CIPH hosts 82nd annual business conference in Kelowna
July 2, 2014 | By Patrick Callan
New board of directors announced
The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) welcomed more than 250 delegates at its 82nd Annual Business Conference from June 22-24 in Kelowna, BC, held at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Centre. Senior executives and industry professionals from across Canada gathered to take part in this year’s “Elevating Our Passion” themed conference, which featured a lineup of prominent speakers, who each connected their area of expertise to the conference’s theme as well as the HVAC and plumbing industries.
Matt Hill got the conference off to the races with an enthusiastic and inspirational talk entitled “Lighting Your Fire Within.” Hill shared stories about running 11,000 miles around the perimeter of America in 2008 with Run For One Planet co-founder Stephanie Tait. The duo raised more than $130,000 for their Legacy Fund for Kids.
Inspired to run by Terry Fox as a child, Hill spoke about people in his life who were early elevators. In addition to Fox, he credited his parents and his first track and field coach for harnessing the energy he had as a kid, which allowed him to grow into the person he is today. “I was the high energy kid. They encouraged me to go outside a lot,” he joked.
Hill commended CIPH for its ongoing partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which over the past 20 years has contributed more than $10,000,000 in cash and products to help build affordable housing. “You are inspiring others to get involved in your dream,” he said. “Always remember to reach for your goals; if you have big dreams you will be challenged in big ways.”
The next speaker also spoke about challenges – as they relate to the Canadian and international economy. Michael Campbell, host of CBC radio’s Money Talks, did not hold back any punches in terms of offering practical business advice. “Maintaining the status quo is no way to maintain a sustainable business. Your business is changing and you have to see opportunity in those changes,” he said.
Switching gears, Campbell talked about how more people are in debt now than ever before, to the tune of $30 trillion worldwide. “The governments’ problems are financial. They need dough. They don’t have any,” he said. “There’s a target on your back. Every province in Canada raised taxes last year.” He also said we are living in the decline of the welfare state and that the size of governments across the country will shrink. The number one we thing we can expect to see going forward, he emphasized, is a change in confidence towards government. “When we loose confidence in government, money moves,” he said.
Next up was Guy Blissett, a wholesale distribution specialist for Deloitte Consulting. Adding to Campbell’s point about embracing change, Blissett highlighted key trends from his book Facing the Forces of Change. Blissett said the use of 3D printing, robotics, drones and driverless vehicles will become more widespread in the coming years. “Big data is not just for big companies. It has tremendous relevance to all of you in the room,” he said.
Blissett also challenged delegates to figure out what customers are going to be looking for in their business in the future. “The way customers interact with technology is going to be very different,” he said. There is a shift going on in the function of websites away from information about the company to ease of buying, he said. And things like e-commerce are no longer an option because it is part of a broader customer experience in today’s world.
The final speaker of the day was brand specialist Marc Stoiber, who shared ideas on how to “future proof your brand.” Stoiber said brands are a passion that is shared between a company and consumers. Using the example of Smith Corona – who dominated the typewriter market for years but went bankrupt in the early 1990s because it did not adapt to computers – Stoiber talked about what businesses need to do to survive the next coming. “Smith Corona forgot what their passion was. They walked straight off the evolutionary cliff,” he said.
Stoiber added the biggest problem occurs for brands when they lose their passion. Brands that have been successful, such as Apple and Nike, inspire customers and make them love their products. “I don’t care what they’re selling. I’ll buy it because I believe what they believe,” he said.
Another impressive line up of speakers addressed delegates on the final day of the conference, beginning with Sean Aiken’s talk “The Search for Passion.” The Vancouver native shared stories and lessons learned from his One Week Job Project, which was a journey across North America where he worked 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion.
Aiken, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA and business degree from Vancouver’s Capilano University, has had his story featured on several major Canadian, American and international news outlets. He encouraged delegates to discover their passion by trying out one-week jobs themselves.
Following the annual general meeting (see the 2014/2015 board of directors below), the conference’s final speaker, Warren McDonald, spoke about overcoming the loss of his legs following a climbing accident in Australia. Despite his accident, he went on to accomplish several more impressive climbs, such as Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, America’s El Capitan cliff face, and Alberta’s 600-ft frozen waterfall “Weeping Wall.” McDonald’s presentation offered delegates an understanding of the power of purpose, how to see obstacles as stepping stones towards goals, and the importance of preparation towards achieving your goals.
In addition to its lineup of speakers and other regular matters of business, CIPH’s conference offered several optional social events, including an early bird golf tournament at Predator Ridge, a bike tour of Myra Canyon, an early morning jog around the Kelowna waterfront led by Matt Hill, the 3rd annual Ed Hardison Memorial Delegates golf tournament at The Harvest Golf Club, a reception at Mission Hill Winery, and an afternoon of volunteering at the Kelowna Community Food Bank.
CIPH will be holding its 83rd Annual Business Conference from June 14-16, 2015 at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, QC. Look for more on the conference in our August issue. www.ciph.com
2014/2015 Board of Directors
CIPH nominating committee chair John Hammill of Moen Inc. announced the election results at CIPH’s Annual General Meeting on June 24. Paul McDonald, general manager, Bradford White Canada Inc. is now chair.
Other directors are as follows:
- 1st Vice-Chair: Siân Smith, Senior Director of Strategic Procurement, Noble Corp., Concord, ON.
- 2nd Vice-Chair: Bill Palamar, President, Weil-McLain Canada Sales Inc., Burlington, ON.
- Chair, Wholesalers’ Division: Joe Senese, Vice President, Operations, Groupe Deschênes, Toronto, ON.
- Chair, Manufacturers’ Division: Allen Taylor, President, Taylor Pipe Supports, Burlington, ON.
- Immediate Past Chair/Treasurer: Robert Whitty, President & CEO, Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd., Edmonton, AB.
For a complete of roster board members click here.