ISH North America will hold its fourth trade show, Sept. 28-30, in Chicago's McCormick Place North Hall. Fifteen thousand industry professionals are expected to attend the three-day event.

ISH North America, the only North American trade show that addresses the complete supply chain for the kitchen and bath, plumbing, PVF, HVAC, and hydronics industries, will hold its fourth trade show, Sept. 28-30, McCormick Place North Hall, Chicago.

Fifteen thousand industry professionals are expected to attend the three-day event that will feature more than 550 exhibitors from around the world and more than 40 educational sessions on specific industry topics.

Educational Opportunities

Education kicks off ISH North America on Sept. 28 with five concurrent seminars held between 9-10:30 a.m. before the trade show floor opens. In that first day alone, attendees will be able to choose from a total of 20 separate seminars.

This year's seminar schedule promises to be one of the best educational values of the year. Seminar tracks this year include Business Management, Code, Environmental, HVAC, Plumbing, and Radiant and Hydronic Heating. Executives from the newest show partner, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, helped develop the Code track, including seminars on the changes and updates to the 2006 Uniform Plumbing Code; the relationships among codes, product standards and product approval; and the state of plumbing and mechanical codes, locally and nationally.

To make sure everyone has time to visit the trade show and attend seminars, the concurrent seminars will run from 9-10:30 a.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. on the show's first two days, and from 9-10:30 a.m. on the show's last day.

Once again, many of Plumbing & Mechanical's regular contributors will be leading many of the seminars:

• “Reward Right Stuff Performance - Winning Compensation and Bonus Programs,” Ellen Rohr

• “Recruiting, Training and Keeping Skilled Craftsmen”; “The Other Half of Foremanship - Building People”; and “Jobsite Motivation and Control: Pride, Productivity and Profit,” Paul Ridilla

• “New Handicapped Plumbing Requirements,” Julius Ballanco

• “50 Simple Tips to Boost Your Business Writing Skills,” Jim Olsztynski

• “Staffing Power! Recruiting, Hiring and Training,” Al Levi

For complete descriptions of the seminars, log on to

Trade Show Events

The ISH North America trade show will be open 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sept. 28 and Sept. 29; and 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sept. 30. At press time, 470 exhibitors from 17 countries had booked booth space, with more than 170 exhibitors new to the show.

This year's show will again feature the New Products Showcase. According to a survey conducted after the 2004 show, 86 percent of attendees consider seeing new products a top priority for attending the event. The New Products Showcase highlights many of these products. Manufacturers enter their products in one of six product categories: HVAC; Kitchen & Bath; Plumbing & Piping; Radiant/Hydronic Heating; Software & Business Efficiency; or Tools & Equipment. Awards will be presented to first and second place in each category, as well as a “Best Overall Product of 2006.”

Two other popular trade association-related events will return to this year's trade show floor:

• The PHCC-NA will hold its International Plumbing Apprentice Contest, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sept. 28.

• The RPA will set up its Radiant House in which various radiant heating products are “installed” during the course of the trade show.

UA Day

Friday, Sept. 29, is UA Day. United Association General President Bill Hite will give a keynote speech, 10:30-11 a.m.

Throughout the rest of the day, attendees will have the opportunity to see some of the UA's training trailers displayed on the trade show floor. UA instructors will be on hand to demonstrate how the trailers are used in the training of PHC apprentices and journeyworkers. The trailers' training modules simulate field situations in heating, cooling and process piping (gas, water and other liquids), along with the appropriate instrumentation. Students are expected to diagnose and correct any faults intentionally put in by the instructor.

Several of the UA Locals plan to organize transportation so apprentices can easily travel to the show during UA Day.

Association Meetings

ISH North America is held in conjunction with the annual conventions of show partners the American Supply Association, PHCC-NA, Radiant Panel Association, and IAPMO. The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, another charter show partner, will hold a reception.

Network '06, Sept. 26-30, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, brings together the ASA and PHCC-NA conventions. While the two groups hold separate sessions, two main events are open to both wholesalers and contractors:

• James Bradley, author of “Flags of Our Fathers,” will give the opening keynote address, 9-10:30 a.m., Sept. 27. Bradley's book tells the story behind one of the most famous photographs of World War II: six soldiers raising the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Bradley's father, John, was one of those men. Bradley's book has been turned into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

• Oceanographer Dr. Robert D. Ballard will present a keynote address, 9-10:30 a.m., Sept. 29. Ballard has conducted more than 100 deep-sea expeditions, but is best known for finding the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.

The two groups will also converge during a special Supply Chain Discussion, 8:30-10 a.m., Sept. 28.


The PHCC-NA will be holding the following concurrent sessions for its members, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon, Sept. 27:

• Incoming PHCC President Jo Wagner, CTO; and Dickie McCurdy, MMM Plumbing, will discuss how to start an apprentice program.

• Lake Coulson, PHCC vice president of government relations, will moderate a panel discussion on immigration reform.

• Kirk Alter, Fast Management Inc., will discuss how to identify lost time and craft delays on the jobsite and take action to increase labor productivity.

• Lawrence Snow, business management coach for the Quality Service Contractors, will present a seminar on residential maintenance agreements.

ASA Activities

The ASA will begin its convention with a new event, the Cross-Industry Networking Roundtable, 3:30-5 p.m., Sept. 26. The ASA has invited other wholesaler associations, including the National Association of Electrical Distributors, to participate in roundtable discussions on various wholesaling topics.

Some other highlights of the ASA's convention include the following:

• Brian Beaulieu, executive director, Institute for Trend Research, will discuss “China: Friend or Foe?” at the Industrial Piping Division Breakfast, 7:15-8:45 a.m., Sept. 27.

• Paul Dodge, vice president of purchasing and supply management, Centex Homes, will discuss “Today's Home Builder Outlook,” during the Plumbing Wholesaler & Manufacturer Breakfast, 7:15-8:45 a.m., Sept. 27.

The ASA will also hold the following concurrent seminars for its members, 1:45-3:15 p.m., Sept. 27:

• Tom Noon, Industry Insights, will discuss “Don't Leave Profit On The Table: Use The OPR!” regarding ASA's own benchmarking tool, the “Operating Performance Report.”

• Brent Grover, Evergreen Consulting, will show wholesalers how to use profitability rankings to support customers who offer the greatest profit potential, and reduce or eliminate losses from the least-profitable ones in “Customer Profitability - More To Your Bottom Line.”

• David Lyon, David Lyon LLC, will share his insights on running showrooms in “Getting The Most From Your Showroom Sales.”

The following ASA concurrent sessions will take place 3:30-5 p.m.:

• “Human Resources Best Practices,” sponsored by the ASA Education Foundation's Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund, will offer participants the opportunity to learn new human resource strategies and practices from some of the industry's key human resource professionals.

• Brent Grover, Evergreen Consulting, will examine the best practices behind the deals that worked and the worst practices behind acquisitions that failed in “Mergers & Acquisitions: What Everyone Should Know.”

• The ASA's Industrial Piping Division will also present a seminar.

The Vendor Member Division Breakfast, 7:15-8:45 a.m. Sept. 29, will feature Robert Vick, a 35-year PHC/PVF industry veteran, moderating a panel discussion on “Is Our Traditional Manufacturer/Wholesaler Model Becoming Extinct?”

Information on Network '06, including more details on many other ASA and PHCC-NA functions, such as awards breakfasts and evening receptions, is available at Please note that some events may require a ticket or invitation to attend.


The RPA will open its Annual Conference with a reception, 6-8 p.m., Sept. 28, Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

The following concurrent seminars will be held 8-9:15 a.m., Sept. 29:

• Leon PreVost, Energy Saving Products, will discuss “High Velocity Cooling.”

• Gary Hayden, Premier Comfort Systems, will tell how radiant systems fit into “Green Radiant Technology.”

The following concurrent seminars will be held 9:30-10:45 a.m., Sept. 29:

• Attorney Mary Lou Maierhofer, Meyer, Darragh, Buckler, Bebeneck, Eck, P.L.L.C., and Mike Russell, Federated Insurance, will present “Reducing Your Liability.”

• Michael O'Rourke, Mestek Inc., will discuss “Radiant Heat/Cool with Thermal Mass.”

A general membership meeting follows from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Later that night, the RPA will announce its annual System Showcase Awards at a special dinner, 6:30-9 p.m.

The RPA convention includes a full-day “Radiant Basics Course,” Sept. 28, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and a full-day “Radiant Precision Course,” Sept. 30, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Both of these classes will be held at McCormick Place.

Information on the RPA Annual Conference is available at The awards dinner and either full-day radiant course require separate fees.

(Note: There are two Westin Hotels located in downtown Chicago. If you're taking a cab from the airport, ask for the “Westin Michigan Avenue.”)


IAPMO's 77th Annual Education and Business Conference will be held Sept. 24-28, Doubletree Hotel, Oakbrook, Ill. One highlight of the show will be a speech by former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rocky Blier.

For more information on IAPMO's conference, visit


The CIPH will hold its Maple Leaf Reception, 5-7 p.m., Sept. 28, McCormick Place East, Lakeside Centre, Room E353.

For More Information On Association Meetings

ISH North America is a great chance to network with other industry professionals, whether you are a contractor, wholesaler, distributor, manufacturers rep, engineer, code official, architect or educator.

• For more details or to register for Network '06, visit The ASA can also be reached by calling 312/464-0090 and the PHCC at 703/237-8100 or 800/533-7694.

• For more details or to register for the Radiant Panel Association Annual Conference, visit the Web site or call 970/613-0100 or 800/660-7187.

• For more details or to register for IAPMO's 77th Annual Education and Business Conference, call 909/472-4100 or visit

• The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating also will participate in ISH North America and many of its members will be attending. For details on connecting with CIPH, visit or call 416/695-0447.

ISH North America Show Hours

• Sept. 28, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

• Sept. 29, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

• Sept. 30, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Tourism Tips

To find out what's currently happening in the city, call 877-CHICAGO or visit

How To Register For ISH North America

Your registration for the Network '06, IAPMO or RPA conventions, includes free registration to the ISH North America trade show and any of the ISH North America seminars. However, you must register in advance for the ISH seminars you plan on attending. Registration material for the seminars is included in the Network '06 and IAPMO conference brochures or by visiting either or

You can register to attend the ISH North America seminars directly though show organizer Messe Frankfurt, but will pay additional fees to attend any of the ISH North America seminars. For more information, visit