Why I Belong

March 9th, 2011 No comments

As far back as 1830, the French statesman and author Alexis de Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America that … Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all dispositions are forever forming associations.  There are not only commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but others of a thousand different types ­religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very limited, immensely large and very minute. And you know, he was right then and remains so today.  How many folks don’t belong to one or more social, religious or business groups?  Very very few.  But the issue here is, how many of you are not maximizing the profitability of your business because you don’t belong to a state, provincial or national manufactured housing trade association or institute?

 

The has identified 22 features that attract businessmen and women to join various assemblies of like-minded individuals and firms.  And the nearly two dozen features have been grouped into four areas of emphasis: activities, information, publications, and benefits. The following paragraphs take a closer look at ten of these feature areas (i.e. reasons) that are particularly germane to manufactured housing industry aficionados.

 

1.      To support and advance a personal, business and other common and important interest to the individual or business involved.  For example, manufactured housing, finance, real estate investment or management, OEM suppliers (i.e. original equipment manufacturers), and on and on.  The purpose to all this?  To capitalize on the very real concept that there is greater strength in numbers of like-minded folk than always going it alone.

2.      To meet, network and share ideas, frustrations and lessons learned, with peers who have similar personal and professional interests.  A good example of this is the periodic meetings we attend on local (i.e. chapter), state (i.e. convention or annual meeting) and national levels to do just that.

3.      To acquire information and access resources key to one’s business survival, even prosperity.  Venues for these opportunities?  Regularly scheduled meetings, trade and professional publications subscription, trade show attendance, even recreational activities like golf outings.  Furthermore, unique and helpful resources are oft available from association staff contacts and their experience, familiarity with research results, etc.

4.      To develop new business through and with people met at association events and activities.  When I started my manufactured housing-related business two decades ago, visiting local manufactured housing association chapter meetings was essential in developing contacts and future business relationships throughout the locale in which I was working.  And now, twenty years later, the pattern repeats itself on a national and international level relative to the very same reasons.

5.      To increase and update one’s skills and knowledge base.  How?  By attending association-sponsored seminars, training programs and other related activities.  Frankly, there are no other opportunities to obtain the specialized knowledge we often need in manufactured housing than to be intimately involved with our state, provincial and national trade associations and institutes.

6.      To keep abreast with changes to industry rules, regulations, statutes and standards.  For that matter, association involvement is oft the only way one has to input the process to begin with, to express one’s support of or displeasure with pending legislation, rules changes, etc.  For that matter, sharing a practical Code of Business Ethics with one’s peers is an important feature of this particular reason for joining.

7.      To learn of and access latest worthwhile business products and services.  Vendors often contact trade associations first to ‘test the waters’ relative to market (i.e.  association member) acceptance.  This is an especially common phenomenon at our regional MH trade shows.

8.      To interface with professional association staff for answers to strategic business questions -and learn where to go for further information.  This could well include access to the association’s attorney for legal opinion and initial guidance in sensitive business matters.

9.       To increase clout in local, regional and national political and regulatory arenas.  Politics is obviously a fact of business as well as personal life.  Why not enhance your opinions in this arena by uniting with trade associations that share your concerns?

10.  To take advantage of group purchasing and/or member discounts for certain products and services.  There’s a very wide range of possibilities here: printing, advertising, travel discounts, group health and liability insurance, banking services, long distance telephone services, association -sponsored retirement plans, etc.

Convinced yet to join?  I surely hope so.  Here’s what Teddy Roosevelt had to say on the subject: ‘Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged.  No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.’  So won’t you join me?  As a matter of principle, I maintain trade association memberships in every state or province in which I have ongoing business interests, plus the national association that lobbies in my behalf at that level.

2011 Great Southwest Home Show – Grow Your Market Share!

March 4th, 2011 No comments

Oak Creek Homes appreciates the opportunity to showcase our latest home designs and lifestyles to potential home buyers. Oak Creek has participated in this show every year since its inception. In 2010 we saw our market share of homes sold in Oklahoma grow by over 100% and part of that can be attributed to our participation in this annual event. Having the ability to exhibit our new homes in a climate-controlled environment is a real plus.

Thanks go out to the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma Board and Staff for putting on the Great Southwest Home Show and allowing us to be a part of it. # #

Charley Boyer
COO/VP-Manufacturing Division, Oak Creek Homes, LP, Fort Worth, TX 76119;
(817) 478-5551 ext. 306,
cboyer@hstr.com;
www.oakcreekhomes.com

HOMExpo 2011 – One-Stop Shop for Your Professional Success!

March 2nd, 2011 No comments

Are you planning to attend HOMExpo 2011 April 29 – May 1 in York, PA?  Yes, No, maybe?  Have you decided you may not need to take time away just to see homes?

There is so much more to HOMExpo!

First, there is the opportunity to meet and visit with other members of our industry, discuss business and share ideas.  But more importantly are the vendors participating in the show.  Of course, we (vendors) are looking for business opportunities as are we all, but we give our time and a commitment to this industry:  three days of providing you a “one-stop shop” so to speak, where you can see, touch and learn about products and services that may enhance your business, save you operating cost or even increase business and profits.

So I encourage you to attend HOMExpo 2011 and take the time to meet and speak with the vendors, learn about what they offer.  Then, when you get back to your office, really compare your daily operation against the information you have obtained.

Make 2011 a Great Year!

Tifanee McCall, National Account Manager
Residential Warranty Company, LLC / MHWC
800-247-1812 ext 2132
tifanee.mccall@rwcwarranty.com

Interesting Activity by Congress on Home Financing

February 24th, 2011 No comments

MHARR LogoThe below news release from the House Financial Services Committee should be of interest to you… please read it carefully.

It is worth noting that while the federal government has been spending billions of dollars on failed programs such as these, the one HUD program that helps put lower and moderate income consumers (i.e., manufactured home buyers) into new homes that they can actually afford — the FHA Title I manufactured housing program — is subject to unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions that effectively limit it to only one financing provider and a minimal number of loans (1,834 loans during the fiscal year 2010)

It is a shame the way public/private consumer financing issue has been mishandled in Washington, D.C. At a time when all decision-makers in the nation’s capital are doing their best to help lower and moderate-income American homebuyers, the unavailability of HUD Code financing, a key post-production issue, is not even on their radar screen.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform
1331 Pennsylvania Ave N.W., Suite 508
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: 202/783-4087
Fax: 202/783-4075
Email: mharrdg@aol.com


For Immediate Release | Contact: 202-226-0471

February 24, 2011

Committee Will Markup Bills to Terminate Failed Programs

WASHINGTON: Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus announced a subcommittee hearing and full committee markup of four bills that will terminate failed and ineffective housing foreclosure programs.

The four proposals – which terminate the troubled Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the FHA Refinance Program, and the Emergency Homeowner Relief Fund – will be the subjects of a hearing on March 2 by the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee and a full committee markup on March 3.

In an era of record-breaking deficits, it’s time to pull the plug on these programs that are actually doing more harm than good for struggling homeowners,” said Chairman Bachus. These programs may have been well-intentioned but they’re not working and, in reality, are making things worse.”

Insurance and Housing Subcommittee Chairman Judy Biggert said: We need to break down barriers that have delayed the housing recovery, including expensive and ineffective government programs that have failed to help homeowners. Unfortunately, these programs were set up in haste, executed poorly, and have done little to restore stability in the marketplace. A government program that spends more to save a single borrower than it costs to buy a home is no help at all – it’s just a waste of taxpayer money. We need to stop funding programs that don’t work with money we don’t have.”

The Committee will consider the following bills:

The HAMP Termination Act. The Obama Administration’s signature anti-foreclosure effort, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), has failed to help a sufficient number of distressed homeowners to justify the program’s cost. According to the Administration, HAMP was supposed to help 4 million homeowners. Instead, only 521,630 loans have been permanently modified under this program and the re-default rate is high. To date, the Administration has spent approximately $840 million of the $29 billion earmarked for HAMP from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Far from helping at-risk homeowners, HAMP has actually made many worse off, according to a report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP):

People who apply for modifications via HAMP sometimes end up unnecessarily depleting their dwindling savings in an ultimately futile effort to obtain the sustainable relief promised by the program guidelines. Others, who may have somehow found ways to continue to make their mortgage payments, have been drawn into failed trial modifications that have left them with more principal outstanding on their loans, less home equity (or a position further ‘underwater’), and worse credit scores. Perhaps worst of all, even in circumstances where they never missed a payment, they may face back payments, penalties, and even late fees that suddenly become due on their ‘modified’ mortgages and that they are unable to pay, thus resulting in the very loss of their homes that HAMP is meant to prevent. While it may be true that many homeowners may benefit from temporarily reduced payments even though the modification ultimately fails, Treasury’s claim that ‘every single person’ who participates in HAMP gets ‘a significant benefit’ is either hopelessly out of touch…or a cynical attempt to define failure as success.”

In a separate report, the SIGTARP noted HAMP “continues to fall dramatically short of any meaningful standard of success.”

The HAMP Termination Act ends the Treasury Secretary’s authority to provide new assistance under the program but preserves assistance already offered to homeowners through HAMP prior to the bill’s enactment.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act. Congress has appropriated $7 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization program, including $2 billion in the Obama Administration’s stimulus plan. Two rounds of NSP funding have already been provided to states and localities. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act ends the program and rescinds the unobligated third round of funding of $1 billion.

Critics have argued that the NSP does not benefit at-risk homeowners facing foreclosure, and may instead create perverse incentives for banks and other lenders to foreclose on troubled borrowers – arguably worsening the housing crisis.

The FHA Refinance Program Termination Act terminates the program and rescinds unobligated funding. The price tag for this program is $8.12 billion, of which only $50 million has been disbursed thus far. For this large outlay, the taxpayers have seen minimal return on their investment. As of December 13, 2010, only 35 applications had been submitted for this program.

The Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act ends the program and rescinds unobligated funding. The Dodd-Frank Act reauthorized the long-expired Emergency Homeowners’ Relief Act of 1975 and provided $1 billion to authorize HUD to make emergency mortgage relief payments to homeowners facing foreclosure for up to 12 months, with a possible extension of another 12 months. These loans will serve to increase the amount of the borrower’s indebtedness, so a borrower who is unable to pay back either the original amount of principal or the additional loans made under the program will be worse off in the long run.

The 2011 Great Southwest Home Show

February 16th, 2011 No comments

Editor’s Note: David Syler is a retailer for manufactured housing in Oklahoma, and shares his reasons why he will attend the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show and why he believes others should, too.

I have had the opportunity to attend the Great Southwest Home Show the last two years. I encourage anyone in the manufactured home industry to attend.

The QuikTrip Center is an ideal location. It’s centrally located, easy to access and the building is big enough to house everything under one roof. The weather is never an issue, making it perfect for a springtime event in Oklahoma. Manufacturers can bring in homes and be assured setup and tear down can be accomplished without the hassle of weather delays.

The Hard Rock Hotel is not far from the QuikTrip Center and has its own set of amenities to offer. It is a fairly new hotel, so it’s nice and clean. It has a casino, beautiful golf course and also some great restaurants.

The show has grown each year and this year promises to be no exception. There will be lots of exhibitors on hand, including representatives from supply companies, skirting companies, delivery services, finance and insurance. Several manufacturers will have homes on display as well.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show [link to page].  You won’t be disappointed. # # 

David Syler, Owner of The Home Connection, Oklahoma City, OK. (405) 787 5004 or 405-204-4333; dsyler@coxinet.net

More on attempts by Washington to help “the people”

February 11th, 2011 No comments

Previously I brought up the quote made famous by Ronald Reagan: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

That quote takes on special significance for an industry like manufactured housing that is comprehensively regulated by the federal government. Over the last year, the federal government, through third party contractors has been arbitrarily ratcheting up in-plant inspection activity. A HUD proposal to authorize this was first presented to the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) three years ago. The MHCC, however, rejected the proposal as being a proposal to solve a problem that had not been identified and a cost burden for consumers that would not have any corresponding measurable benefit. After that rejection, HUD pursued expanded in-plant inspections anyway, through “enhanced” inspection checklists, “standard operating procedures” and other processes. The proposal was proffered as one that was strictly voluntary and would not be imposed on the industry when it is in a potential death spiral.

Even though changes such as expanded in-plant regulation should be subject to public comment and review, no such process has occurred. Instead the third party entities have taken significant measures of mandatory implementation of the proposed “voluntary” proposal. The increased procedures bring with them increased costs which, not coincidently, are increased billings paid to the third party inspectors and HUD contractors. I am not suggesting that such parties are guilty of any complicity in implementation of these procedures. I am pointing out that they are not likely to come out in opposition to these enhanced procedures.

I was named to the MHCC as an original member in 2001 and spent roughly nine years serving in that capacity and working with the HUD staff. My service on the committee was concluded when I was termed off at the end of 2010. My gut feeling is that expanded regulation is being pushed at the career regulator level and senior management is reluctant to rein in the activities of their staffers. Another possibility is that the procedures got out of control once they were given to the third parties. Regardless of who is responsible, the important point is that this process is being implemented without the vetting that should have occurred, and this must be changed.

Another concern regarding the MHCC is the reduction of areas that formerly were the responsibility of the MHCC being taken over by HUD management. The current MHCC members have no say in their meeting agendas, leadership positions or priority of proposals. While HUD always had approval over these matters, historically the MHCC managed these areas in the past.

The MHCC was created by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which established a 22nd HUD designee member to the committee. That 22nd member is the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) and is identified in the Act as an “appointee” of the HUD Secretary. This corresponds with the 2000 law’s mandate for an appointed, non-career program administrator. The logic behind the political appointment of the program administrator, and by extension, the DFO, is that the person so named can function without getting deeply mired in the agendas that might exist within the permanent career members of HUD staff. For several years that position has been filled not by a non-career appointee, but by career personnel, and HUD has indicated that no plans are in the works to name anyone to fill that opening. The filling of this position, as specified by the 2000 law, should thus be a key objective for our industry.

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See Doug’s previous Industry Voices Post, The SAFE Act…and other attempts by Washington to help “The People”

Doug Gorman owns HomeMart in Tulsa OK, and is perhaps the most award wing retailer in the U.S. today.  He has served the Industry on the state and national levels, including as Show Chairman for the Great Southwest Home Show in Tulsa.  You can read his Cup of Cocoa with Doug Gorman at this Link.

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The SAFE Act…and other attempts by Washington to help “The People”

February 9th, 2011 No comments

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” That observation was made famous by President Ronald Reagan, even if not originated by him. The recent passage of the SAFE Act and the subsequent developments at the state levels in reaction to it certainly brings to mind that quotation. Congress passed the SAFE Act as a reaction to the bursting of the housing bubble, which had been expanding for more than a decade. The SAFE Act has specific language that requires parties to comply with new licensing requirements if a particular party in the transaction performs two separate functions and uses the word “and” to connect the functions.

When a national organization developed “model” language to assist states in developing their laws in compliance with the SAFE Act, the word “and” was replaced with the word “or.” While the SAFE Act’s language permits individual states to adopt language that exceeds the mandates within the act, the net impact of the creation of the “model language” was that many states took the path of least resistance and used the suggested language from the “model.” The adoption of the “model language” by a significant number of states has raised the bar for compliance with the SAFE Act in those affected states. This extreme application using the model language raises the cost of doing business in the affected states and does not reflect the intent of Congress when the act was passed.

A partial list of the consequences of the SAFE Act:

  • Exit of lenders at the state level rather than go through the ratcheted-up licensing level
  • Increased costs for those lenders who did not exit
  • Increased costs for lenders with a national presence, for they have to comply with multiple states’ licensing requirements
  • Exit of lenders that had a multi-state presence, but could not handle the attendant compliance

The net result to the consumer is fewer lenders to compete for his/her business. Those lenders that are available have to charge higher interest rates to cover the increased costs that occurred from compliance activities.

###

Douglas Gorman, Home-Mart, Inc.
doug@homemart.us

Clearing the Fog Over a Federal Sprinkler Standard

February 7th, 2011 1 comment

MHARR logoAs 2011 begins, the industry establishment (i.e., the Manufactured Housing Institute – MHI) and HUD continue to promote a “when/where required” federal fire sprinkler standard. Before this effort moves any further, though, industry members should be asking themselves “Why?’Why are the industry establishment and HUD so intent on saddling manufacturers and consumers with a new and extremely costly sprinkler standard when production remains mired in a 12-year tailspin, consumers are unable to obtain financing as it is and every other segment of the housing industry is actively opposing the imposition of any sort of sprinkler mandate? And this does not even get to the unique problems that retailers and community owners will face if sprinklers are required for the homes they sell and that are placed in the communities they manage — showing again the need for their own distinct national representation. Consequently, it is important to cut through the fog and clutter so that the industry grassroots understands that a when/where required federal sprinkler standard is not only a bad idea, but a bad idea that the law does not permit – that there is no such thing as a “conditional” federal standard.

First some background. There are two proposed “when/where required” sprinkler standards pending before the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) (albeit “tabled” for the moment) — one submitted by HUD and the other by MHI. Both, on their face, would apply whenever “a manufacturer elects to install a fire sprinkler system or a state or local authority … requires that a fire sprinkler system be installed for all detached single family dwellings and manufactured homes” — thus the “when/where required” label (although that label is misleading). Under the HUD proposal, manufacturers would be required to comply with the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 13D “Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems … in Manufactured Homes.” Under the MHI proposal, manufacturers would be held to either the NFPA 13D standard or an alternative set of prescriptive requirements incorporated in a new proposed section of the HUD standards. Based on MHARR research, however, HUD does not have authority to adopt such a conditional standard.

Up to this point, MHARR has systematically debunked all the various explanations and excuses that have been offered for such a standard in a series of articles, reports and MHCC submissions which have exhaustively demonstrated that: (1) the existing HUD standards have been effective; (2) the predicted “tidal wave” of varying standards is largely a myth, as most jurisdictions that have considered the issue have rejected the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) sprinkler mandate; (3) that state and local sprinkler requirements, in any event, should properly be preempted by the existing HUD fire safety standards consistent with the expanded federal preemption of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000; (4) that a “when/where required” federal sprinkler standard would ultimately be applied to all HUD Code homes, either through “interpretation” by a future HUD administration or through a court or administrative challenge by sprinkler proponents demanding that HUD enforce the standard; (5) that a federal standard would subject sprinkler installations and operation to the costly record-keeping, notice and recall provisions of Subpart I, thereby increasing manufacturer compliance costs – ultimately passed to consumers – even further; and (6) that such a standard could increase the cost of a manufactured home by as much as $4.00 a square foot, thereby excluding even more lower and moderate-income consumers from the manufactured housing market.

But, even if all of this was not sufficient to show that a “when/where required” federal sprinkler standard would be a bad move for both the industry and consumers, there is one more reason why HUD cannot adopt such a standard – the law gives it no authority to do so.

Fire is a “safety” issue* Thus, the existing HUD Code fire standards are entitled “Fire Safety.” But “manufactured home safety” has a specific meaning under the law. The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 defines “manufactured housing safety” as “the performance of a manufactured home in such a manner that the public is protected against any unreasonable risk of … accidents . or any unreasonable risk of death or injury to the user” of the home. (Emphasis added). This definition was not changed by the 2000 law.

Putting aside the antiquated reference to manufactured home “accidents,” the essential prerequisite to the adoption of a federal manufactured home safety standard is the existence of an “unreasonable risk” of injury or death to the resident of a manufactured home. The existence of such an unreasonable risk, moreover, must be determined by HUD, as the agency charged by federal law with developing, maintaining and enforcing the federal standards.

Under this definition, there either is an “unreasonable risk” of injury or death as determined by HUD, or there is not. If there is an “unreasonable risk,” HUD can adopt a federal safety standard to remedy that risk. If there is not an “unreasonable risk,” HUD cannot adopt such a standard — period.

In the case of fire sprinklers, HUD has never determined, claimed or even implied that the absence of fire sprinklers creates an “unreasonable risk” of injury or death in manufactured homes that otherwise comply with the existing HUD fire safety standards. Indeed, the existing HUD fire safety standards – which do not require the use of sprinklers – state that, if followed, they “will ensure reasonable fire safety to the occupants” of manufactured homes. (Emphasis added). And this has been borne out by data gathered by both private and government entities. Consequently, if the current federal standards ensure “reasonable” fire safety without sprinklers – and they do – then, per se, there is no “unreasonable risk” to be remedied by sprinklers, And if there is no “unreasonable risk” to be remedied by sprinklers, then there is no valid prerequisite for a federal fire sprinkler standard, even if a conditional federal standard would be “helpful” to some manufacturers (which, coincidentally, also shows why the existing federal fire safety standards should preempt state and local sprinkler standards).

Some have argued that the “horse is already out of the barn,” because states and localities that have adopted sprinkler requirements have concluded for themselves that there is an “unreasonable risk.” Another version of this argument goes that the IRC committee, by establishing a sprinkler mandate, has already made such a determination. But as the Department itself has been quick to point out in other contexts, HUD cannot delegate the fundamental statutory duties and responsibilities imposed on it by federal law to either a private body, such as the IRC committee, or to state or local officials acting under non-federal grants of authority. If there is a finding to be made, HUD must make it — it cannot subcontract that federal responsibility to someone else. And since HUD has made no such finding — and could not legitimately make any such finding — there is, again, no prerequisite for a federal sprinkler standard.

In MHARR’s view, a “when/where required” federal sprinkler standard would not only be bad policy, but would not pass legal muster and should be dropped altogether,

MHARR is a Washington D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.

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More Companies Commit to the 2011 Great Southwest Home Show!

February 4th, 2011 No comments

Let me take this opportunity to share some more exciting news about the Great Southwest Home Show! We now have another plant confirmed! Southern Energy (SE) of Texas has committed, along with Southern Energy of Alabama. Currently our lineup is: Sunshine, Legacy, Skyline, Palm Harbor, Oak Creek, American Homestar, Fleetwood, Clayton, SE of Alabama, SE of Texas, Franklin Homes and KABCO… a couple more plants are still on the fence! However, only a couple slots are still available in the current site-plan. Naturally we can always add more rows. The Expo holds 100 homes and we do have access to the lower level that will accommodate 50 more homes!

Just three months out and already our supplier/service booths are filling up! Not only will we showcase “industry related” products that only do wholesale business with our manufacturers and retailers/community owners, we also have a large number of booth exhibitors that are showcasing their products during both “Trade” and the two and a half “Public” days. We have wine vendors, specialty food vendors, roasted nut vendors, household decor vendors, healthcare vendors, amusement/lodging vendors, sheds/landscape vendors. There will be no bad locations/areas for home displays at the Great Southwest Home Show! [same] Both the North and South ends of the Expo will be open for public days. At both ends of the entrance, we will have some cool exhibitors (Branson & Southern Journey) showcasing vehicles (trucks/cars) for drawings, plus other vacation giveaways both for Trade & Public Days! The Show will have a “wow” presence unlike any other “industry” show you have ever been too! And again we are only three months out, so it’s continually building momentum!

If you have not yet submitted your paperwork to be part of this exciting show, please do so as soon as possible! You don’t want to be left out! This will be the only largest indoor home show in the country as well as the only one west of the Mississippi!! Go to www.mhao.org and find our show logo on the main page and various links for registrations that fit your needs! # #

Deanna Fields, Executive Director of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma (MHAO) and the Show Coordinator

The Need to Support Industry Shows

February 1st, 2011 No comments

I do want to restate my position on the need to support industry shows. While I was not able to attend the Louisville Show last month, I was certainly hoping to be able to do so and intend to be there next year.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I have had the pleasure of serving as chairman of The Great Southwest Home Show for three years running. Like the Louisville Show, The Great Southwest Home Show is held in an indoor facility (The QuikTrip Center). No rain problems during set-up, show days or tear-down. No generator rentals or air conditioning expenses for the manufacturer exhibitors. The Tulsa show is located at almost the geographic center of the United States and is serviced by several major airlines including Southwest. The 10.5 acre QuikTrip Center is also configured in such a manner as to provide adequate security to allow for several Public Days following the retail period of the show. Supplier exhibit booths are conveniently located in and amongst the area where the homes are displayed.

Retailers, especially in the states contiguous to Oklahoma should not miss the opportunity to travel a very short distance to experience the thrill of seeing a huge display of exciting homes all located under one roof at one time. Supplier booths are also conveniently located indoors and in the same area as the homes.

The educational seminars are a bonus. This year the focus will be on financing, with several lenders and industry experts participating.

Our host hotel is the luxurious Hard Rock Hotel just minutes from the show site. The facility has expanded recently and the majorities of the rooms are in the new addition and are very spacious. Special low rates are in place for industry members attending the show.

An “All Industry Night Reception” starts at 6:00 p.m. Thursday in the QuikTrip Center at Expo Square. The location of the reception is to the side of the display homes so manufacturers can easily access their display models to promote their particular benefits during the reception.

I believe we should support all of the industry shows that we can possibly attend. In addition to attending The Great Southwest Home Show last year, I took the time and the travel required to attend the Tunica Show, and I enjoyed doing so. I hope to attend the Tunica Show again this year. As industry members, I believe we should support and attend all the shows that are within reasonable travel access.

by Doug Gorman