The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association resolved to change its name and dues structure during the group's 118th convention, which met Oct. 4-7 in Chicago in conjunction with the NEX show. The organization also appointed a new vice president, secretary and four board members and considered other resolutions to expand membership of the executive committee.

The dues structure now is tied to an automatic cost of living adjustment not to exceed 3 percent annually and passed with landslide support from the 209 members present for voting. The dues structure has long been a heated issue for the association, evident at last year's meeting where debates raged before setting dues at $375 and severing ties with the U.S. government's cost of living increase.

The change is effective Jan. 1, 2002. David Singleton from the Massachusetts PHCC, which sponsored the resolution, explained the delayed implementation is because some members already have begun to pay dues for the upcoming fiscal year. The 2002 start date will ensure all PHCC affiliates are subject to the same dues.

The group also voted to change its name from the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors to Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association, replacing all previous name references. PHCC - National Association now is the accepted acronym for the organization and will be standard for all references, effective immediately.

Before the name change was adopted, members questioned what the cost impact would be and what would become of the organization's Web site, currently located at PHCC - National Association President Skip Flatten assured the group the cost would be minimal, as the association's stationery already reflects the change. He also said details concerning the Web site would be worked out, most likely with a link connecting users to a new address.

The final resolution passed changed the association's title of chief staff officer to executive vice president, the position now filled by Terry Peters, who replaced former CEO Allen Inlow in August.

Two proposals designed to increase the number of members serving on the executive board were defeated. Both called for an additional member to join the board to prevent tie votes and deadlocks. The PHCC - National Association Board of Directors' resolution created a secretary-designate position, where the incoming president-elect nominates a member who eventually would advance to the secretary position. The Indiana Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Inc. proposed a fifth member selected by the National Board of Directors.

In other news, Eddie Hollub ousted Tom Gent in the organization's vice presidential election. Herbert "Skip" Pfeffer, Rick Whitaker, Dave Hammerquist and Jo Wagner also were elected to the board of directors. Don Morin, chairman of the PHCC Professional Product Line, was appointed secretary.

At the In-Sink-Erator luncheon, Betty Jean Berlin of Louisiana was named Member of the Year, and the Louisiana PHCC Auxiliary received the 2000 Robert Cox Humanitarian Award.

Convention speakers tackled topics ranging from people-reading skills to managing and determining finances to protecting employees when they're behind the wheel of the company truck. Internet technology captured many attendees' attention, with seminars on joining e-commerce and using the Internet drawing standing-room only crowds.

The PHCC - National Association's 119th convention will meet Sept. 12-16 in Reno, Nev.