Hunter Botto, PHCC National President

PHCCCONNECT2020: Bringing Us All Together Through the Power of Technology

October 26, 2020

By Staff Writer, PHCC-National Association

Determined to safely proceed with a reimagined annual convention despite challenges presented by a global pandemic, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association (PHCC) tapped into creativity, adaptability and modern technology to host a virtual PHCCCONNECT2020, Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

The comprehensive event – the first annual convention held online in the association’s 138-year history – provided a rewarding opportunity for p-h-c contractors, industry partners and PHCC’s affiliated groups to reconnect as an industry.

With the theme “Expand Your Vision for Success,” the conference offered a value-packed line-up of education and networking opportunities. Maximizing the power of technology supported by a new event platform, attendees tuned in to more than 25 education sessions, connected via Zoom with their peer contractors and with speakers for valuable Q&A sessions, viewed new products and technologies from 39 exhibitors, honored deserving award winners, voted in real time during the Annual Business Meeting, and even won some incredible prizes in an online scavenger hunt and through special giveaways donated by Milwaukee Tool, Delta Faucet and A. O. Smith.

“When faced with the inability to host a live event during a national health crisis, I am so proud of how PHCC was able to quickly transition to an easy-to-use alternative format,” said 2019-2020 PHCC President Jonathan Moyer. “As a result, our members were able to safely access top-notch education content and networking opportunities to help them move their businesses forward during challenging times.”

The Entire Conference Just a Click Away

The content from this year’s CONNECT was so valuable and relevant (especially given today’s environment!) that we want to make sure everyone has access to it. And, thanks to our incredible technology to pull off this year’s virtual event, we can!

At your convenience, you can still tune in to every session, including the live Q&As for many of them. See the faces of our attendees asking the questions of interest to you, as well. Download the slides. Print out the handouts. Check out new products and technologies from our exhibitors. Even add up to 4 of your employees at no extra cost. It’s almost too good to be true … but it’s true!

PHCCCONNECT2020 is still available… just visit to register. And, if you did register to experience the live two-day event, remember that you can still access the on-demand content for 60 days on the event website! Questions? Email [email protected] for assistance.

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, USA (Ret.)
Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, USA (Ret.)

Highlights from the Keynoters

“What’s your impossible list?” Why is it important to develop a list of what-if scenarios and identify specific goals? Because, “all of our success is going to be based on those things that we perceive today to be impossible,” Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, USA (Ret.) told attendees during PHCCCONNECT2020’s opening keynote session.

A decorated 37-year Army veteran who also led relief efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Gen. Honoré took a no-nonsense approach with the PHCC audience. His presentation describing this “impossible” challenge was the perfect way to start the conference, as the rest of the event was full of tools, tactics and practices contractors could use to tackle those impossible lists.

If you missed the General’s presentation, which was sponsored by Viega, you can still see it in full – as well as all the other content from PHCCCONNECT2020 – by logging in to the conference website with your access code or by signing up here as a new registrant. Find out how to take on the “impossible,” how to get your employees to buy into your mission, 7 things you should be doing to keep from falling behind, and what Gen. Honoré believes your biggest legacy should be (hint: it has nothing to do with business!).

“Americans should root for a decisive election.” During the Thursday keynote session, sponsored by Kohler, political analyst Nathan Gonzales offered his insights into the upcoming presidential, House and Senate races. Read about his thoughts on the national polls – as well as his Senate predictions – in this keynote summary.

Two additional keynote sessions featuring industry leaders:

During a thought-provoking session – “2020: What Sold, What Didn’t, and How Did the Supply Chain Manage Unprecedented Uncertainty?” – HARDI Chief Executive Officer Talbot H. Gee and American Supply Association CEO Mike Adelizzi shared their insights on major market segment activities and forecasts, as well as discussed ways contractors can work with wholesalers and distributors to mitigate delays in order processing and delivery. Constant communication between contractors and distributors is the key, they said. The presentation was sponsored by NIBCO.

And, at the closing keynote, industry experts expanded on a wide range of topics, including supply chain issues, technology, smart technology, workforce development, and the changes and innovations coming ahead. COVID-19 has played a role in accelerating some existing trends, the panel said. Among the panelists: R. Bruce Carnevale, president and CEO of Bradford White Corporation; Joe Dillon, president of InSinkErator; Randy Roberts, vice president of sales and marketing at Rheem Air Conditioning; and Scott Teson, vice president of Skilled Trades for Milwaukee Tool.

Now at the Helm: 2020-21 Leadership

Hunter Botto, PHCC National President
Hunter Botto, PHCC National President

Speaking to those he considers “the most intelligent, the most professional, the most educated and the most honorable group” he has ever been affiliated with, Hunter Botto assumed the helm as the new PHCC—National president, installed during the Annual Business Meeting at PHCCCONNECT2020. A third-generation plumber who is affiliated with his family business – Botto Brothers Plumbing & Heating in Hicksville, New York – Botto implored PHCC members to “get involved.”

“It is our responsibility to be the leaders moving forward and teach the next generation … let’s all of us ‘get it done’ … I’m ready; we are ready; all of us need to be ready to launch into the new normal.” ~ Hunter Botto

In interviews with PHCP Pros and Plumbing & Mechanical, Botto detailed his plans to involve younger members in leadership roles and continue PHCC’s advocacy efforts, workforce development programs and other initiatives included in the organization’s strategic plan.

Also during the meeting, PHCC members elected Dave Frame of Bob Frame Plumbing Services in South Bend, Indiana, as PHCC’s new vice president. Referencing the famous American Standard poster that reads “The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation,” Frame asked, “Who protects the plumber?”

“I believe that answer lies within this association. I leaned on all three association levels during this crisis and continue to do so. I found answers with my local chapter, was able to gauge what my peers were doing through my state chapter, and got the info I needed from PHCC—National’s COVID Resource Center.” ~ Dave Frame
Like Botto, Frame believes that the way PHCC members can go far in the future is “to leverage the power we have when the locals, states and National work together.”
The full list of 2020-2021 PHCC leaders can be found at

Honoring Our Industry’s Finest Awards

Sponsored by Delta Faucet Company and Rheem, the National Awards Ceremony during PHCCCONNECT2020 honored the best contractors, students and instructors in the industry.

Congratulations to our 2020 award winners:

  • Plumbing Contractor of the Year: Cory Hoopes, Focus Plumbing, Las Vegas, NV;
  • Plumbing Apprentice of the Year: Edward Zalko, PHCC of Greater Sacramento Area Plumbing Apprentice Program;
  • HVACR Contractor of the Year: Howard Arata, HTA Plumbing & Mechanical, Henderson, NV;
  • HVACR Apprentice of the Year: Nolan Pridgen, PHCC Academy of North Carolina;
  • Plumbing Instructor: Eric Sell, PHCC of Georgia Apprentice Academy;
  • HVACR Instructor: Victor Schmidt, PHCC of Iowa Apprenticeship Program.

Investing in the Future Scholarship and Fundraiser Results

Invested in the next generation of industry leaders, the PHCC Educational Foundation and the PHCC National Auxiliary announced scholarship awards totaling $158,815 this year: the Auxiliary Scholarship Committee awarded $46,815 to 16 deserving students (full list here), and the Foundation and its industry partners awarded $112,000 to 55 apprentices and college students.

Also during PHCCCONNECT2020, the Foundation announced that it raised more than $200,000 through its Invest in Your Future Campaign. With matching funds from InSinkErator, Bradford White, Ferguson, Kohler, A. O. Smith, Federated Insurance, NIBCO and Viega, the Foundation surpassed its $175,000 goal for this year’s campaign. These valued partners make what we do possible!

The Foundation extends a special thank you to InSinkErator, which has contributed more than $826,000 since 1989.

Here We Come, Kansas City! PHCCCONNECT2021: Oct. 20-22

Continue expanding your vision for success in a city that’s always looking forward! Save the date – Oct. 20-22, 2021 – for PHCCCONNECT2021. We’re meeting up at the Kansas City Marriott and Kansas City Convention Center in Missouri.

By next October, we’re all going to be long-overdue for some facetime with our friends and professional peers. See you there!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

This year’s virtual event would not have been possible without our treasured PHCCCONNECT2020 sponsors. Be sure to keep them in mind for your future business needs!

Note: this article is published online with “live” links to full awards lists and sponsors at