Typically, the Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association presents its Industry Appreciation Night every two years. The biennial event was supposed to take place last year, but as with so many things, the pandemic disrupted the schedule. If there was any apprehension that people might be hesitant to attend the large-scale celebration because of COVID, those concerns were roundly laid to rest when Industry Appreciation Night came roaring back this year. The PCA welcomed a huge crowd of more than 450 people to the Encore Boston Harbor in Everett on October 1.
“Everyone who was there raved about how wonderful the event was and what a good time they had,” says John Marani, president of the PCA and owner of A.H. Burns Company. He lauded Jeremy Ryan, the organization’s executive director, Andrew DeAngelo, its director of public affairs, and the member contractors who serve on the PCA’s committees for their hard work organizing Industry Appreciation Night. “It was really a home run,” he added.
The event is an opportunity for the PCA’s contractors, the Local 12 members with whom they work, and their partners in the community to celebrate the plumbing industry and the region’s dynamic construction and development sectors. It features guest speakers as well as the presentation of lifetime achievement awards, which this year honored Joe Valante, Sr., the founder of Valante Mechanical, and Vin Petroni, president and CEO of E.M. Duggan. Joe Valante, Jr., the president of Valante Mechanical, and Kevin Walsh, executive vice president of E.M. Duggan, gave warm and moving introductions of the honorees.
The keynote speaker, Tom O’Brien, founding partner and managing director of HYM Investment Group, set the tone for the evening by highlighting some of the key reasons he believes Boston is such a successful market for commercial development and construction. These include the city’s terrific institutions, such as its colleges, hospitals, and non-profit organizations, and Boston’s strong residential character. “We need to continue to add housing,” O’Brien said. “We should do it on a union-built basis with Local 12.”
The developer also cited the city’s predictable process as a factor that contributes to its supportive environment. “Capital wants to be involved and successful here,” he said. “Projects are built on a schedule we all understand.” O’Brien then identified some of the signature projects that HYM is building in partnership with the PCA’s contractors, including the redevelopment of Suffolk Downs in Revere and East Boston, Bulfinch Crossing in downtown Boston, and a facility in Brookline that will be the first of many senior housing developments. “Working together, we’re going to continue to make this city work well and create opportunities for one another along with the people who work for us,” he added.
Other speakers included Marani, Ryan, Local 12 Business Manager Tim Fandel, and Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. Holding the event at the Encore gave guests the opportunity to see and experience the magnificent hotel and casino, which opened in 2019, just months before the pandemic forced its temporary closure. The resort, which was entirely union-built, was one of the largest construction projects ever in the region.