Posts Tagged ‘howard walker’

Time to Say Goodbye, Lessons Learned, What’s Next

June 12th, 2019 Comments off

Still from the video, further below.

People invest in, open or maintain a business with certain goals in mind. Among them is to serve a slice of the public, and for ‘white hat’ operations, to earn a profit honorably in some form or fashion.



The ways that honest profit can be earned are as many and varied as the imaginations of millions of people in America make possible. Which is why, to a certain extent, the notion of ‘one size fits all’ is an illusion.

It is axiomatic that there are no too people exactly alike. The country singer John Rich posted earlier this week on the Daily Business News on MHProNews will appeal to thousands of readers here, but to some more than others. This duet of Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli, singing their classic “Time to Say Goodbye” (1997) will move some to tears from just listening to it — even if you or they don’t grasp the meaning of the words so passionately performed.

On the time played this morning, about 5:49 AM ET, the video duet has had 44,864,417 views, some 229k ‘thumbs up,’ and only 10k ‘thumbs down.’  

Think about it. Over 44 million views. More on that another time too.

While each of those data points regarding Time to Say Goodbye” has significance, it clearly reflects that far more people are moved by this musical performance than those who are turned off by it. What about you?

What does this have to do with manufactured housing? Nothing; and everything. More on that further below too.

First, listen to and watch if you can this video. Then, following the lyrics, we will do some industry professional related commentary.





Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Goodbye (1997)

According to the YouTube page of axedagobert22, the video posted above was published on Oct 18, 2012. 

The axedagobert22 post explains that “In November 1996, Andrea and Sarah Brightman were invited to perform the duet ‘Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò)’ at the farewell contest of the German World Light-Heavyweight boxing champion, Henry Maske. A national hero held in unrivaled esteem, he is known for his love of selecting entrance themes to his bouts.  

Sarah Brightman, the internationally renowned soprano and friend of Henry Maske heard ‘Con Te Partirò‘ in a restaurant while dining with her friends. Entranced by the singer and the song, Brightman made contact with Andrea. Andrea and Brightman re-recorded ‘Con Te Partirò‘ as the duet ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ with members of the London Symphony Orchestra.  

This live version is from Brightman’s first full concert recording, “Sarah Brightman: In Concert”, from London’s Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Paul Bateman. Guest artists include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Adam Clark and Andrea Bocelli. The concert was released to video in 1998.

The concert was directed by David Mallet.”


The YouTube page doesn’t have the lyrics. But as regular readers know, we strive to provide a complete picture, so we did some digging – curation – and those lyrics are provided below.  The English version is on top, the original Italian is below. 

To better appreciate the richness and meaning, Classic FM provided this insight: In summary: they’re saying goodbye to countries they never saw or shared with each other, but now they are in fact going to go to those countries… except they’re traveling there on ships which don’t exist anymore… so it’s time to say goodbye again.

Hmm. Maybe the lyrics are better appreciated in Italian.”

Here are those lyrics, per the source cited below. 


Time To Say Goodbye


Time To Say Goodbye

When I am alone

Quando sono solo


Dream on the horizon

Sogno all’orizzonte


And the words are missing

E mancan le parole


Yes I know there is no light

Sì lo so che non c’è luce


In a room when the sun is missing

In una stanza quando manca il sole


If you’re not with me, with me

Se non ci sei tu con me, con me


On the windows

Su le finestre


Show everyone my heart

Mostra a tutti il mio cuore


That you turned on

Che hai acceso


Close inside me

Chiudi dentro me


The light that

La luce che


You met on the street

Hai incontrato per strada

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye


Countries that I never

Paesi che non ho mai


Saw and shared with you

Veduto e vissuto con te


Now I’ll live them

Adesso si li vivrò


I’ll go with you

Con te partirò


On ships over seas

Su navi per mari


That I know it

Che, io lo so


No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più


It’s time to say goodbye

It’s time to say goodbye

when you are distant

Quando sei lontana


Dream on the horizon

Sogno all’orizzonte


And the words are missing

E mancan le parole


And I do, I know

E io sì, lo so


That you are with me, with me

Che sei con me, con me


You my moon, you are here with me

Tu mia luna, tu sei qui con me


My sun, you are here with me

Mio sole, tu sei qui con me


With me, with me, with me

Con me, con me, con me

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye


Countries that I never

Paesi che non ho mai


Saw and shared with you

Veduto e vissuto con te


Now I will live them

Adesso sì li vivrò


I’ll go with you

Con te partirò


On ships over seas

Su navi per mari


That I know it

Che io lo so


No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più


I will relive them with you

Con te io li rivivrò


I’ll go with you

Con te partirò


On ships over seas

Su navi per mari


That I know it

Che, io lo so


No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più


I will relive them with you

Con te io li rivivrò


I’ll go with you

Con te partirò


Me with you

Io con te


Songwriters: Francesco Sartori / Frank Peterson / Lucio Quarantotto

Time To Say Goodbye lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Sugarmusic s.p.a.

—- End of lyrics, credits. —-


For those willing to step outside of the box, many things are possible, but none are accomplished without risk, effort, or struggle.

When you entered this field of endeavor, you too had some expectation or vision.  Perhaps that has been encouraged, perhaps it has been dashed, derailed, or shunted down an unexpected track.  You can cry about it, laugh, or dig in and do your best to figure it all out.

Our publisher likes to reflect on the occasion when the late Howard Walker, JD, longtime assistant chairman for Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), approached him at an MHI meeting, saying with feigned outrage, ‘How dare you bring culture to a manufactured housing industry event?

Those who knew Walker will get it. Those who never met him, might get a glimpse into the man from those few words.

First on MHLivingNews, but later posted on MHProNews, is a very different type of infographic than the one produced by MHI.

Why is it so different? Because one cannot reduce the manufactured housing industry’s varied customers and members without reflecting in some manner the broad range of people who have found appeal in the homes our industry has and continues to produce.




Among the manufactured housing retailing firms that Clayton Homes has purchased are those which did factory built as well as on-site built housing. That no doubt fit a broader agenda.

This website isn’t about us, it is about professionals like yourself. Some love rock, others rap. Your customers may listen to music in in their pickup or car that is Spanish or English. Depending on your market, you may have people who speak Farsi at home walking into your establishment.  Or you may have those who speak Mandarin, French, Greek, or a Slavic tongue.  Down under, they may speak English, but their accent is different than ours here in the Colonies.

It pays to have some cultural appreciation and awareness.

It pays to be able to think outside of the box.

Easy doesn’t pay well,” observed John Bostick, Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and President and CEO of Sunshine Homes.

Some things can’t be hurried, said Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. On that point, using the principle of separating wheat from chaff, we concur with the man who has hung his hat in Omaha.



Colorful? No doubt. One must separate wheat from chaff, with all people, organizations, and things.


What music plays in your office? Do you use headsets? Or is it playing audibly, in a manner that others might hear it too?

Does that music connect – or separate – you from others?

The methods of connecting with people are varied. Here or MHProNews, we illustrate and provided content in a full range of ways, because there is a full scope of experiences and potential for connecting.


One of our earlier
Inside MH videos…

…still a very relevant interview.


Out industry is underperforming. It is almost guaranteed that your location(s) are too.  To some, that is an ‘inexplicable’ downturn, given the affordable housing crisis. But to be honest, figuring out why that downturn exists isn’t too hard for those willing to step outside their comfort zone and seek the truth.

Let’s be clear.  Even our fans or sponsors of MHProNews and MHLivingNews don’t always feel comfortable with something we publish.  That is especially so for those who read here, but aren’t fans of ours at all.  Part of the job of authentic media – be it mainstream or trade journalism – is to challenge people, especially when circumstances demand it.  You can find syrupy cheerleading somewhere else only, but you better take toothpaste, an electric tooth brush, and some dental floss with you.  Because after reading some competing voices for too long, their content might rot your teeth – or turn your mind into mush.

To get beyond underperformance, one logically must begins with understanding. After understanding begins, then one must move on to action plan and begin to execute the necessary steps. In an housing industry that does north of 1.5 trillion dollars a year in sales, there is simply no excuse for doing under $8 billion dollars in total retail last year.  That’s embarrassing. But that means there is tremendous upside. 


Time to Say Goodbye…

We are soon going to say goodbye to this version of our MHProNews website. The new version is approaching. There will be road bumps. C’est la vie! That’s life!

Once the new version is up, and the inevitable bugs are tweaked, there will be new manufactured home industry initiatives launched as well as fostered.

Our parent company – LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – are planning for the brighter future for the white hats of our industry, because we are true believers.



Thoughtful words, worth pondering.


There is a need for new events, new business alliances, and new visions that can be achieved instead of the sweet-sounding words found elsewhere, which they write while the industry is shrinking and consolidating during an affordable housing crisis.  Common sense alone tells the doers in our industry that it isn’t weather, or inventory adjustments, or tariffs, or whatever other excuses some peddle.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made certain things possible in his efforts before and during the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS). He’s built on the efforts of other who came before him, but he has also led the way in several laudable efforts.  More on that in the linked related reports, below the byline and notices.

But much more needs to be done, because the HUD Code manufactured home industry is in a downturn during an affordable housing crisis. One might aptly think of this as a ‘manufactured crisis.’

Because a handful of people could snap their fingers, and the manufactured home shipment decline would reverse. Never, ever forget that point.

That point means that those who are scratching their heads must study, understand, plan, and then act.




Together with people of good will, we plan to take the Time to Say Goodbye, but do so in a manner befitting this classic and moving duet.

More later. Thanks for checking in. Sign up for our industry leading 2x weekly emailed news updates at the link above or below.



To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.


Because for some, the best is yet to come. For others, it’s time to say goodbye to the limited vision, and time to sing a new song of opportunities fraught with the internal and external challenges that lie ahead. That’s what the words carpe diem are for, it is time to seize the day. 



Does this fit the theme of this post? As they say in Wisconsin, youbetcha.


That’s this edition of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)



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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

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Manufactured Housing Institute Insider Insight, Pulling Back the Curtain on How Things Are Done at MHI

November 1st, 2018 Comments off


For those of you who have sent news tips that have not yet been addressed, take heart.


Some tips are addressed rapidly, once verified.  Others ae held for an appropriate time to tackle an issue.  This is more of the latter category.

How does the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) create or devise some of its various reports?

In some cases, that work is farmed out to their parties, like Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC.

Here is a specific example.  For simplicity, this will look at only the first two paragraphs of the report as shown.



From: Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC
Re: Summary of Election Results and the Financial Services Outlook for the 115th Congress
Date: November 9, 2016

Donald J. Trump (R) shocked the world and defeated Hillary Clinton (D) with an electoral college vote of at least 290-228 to become the 45th President of the U.S.1 Secretary Clinton is likely to win the popular vote. Voters turned out en masse to vote against the establishment in favor of ending the status quo. This “populist right” movement does not subscribe to traditional Republican ideology, but it helped keep Republican majorities in the House (238-193) and Senate (52-47).2 For the first time since 2001, an election provided Republicans with control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

These election results will slow down, if not stop, a range of regulatory efforts across all sectors. The “populist right” movement believes in free enterprise, but is not blindly pro-business which they believe is rife with crony capitalism. Tax “loopholes” and special interest “benefits” are suspect. While Trump will support a pro-growth agenda of lower taxes, less regulation, energy independence and infrastructure spending, he will also frustrate Republicans with “fair trade” policies, immigration policy, and nationalism.”

That’s who this was addressed to from Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC, so it wasn’t just MHI.

What follows are the first two paragraphs of what MHI published, 5 days later, and distributed to their members.

Nov. 14, 2016
The 2016 Election’s Expected Impact on Manufactured Housing

Last Tuesday, voters elected Donald J. Trump (R) as the 45th President of the United States. Voters turned out to vote against the establishment in favor of ending the status quo. This “populist right” movement does not subscribe to traditional Republican ideology, but it helped keep Republican majorities in the House and Senate. It is the first time since 2004 that Republicans will control the White House and both chambers of Congress.

The election results are expected to slow down, if not stop, a range of regulatory efforts across all sectors. The “populist right” movement believes in free enterprise, but is not blindly pro-business, which they believe is rife with crony capitalism. President-Elect Trump is expected to support a progrowth agenda of lower taxes, less regulation, energy independence and infrastructure spending. He will also focus on “fair trade” policies and immigration policy.”

  • Notice that much of what MHI shared is word-for-word, including the grammatical glitches, from Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC (PFS)?
  • Note too that MHI doesn’t cite the source of their quotes and close paraphrases?
  • Let’s be clear. This is not illegal, because they paid for it. But isn’t it misleading, to their own members?  MHI had several highly paid staff members, then and now. In 2016, beyond rephrasing part of what PFS first published, what exactly did MHI staffers – specifically, Lesli Gooch, Ph.D. do? Because an MHI insider called precisely Gooch’s lack of transparency in this matter into question.



Was this money well spent? Where is the transparency?  Accountability?


The two different reports are linked on their names, PFS’s at this link here, and MHI’s at this link here.

Keep in mind the principle of transparency that ELS’ late Vice Chairman, Howard Walker said was important.


Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked below.


Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective


Why do some staffers at MHI, as well as a number of MHI members, complain about a lack of transparency?  There are complaints about the MHI ‘inner circle,’ that is kept in the loop, with the bulk of their own members being kept in the dark, or per sources, are misled by top MHI staff?


To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.


This PFS example above isn’t a one-off instance of this, per our sources at MHI.

While this arguably isn’t the biggest issue facing manufactured housing, what this report does is tee up some future facts that point to a pattern identified by reports like those, linked above and further below under the related reports. MHI’s leaders, per sources, are ‘nervous’ about ‘the next shoe to drop,’ as revelations like yesterdays and others linked below pile up.  Note that to date, MHI has not even tried to publicly debunk a single such MHProNews report.  It’s a funny thing about facts, they are not easily changed.


Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement


Keep in mind too that MHI leaders and ‘big boys’ are backing anti-Trump candidates in key midterm battleground states. So, while the posture with industry officials at HUD and elsewhere that they embrace the Trump agenda, doesn’t their financial backing of pro-Trump candidates in key states suggest otherwise?


“He’s Lying,” Campaign Insider Video – “Don’t Do Politics?” Tell Jim Clayton, Phil Bredesen, and Marsha Blackburn, Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Supporter


That’s MH “Industry News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and




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MH Community Owner Slammed as “Vulture Capitalist” by Mainstream Media

August 25th, 2018 Comments off

MHCommunityOwnerSlammedAsVultureCapitalistByMainstreamMediaDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsThe Daily Business News plans to review a mainstream news story next week that featured as part of their headline the phrase, “Vulture Capitalists.”


An upset resident/activist group used the phrase, which of course the mainstream media repeated.

Like it or not, that’s part of the reality of numerous companies in MHVille.


Click here or the above to learn more, which is not connected to this report.

The operative question for those who want to improve their bottom lines ought to be, what can be done about an image or vexing issues like that one? Let’s start to unpack that question and topic, with some facts, evidence and common sense.


Status Quo

Doing nothing will logically only continue the past pattern.

Marty Lavin told MHProNews a few days ago that the industry has seen hundreds of stories similar to Bloomberg’s recent positive report on modern manufactured homes.

Lavin’s view is that nothing changed before, why should it be different now?


“156,” and “Questioning Politics”

Our publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and his brother Tom often have wildly different views on political, lifestyle, or other subjects. So, when this writer heard Tony laughing out loud over a text from his brother, naturally, the next question was ‘what did he say that was so funny?’

Tom had told Tony, “I question your politics, not your ethics.”

The brothers have locked horns on numerous issues. The discussions can get heated, at times. Nevertheless, the two stay in touch, respect each other’s views, and love each other as brothers should. FYI, Tom ok’d this reference before our publishing it.

While controversial, Tom developed quite a reputation in local politics, before stepping down from years on the Norman, OK city council. He’s done political and other consulting.

Tom’s not just smart, he’s a genius, with a tested IQ of 156.  That’s Tony’s nickname for Tom, “156.”


After decades of experience in debating topics, Tom may disagree with Tony’s political views, but not his ethics.


Click here or the above to learn more or register for the event, which is unrelated to the article.



A well-known and respected industry professional emailed Tony yesterday, and said in part that our publisher is a ‘gent,’ ‘…even though some think you are a muckraker.’ It was a jest from the that industry pro who sent the message, but it also reflects a serious allegation held by few in the industry.

To some in MHVille, publishing anything that is deemed ‘negative’ is equal to ‘muckraking.’  But is that true?


Part of several messages for publication by Tim Williams to MHProNews.

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere are several cheer-leading writers and publishers in MHLand today, and every industry needs some measure of that kind of writing. But if the prime focus of others is ‘feel good’ stuff – published without balance or at the expense of honesty, ethics, or reality – isn’t that a problem?

By analogy, what doctor want to hear only the good things from their patient?  Every medical professional wants a complete picture: the good, bad and the ugly. The good MD asks questions, listens, looks for evidence, tests it, all before making a diagnosis. Accountants, attorneys and other professionals do something similar. It’s what journalists and serious writers are supposed to do too.

Reality matters.

  • So why is there a dearth of other independent trade media in MHVille that dig deeply into real world issues?
  • Why do so few other writers care about evidence and facts that point to why manufactured housing is so badly underperforming during this affordable housing crisis?

MHProNews has a history of looking at the facts, evidence, and then considering ways real challenges can be addressed.


Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked here.

Back for a moment to the headline topic.

If your company was accused by residents or customers of being a ‘vulture capitalist,’ what would you say or do to counter that claim in public?

There are many answers, but let’s start with some facts next…

Trendlines Don’t Lie, Real Challenges, Hidden Manufactured Housing Opportunities Revealed

Robust Pageviews – What MHVille Readers Read a Lot

To understand how valuable articles and the digital real estate are on (a.k.a.,, etc., etc.) consider this statistical peek at media giant FORBES, shown below.


So, while the giant Forbes’ mega-site will no doubt get some articles with huge readership, a pretty important topic like the one shown has – after some 2 years – fewer page views than the ones shown above got in their first month online.


An MHI member said, “Tony you should take that sign as abadge of media courage.”  At last year’s San Antonio MHI meeting, Dick Jennison and Lesli Gooch repeatedly made thinly veiled statements, aimed at MHProNews – while this publication was still a member-company. But when these signs were first introduced, top MHI staff claimed it was aimed at ‘outside’ media, not ‘industry media.’ What caused this change toward a dues paying association member? What message does it send to others in the association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly?

Our platform has numerous valid URLs (web addresses), and a number of c-panels. So complete site gathering statistics can take quite a bit of time, if each URL and C-panel data set is checked.

To save precious time, we normally only check one c-panel, and that’s the one for our original URL,

In spite of direct and indirect push-back from a certain trade group that’s been going after us for years – but lacks the guts to debate our publisher in public – third-party data reflects our traffic has more than doubled in the past year.

Rephrased, in spite of digs and disses by MHI – which began years before we did our first deep dive into their problematic practices – what was an initial hit from them has over time eventually resulted in a regrowth and new appreciation by industry readers of our topics and covered issues. Yes, they can say they  ‘got us’ for a while, but by focusing on facts and evidence no one else in MHVille does, our readers have rewarded us with more traffic that is still rising at steady rate.


The first examples – the evidence or proof – are from the dates and times, shown below.


Summary Period: August 2018
Generated 23-Aug-2018 07:18 CDT

Here’s how you read this. The first number reflects its relative page rank, with #1 always being ‘direct request’ i.e.: the home page. The second number reflects reader hits on a given linked article, and the third box shown is the URL of the specific article being ranked.

11 15788
12 15415


It was May 9th, 2018 when Smoking Gun 3 was published.  The below was the traffic for roughly 2/3rds of the month on that one article.  That one article is more than anything else in MHVille’s professional trade media, period. Third-party data like this tells you want industry professional readers really want to read and know.

12 10675


That same month (May 2018), Tom Lackey, Spencer Roane, George Allen were spotlighted in the article linked below.  Yes, ours is a small industry today, but in that small industry thousands wanted to read these articles.

16 7301
18 4812


During August of 2019, an article like Smoking Gun 3, over 90 days later, still draws significant traffic.

44 1523


We can’t spare the time to check how many times TOTAL Smoking Gun 3 has been accessed, but its in the tens of thousands of hits, from professional readers like you.


What Does it Mean?

With over well over 25,000 articles online, it’s no surprise that MHProNews is the most widely read publication in the industry, and has been since near the end of our first year publishing.

Per Alexa, and other third-party sources, some of our less read new Daily Business News articles get more pageviews than an entire issue of a given competitor’s magazine or several combined competitor’s blog posts.

Industry readers are hungry to know the truth, not just feel good cheerleading that has led the industry no where exciting.

What those statistics tell us is that professional readers in MHVille want meat and potatoes, not pablum.


Professionals don’t have to agree with everything to realize that we are all eager to find and share solutions to the issues that hold the industry at historically low levels of performance.

Back to our headline question.

If you were slammed with the phrase, “vulture capitalist,” what would you do?  Say nothing? Frank Rolfe thinks that’s a mistake.

Or would you do something?

  • This upcoming Monday morning’s “sales meeting” will tackle that issue.
  • A relevant upcoming Masthead post promises simple yet profound ways to advance sales in local, regional, and national markets.
  • Next week also promises a new report or two that some may call ‘muckraking,’ but they are fact and evidence-based insights that no one else in MH trade media dares to do.

That’s part of the reason why from the smallest to the largest players in the industry, we are the runaway #1.

Thank you for that confidence.  Stay tuned, and please sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news at the link below.  Thousands get it, from the biggest in the business, to the mom-and-pops or one-person shops.

The above is something to think about for those who are marketers in MHVille, because we not only have the largest audience, but also the most engaged.

The above also tells you this.  We understand MHVille better overall than some who proclaim themselves to be champions of the industry.

That’s an inside Saturday look at News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where our respectful motto is “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

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Howard Walker, Mensch – Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), Manufactured Homes Retrospective

July 23rd, 2018 Comments off

It’s a Jewish tradition when someone dies to say, “May his or her memory be for blessing.” The actual honorific is “of blessed memory,” a translation of the Hebrew “zikhrono livrakha” (m.) or “zikhronah livrakha” (f.)…I tend to say, “May his or her memory be a blessing.”” – Nina Amir.


When a long-time industry friend and colleague of Howard Walker’s heard we planned this article, he asked us to say in this retrospective, “Be sure to say that Howard Walker was a Mensch.”

Howard Walker, JD, served as Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) Vice Chairman for many years. Sam Zell and several of their colleagues voted in the spring to keep his chair empty for a year.

That was a mark of honor for a man that hundreds of us in manufactured housing – especially in the land lease community sector – came to know.


Mr. Walker was a sharp man, who could be tough, and had a quick wit. You obviously don’t serve an industry giant in such a key role for so long without bringing a lot of experience and wisdom to the table.

Walker was trusted.

Howard served on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Executive Committee as a board member for several years.

Every time we drive into Tampa – dozens of times annually, as we pass Howard Ave near the airport – it serves as a silent reminder to us of the man.


Powerful Lesson from a Private Dinner with Howard Walker

Howard invited me to a private dinner for two in Tampa a few years ago, which yielded hours of conversation about the industry.  We naturally also spoke about the Arlington, VA based MHI trade association.

Let’s note that it’s not my intention to reveal anything said by Howard that was shared in strict confidence. But some principles he espoused which where also shared with others will take center stage in what follows.

Specifically, the focus will be a concept which Howard himself shared with others, that he explained that he and ELS believe in.

It is fair to say that Walker felt that others in manufactured housing should also believe in the following principle. Here’s a specific gems that Walker stressed during that dinner.

Tony, as a publicly traded company, ELS believes in transparency, in getting the facts out there.
If there is bad news, we get it out there. If there is good news, get it out there
– Howard Walker.

He then explained to me the wisdom of this approach.

On a different occasion that year, I was communicating with an ELS administrator, who interfaced with Walker and another one of their top people. I conversationally mentioned to her our plan not to put some bad news out on MHProNews that had just hit the mainstream news.

That ELS executive administrator asked me, ‘Why not get it out there for the industry to read and consider?’

Walker and that ELS executive level administrator were both logically correct. Why hide the truth? Both of those ELS team members shared a similar insight.  They were applying a similar principle – related to the value of addressing what’s in the news, and transparency.



For clarity, it’s not that MHProNews ever ignored all bad news about the industry. From early on, the Daily Business News, the Masthead or one of our other modules periodically reported and specifically analyzed problem issues.

But there is sadly so much skewed reporting or problematic terminology about manufactured housing in the mainstream media, that if we reported on every piece of bad news, that could dominate all that MHProNews would do.  We’d never have time to get to the good news on MHProNews or MHLivingNews.  An example of recent useful – mostly good news – is the report linked below.

Realtor University ® “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” Research by Scholastica Cororaton, Certified Business Economist, Highlights

So, for years, the Daily Business News has strived for balance and accuracy.  Here the industry professional or investor can consider the good, bad or ugly. The news is explored through the lens of informed industry professionals.

As any publisher does, we must curate – carefully select, pick and choose – what topics to cover.  Then, we make the case as to why that curated story is important to the industry, officials, advocates, researchers, and investors.

It’s been a few years since that dinner conversation.  But clearly, Howard Walker’s thoughtful gem on transparency stuck with me.


Howard Walker, MHProNews and the Sam Zell Interview

Howard facilitated our interview responses with Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS) Chairman Sam Zell.  He insured it would be an accurate reflection of what Mr. Zell said and meant. Those two parts of the Zell interview are linked below.  They are classics.

The photo shown below by MHProNews of Zell, coupled with the quote shown, were among the Zell-isms Howard said were verified with the ELS Chairman.


To see a two part exclusive interview with Sam Zell, click the links above.


Why did Walker facilitate that Zell interview? Isn’t that also an example of transparency, and the desire for accuracy?  Isn’t it also a sign of trust?

It is fair to say that Howard was at times miffed – to put it politely – at some of our coverage about MHI, notably in the roughly last 2 years.

But he also overall praised our industry coverage as “thorough and unbiased reporting,” as a number of emails from him – including the one further below for publication – reflects.

The above tees up the following logical question.

How well, by the Howard Walker/ELS standard – has the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) held to the standard of “transparency?”


For the bulk of the time since MHProNews has existed, this publication could ask MHI, or any other trade association for comments and insights, and we would promptly get a reply.

As regular Daily Business News readers noted last week, MHProNews can get comments from other national or state trade associations, see examples of 6 in the housing/factory-built housing industry in just a matter of days, spotlighted in the report linked below.

“When I Slow Down, I Go Faster.” – Ken Blanchard, and Manufactured Housing


Flash Back

Let’s flashback to the 2017 MHI meeting in San Antonio.  There, this writer asked several MHI member-builders, as well as other MHI members and staff, about what the association’s position should be on Pam Danner at HUD.  Keep in mind that this was several months prior to her removal as head of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, which occurred later in 2017.  MHI staff would not answer that question.  Why not?  But numbers of members where happy to discuss the matter.  More on that linked below, in the related resources.

Not long after that San Antonio meeting, MHI sent our firm a letter removing our firm from their membership.  It was roughly that same time frame, that MHI stopped responding to questions from MHProNews.  After years of membership, their written excuse was that it had ‘come to their attention’ that they had ‘no membership category’ for ‘news media.’ Never mind, that our operation does more than news, or that other MHI members publish too.  If you are going to give an excuse, was their’s an example that any excuse will do?

Now consider that in juxtaposition to Howard Walker encouraging MHI leadership in writing to deepen their relationship with MHProNews.


What’s happened to transparency at MHI?

How would Walker or others objectively answer that question?

Walker praised this publication and our sister platform, in writing and for publication. He never withdrew that statement, shown in the graphic further above.


Thoughtful words, worth pondering.

Howard said that our brand of reporting was long overdue in manufactured housing.

Howard, let me respectfully suggest that your words – and that stated ELS principle on transparency – are more needed now in MHVille than ever.  The industry is still at historically low levels of performance, as an MHI member-produced graphic below reveals.


What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.  During an affordable housing crisis, what is missing?  

Fair and necessary questions related to this gem of Walker’s should include:

  • why during an affordable housing crisis is the manufactured home industry at such a relatively low level of new home production and sales?
  • Why did MHI become so aloof from engagement here?
  • Or why does MHI often fail to engage with mainstream media, when doing so could potentially get to the root issues that hold the industry back from more growth?

We’ll look more deeply into this and related in the days ahead.  We may also find occasion to reveal a few more gems from Howard.


The interstate near the airport in Tampa, FL, Howard Ave sign. 

It goes without saying that the keen and colorful Howard Walker, Mensch, is missed.

May his memory be a blessing.  May those words inspire thoughtful reflection. May he rest in peace. ## (Retrospective, industry events, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) Related Reports, are linked below…


To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.


Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.


Related Reports:

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative


Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room



Howard Walker, Equity Lifestyle Properties Vice Chair, Passed Away

April 14th, 2018 Comments off

Howard Walker, right in photo, credit, MHI.

In a message to members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) begins, “It is with great sadness that I inform you that industry leader Howard Walker, Vice Chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) and MHI Treasurer, passed away Wednesday morning.”

Bloomberg said, “Mr. Howard Walker has been a Co-Vice Chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. since February 2013 and was its Vice Chairman from May 2003 to February 2013. He has been a Director of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. since November 1997. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Equity LifeStyle Properties,” prior to assuming that role.

Mr. Walker “was a frequent presence at MHI meetings and events, having served on the MHI Executive Committee of the Board of Directors as Treasurer and an Investment Committee member since 2013. He also was active in other roles at MHI over the years, including serving as Vice Chair of the National Communities Council Board of Governors and a member of the Government Relations Committee,” said MHI’s statement.


Howard Walker, 78 Beloved father of Dina (Blake Crousore) Walker and Gordon (Patricia Ni) Walker. Cherished grandfather of Mia and Beckett Walker. Dear brother of the late Shirley (the late Seamen) Peltz and the late Robert Walker. Fond uncle, cousin and friend to many. A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, April 14, from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm at The Drake Hotel, (Camellia Room) 140 East Walton Place, Chicago. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, contributions to your [favorite charity] would be appreciated” said Legacy.


MHProNews wishes to extend its sincere condolences to all of those who are touched by his passage.


May he rest in peace. ## (Passages, news.) (R.I.P., floral credits Pixabay, all third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews87L. A. “Tony” Kovach.


MHI announces their new Executive Committee board members, Award Winners

October 3rd, 2016 Comments off

MHI’s annual meeting was held at the posh Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach, CA. MHI logo and the photos shown are used under fair use guidelines.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) informs MHProNews that they have elected a new board of directors at its annual luncheon on September 26th. Members voted and approved the following officers for 2017:

  • Chairman: Tim Williams, CEO of 21st Century Mortgage Corporation
  • Vice Chairman: Joe Stegmayer, Chairman and CEO of Cavco Industries
Tom Hodges, Howard Walker, Tim Williams and Joe Stegmayer. Credit:, MHI, LinkedIn, MHProNews

Top left to right, Tom Hodges, Howard Walker, Tim Williams and Joe Stegmayer. Credit:, MHI, LinkedIn, MHProNews.

  • Treasurer: Howard Walker, Vice Chairman of Equity Lifestyle
  • Secretary: Tom Hodges, General Counsel of Clayton Homes

MHI also honored four individuals they cited for outstanding achievements, dedication and service to the association and the industry at their annual awards dinner.


Leo Poggione. Credit MHI

Leo Poggione, President of Craftsman Homes in Reno, NV received the MHI Chairman’s Award. Poggione, who is also an MHI board member, has also held positions at the National Retailers Council, in addition to work on numerous MHI committees.

Jeff Legault, Director of Product Design and Engineering for Skyline Corporation in Elkart, Ind., received the Frank Walter Standards Award, which is selected by the MHI Technical Activities Committee.


Jeff Legault. Credit: MHI

Mark Brunner, Executive Director of the Manufactured and Modular Home Association of Minnesota (MMHA) received the State Association Executive of the Year Award, selected by a peer group of manufactured housing state association executives.


Mark Brunner. Credit: MHI

Brunner was successful with getting legislation passed that changed Minnesota’s modular home sales higher tax rate to be in line with new manufactured and site-built homes.

Brunner recently commented on the granny pods legislation reported by the Daily Business News, linked here.

Rick Robinson, MHI’s Senior Vice President of State and Local Affairs, received the Jim Moore Excellence in Communications Award from the Manufactured Housing Executives Council (MHEC).

This award was created to honor Jim Moore, the long-time executive director of the Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association and a tireless promoter of manufactured housing.

Robinson, an author, was previously featured in an interview on MHProNews, linked here.


Rick Robinson Credit: MHI

MHI is one of two manufactured housing focused national trade organizations. The association is based in Arlington, VA.

MHI members include HUD Code manufactured housing and modular home builders, financial services, home retailers, community owners and managers, suppliers and other professionals affiliated with the industry, including dozens of affiliated state organizations.

In 2015, MHI says the manufactured home industry produced over 70,000 homes, which is approximately 9 percent of new single-family home starts, down some 300,000 units from its peak in 1998, but with shipments rising for over 5 years. ##

(Image credits are as shown.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.


MHI Elects New Officers and Presents Annual Awards

October 7th, 2015 Comments off

tim_williams__21st_mortgage_ceo__linkedinThe Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) elected a new slate of officers at the 2015 MHI annual meeting, and awards were presented to those honored for outstanding achievement, according to a report from our MHProNews person in attendance.

Tim Williams, of 21st Mortgage Corporation, was elected Chairman of the Board, replacing Nathan Smith of SSK Communities. Charley Lott, of Fleetwood Enterprises, a division of Cavco, was elected Vice Chairman of the Board. Howard Walker, of Equity LifeStyle Properties was chosen as Treasurer, and Tom Hodges, of Clayton Homes, Secretary.

Honored for their contributions to the manufactured housing industry: Steven P. Adler, of Murex Properties, NCC Chairman, received the 2015 MHI Chairman’s Award; Marla Y McAfee, Tennessee Manufactured Housing Association, was honored as the State Association Executive of the Year; Andy Gallagher, WV Manufactured Housing Association received the Jim Moore Excellence in Communications Award, and Manuel Santana, Cavco Industries, was the recipient of the Frank Walter Standards Award.

For editorial commentary on the MHI annual meeting, please click here.

For MHProNews‘ “A Cup of Coffee” interview with Tim Williams, click here. ##

(Photo credit: LinkedIn-Tim Williams)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Manufactured Housing Institute announces Executive Committee election results

September 15th, 2014 Comments off

mhi-logoThe Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has announced the election of their new officers, which took place during their annual meeting at Scottsdale, AZ 9-15-2014.  

The executive committee officers are; Nathan Smith (SSK Communities), Chairman.   Tim Williams (21st Mortgage), Vice Chairman.  Howard Walker (ELS), Treasurer.  Kevin Clayton (Clayton Homes), Secretary.
The annual meeting included division meetings, with those officers expected to be announced later this week. ##
(Image credit: MHI logo)

The Big 5 Point 0 Rapidly Approaching

September 9th, 2014 Comments off

 5th-anniversary-image-credit=fotosearch-posted-daily-business-news-mhmsm-com-In anticipation of the 5th anniversary celebration of MHProNew’s service to the factory-built housing industry, Howard Walker, Vice-Chairman of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), sent this message with his okay to quote:

The emergence of Tony Kovach’s group of publications has brought a new standard of professionalism to the industry. The thorough and unbiased reporting fills the vacuum that has existed for too long. It’s been refreshing to have these communications serving the manufactured housing industry, and here’s to their continued success.

Barry Cole has been serving as the Chairman of the RV MH Hall of Fame for many years and was recently himself inducted into the Hall as an honoree. Cole is one of the growing number of industry leaders and professionals who’ve sent a message of congratulations for the writers and team members who have made MHProNews – and the recently celebrated first anniversary of the new – the leading publications of their kind in manufactured and modular housing. Cole said in part:

I enjoy receiving MHProNews and as I have told you before  – everyone I know in MH reads your pub.  Continue on forever with this great news worthy service.

Joe Kelly, who has lead the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association for some three decades, said, “Congratulations to Tony and his staff for five years of excellent work with MHProNews and other MH specific publications! …MHProNews is like a well-supplied buffet line…In checking them out, you’ll always find an article or an opinion piece of interest: something you need to know to become a more informed professional…” 

Kelly’s complete message in support and praise of MHProNews and is found linked here. Other such messages are in hand and coming in, which will be published in the upcoming October issue of as a featured article. ##


(Editor’s note: Update! We are getting in a daily stream of comments from CEOs, owners, managers, state executives plus industry rank and file.

Your feedback – and that from MHPro readers like you – is welcome and encouraged, please send them with the subject line, 5th Anniversary Celebration to this email address, linked here, with our sincere thanks. We appreciate the opportunity to serve manufactured housing professionals, investors, researchers and all in this fashion…  


The 2,028,336 page views in July 2014 is like 56,342 thirty two page magazines being read cover to cover.  This means we provide the content you and others crave!  Industry Pros want to Know and Grow.

Our sincere thanks to the dozens of experts, writers and sponsors who’ve made MHProNews possible, as well as the most widely read publication of its kind in manufactured housing history.)

(5th anniversary image credit: fotosearch, logo: MHProNews) 

From Single-section Home to Industry Success

January 31st, 2014 Comments off

Nathan Smith, 42, has grown from spending his early years in a pre HUD-Code home on a hillside in southeastern Kentucky to being the face of and partner in a company that develops and operates 25 manufactured housing communities (MHCs) in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. In a very animated TV commercial, Smith, who is naturally high energy, promotes SSK Communities of Erlanger, KY with a “move in today” message.

According to, he met businesswoman and philanthropist Alice Burns at Northern Kentucky University when they both served on the Board of Regents, when he was a student representative. They became friendly and she invested in SSK, and says Smith is a natural salesman.

In Democratic circles he is one of Kentucky’s most sought after fund raisers. “For the last 10 or 12 years, Nathan has probably been the most energetic and committed political and financial backer of Democrats from Northern Kentucky,” KY Attorney General Jack Conway said. KY Auditor Adam Edelen said to, “The great thing about Nathan is he is respectful by telling you precisely what he thinks but he never tells you what to think. That is a very special kind of characteristic that a lot of people in politics do not have. I think that is at the foundation of why he is so successful.” Calling politics a hobby, he says, “It is like the ultimate adult game.”

Currently serving as Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Smith was also present at the successful Louisville Manufactured Housing Show Jan. 22-24, as MHProNews knows. Howard Walker, vice chairman of Equity LifeStyle Properties, the largest owner of MHCs in North America, compliments Smith on having built a “considerable portfolio” of properties.

Smith will be featured in a video interview on MHProNews that is planned to  go live this weekend.##

(Photo credit: Patrick Reddy/The Enquirer–Smith with inscribed photos from President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden.