2019 Pellet Fuels Institute Annual Conference

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 - Friday, June 7, 2019
Hershey Lodge™
Hershey, Pennsylvania
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*Schedule is subject to change

 Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Tuesday | June 4, 2019

Time Event Location
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm  Pellet Fuels Institute Board Meeting  Cocoa Boardroom 

Wednesday | June 5, 2019

Time Event Location
7:30 am - 8:30 am Golfer's Grab-and-Go Breakfast  Lobby Porte Cochere
8:30 am - 7:00 pm  Registration Opens  
8:30 am - 2:00 pm PFI Annual Golf Tournament Hershey West Course  
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Opening Reception and Golf Awards sponsored by Fram Renewable Fuels  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom

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Thursday | June 6, 2019

Time Event Location
7:30 am - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast - sponsored by Dansons, Inc.  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom
8:30 am - 10:00 am

How’d We Do?: Surveying the Results of the 2018-19 Heating Season 

During the summer most pellet manufacturers would have agreed that the upcoming heating season held great promise. Reports from retailers indicated that carryover inventories were low at their locations and that consumers themselves were likely in a similar spot. On top of this most regions experienced at the minimum a normal winter and some regions had the prolonged, cold winter pellet manufacturers dream about. Still, the heating season wasn’t without its challenges. Weather also kept loggers out of the forests during key pellet inventory build-up periods and global trade issues also constrained fiber availability. This panel will feature a roundtable discussion with appliance manufacturers, pellet manufactures, agency and association representatives for a broad and diverse look at the heating season that was.

Moderator: Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute

  • John Shimek, Hearth & Home Technologies
  • Connor Murphy, Energy Information Agency
  • Additional Speakers TBA
 Aztec Ballroom
10:00 am - 10:30 am Networking Break - sponsored by Timber Products Inspection  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom
10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Perspectives on Pellet Buying Consumers from Our Partners in the Retail Space

Last year the Pellet Fuels Institute underscored the importance of expanding and building upon its relationship with its downstream retail partners by launching its Operation 100k initiative. This effort aimed to put prospective heating appliance customers and the retailers that serve them at the center of what the organization does. This panel features a selection of retailers with deep experience in heating appliance retailing and consumer attitudes about wood pellet heating. Discussion topics will include the reasons that consumers select for and against a wood pellet appliances, the challenges posed by ongoing federal policy struggles, the role social media plays in generating foot traffic and how they are leveraging excitement in the BBQ market to grow their business.

Moderator: Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute

  • Adam Martin, Owner,  Martin Sales & Service
  • Tom Swan, Black Swan Fireside Hearth & Home
  • Dean Michanczyk, Owner, Dean’s Stove & Spa
  • Rick Soccio, Owner, AES Hearth & Patio
 Aztec Ballroom 
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Networking Lunch with Exhibitors - sponsored by Bliss Industries  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Where We Are with State and Federal Regulatory Agencies

The end of 2018 brought with it the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of finalizing the New Source Performance Standard. This federal policy simultaneously impacts the manufacturers of wood pellets and the manufacturers of the appliances that burn them. This panel will not only provide an update on arguably the largest piece of federal regulation impacting our industry in decades but will also feature a lively discussion about the relative value of actively pursuing favorable state and federal policy as a means of market growth.

Moderator: Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute

  • Jack Goldman, President & CEO, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
  • Charlie Niebling, Partner, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions
  • Stephen Faehner, President & CEO, American Wood Fibers      
 Aztec Ballroom 
2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Networking Break  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Cooking Up Some Real Growth: How the BBQ Market is Changing the Game for Wood Pellet Manufacturers

It is hard to imagine that any wood pellet manufacturer working today will experience a game-changing moment in their career that will match the current explosive growth in interest in wood pellet burning barbecue grills and smokers. Pellet grilling and smoking has expanded the industry’s consumer base, raised the profile of wood pellets with consumers and put the wood pellet industry at the center of the hottest story going in the broader hearth and patio space. This discussion will focus on how long this momentum is likely to last and how the pellet industry can aid in its continuance while also capturing the opportunity for profits and growth that have come along with it.

Moderator: Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute

  • Kenny Lisle, Sales and Marketing Manager, Energex
  • Jeff Thiessen, President, Danson’s Inc.
  • Brian Traeger, Divisional Sales Manager, Danson's Inc.
 Aztec Ballroom 
3:45 pm - 4:15 pm Networking Break  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

From the Field: Our Annual Conversation with Producer-Members

This producer-only panel has become the traditional bookend to a day spent exploring the most pressing and exciting issues the industry faces. Populated with decades worth of experience this member panel will react to the discussions held during the day while also looking forward to the challenges facing pellet manufacturers and the PFI in the coming year. The roadmap guiding the PFI as it transitions into the 2019-20 heating season will be sketched out here.

Moderator: Tim Portz, Executive Director, Pellet Fuels Institute

  • Mike Sayers, CFO, BioMaxx
  • Brett Jordan, CEO, Lignetics
  • Everett Follett, Pellet Sales Manager, Spearfish Pellet Company
  • Don Wagner, General Manager, Appalachian Wood Pellets
  • Stan Elliot, VP of Sales and Marketing, Pacific Coast Fiber Fuels
 Aztec Ballroom 
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm Pellet Fuels Institute Membership Meeting  Aztec Ballroom 
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Heat Local Tailgate Party - sponsored by Shell  Trinidad/Nigerian Ballroom

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Friday | June 7, 2019

Time Event Location
8:00 am - 8:30 am Offsite Tour Grab-and-Go Breakfast  Chocolate Lobby Porte Cochere
8:30 am - 12:15 pm

Tour* - Hearth & Home Technologies Appliance Production Facility

The Hearth and Home Technologies – Halifax facility is a marvel of modern home heating appliance manufacturing. Serving as the primary manufacturing location for Hearth and Home Technologies pellet appliances, this tour will offer attendees a close look at how an industry leader leverages principles of lean manufacturing in a state-of-the-art facility to build consumer products of the highest quality. The Halifax production facility boasts 110,000 square feet of manufacturing space, employs more than 230 people and is responsible for the production of Harman, Heat & Glo, Pel pro, Quadrafire, Vermont Castings and other gas, pellet and wood burning appliance brands.

*additional registration required – limited seating

Hearth and Home Technologies - Halifax Facility


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