People in the News

Uponor North America (Uponor) was recently named a 2022 Minnesota Manufacturer of the Year honoree in the Large Company category by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal (MSPBJ). The honor marks the first time Uponor has been named a top manufacturer by the MSPBJ, with a previous honor in their Manufacturing Sustainability category in 2020. This Read more

Uponor North America (Uponor) was recently named a 2022 Minnesota Manufacturer of the Year honoree in the Large Company category by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal (MSPBJ). The honor marks the first time Uponor has been named a top manufacturer by the MSPBJ, with a previous honor in their Manufacturing Sustainability category in 2020. This is the fifth year the publication has recognized organizations that are driving Minnesota’s economy, while also growing their companies.

The MSPBJ also selected Jennifer Hauschildt, chief human resources officer, Uponor Group, as an Emerging Leader honoree in the Twin Cities. Her contributions in developing the company’s People First strategic initiative, including the Flexible First working model, was a key driver in this recognition.

As part of the Manufacturer of the Year – Large Company honor, the MSPBJ recognized Jon Sillerud, vice president, Operations, Uponor North America, for his leadership during the pandemic and ability to pivot production capabilities during global supply chain challenges. Sillerud has overseen double-digit growth at Uponor, doubled production staff in the past six years, and was responsible for overseeing the company’s 12th and 13th expansions in North America since 1990. In 2021 alone, Uponor broke ground on more than 83,000 square feet of expanded production space at its Hutchinson and Lakeville, Minn., facilities.

“To have our leaders and company recognized as a Minnesota Manufacturer of the Year is a humbling honor. The manufacturing landscape across Minnesota yields so much incredible global innovation, and to know we are recognized as one of the top companies in the state is a direct reflection of the contribution of our employees here at Uponor,” noted John Reutter, interim president and vice president, Finance, Uponor North America.

The MSPBJ will be featuring Uponor, along with all of its honorees, in a July article. For details about all the honorees, refer to this MSPBJ announcement.

Danfoss VP Sales America Rick Sporrer to assume the role on July 1 following transition period  John Galyen, president of Danfoss North America since 2011, has announced his retirement from Danfoss later this summer. Rick Sporrer, VP Sales America for Danfoss Power Solutions, has been appointed to succeed Galyen. Over the next several months, Galyen Read more

Danfoss VP Sales America Rick Sporrer to assume the role on July 1 following transition period 

John Galyen, president of Danfoss North America since 2011, has announced his retirement from Danfoss later this summer. Rick Sporrer, VP Sales America for Danfoss Power Solutions, has been appointed to succeed Galyen. Over the next several months, Galyen and Sporrer will work together to ensure a successful transition, with Sporrer fully assuming the role on July 1.

Galyen joined Danfoss in 2001 and held various management-level positions prior to his appointment to his current role. During his 21+ year career with Danfoss, he has been very instrumental in leading the company’s continued regional growth in North America – from $100 million in annual sales to $3 billion – and made significant contributions to the success of the business.

With more than 40 years of overall industry experience, Galyen has been active in leadership capacities of various industry associations. In 2020, he was chairman of the Board of Directors of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and he holds a seat on the Board of Governors at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). In addition, he has been an active thought leader and speaker on various influential panels addressing efficiency and sustainability topics.

“The past 21 years at Danfoss have been the most rewarding of my career,” said Galyen. “I’m proud of the strides we have made in growing our business and footprint in North America, which is now Danfoss’ largest region, and I’m especially proud of the industry leadership position we’ve taken – together with our customers – to meet the changing market requirements. Rick is well-positioned to help Danfoss North America continue its growth journey and innovation in sustainable solutions.”

Sporrer brings more than 30 years of customer and regional expertise and leadership to his new role. Prior to his current role, he was director Global Sales – Motors Business Unit. His strong leadership of the sales workstream activities proved invaluable in preparing for Danfoss’ successful merger with Eaton Hydraulics last year.

“John has provided exceptional leadership to Danfoss North America for the past 15 years,” said Sporrer. “I’m looking forward to working with our business units to continue our commitment to innovation and customer service as we engineer solutions for a more sustainable world.”

Robert (Bob) O’Brien has been named the Director of Education for the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA). With an extensive background in oilheat and HVAC installations and service, O’Brien will be responsible for NORA’s education and training initiatives, including NORA’s Bronze, Silver and Gold technician certifications and continuing education. O’Brien’s impressive resume includes in-field experience Read more

National Oilheat Research Alliance, NORA, Robert O'Brien, heating, heating and cooling, HVAC, Technical Heating LLCRobert (Bob) O’Brien has been named the Director of Education for the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA).
With an extensive background in oilheat and HVAC installations and service, O’Brien will be responsible for NORA’s education and training initiatives, including NORA’s Bronze, Silver and Gold technician certifications and continuing education.
O’Brien’s impressive resume includes in-field experience as an oilheat technician and service manager, owner and principal of Technical Heating LLC, Mt. Sinai, NY, instructor for Oilheat Comfort Corp. and Research & Technical Consultant for NORA.
Additionally, O’Brien is currently on the NFPA31 and BPI Technical Standards committees and serves as an officer with the National Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals.
According to NORA’s President, Michael Devine, “Bob brings so much experience and knowledge to NORA and we are fortunate that he has moved into this position. He is intimately involved with the testing, evaluation and training with low carbon fuels, which is crucial as the industry continues to move to a zero-carbon future. As technician education and training are core to NORA’s mission, maintaining and improving our education program, with its tens of thousands of certified technicians, will allow the industry to continue to provide safe, efficient, and now, reduced carbon home comfort.”
O’Brien fills the position replacing previous director John Levey, who will remain with NORA as a technical consultant.

Franklin Electric Co., Inc. (NASDAQ: FELE) has been named to Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2022. This prestigious award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The awards list can currently be viewed on Newsweek’s website. “We are honored to receive recognition for the work we do Read more

Franklin Electric Co., Inc. (NASDAQ: FELE) has been named to Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2022. This prestigious award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The awards list can currently be viewed on Newsweek’s website.

“We are honored to receive recognition for the work we do to implement sustainable business practices not only on a global scale but at home in Fort Wayne, Indiana,” said Gregg Sengstack, Chairperson of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “Across all the communities we operate in, we are committed to expanding the availability of clean water, creating products that help with resource conservation, and addressing growing environmental safety concerns around fueling.”

Franklin Electric has made significant investments in research and development to improve the efficiency of its products and continues to deliver products such as the MagForce™ High Efficiency Motor System. Additionally, the company’s Global Product Supply team has placed a heavy focus on sustainability initiatives within Franklin Electric’s production and manufacturing facilities across select global facilities. For 2020 this included LED lighting upgrades, air quality control systems, waste stream audits, solar panel installations and UV mitigation efforts. Franklin Electric is also committed to reducing water consumption, for example, by eliminating the washing process for circuit boards in its Guadalupe, Mexico manufacturing facility, which is expected to save 5.9 million gallons of water per year.

The company is also recognized worldwide for their commitment to helping some of the most underserved communities access safe, clean drinking water. The Franklin Wells for the World Foundation (FWWF) provides safe, reliable and cost-effective water supplies to developing regions, focusing on Africa where the need is greatest. To date, the FWWF has impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in over 10 countries by bringing clean water to the surface.

America’s Most Responsible Companies were selected based on publicly available key performance indicators (KPIs) derived from CSR Reports, Sustainability Reports, and Corporate Citizenship Reports as well as an independent survey. The KPIs focused on company performance in the environmental, social, and corporate governance areas, while the independent survey asked U.S. citizens about their perception of company activities related to corporate social responsibility.

Plumbing Manufacturers International announced today the promotion of Jodi Stuhrberg from association manager to the newly created role of director of programs and administration. “We’re grateful for Jodi’s outstanding dedication to PMI and our members as well as her commitment to creating thoughtful, unique programs and services. We congratulate Jodi on her well-deserved promotion and look Read more

Plumbing Manufacturers International announced today the promotion of Jodi Stuhrberg from association manager to the newly created role of director of programs and administration.

“We’re grateful for Jodi’s outstanding dedication to PMI and our members as well as her commitment to creating thoughtful, unique programs and services. We congratulate Jodi on her well-deserved promotion and look forward to seeing her continued success in this new role,” said PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole.

A resident of Palatine, Illinois, Stuhrberg said her success at PMI stems from a strong desire to support others, build great relationships, and lead by example. “It helps to be part of a wonderful team that has encouraged and supported me along the way,” she added.

The recipient of the PMI President’s Award in 2018, Stuhrberg began her career at PMI in December 2013 as association coordinator and quickly earned a promotion to association manager. Since then, she has expanded her responsibilities beyond providing administrative support to PMI committees, managing event details, and fielding inquiries from existing and prospective members. Stuhrberg began developing and managing more events and taking on increasingly more challenging duties.

Because her work touches every part of the association, she lightheartedly describes her role as “plate spinner.” Among her many responsibilities, Stuhrberg provides oversight and support for developing new programs and services – such as the PMI Aspiring Leaders Program and PMI CEO Thinking Forum; reinforcing advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion within association activities; and managing staff, member inquiries and much of the day-to-day operations. She also supports all PMI committees and PMI Board of Directors’ functions and oversees all aspects of the annual PMI Manufacturing Success Conference.

“I’m proud of how we’ve evolved our annual conference to include more progressive educational content and speakers and to host the conference in inspiring cities and venues. I’m looking forward to continuing to bring innovation to our programs to keep them fresh and exciting for our members,” Stuhrberg said.

About Plumbing Manufacturers International

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) is the trade association of plumbing product manufacturers that produce more than 90% of the United States’ plumbing products, represent more than 150 iconic brands, and develop safe, reliable and innovative water-efficient plumbing technologies. PMI members contribute more than 464,000 jobs and $85.5 billion in economic impact to America’s economy.

With a vision of safe, responsible plumbing – always, PMI advocates for plumbing product performance contributing to water efficiency and savings, sustainability, public health and safety, and consumer satisfaction. PMI members manufacture water-efficient toilets, urinals, faucets, showerheads and other products at more than 70 locations across the country and market them online and in more than 24,000 home improvement stores, hardware stores and showrooms in all 50 states. For more information on PMI, contact the organization at 1750 Tysons Blvd., Ste. 1500, McLean, Va., 22102; tel.: 847-481-5500. www.safeplumbing.org.