Pluie is proud to be a member of ConnexFM, a community that empowers facilities management professionals with best practices, benchmarking, education, discussion forums and trusted partnerships.
This week the Pluie team attended the ConnexFM Mid-Year Conference in Dallas/Ft. Worth at the Irving Convention Center. After a few years of Mid-Year cancellations due to the pandemic, it was an exciting debut with three days full of energy, networking, and even some competitive football (hello, Texas!).
While there, I had the opportunity to spend some time with several industry leaders to hear about their successes within the Facility Management space and to learn how Pluie can advance our capabilities to best serve our customers. Two people I loved spending time with were Steve Hearon and Jana Coyle from BrandPoint Services. We are proud to work with BrandPoint on a weekly basis, as they have been our national installation and services partner since day one! BrandPoint simplifies facility maintenance needs with pre-qualified independent contractors. For us, and all of their customers, they are a single point of contact for any maintenance, repair & operations services. I also enjoyed meeting with Pat Bacigalupo, known colloquially as the “OG” of Connex! Pat works for Gap Inc. and has been an incredible advocate and mentor for Pluie. We shared a beer at the end of the day to discuss the day’s happenings, while many other attendees flexed their competitive spirit with a Cowboys-themed football toss networking event. I will say, I did score 5 points, but the real win was teaming up with other like-minded industry professionals and extending our networks.
One of the most notable moments was the keynote speaker – Stephanie Stuckey. Admittedly, I had never heard of Stuckey’s prior to this. Sylvester Stuckey started with a pecan stand in Eastman, Georgia, in 1937, and turned it into a chain with nearly 400 stores in 30 states. Stuckey’s was known for deliberately kitschy souvenirs, clean restrooms, and its famous pecan log rolls. But in the late ‘70s, after the family sold the chain and it went through a couple of corporate mergers, Stuckey’s started to dwindle. That’s when Stephanie Stuckey, Sylvester’s granddaughter, stepped in. Two and a half years ago, she set aside a career as a lawyer and former state legislator to bring the business back into the family. She attributes the importance she has put on branding (including personal branding!), taking risks, and being persistent about making a comeback to the turnaround success of Stuckey’s since being under her wing. Not only has Stuckey’s Stores been brought back to their former glory, but the brand’s famous pecans can now be found in stores nationwide!
One of the most powerful moments in our discussion was when Stephanie told me about her chance meeting with the CEO of Chick-fil-A. During their meeting, he paused the business conversion and said something that really stuck with her – “What is your purpose? If you have a clear purpose the business will build itself”. Stephanie thought about her grandfather and his motto, “every traveler is a guest” and that is the north star she embodies in her decision making for Stuckey’s. Stephanie has a big vision for the remaining 13 stores and we hope Pluie can be part of them!
For those of you who attend conferences, you know that there is so much hustle and bustle over the course of several days, it’s hard to fully capture in words. We love attending shows and having the ability to connect with our colleagues & customers to spread the word about our purpose – creating a safer, more comfortable, convenient and clean environment for parents and caregivers on-the-go.