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Manufactured Housing Institute CEO Richard Jennison’s letter to Princeton’s WordNet requesting Definition Correction

April 12th, 2013 No comments

wordnet@princeton.edu 

Research can be valuable and informative if it approaches its subject in a non-biased, factual manner.  Your recent definition of "manufactured home" however immediately casts your research intentions into serious doubt with such prejudicial, outdated, and uninformed terminology.

Official, legal, definitions are available on many state and national government websites and will provide you a more balanced and timely reflection of the state of manufactured homes in 2013.  I request that you update your own definition using one of these, without the insertion of your flawed and outdated misunderstanding of today's manufactured homes.

Should you need any additional assistance in defining manufactured homes, please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with correct information.

Richard JennisonSincerely,
Richard Jennison
President and CEO
Manufactured Housing Institute

(Editor's Note: Dick Jennison's cogent response is published with permission, and is in response to this 'definition' published online by Princeton's WordNet as shown below:

MHProNews thanks MHI's Dick Jennison, Lisa Tyler's (Walden University) heavily documented letter, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association's Jay Hamilton, MHRetailer Jody Anderson and MHC manager James Cook for their published responses to this issue, along with the others who have directly addressed wordnet@princeton.edu to ask them to update their flawed definition of manufactured home. We have word from sources that other efforts will be made to encourage Princeton to update this obvious error.

Until Princeton's Wordnet Team has made a proper update, please take a moment and add your voice to these and other respected industry professionals who have emailed wordnet@princeton.edu asking them to correct their flawed online definition. You could use one of the examples given by others linked above, or write your own, but please do write them.

Our original column that launched this topic on MHProNews is linked here and a different version meant for the public is found here on MHLivingNews) ##

Communities Themes Point to Rebound and Revitalization

September 25th, 2012 No comments

by Richard “Dick” Jennison

richard-dick-jennison-ceo-mhi-1-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews.com-mhmarketing-sales-management-75pxl-75pxl-As President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), I participated in a manufactured home communities focused event held this year in San Diego, Calif. During my presentation, I took the opportunity to educate the approximately 250 members of the land-lease community sector of the manufactured housing industry on the work that MHI undertakes each day representing industry interests in Washington, D.C. I also outlined the benefits and importance of the National Communities Council, the only national organization devoted to advancing the interests of manufactured home community owners, managers, developers, lenders, brokers and service suppliers. Such forums as this also provide me an excellent opportunity to hear first-hand from industry members and to clarify and reinforce MHI positions on key industry issues.

The annual gathering of the land-lease manufactured home communities industry drew approximately 250 attendees from 27 states to discuss the state of land-lease communities.

Reinforcing the sentiments of other manufactured housing industry events over the past 12 months, the meeting featured three key themes:

  • a renewed or new confidence in the role and value of land-lease manufactured home communities;
  • innovation on the part of manufactured home builders in terms of new, creative designs for homes built specifically for placement in land-lease communities, as well as new financing programs designed to assist communities to retain residents and boost occupancy rates; and
  • the continuing need for dialogue between financial lenders/analysts and community owners on how to accurately valuate land-lease communities.

On the first point – renewed or new confidence in land-lease communities – it was both somewhat surprising and encouraging to hear more than two dozen investors declare their strong interests in acquiring land-lease communities across all regions of the country. This level of enthusiasm and confidence will be critical in maintaining and rebuilding land-lease manufactured home communities as a viable housing option for low- and middle-income American families.

As to the issue of innovation by manufacturers in home designs, there were numerous “business development officers” from major manufacturers who were there with the sole focus of reaching out to community owners to showcase their new series of manufactured homes designed specifically to accommodate the smaller lot sizes of older land-lease communities. From what I heard and saw, their efforts were greatly appreciated by the community owners who are looking for ways of upgrading and filling their communities with homes that appeal to a broader audience.

Another key factor in maintaining manufactured home communities is helping community owners and managers keep their occupancy rates strong and ensure the financial viability of communities. Several new financing programs designed to build partnerships between the financial services sector and community owners, such as the C.A.S.H. Lending Program from 21st Mortgage Corp., were highlighted and generated a significant interest on the part of the community owners. Again, this ability to fill communities with new residents and new homes is vitally important in maintaining the viability of land-lease communities.

Yet the meeting was not without some points of debate.

There was continuing concern voiced over how financial analysts and investors valuate land-lease communities, with many community owners encouraging analysts and investors to rethink their valuation formulas and approaches. While this “friction” is not ideal, the point is that this issue was openly discussed and methods for resolving it are “on the table.” Such open communication and debate are the proper way to creating valuation methods that serve both the investors’ and owners’ interest.

All of these meeting themes – even the need for ongoing dialogue – reinforce the positive outlook for our industry that I hear and see every day, both from our industry colleagues and from people interested in being part of our industry renewal.

Land-lease manufactured home communities are critically important to the residents who live and depend of them for a “quality-of-life” hard to find elsewhere in today’s housing marketplace, as well as to the owners and operators who have invested so much time, energy and resources to build and maintain their communities.

It is genuinely encouraging to see and hear that all forces within the communities sector are moving in the right direction, looking at the future with confidence and innovation. Such sentiments bode well for both the communities sector and the manufactured housing industry at large. ##

richard-dick-jennison-ceo-mhi-1-posted-industry-voices-mhpronews.com-mhmarketing-sales-management-75pxl-75pxl-Richard Jennison is President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). He can be contacted directly at (703) 558-0678 or visit www.manufacturedhousing.org.

RV/MH Hall of Fame Celebrates Inductees

August 13th, 2012 No comments

Surrounded by more than 300 family, friends, and colleagues from across the country, the Class of 2012 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) at a gala ceremony last week in Elkhart, Indiana.

Barry Cole (Manufactured Housing Insurance Services), chairman of the board of directors for the Hall, said, "What a joyous occasion with all past legends and present leaders of our great industries to honor the ten new inductees. There is no industry function that can equal the emotional feeling and happiness when mingling and networking with so many greatest of the great."

Cole believed it was an incredible evening supported by both RV and Manufactured Housing segments.  

Inductees and family members accepting on behalf of deceased inductees include: First Row (L-R): Doug Gorman, 

Stan Sunshine, Gerald "Jiggs" Meuret, Kaki Williamson, Jeanne Mize, Rachel Gandy, Mary Irene Younkin, 

Michael Evans. Second Row: Bob Olson, Kent Titcomb, Allan Yoder, Gail Yoder and Holly Yoder.

"The cocktail party was fun, the huge group picture with all attending was charming, the dinner as always was incredible and best of all was the touring of the RV/MH Hall of Fame itself." Cole continued. "Wandering through the exhibits, theater, library and museum surprised some new guests. They were shocked at the unbelievable greatness and beauty of the building plus discovering their heritage for the first time. All comments from everyone referencing the Hall were in superlatives."

"Some of the many MH veterans who mingled and networked during the cocktail hour were Ron Younkin, Jeff Wicke, Dan Rolfes, Tim Williams, L. A. 'Tony' Kovach, Ken Rishel and George Allen." 

"At dinner Dick Jennison (MHI) was sitting with a contingency of MH professionals Jim Scoular, John Evans, Leo Poggione, Darrell Boyd, Chris Barrett and John Loucks. Ross Kinzler was sitting with Jigs Meuret and Danny Gorbani (MHARR) sitting with Doug and Millie Gorman. These are a few of the enormous number of MH attendees."

"These are a few of the enormous number of MH attendees."

 

Keynote speaker David Humphreys (left). Darryl Searer (right) delivers good news concerning the financial health of the Hall

Keynote Speaker David Humphreys, former president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said, "The Hall of Fame serves many purposes for the industry. 

Besides providing a great consumer attraction, the Hall of Fame defines an important message for the financial community, the media and legislators and gives a sense of pride, unity and accomplishment for the entire industry."

Noting the solid financial footing the Hall of Fame has achieved through the leadership of President Darryl Searer, Humphreys urged audience members to give the same priority to the Hall of Fame they give to industry unity."

In a behind-the-scenes look at the financial status of the Hall and its recovery from near insolvency just a few months ago, Searer declared, "The Hall of Fame has never been in better shape than it is today."

Overall debt owed by the Hall has been cut by $2.5 million in the four months since Searer assumed the Hall presidency.

Cole added, "It was a special evening you just did not want to end. You are invited next year."##

barry-cole-rv-mh-hall-of-fame-manufactured-home-insurance-services-mhisBarry Cole, Chairman, RV/MH Hall of Fame