ATLANTA - The Innovative Thinking Conference, scheduled for June 12-13 at the Emerald Pointe Resort near Atlanta, will focus on the No. 1 challenge facing the trades: how to hire, train, and retain qualified plumbing-heating-cooling professionals. Sponsored by BNP Media, the conference will feature 16 industry experts who will present sessions and panels geared for contractors, wholesalers, and manufacturers.

Key topics include:

  • Hispanics in today's market. Ricardo Gonzalez, president of Bilingual America, provides a look at how to succeed in this fast-growing segment.

  • Women in the p-h-c market. Industry consultant Ellen Rohr, a former contractor, moderates a panel of contractors, wholesalers, and manufacturers on the opportunities for employing women throughout the channel.

  • Recruiting and training emerging leaders.

  • Finding, training, and keeping the employees you've always wanted. Consultant Al Levi provides a look at how to lead.

  • Using the Internet to locate and qualify workers.

  • Resources to train and test your staff. The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC), American Supply Association (ASA), and BNP Media provide summaries of three new training tools.

  • Human resources strategies to avoid turnover and protect your company.

  • Do's and don'ts of managing your workforce.

  • Two luncheon roundtables to allow attendees to quiz speakers one-on-one.

    Registration of $495 includes all course materials, continental breakfast, luncheon roundtables, and opening reception. Group discounts are available. Register by calling Jessica Yamin at 888-530-6714, e-mailing, or online at

    Publication date: 04/24/2006