CIPH Rocks St. John’s
By Doug PicklykHPAC General CIPH Ralph Suppa
The association welcomes new Chair, David Hammond of A.O. Smith, and honours retiring president Ralph Suppa.
It was an emotional few days in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador as members and guests of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) gathered to celebrate the organization’s 90th anniversary and also mark the end of an era with the upcoming retirement of CIPH president Ralph Suppa.
CIPH membership is made up of manufacturers, manufacturer’s agents, wholesalers, master distributors and others who make and sell the products used for plumbing and heating in Canada.
This year’s Annual Business Conference (ABC) in St. John’s, held June 18th to 20th, included networking events, educational sessions, entertainment, the national board’s annual general meeting (AGM) and a gala banquet to close it out. The ongoing theme throughout the event was ‘Rock Solid after 90 Years.’
At the AGM the CIPH welcomed David Hammond, vice president and general manager Canada with A.O. Smith, as its new National Chair for 2023-24.
Hammond becomes the 76th Chair of the Institute, taking over from outgoing Chair Matt Robinson, vice president with B.A. Robinson.
In his opening statement, Hammond reflected on the key themes expressed by the earlier conference speakers (including curling champion, Brad Gushue; Newfoundland storyteller, Mark McCarthy; U of T Professor and global affairs expert, Janice Gross Stein; Indigenous business owner and mentor, Jennifer Ménard-Shand; and TV personality/comedian Mary Walsh), and he identified the common thread among the speakers talks of finding an opportunity in every challenge.
“Look forward to the world that is coming with curiosity, adaptability, empathy and vulnerability, and we’ll work together as a team, we’ll learn through success and also failure, and we’ll support each other,” said Hammond.
He recalled an old investment saying an advisor once shared with him: “The pessimist always sounds so smart, but the optimist, he makes the money.”
Hammond encouraged continuing to collaborate with allied associations to present a strong unified front on government advocacy positions around the harmonization of standards and codes with the U.S. and across Canada, as well as providing guidance in the nation’s pursuit of Net Zero goals for the built environment.
“One voice can be lost in the wilderness, but together we provide scale and the ability to move governments.”
Throughout the event there were frequent recollections of the past, observing the historic significance of celebrating 90 years as an organization.
But the final celebration at the event honoured the coming end of a 35-year career at CIPH for president Ralph Suppa, who will be retiring at the end of 2023.
The Board presented Suppa with the association’s highest distinction, the Honourary Life Member Award, along with other gifts to commemorate his commitment to CIPH and the industry.
“To all of our members from coast to coast to coast, thank you for your support and your investment in CIPH—without you CIPH does not exist,” said Suppa.
“I am so happy to have served you and continue to serve you. Some of you have been my friends since I began in 1988 … and I met some of you on Sunday for the first time, and you are all wonderful individuals and I hope our relationships will continue as I go forward.
“To the Board, thank you for the gift of being an equal to the Board, the gift of leadership and shaping me to be a strong leader after all of these years, but also more importantly the power you have given me to use influence for the right reasons.
“My next journey will take these gifts forward hopefully towards a charitable organization that I can give back and pay forward and make that organization and our country a little bit better.”
“Thank you for the privilege of serving you with respect, humility, gratitude and integrity, always shaped around a solid work ethic.”
The next CIPH annual business conference will take place in Kelowna, B.C., June 16-18, 2024. The association expects to have a new president named and in place by late summer.