People in the News

Twenty-year Oatey veteran with experience in supply chain and wholesale sales management now heads the wholesale rough plumbing, commercial, specialty, and showroom sales teams Oatey Co., a leading manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, announced today that Matt Foraker has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Wholesale. Foraker joined Oatey more than 20 years Read more

Twenty-year Oatey veteran with experience in supply chain and wholesale sales management now heads the wholesale rough plumbing, commercial, specialty, and showroom sales teams

Oatey Co., a leading manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, announced today that Matt Foraker has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Wholesale.

Foraker joined Oatey more than 20 years ago as a member of the supply chain team, before transitioning to the wholesale sales team in 2011 as National Sales Manager, Specialty Divisions. Since then, he has served as Regional Sales Manager in the Southeast and National Sales Manager for Rough Plumbing. Since October, he has led Oatey’s wholesale team on an interim basis as Director of Wholesale.

As SVP, Wholesale, Foraker will lead Oatey’s wholesale rough plumbing, commercial, specialty and showroom sales teams, focused on investing in customer relationships while growing sales and evolving business strategy.

“My career at Oatey has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m pleased to be a part of the company’s ongoing growth,” says Foraker. “I’m excited to continue to partner with our exceptional sales team, rep agencies and customers to achieve great things together.”

“During his time at Oatey, Matt has established himself as a highly respected, strategic leader both in our business and across our industry,” said Wyatt Kilmartin, Oatey’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “I look forward to his expanded leadership as we continue to deliver results for our customers and our organization.”

Fujitsu General America, Inc. has promoted Shawn Hill to Director of Business Development from his previous position as Region Sales Manager, Southeast. In his new role, Hill is responsible for identifying and developing new distribution opportunities for Fujitsu and ensuring their success. “Shawn has been instrumental in the company’s growth during his 17 years at Read more

Fujitsu General America, Inc. has promoted Shawn Hill to Director of Business Development from his previous position as Region Sales Manager, Southeast.

In his new role, Hill is responsible for identifying and developing new distribution opportunities for Fujitsu and ensuring their success.

“Shawn has been instrumental in the company’s growth during his 17 years at Fujitsu,” said Dennis Stinson, Senior VP of Sales.  “His industry experience and knowledge of Fujitsu interworking make him uniquely qualified for this new position.”

In addition to his extensive tenure and expertise, Hill’s promotion to Director of Business Development signifies Fujitsu General America’s commitment to fostering internal talent and driving innovation within the company.

With his proven track record of building strategic partnerships and driving revenue growth, Hill’s leadership will play a pivotal role in expanding Fujitsu’s market presence and enhancing customer relationships. Fujitsu aims to explore new avenues for growth, leveraging emerging technologies and market trends to deliver unparalleled value to its clients and stakeholders.

Learn more at www.FujitsuGeneral.com

Bert Warner brings more than 20 years of industry experience to PERC with a focus on efficient and sustainable solutions The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has hired Bert Warner as its director of commercial business development. Warner will lead initiatives to increase propane awareness and execute market strategies that support propane-powered equipment and Read more

Bert Warner brings more than 20 years of industry experience to PERC with a focus on efficient and sustainable solutions

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has hired Bert Warner as its director of commercial business development. Warner will lead initiatives to increase propane awareness and execute market strategies that support propane-powered equipment and appliances for commercial construction and operations.

“Bert is a driving force who uses his extensive experience and strategic vision to deliver remarkable results,” said Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of PERC. “His impressive track record will continue to support the adoption and awareness of propane throughout the commercial construction industry.”

Warner joins PERC with more than 20 years of business development experience across various industries. Prior to joining PERC, Bert served as the national sales and business development manager at Robur Corporation. He is well known for his success in expanding market presence, fostering strong relationships, and for his deep understanding of efficient and sustainable heating and cooling technologies.

“Propane presents an exciting avenue for efficiency and environmental stewardship,” said Warner. “I look forward to building connections and collaborating with those in the commercial sector. Together, we can continue to propel innovation and drive positive change in this industry.”

Warner holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from DePauw University.

The award is given to a manufacturer’s representative who exemplifies the legacy and winning spirit of the late Bob Bender, a trailblazing member of the Oatey sales organization for more than 40 years. Oatey Co., a leading manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, proudly announces Rick Portt, owner of New Century Sales, as the Read more

The award is given to a manufacturer’s representative who exemplifies the legacy and winning spirit of the late Bob Bender, a trailblazing member of the Oatey sales organization for more than 40 years.

Oatey Co., a leading manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, proudly announces Rick Portt, owner of New Century Sales, as the third annual winner of the Bob Bender Legacy Award. This recognition highlights Portt’s exceptional dedication to his customers, unwavering commitment to the Oatey brand, and outstanding contributions to the plumbing industry.

The award is named in honor of the late Bob Bender, a 42-year veteran sales leader at Oatey, known for his larger-than-life personality, customer-centric approach, and passion for building enduring relationships. The award celebrates individuals who embody Bender’s spirit by prioritizing customer satisfaction, fostering strong connections, and demonstrating a genuine commitment to the values upheld by Oatey Co.

“Rick Portt exemplifies the essence of the Bob Bender Legacy Award. His unwavering dedication to his customers, combined with his commitment to the Oatey brand, makes him a truly deserving recipient,” says Christen Allen, Director of National Sales – Rough Plumbing at Oatey Co. “Rick’s genuine passion for his work and his relentless pursuit of excellence serve as a shining example for the entire industry.”

Founded in 1997, New Century Sales has been a cornerstone in the plumbing industry for over three decades. Under Portt’s leadership, the company has continuously upheld the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and customer service. Portt’s enduring commitment to Oatey Co. is reflected in his steadfast advocacy for the brand, his relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, and his unwavering support of the plumbing community.

Portt’s dedication to his craft is underscored by his adherence to three guiding principles: build relationships, secure orders, and the motto “have fun; it’s just plumbing.” These principles have been instrumental in shaping his approach to business and have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and customers alike.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Portt was presented with the Bob Bender Legacy Award at a ceremony held in Detroit, Michigan. Surrounded by colleagues, customers, and members of the Oatey team, Portt graciously accepted the award, thanking those who have supported him throughout his career.

“I consider myself fortunate to have worked alongside Bob for many years,” says Portt. “The first time I had the opportunity to interact with him was during a competition he had organized called ‘Create A Vacation.’ At that time, I was new to Reliant Sales and halfway through the contest, Bob took the time to reach out to me because we had never met.”

“His thoughtfulness and support motivated me to work even harder, and I ended up winning the contest,” he explains. “Bob’s commitment to Oatey and everyone he worked with was truly inspiring. Whenever Bob’s name is mentioned, it is always accompanied by a smile and a fond memory. It is indeed an honor for me to have my name associated with Bob’s legacy.”

Portt’s name was added to the Bob Bender Legacy Cup, which commemorates the list of winners, alongside Chase Freeman of Spirit Group, who won the inaugural award in 2022, and Skipper Joyce, founder of The Joyce Agency and winner of the second annual award in 2023.

Watts Water Technologies, Inc. shared news of the passing of Donald Mullett, former Chief Executive Officer of Bradley Company. Mr. Mullett passed away peacefully at his home in Wisconsin today, April 8, surrounded by his family. Robert J. Pagano, Jr., Watts Water Technologies Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairperson of the Board, issued the following Read more

Watts Water Technologies, Inc. shared news of the passing of Donald Mullett, former Chief Executive Officer of Bradley Company.

Mr. Mullett passed away peacefully at his home in Wisconsin today, April 8, surrounded by his family.

Robert J. Pagano, Jr., Watts Water Technologies Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairperson of the Board, issued the following statement:

“As we recognize the loss of an industry pioneer, this is a time to reflect on his dedication to family, the great accomplishments of his career and the many philanthropic endeavors he had supported throughout his life. Five generations of Mullett family leadership, and more than 100 years of growth, are a testament to their legacy. Mr. Mullett was a leader, friend and mentor to many, and a remembrance of his inspiration can bring strength to those who mourn his passing.”

Bradley Company was acquired by Watts Water Technologies, Inc., a global leader in the plumbing, heating and water quality industries, in October 2023.

Donald Mullett Remembered

Mr. Mullett was a visionary in the manufacturing industry, with his career at Bradley Company spanning 55 years. He began serving as Chief Executive Officer in 1980, assuming the role from his father, Howard G. Mullett.

Under his direction, the company achieved consistent growth, expanding its reach to serve customers worldwide. In addition to overseeing the development of cutting-edge washroom equipment like touchless handwashing fixtures, metering valves, washbasins and showers, he also extended Bradley’s portfolio to include the emergency and safety fixtures market. His mantra was innovating the most durable, high-quality solutions while treating employees and customers like family.

While being a champion of innovation, corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship, his commitment to sustainability directly resulted in the development of countless water and energy-saving technologies that Bradley is renowned for.

Mr. Mullett served as Chairman of the Board for 27 years and became Vice Chairman after appointing Bryan Mullett, his oldest son, as Chairman in 2020. His philanthropic efforts also strengthened the surrounding Bradley Company community including a deep commitment to education. For more information about his life, go to Don Mullett – Bradley Corp.

He leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Barbara, and their three sons, Bryan, Erik and Christopher, along with their families. He was 81.