Posts Tagged ‘Communications Director’

Louisville from the Eyes of a Newcomer

February 3rd, 2016 No comments

Our trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the Manufactured Housing Show was a bit of a whirlwind, with an early arrival and even later departure. (A massive winter storm forced organizers to cancel the final day of the show, so we took a late flight back the night before.)

I was asked to write about my trip to Louisville “from the eyes of a newcomer.” This was my first trade show and I should point out, the first time I had seen any manufactured homes, so I have nothing to compare it to. Perhaps naively, (but also as a reflection on how many outsiders view the industry) I was expecting more of the stereotypical box-like mobile home from the 70s and 80s. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see row after row of beautifully crafted homes!

Maybe it had something to do with homes in an enclosed space, but they all seemed much bigger and more beautiful than I expected. I didn’t expect shutters, porches or open concept rooms. I didn’t expect large walk-in closets (The picture I took below is probably my favorite of the whole trip!) and whirlpool tubs. Even the single section homes seemed much larger than I expected. But other than the finishes and décor on the inside, it was difficult to tell the difference between manufacturers, which I suppose could be good or bad.


I was surprised to see that one manufacturer, Clayton Homes, used a hi-tech approach to attract buyers. (See picture below) I would expect this at any other home show, but when you still have members who don’t even have computers, it was reassuring to see.


As I imagined, I saw everything from the gentleman in a dapper suit to the gentleman in a cowboy hat and suspenders. But they were all very kind and welcoming. It was great to see those of you who stopped by the Wisconsin Housing Alliance booth! I look forward to next year’s show and to seeing more homes in person. ##

LaurieMercurioCommunicationsDirectorWisconsinHousingAllianceExDirTomorrowHomeFoundation-postedIndustryVoicesMHProNews-com-Laurie Mercurio
Communications Director, WI Housing Alliance
Executive Director, Tomorrow’s Home Foundation
258 Corporate Drive, Suite 200C
Madison, WI  53714


(Editor’s Note: Let’s welcome Laurie to the widely respected WHA and the MH Industry again. Additional content about the 2016 Louisville Show, are found at the articles linked below.) 

Louisville Hits a Home Run

Sights and Sounds – Videos – from the 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show


Congressman Joe Donnelly Statement for the Record Field Hearing: “The State of Manufactured Housing”

November 29th, 2011 2 comments


Congressman Joe Donnelly credit wikimedia commons posted on Industry Voices Guest Blog I am pleased that the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee is having this field hearing today.  Manufactured housing plays a vital role in meeting the housing needs of the nation by providing quality, affordable homes to over 18 million people.  This $8 billion a year industry has long been a major economic driver in places like Elkhart County, Indiana by directly employing thousands in manufactured housing plants and thousands more in suppliers’ factories, not to mention contributing to the local municipal tax base. 



I appreciate the hard work the industry has done for communities across our country and particularly in areas like Northern Indiana, which I am proud to represent.  This industry knows all too well the pain felt by this economic crisis.  The last couple of years have not been easy, and the suppliers, manufacturers and dealers have been patient and worked hard to continue to make quality homes and keep hardworking Americans employed so they can provide for their families. 


As we work to emerge from this housing crisis, we realize that now, more than ever, it is important that people have access to quality homes that they can afford.  As millions of Americans are facing or on the brink of foreclosure, we must recognize the value and cost-effectiveness that these homes provide.  Manufactured housing should be considered a critical solution to helping us emerge from this housing crisis. 



Creating affordable homeownership is one of the fundamental building blocks of our society and plays a fundamental role in achieving the American Dream.  It helps to provide families with economic security and build strong communities.  I hope today is an opportunity to highlight this industry’s important contributions and identify how Congress can ensure it remains a thriving and successful job-creator in America and a source to meet our current and future housing needs. # #



Congressman Joe Donnelly


Media contact: 

Elizabeth Shappell

Communications Director

Congressman Joe Donnelly (IN-02)

1530 Longworth House Office Building

T: (202) 225-3915

F: (202) 225-6798

Retailer plans meetings to effect positive Dodd-Frank change

September 4th, 2011 1 comment


My meeting last week with Congressman John Sullivan (OK 1, R) was one of several where I am trying to help establish the support required to achieve the needed changes in the Dodd-Frank Bill that the industry needs. Congressman Sullivan’s Chief of Staff, Richard Hedgecock, suggested through their scheduler that we meet for lunch at a local icon Ike’s Chili. Ike’s Chili is about two miles west of Home-Mart on Admiral and is celebrating its 102 year. The congressman’s Communications Director, John Tidwell was with the congressman and Chief of Staff Hedgecock. One of the first question Congressman Sullivan asked was how my daughter’s family was and especially about our oldest grandchild Cougar. Congressman Sullivan, and the others, have known Cougar since he was a new born and the congressman never fails to inquire as to how he is doing. All three of them were stunned to realize that he was now nine years old with a little sister, little brother, and another little brother on the way.

After a “low calorie” lunch at Ike’s the congressman asked to ride with me down to Home-Mart. We discussed some recent positive press he had received over two jobs bills he had introduced. Unlike what we are used to seeing in “jobs bills”, his bills promoted less government red tape in the market place. I will send out a copy of the news article on the bills.

Doug Gorman and OK1 (r) Congressman John Sullivan Industry Voices

Doug Gorman left, Congressman John Sullivan right

Once we were at Home-Mart, I was able to take the three of them on a tour of three houses (all had been show houses in the past) that ranged in price from $65,000 to $105,000. They were united in their praise of what they saw and the congressman even started talking about how to get one installed on his lake property which he indicated is on the side of a hill.

We inserted the message “Welcome Congressman Sullivan” in our electronic message board to add a little spice to the occasion. I had packets prepared for all three of them which included the industry’s most recent white paper on the Dodd-Frank Bill. Congressman Sullivan, who voted against the bill in the House, committed to help our industry achieve the needed changes in order for us to survive.

Prior to meeting with Congressman Sullivan, I had met in early June with Bill Matchneer. I had worked with Bill for almost ten years through the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee as he was the top person in HUD with direct responsibility for manufactured housing. Bill has been transferred over to the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which (as a result of the Dodd-Frank Bill) will regulate all financial services transactions (including manufactured housing loans) in the country. Bill has a highly placed position as a staff attorney at the CFPB and was appalled at the looming unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank Bill. Although most of our problems are statutory, Bill will work with the industry as we attempt to mitigate the damage.

In the afternoon that Congressman Sullivan was there I also was able to visit with Dan Hourigan, from Senator Tom Coburn’s office. Dan is Senator Coburn’s Field Representative and was able spend about an hour with us. We discussed the negative ramifications of the Dodd-Frank Bill and other business issues before touring several homes. Senator Coburn also voted against the Dodd-Frank Bill and can be counted on to assist the industry with the needed revisions.

Additional meetings are planned with Senator Jim Inhofe or his staff and field staff members of Congressman Frank Lucas’ office.

Happy Labor Day to one and all.

Doug Gorman
Home Mart,
Tulsa, OK

(Editor’s note: this is the type of positive engagement that we would like to encourage among Industry members. Others who may have their own story of engaging state, local or federal political leaders, we encourage you to send us your story and photos for publication)