with PHCC through the years has given us an opportunity to elevate and amplify our investment in the plumbing, heating and cooling industry,” said Carl Pinto, Jr., senior director of marketing communications for Bradford White. “Supporting the hard-working professionals in our industry and developing future generations of PHC experts not only enhances the current state of our profession, it’s critical to ensure safe, reliable delivery of essential services for years to come.”
For more information about Bradford White Corporation, visit https://www.bradfordwhitecorporation.com.
Recognized for his outstanding leadership and dedication to his students at Norfolk Technical Center in Virginia, Anthony Bertolino was named the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association’s (PHCC’s) 2021 Plumbing Instructor of the Year. The award – sponsored by PHCC Corporate Partner Milwaukee Tool – was presented this week during PHCCCONNECT2021, the association’s annual conference, held in Kansas Read more
Recognized for his outstanding leadership and dedication to his students at Norfolk Technical Center in Virginia, Anthony Bertolino was named the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association’s (PHCC’s) 2021 Plumbing Instructor of the Year. The award – sponsored by PHCC Corporate Partner Milwaukee Tool – was presented this week during PHCCCONNECT2021, the association’s annual conference, held in Kansas City, Missouri.
“The instructors in the p-h-c field play a crucial role in developing tomorrow’s workers,” said 2020-2021 PHCC President Hunter Botto during the award presentation. “We are fortunate to have high-caliber men and women who devote their time – both on and off the clock – to prepare students for rewarding careers in our industry.”
Bertolino is “an exceptional teacher and role model for his students,” added Botto. In addition to running Bertolino Plumbing & Heating in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with this brother, he teaches all four years of plumbing apprenticeship at Norfolk Technical Center. He has dramatically improved both the retention rate for each class and the number of students, and his program is one of the largest in Virginia.
Ironically, Bertolino did not originally plan to become a plumber but rather study business in college and become a floor trader in New York City. After his father, a licensed plumbing contractor, explained the expenses involved with that plan, however, Bertolino considered plumbing. He enrolled in an apprenticeship program, earned his journeyman’s license, and – less than two years later – received his masters’ licenses.
This is one of the first stories Bertolino shares with his students. “I tell them that I have no student debt; I own my own business; and I really enjoy what I do,” he said. “I also tell them how much I have learned and that this is the career I chose.”
As an instructor, Bertolino’s effectiveness is more than charisma and straight talk, however. He incorporates the Montessori method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. He engages students by sharing examples of his own on-the-job challenges and encourages them to discuss their work experiences to help advance the entire class.
“Tony’s students know that he expects them to apply their classroom knowledge to the day-to-day work and that licensure is the mark of professionalism,” Botto said during the award presentation. “He reminds them of the importance of plumbing to the health and safety of the nation.”
Bertolino’s connection with his students doesn’t end when their apprenticeships are completed; he stays in touch with many of them for years and keeps a collection of stories about the good things they have done in the trade. PHCC and Milwaukee Tool proudly recognized Bertolino’s ongoing commitment to these young professionals with this Plumbing Instructor of the Year award.
In an unprecedented time, newly elected PHCC president Joel Long says it’s time stop living in fear, and getting back to work is a top priority. Recently, Mechanical Hub had the chance to talk with Joel Long, co-owner of GSM Services, Gastonia, N.C., and PHCC president-elect. Running the nearly 100-year-old business with his brother Steven Read more
In an unprecedented time, newly elected PHCC president Joel Long says it’s time stop living in fear, and getting back to work is a top priority.
Recently, Mechanical Hub had the chance to talk with Joel Long, co-owner of GSM Services, Gastonia, N.C., and PHCC president-elect. Running the nearly 100-year-old business with his brother Steven. Joel started to work for the family business during high school summer breaks and fell in love with the business. After high school, Long attended North Carolina State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Civil Engineering and Construction and started working for the family business upon graduation. In the following Q&A, Joel talks about his vision for PHCC and some critical issues facing contractors today.
MH: What does the position of PHCC president mean to you?
LONG: I am honored to have this opportunity to serve our industry and association after it has given so much to our company and to me personally. I am thrilled to such a big opportunity to continue the work of those who have served before me and to make a little progress for our members and partners.
We are in a unique position to understand the depth of caring from the PHCC family. As many may know, tragedy befell GSM Services in April of this year with the murder of two of our coworkers. It was devastating to say the least, but PHCC members supported these two families on a massive scale and proved once again there is more good in the world than evil.
MH: What are some things you can take from your career that you can apply in the next chapter as president of PHCC?
LONG: There is nothing quite like the experience you gain while growing up in businesses like ours and then growing into a leadership position in that same business. I have spent a lot of time at the state and national levels seeing what works, what causes issues, and what is broken. I am going to use that experience to hopefully continue to move us forward.
MH: How do you think being in the trades will guide you as the next president of the PHCC?
LONG: I think I fell in love with our trade because the people at all levels are just the best of America. I have always loved how we have a “can-do” attitude and can conquer anything while focusing on our families and doing what is right. PHCC will be operating that same way in my year as president like we have since our founding.
MH: The last 18 months has been quite the experience. What do you tying will be some of your initiatives going forward as we seem to be moving post-COVID?
LONG: I would say we may look back and see these two years as some of the most challenging in our careers. Our members faced many challenges related to the pandemic and PHCC was able to provide a ton of assistance on those fronts.
Our members were deemed essential during the pandemic and continued to send our workforce into client’s homes and businesses as the disease raged. Protecting both customers and coworkers was a major concern all-across the country. PHCC got out front early with our Covid Recovery Center and our members were able to use our center to stay informed of changes and best practices to overcome the pandemic issues. We will be continuing that effort.
I also believe it is time to get back out on the road and live without fear. We are going to lead by example and get our association moving back in a pre-pandemic mode. We must be as safe as possible and respect the concerns of the public, but at the same time we must get back to work on a full-size scale!!!! It’s time to go!
MH: What is your vision to take PHCC to the next level?
LONG: PHCC is a federation of state and local associations and I believe it works best when each level is openly communicating and helping each other reach our individual and combined goals. Communication and collaboration are key to our mutual success. There are so many different opportunities across the country, and we must be very nimble and targeted in our approach to help our partners. We are here to serve our contractor members first and foremost, but our customers are also our state associations. Strengthening those relationships and building on small successes is how we will take PHCC to the next level.
MH: What are some critical issues facing contractors today?
LONG: I have heard from contractors all over the country and they are concerned about how they are struggling to get back to work through all the roadblocks we have been facing this past year or so. We will obviously continue to see the pandemic making us adapt our businesses going forward, but there are also opportunities for growth all around if we continue to search for them. I encourage our members to use PHCC and our members as resources to help find new growth opportunities and information to help your business thrive.
MH: How do we find and inspire the next generation of coworkers?
LONG: I love the movie The Untouchables with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery. One of my favorite scenes is when they are trying to find uncorrupted new recruits for the Treasury Department and they decide to go to the academy to get untainted recruits. We need to do the same to find the next generation.
Before the pandemic, PHCC had developed our online apprenticeship program and we were already having good success in giving students a pathway for a career. As the pandemic grew, our members really started using this as a recruiting tool to convince high school students and their parents that a career in our industry made a ton of sense without the college debt.
I believe today’s youth is looking for a career that helps them grow intellectually, gain financial independence, give opportunities to improve the world, and have opportunities for career advancement. We must continue to get he word out about how our industry can help them achieve their goals.
We must also continue to expand these efforts by widening the exposure of this program to other avenues on a state be state level. We will be encouraging our chapters to partner with as many local school districts, community colleges and HBCU’s about how to expand our opportunities.
MH: Finally, what do you like to do in your spare time?
LONG: I am a sports nut and love college football. I have followed NC State athletics since elementary school and continue to follow today, and as I say every year, this is the year we win the College Football National Championship! Eventually I’ll be correct, right? Also, if you bump into me and have an extra hour, just ask me about being at State when Jim Valvano was our basketball coach.
I also love fishing. Grew up with my father fishing on many Saturday mornings, and I love the time to unwind and reflect from the business. I also love the variety of fishing in N.C. We have wonderful fishing in the intercoastal waters, fresh water lakes all over the state, and my current favorite, trout fishing in the North Carolina mountains.
Falls Church, Va.—The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) is pleased to announce that Mark S. Ingrao, CCP, CAE, has been selected as its new chief executive officer (CEO). PHCC CEO Michael Copp will retire from PHCC in December 2021, and Ingrao officially assumes duties as CEO on Oct. 22 during PHCC’s Annual Business Meeting at PHCCCONNECT2021 Read more
Falls Church, Va.—The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) is pleased to announce that Mark S. Ingrao, CCP, CAE, has been selected as its new chief executive officer (CEO). PHCC CEO Michael Copp will retire from PHCC in December 2021, and Ingrao officially assumes duties as CEO on Oct. 22 during PHCC’s Annual Business Meeting at PHCCCONNECT2021 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ingrao brings more than 18 years of executive-level association management experience, most recently serving as CEO of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. He also has served as principal of Aspen Strategies, LCC and vice president of government affairs for the National Apartment Association. He began his association career with the Apartment and Office Building Association.
“Mark has a solid record in association management, a keen eye for small business having served as a local chamber executive, and experience working with construction industry stakeholders,” says PHCC President Hunter Botto. “We welcome him to our team, confident that he will continue to expand the services we offer our member contractors, strengthen our industry partnerships, and build a better future for PHCC and the industry.”
Ingrao has been exposed to the building trades his entire life; his father was a carpenter and owned a construction company specializing in high-rise multifamily and commercial complexes. Prior to his association positions, he was an associate with the executive recruiting firm of Heidrick & Struggles, manager of recruitment for the National Business Development Practice of Arthur Andersen, LLP, and held various positions at Washington Gas.
Ingrao also is active with several professional and community organizations, having served on boards for the Fairfax County’s Economic Advisory Commission, Reston Hospital Center, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, and the University of Mary Washington, among others.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Mary Washington and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP).
“During my recent interactions with PHCC, I have been impressed with the passion of the members and their vision for the industry,” says Ingrao. “I look forward to working with the member-leadership and staff to develop future strategic plans for this well-respected and long-established organization and building on the terrific achievements of the PHCC federation.”