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  
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm Pellet Fuels Institute Board Dinner  


Wednesday | June 5, 2019

Time Event Location
7:30 am - 8:30 am Golfer's Continental Breakfast  
8:30 am - 7:00 pm  Registration Opens  
8:30 am - 2:00 pm PFI Annual Golf Tournament  
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Opening Reception  

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Thursday | June 6, 2019

Time Event Location
7:30 am - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast  
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
 
10:00 am - 10:30 am Networking Break  
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
  • Additional Speakers TBA
 
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch  
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

  • Ryan Carroll, Vice President – Government Affairs, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
  • Charlie Niebling, Partner, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions

Stephen Faehner, President & CEO, American Wood Fibers          

 
2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Networking Break  
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.
 
3:45 pm - 4:15 pm

Networking Break

 
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
 
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm Pellet Fuels Institute Membership Meeting  
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Networking Reception  

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Friday | June 7, 2019

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

Tour* - Hearth & Home Technologies Appliance Production Facility

*additional registration required – limited seating

 

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