WASHINGTON - Experts ranging from Capitol Hill lobbyists to customer service experts all stressed the importance of advocacy to the 160 contractors and chapter executives attending the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association’s (PHCC) Leadership and Legislative Conference ’07, “Better, Together.”

“This was the first year we actually combined the leadership and legislative conferences, and the result was very positive,” said Jo Wagner, PHCC president. “I think everyone learned that building support and extending your influence - whether it involves lawmakers, customers, employees, fellow contractors, or other important groups - can really help you improve your company and industry.”

This year’s “Day on Capitol” scored a major coup with a keynote address from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, one of the speakers at a legislative breakfast. This was the first appearance of a cabinet member in the Legislative Conference’s 11-year history. Following the breakfast, PHCC members met with national legislative representatives on issues such as tax relief, immigration reform, affordable health care, and unfair utility competition. Also, PHCC was able to lobby against and educate lawmakers on a 3 percent withholding tax on government contracts that will take effect in 2011.

Following the Capitol Hill experience, attendees learned how to sharpen their leadership skills in a mixture of seminars and roundtables. Keynote speaker Bruce S. Wilkinson demonstrated how following a one-voice leadership philosophy can assist leaders at all levels to achieve both association and contractor success. Industry expert Kevin Dougherty gave tips on how to transform employees into advocates for your business.

Based on the success of merging this year’s leadership and legislative conferences, a combined event will again be held in spring 2008.

For more information, visit www.phccweb.org.

Publication date:05/21/2007