Thursday, October 20, 2016

MHBA Annual Meeting a Huge Success

It hardly seems like 4 years ago when the MSBA was just about ready to close shop and today there is a very healthy and growing Association, renamed the MHBA, Modular Home Builders Association, ready to work hard for its members and the modular housing industry.


Today at its Annual Meeting in Harrisburg, the MHBA began to flex its muscle with a new marketing program, a renewed vigor and a push to increase its membership by going after modular home builders to join with others to continue the growth.

Tom Hardiman, the Executive director of the MHBA opened today’s meeting by welcoming a lot of new faces and introducing outgoing President, Pat Fricchionne of Simplex Homes.

Pat expressed his appreciation about how far the MHBA has come in just a short time and thanked everyone for supporting it under his watch.

Incoming President Bob Bender, Commodore Corp, was introduced and promised to keep pushing the pedal to the metal in making sure the MHBA is the organization where the modular industry can to turn to for help and marketing.

Bob Bender, Left, Pat Fricchionne

In an unusual start to the actual meeting, both Bob and Pat were put on the ‘hot’ seats in the front of the room and answered questions from the membership about topics that are of real concern to the builders. How does the modular home industry differentiate itself from manufactured (HUD) housing? This is a very real problem and quite a bit of time was spent on suggestions for the MHBA for the next year.

Ken Semler, seated on left, Mike Zangardi

When Bob and Pat were done, Ken Semler, Express Modular, and Mike Zangardi, Ritz-Craft, moved into the ‘hot’ seats to present the new and so far, quite successful marketing effort known as the Consumer Awareness Program (CAP). Last year the builders themselves asked that a fee be added on each module built and paid for by the builders. That program has proven itself and is being ramped up. The “Ready, Set, Built” slogan is already gaining traction with the public.

Tom Hardiman talking about legislative issues

Tom Hardiman, not only the Executive Director but also the watchdog of pending and proposed legislation at the Federal, state and even local level, spoke next on what he has done over the last year to fight for modular housing. CT, PA, MD and MA are currently on his radar and members will be kept abreast of what is happening in these ‘hot seat’ states.

Harris Woodward

The final speaker of the day, Harris Woodward, FinishWerks Homes, had everyone’s attention as he explained why “High Performance Homes” could be the one thing that sets modular apart from independent site builders. A few thousand dollar investment by the home buyer in energy saving options can produce not only a real savings for the consumer but in a lot of cases it can give the homeowner a ton of tax credits.

I have to point out that Harris not only builds High Performance homes, also drives a High Performance car. It’s not a Prius. It’s a 2016 Chevy SS, 415 HP 6 speed manual imported from Australia. Talk about dedication to HP!

After a wonderful lunch of Filet Mignon and Crab Cakes, sponsored by Heister House, it was time for electing a new slate of officers and the House of the Year. Let me go back to the lunch for a second. Filet and Crab for a business lunch! If you couldn’t make it to this year’s meeting, I feel sorry for you. Thanks Heister House.

Mike Clementoni

To show recognition of all the efforts of Mike Clementoni, Muncy Homes, during the years when everyone thought the old MSBA was losing members because of the housing recession in keeping it going and believing in its rebirth into what it is today, Mike was given a life time achievement award. We can’t say enough about what Mike has done for the MSBA/MHBA as President for 8 years.

LtoR: John Colucci, Pat Fricchione, Ken Semler, Bob Bender, President, Mike Zangardi, Norm Hall, Kris Megna, Harris Woodward, Lynn Kuhns, Nicholas Fanelli. Absent from photo: Anthony Zarrilli

The 2017 MHBA officers and board members were voted in and are ready to take the MHBA to new heights.

Tom Hardiman Presents Home of the Year to Zarrilli Homes

And finally, in what Tom Hardiman called a very tight race, voters on the MHBA Facebook pages and the website chose Zarrilli Builders in Brick NJ as this year’s winner of House of the Year.

If you are a modular home builder, a factory owner or manager or a supplier to the modular housing industry, you need to join the MHBA today. It is the eyes, ears and marketing effort for our industry and I would hate to see you not enjoy all the benefits membership can bring.

BTW, did I mention that we had Filet Mignon and Crab for lunch?


Tom Hardiman said...

Glad you could be there today Gary. Our incoming board has a lot on their plate, but I think it's a strong leadership team that is up for the task.

Mike Clementoni is a real class act and deserving of the praise he received today. Also, thanks to outgoing board member Tifanee McCall for all of her help and support. Kudos to Zarrilli Homes for winning Home of the Year for the second time in three years. Lots of nice homes this past year.

Harris - Finish Werks said...

Gary, did I err in showing you my car afterward?! Seriously though, as tough as our business is, and as busy as we all are, my wife determined that the SS was a far better midlife crisis distraction than some other options. And while its high performance chops are beyond reproach, its gas mileage is nothing to write home about... really, the only thing "green" about the car is its color!

So while I'm loving every time a step into my car and row through the gears, and letting it all hang out, I'm doubly focused on project energy efficiency in order to offset the reduced mileage. I'm quite sure the juice is worth the squeeze:

I'd rather arrive at the office refreshed and happy in this hair-raising modern muscle car, than numb and bored from a lifeless, disconnected electric powered jelly bean. Any day.

Excuses? Heck yeah. I'm an auto enthusiast building Zero Energy Homes!