Barbara C. Higgens, executive director of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute, and Ralph Suppa, president and general manager of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at PMI's Spring Meeting April 1 in Newport Beach, Calif. The document is intended to establish a framework for cooperation between the two not-for-profit trade groups, thus formalizing an already productive 10-year relationship.
“The MOU expresses our mutual commitment to create an organized and systematic approach for voluntarily exchanging information and materials on common educational, technical, scientific, legislative and regulatory matters that affect the plumbing industry worldwide,” said Higgens. “We will do this through publications, reports, association conferences and industry meetings.”
Higgens also noted that PMI and CIPH will continue to exchange invitations to their respective annual conferences, and bring together in-kind and additional resources as required to facilitate communications between the two associations. The two associations expect to develop a work plan to identify specific events and activities to achieve the purposes of this MOU.
PMI has forged similar agreements with two other associations outside the United States. In October 2007, PMI joined with the Plumbing Products Industry Group, a Melbourne-based trade organization of plumbing manufacturers and importers from Australia and New Zealand, represented by Tim Fisher, vice president. In 2006, PMI signed an MOU with the Bathroom Manufacturers Association of the United Kingdom, led by Chief Executive Yvonne Orgill.
PMI also participates in The European Committee of the Valve Industry, a federation of national manufacturer associations, representing virtually the entire valve and fitting production in Europe.
“The world marketplace has changed dramatically since the 1970s, when PMI emerged from the old Plumbing Brass Institute,” Higgens remarked. “That is why PMI revised its bylaws several years ago to attract non-U.S.-based companies to our ranks and to begin an ongoing dialogue with our counterparts around the globe. By working together, we hope to assure the growth and expansion of the plumbing industry worldwide.”