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Pon North America, Hiller’s Parent Company, Helps Houston Children Pedal Toward Literacy Success Through Its Donation to CYCLE

HOUSTON, MARCH 24, 2016: Pon North America, announced today a donation of 125 Gazelle bicycles to the children’s charity, CYCLE (Changing Young Children’s Lives through Education).  These Gazelle bicycles will be used to fully support a summer reading initiative to promote literacy and classroom success amongst middle school and high school students, along with their parents and teachers, in the Greater Houston Area.

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Through Pon North America’s donation to CYCLE and partnership with the Houston Public Library, the top 125 students who have read the most books will be awarded a new Gazelle bicycle and helmet at the end of summer.  This donation enables CYCLE to help older kids that they were unable to support through their program previously.  This initiative promotes students to maintain and progress their reading skills over the entire summer.  Middle school and high school students can enroll in the program through their local library.

“At Pon North America, we are committed to being a good corporate partner and giving back to the communities we operate in is important to us,” said David O. Turner, President and CEO of Pon North America. “Pon Holdings is one of the largest family-owned businesses in the Netherlands, and philanthropy is an important element of the corporate culture of Pon. Our employees are given time during work hours, with full pay, to volunteer for community projects through our “Time2Help” initiative.  We wanted to partner with CYCLE because of its mission to improve literacy so that students are on the path to success and they are empowered to reach their full potential. Additionally, we are proud to help promote a love for reading through this summer reading initiative.”

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David Entrekin, Chairman of CYCLE, said, “CYCLE is delighted to receive the generous donation of 125 bicycles from Pon North America. These bicycles will be awarded to deserving Houston middle and high school students who successfully complete a Summer Reading program. CYCLE is completely funded by corporate and individual donations from the greater Houston area.  With our bicycle programs, we encourage children to be active physically and mentally, empowering them to improve their literacy and possibly break the cycle of poverty.”

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ENDS

Media contacts:

Pon North America – Hue Du, 832-409-8746

CYCLE (Changing Young Children’s Lives through Education) – Rebecca Roberts, 281-460-3596

Notes to editors:

About Pon North America

Pon North America, a division of Pon Holdings B.V., operates in 20 states with more than 3,000 employees.

  • Equipment Depot – The largest independent material handling and rental business in the U.S.
  • W&O Supply, The Hiller Companies, Setpoint Integrated Solutions, A-T Controls, Inc., Louisiana Valve Source, Engine Monitor, Inc. – Supplier, integrator, and service provider of flow control and fire protection & safety products for the Marine and Energy industries
  • Santa Cruz Bikes, Cervélo, Kalkhoff, Gazelle, and Focus – Innovative, high-quality bicycle brands

Pon Holdings is one of the largest family-owned businesses in the Netherlands with 13,000 employees spread over 450 locations in 32 countries. Remaining true to its roots, Pon employees worldwide fully embrace the principles of family as well as the pursuit of excellence.

About CYCLE

CYCLE is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving the needs of schoolchildren. Founded in 2004, the organization uses an innovative program to improve literacy by working directly with independent school districts in the eight-county area of Greater Houston. Under the program, students and their parents within selected Title I schools complete contracts that require the child to improve their scores in grade-level-appropriate literacy skills. CYCLE awards a new bike upon successful completion of the program. To date, CYCLE has awarded more than 150,000 new bicycles to deserving children in the Greater Houston area. To learn more, donate or get involved, please visit www.CYCLEHouston.org.

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The Hiller Companies Hosts Marine Machinery Association for Industry Meeting and Local Tours

On January 25th, The Hiller Companies was honored to host the Marine Machinery Association’s (MMA) monthly meeting. The meeting kicked off a two-day event in Mobile highlighting some of the most influential companies in the marine industry.

“Success in business is all about relationships,” Duncan Greenwood, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hiller said. “This meeting brought together several key members of the American shipbuilding industry to discuss growth, progress and new ways of approaching the shipbuilding process.”

More than 20 MMA members gathered in Mobile to learn about the local shipbuilding and maritime industries. Representatives from the MMA, Austal USA, Howell Labs, Ellwood National Forge Corporation, Pacific Marine Systems, Milwaukee Valve, Trident Marine Systems and more attended the meeting.

Dan May, Senior Purchasing Manager of Austal USA, gave a well-received presentation on the history of Austal from 2010 to present day. He detailed their growth from a double-wide trailer for personnel to now housing a 500-person auditorium. May also outlined their Littoral Combat Ship and Expeditionary Fast Transport programs for the US Navy with plans to increase weaponry and mission modules on the latter.

The Hiller Companies, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, John Cocke and CEO, Patrick Lynch also gave presentations highlighting the history of Hiller from its 1919 inception to its position today as a leader in the fire protection industry.

After the presentations, MMA members were given a tour of the Hiller facility, which included an in-depth look at the water mist system developed and manufactured by Securiplex. Attendees were treated to a buffet of local seafood following the tour.

“When you walk inside the door of The Hiller Companies you can see the pride the personnel have in their organization.” MMA Chairman of the Board John Rhatigan said. “The pride is shown everywhere from the cleanliness of the facility to the extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff.  Everyone from CEO Patrick Lynch to the cleaning crew was engaging and a pleasure to deal with.”

Day two of the meeting offered MMA members a trip to the AIDT Maritime Training Center to meet with representatives of Horizon Shipbuilding. CEO Travis Short, Project Manager Lance Lemcool and IT Manager Jason Hinkofer of Horizon were in attendance.  Short discussed the history of Horizon and the construction of repair ships, boats and barges. His team invented a new software package called “Gordhead”, a social media package for project management that has helped Horizon decrease costs and improve production rates.

MMA members also had the opportunity to tour the Austal USA shipyard and its largest fabrication shop, in which aluminum modules start production. A driving tour followed highlighting the outfitting piers and views of new LCS and EPF vessels.

“It was a very successful meeting, and we are so happy to have the opportunity to host and bring these great representatives from our industry together,” Lynch said. “Being able to tour two facilities and learn more about Hiller, Austal USA and Horizon was great for the MMA members. Knowing more about where these companies started and where they are going is helpful to us all and gives us some great insights for the future.”

(LtoR) Mark Haller, President Tri-Tec in Seattle, WA, Steve Misun, Director of Business Development Fairlead Integrated Power and Controls in Chesapeake, VA, Joe Comer, President and Owner, Ships Architects Inc. in Daphne, AL and John Rhatigan, MMA President gather at the MMA Meeting held on January 25, 2016 at The Hiller Companies located in Mobile, AL.
(LtoR) Mark Haller, President Tri-Tec in Seattle, WA, Steve Misun, Director of Business Development Fairlead Integrated Power and Controls in Chesapeake, VA, Joe Comer, President and Owner, Ships Architects Inc. in Daphne, AL and John Rhatigan, MMA President gather at the MMA Meeting held on January 25, 2016 at The Hiller Companies located in Mobile, AL.
MMA President, John Rhatigan, speaking at their 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
MMA President, John Rhatigan, speaking at their 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
Dan May, Senior Purchasing Manager of Austal USA, guest speaker at the MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
Dan May, Senior Purchasing Manager of Austal USA, guest speaker at the MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
John Rhatigan, MMA President, with meeting attendees from Austal USA and The Hiller Companies at the MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
John Rhatigan, MMA President, with meeting attendees from Austal USA and The Hiller Companies at the MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
Gene Haas, Sales, Distribution and Support Manager for Securiplex, gave a tour and review of their water mist system in the Securiplex facility located on The Hiller Companies campus during the MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
Gene Haas, Sales, Distribution and Support Manager for Securiplex, gave a tour and review of their water mist system in the Securiplex facility located on The Hiller Companies campus during the MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
MMA 2016 kick-off meeting held at The Hiller Companies in Mobile, AL on January 25, 2016.
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The Hiller Companies Announces New Hose Reel USCG Approval

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Mobile, AL, –The Hiller Companies is proud to announce its USCG approval of their Hose Reels to include SOLBERG® ARCTIC™ 3×3% ATC™ foam. While Hiller has partnered with Solberg on other foam options, adding this Foam Fire Fighting Station approval offers customers a third manufacturer to supply the devices in addition to ANSUL® and National Foam.

“We have partnered with Solberg on other foam products,” Marine Products Manager Jorda Elliot said. “We are excited to work with them and strengthen our relationship because they offer a strong fire-fighting foam product portfolio, including environmentally friendly RE-HEALING™ foams.”

There are not many foam manufacturers, especially manufacturers of marine foam, so getting this approval is a welcome addition to Hiller’s marine offerings, according to Elliot.

The Foam Fire Fighting station was designed by Herbert S. Hiller and is a reliable system capable of controlling fires and spills of flammable and combustible liquids.  One person can fully operate the device with the necessary speed and effectiveness to deliver foam to the required area in an emergency.  This self-contained unit requires only water pressure to operate and is designed for installation in a fixed location such as processing, storage or handling areas.

“With a limited number of manufacturers offering marine foam, adding another strong business partner, like Solberg, helps us meet our clients’ needs in a timely and cost effective manner,” Elliot said. “We couldn’t be happier to add Solberg to our team.”

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The Hiller Companies Sponsors Gears and Beers to Benefit the Delta Bike Project

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Mobile, AL, –Several hundred bike riders turned out in downtown Mobile on Saturday, November 14 for the Gears and Beers Ride 2015 event to benefit the Delta Bike Project. As the title sponsor, The Hiller Companies wanted to support this great, local non-profit to help people ride their way to providing better accessibility to bike transportation in the Port City.

“This past summer, Claude Warren, our CFO and a bike enthusiast, was hit by a car while biking and injured pretty badly,” Director of Business Development for Commercial & Industrial Markets, John Mackey said. “We decided to sponsor this event in honor of Claude and to support bike access and awareness in our community.”

Gears and Beers raised money for the Delta Bike Project’s bike corral, fixit stations and programming with a total of 300 registered bike riders for a long ride (48 miles) and a short ride (10 miles). Fifty volunteers worked tirelessly to make the fundraiser a success.

“We would like to make this an annual event at some point,” Jeff DeQuattro, Director of the Delta Bike Project, said. “We participate in a lot of other big events throughout the year such as runs, rides and Streets Alive – to name a few – and after this successful event, we would really like to continue with Gears and Beers.”

The Delta Bike Project is a non-profit community bicycle shop whose vision is to make the world a healthier place through increasing bicycle use for environmental, social, creative and practical purposes. The event was hosted by LoDa Bier Garten and also sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company.

“We believe that cycling should be accessible to people of all walks of life, “DeQuattro said. “We want to help eliminate any economic barriers by offering a community space for tools and learning do-it-yourself repairs as well as offering low cost access to donated and recycled bicycles.”

Warren attended the event and had a great day supporting the cause.

“The number of riders far exceeded our expectations, and everyone had a wonderful time,” he said. “There was a great energy and camaraderie among the riders, and the volunteers did a bang up job!”

The Delta Bike Project has big plans for the future. They want to expand the Read to Ride program for youth literacy, add more bikes for the Time is Money program (to distribute bikes to those in need in exchange for volunteer hours) and to add more students in the at-risk youth Build-a-Bike Program.

“We really appreciate everything the Delta Bike Project does for our community,” Mackey said after the event. “Gears and Bears was a lot of fun. It was a great way for Hiller to honor Claude and for us to support a great community effort.”

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The Hiller Companies launches new website

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Mobile, AL– The Hiller Companies announces the launch of its new website (hillerfire.com) with a nod to its rich, 95-year history and an in-depth look at its present offerings as an American company with global reach.

“Hiller has such a long and unique history in the fire protection industry that we wanted to really showcase it on our new site by using historic photos and excerpts from brochures from the 1920s and 1960s,” President and CEO Patrick Lynch said. “A timeline on the site shows the progression of both the fire protection industry and the growth of Hiller – from our humble beginnings to our international presence.”

Hiller partnered with LAGNiAPPE Marketing and Strategic Design for content development and with J. Arendall of Webjed to develop the new website.

“When a company has been around as long as Hiller, it’s a fun and challenging process to give them an updated look while being respectful of that history,” Angela Cocke, Principal at LAGNiAPPE said. “It’s not often that you get to work with a company that has been around since 1919 and has been successful in staying at the forefront of technology and service in their industry. We wanted to honor that longevity.”
The Hiller Companies was founded in New Orleans 1919 by Herbert S. Hiller under the name “Fire Protection Equipment Co., Inc.” and has worked to protect the life and property of its commercial, industrial, marine and offshore customers from then until now. Striving to provide excellent customer service is a major factor in the continued success of Hiller today.

“Customer service has been the number one priority at Hiller since the beginning,” said Director of Business Development John Mackey. “I believe that quality, coupled with our expertise and technology, has helped us develop long-term relationships with our clients. We wanted the new site to reflect our values and to be an informative, user-friendly resource for our existing and potential clients.”

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Hiller Hero – Dan Mabry

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Pensacola, FL, – When Dan Mabry drove to work on Friday, June 26, 2015, he thought it was just another day. Looking forward to the weekend, he had no idea that in a matter of minutes, he would come upon a dangerous accident and save a man’s life.

At 6:45 that morning, a truck crashed into the gas pumps at the Raceway gas station on Highway 29 in Pensacola, FL causing flames to erupt from the pumps and ignite the truck. Mabry, without a second thought, pulled over to help.

“I just happened to be driving by and I saw flames,” Mabry, General Products Technician at The Hiller Companies said. “I had a truck full of fire extinguishers and thought I could use what I have learned in the trade at Hiller for the last 12 or 13 years.  I could stop and help put this fire out.”

What Mabry didn’t know was that there was an unconscious man still in the cab of the truck as the flames began to grow.

“The flame got unsafe and it started flaring up quickly. As I approached the accident, I found out there was a guy in the truck unconscious,” Mabry said. “So another guy and I ran out there, and we got him out and got him to the other side of the building. By that time, the fire trucks came and dumped foam on it and water on it and they knocked that flame down and put the fire out pretty quickly.”

Pete Whitehouse, General Manager of Hiller’s Pensacola office, is not surprised that Mabry would stop to help.

“I think this recent act of heroism is amazing, however it is typical of the attitude and enthusiasm Dan puts into his job every day,” Whitehouse said. “All of our technicians are well trained in Fire Protection and our General Products mobile fire extinguisher recharge vehicles are always well stocked with extinguishers. But without Dan’s selflessness, things could have turned out differently. We are all very proud of Dan for his quick action and for putting others ahead of his own personal safety.”

Mabry’s actions have also been recognized by Escambia County Fire Rescue.

“Escambia County Fire Rescue is grateful for and commends the quick actions taken by Dan Mabry June 26, 2015 at the Racetrack fuel pumps. It appears that the driver of the pickup truck which crashed into the fuel pump was experiencing a medical episode which not only left him incapable of driving, but also rendered him unconscious,” Fire Chief Patrick Grace said. “Had Mr. Mabry and his fellow Good Samaritan not acted as quickly as they did, without reservation for their own personal safety, the outcome would, in all likelihood, not have been nearly as positive.”

Grace noted that Mabry will be recognized by Escambia County Fire Rescue at their annual awards ceremony later this year.

“I think it’s a wonderful reflection on the quality and character of the people Hiller employs,” Grace added. “His actions took great situational awareness and courage.”

Mabry is just relieved that he was able to help get the man to safety before the flames engulfed the cab of the truck.

“I just did what I would hope somebody would do for me,” he said. “I didn’t do it for any other reason than to hope that someone could go home and see their family.”

 

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The Hiller Companies announces new CEO/President

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The Hiller Companies is excited to announce the appointment of new CEO and President, Patrick Lynch. This appointment comes on the heels of our outgoing CEO and President, Dan Romanchuk who announced his retirement in April of this year. Patrick brings more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience in the maritime industry, and in addition has held more recent leadership roles serving the commercial & industrial markets as well. Patrick has been with The Hiller Companies since March 2014 serving as Chief Operating Officer.

“Over the last 15 years, Dan Romanchuk has done an excellent job in building our business and has taken us to new heights. We thank him for his leadership. In today’s business climate, you have to continuously evolve in order to meet your customer’s demands and expectations. We are truly excited to add Patrick to our leadership team. I have the utmost confidence that Patrick will lead us to even greater levels while guiding Hiller to meet and surpass what our customers expect.”
Duncan Greenwood, Chairman of the Board

In his new role, Mr. Lynch will be responsible for building upon Hiller’s leadership position in the fire protection and life safety industry. He will continue to develop the relationships Hiller has built over the last 95 years and expand Hiller’s design, installation, and service capabilities in both the marine and commercial markets.

Lynch holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco, a BS in Marine Engineering and a BS in Marine Transportation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Celebrating more than 95 years and recognized as the longest tenured fire equipment distributor in the U.S., The Hiller Companies offer products and services that are protecting lives and property all around the world. Headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, Hiller extends its reach globally as well as in domestic markets with offices in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. We are proud to safeguard everything from small businesses to nuclear testing facilities, yachts to aircraft carriers, and gas stations to offshore platforms.