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First Aid Safety Class:

April 8, 2010

Last Call for Registration, RSVP Today! 


Sometimes it takes a crisis to realize the value of emergency preparedness.  We all should be well prepared before a crisis occurs and to give us a good head start on being prepared, Ohio Valley NARI has asked Genise Lipscomb of the American Red Cross to help. Genise will be speaking on "First Aid and Preparedness" which teaches the basic concepts of first aid training and being prepared for a disaster or emergency, including:
 · Check-Call-Care and when to call 9-1-1
 · Caring for someone who is choking
 · Recognizing the signals of a heart attack and stroke
 · First Aid care for injuries 
     
Our featured presenter, Genise Lipscomb is a Cincinnati native and graduate of Xavier University.  She has been a certified Red Cross trainer of First Aid, CPR, and Youth Programs for over 5 years, conducting classes regularly in Central Ohio as well as the Greater Cincinnati area.  She has also worked with Red Cross Disaster and Volunteer Services in recruiting, training, and placing volunteers.


Join us as Genise teaches us the basic concepts of first aid training and shows us how to be prepared before an emergency occurs.
The membership meeting will take place at Union Center Marriott, 6189 Mulhauser Road, West Chester.  Registration and Networking begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and the program from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  Register online at
www.naricincinnati.org or call (800) 498-NARI and RSVP today!

 

Please Read RESCHEDULED

Nari Certifications and How to Benefit:

April 13, 2010

 

NARI National offers a variety of certification programs made available to all of their members who meet certain qualifications.
 
   ·Master Certified Remodeler (MCR)
   ·Green Certified Professional Certification (GCP)
   ·Certified Remodeler (CR)
   ·Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS)
   ·Certified Remodeler Associate (CRA)
   ·Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR)
   ·Universal Design Certified Remodeler (UDCR)
   ·Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC)
 
Ohio Valley NARI is dedicated to making these programs and study groups available to our members at a local level. Please join us as the Ohio Valley Chapter reviews and discusses the opportunities available and the benefits received from the Certification Program. BathsPlus is graciously hosting this networking opportunity and highly informative program.
 
John W. Ashton, CR is the President and Founder of BathsPlus.   Mr. Ashton is a Certified Remodeler and will be happy to provide additional information about his positive experience with the NARI Certification Programs. Stop by and see what makes continued education such a key role in our personal and professional development. The program will begin at 6:00p.m. and conclude by 8:00p.m. Snacks and beverages will be provided. RSVP today by contacting the Ohio Valley NARI Office at (800) 498-NARI, fax (937) 222-5794 or email us at info@naricincinnati.org.

 

2010 PRO Expo: Presented by Pella


On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., the all-star event of the season, the PRO Expo, will take place at Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds.  At the PRO Expo, there are many opportunities to learn from dynamic, content rich education sessions with opportunities to earn CEU's. You may improve your business with new products and business tools. Best of all, there are plenty of chances to network with other professionals. Enjoy food, refreshments, and $10,000 worth of fabulous prizes.
 
Doors open at 3:00 p.m. for check-in. The Expo Floor includes Pella product displays, local vendor displays, food, beverages, entertainment and a keynote address.

At 3:15 p.m., educational breakout sessions begin, and they continue until 8:00 p.m. Some of these sessions include:

· Why Pella? - presented by Pella
· Residential & Commercial Construction Trends - presented by Hanley Wood
· Universal Design - presented by Kohler (AIA Accredited Course)
· The Future of Remodeling - presented by Mark Richardson of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.
· Window Replacement Solutions for Commercial Buildings - presented by Pella (AIA Accredited Course)
· Top Remodelers Speak Out: Best Practices to Strengthen Your Business - presented by Remodelers Advantage Inc.
· Greening the Bottom Line - presented by Reed Business Information (AIA Accredited Course)
· Integrating Siding Into Your Business - presented by James Hardie
· Transform Your Market - presented by Cygnus Business Media
· Challenges & Solutions for Today's Ceramic Tile & Stone Installations - presented by Schluter (AIA Accredited Course)

To register, go to www.theproexpo.com/cincinnati. We hope that you can attend, and turn the knowledge that you and your company gain at the event into a home run!

 

Join Us at the Ballpark:

July 17, 2010 


Unwind for a summer evening of dinner, drinks, and a Reds game with family and friends... this event is always a great time! Join us for this fun-filled night and cheer the Reds on as they take on the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ballpark on July 17th with a start time of 7:10 p.m. For $65 per person, participants will receive a game ticket, full catered buffet-style dinner, beverages (including 2 beers) and private seating for our group and Ohio Valley NARI will receive scoreboard recognition. Come out to support your NARI chapter and have a memorable evening with customers, co-workers, family, and friends at the ballpark. Tickets sell out quickly so reserve yours today! * Final deadline for ticket purchase is Friday, June 18th.  Call Ohio Valley NARI today at (800) 498-6274 to reserve your seats.

 

Save The Date For The Golf Outing

August 12, 2010 


Ohio Valley NARI is teaming up once again with NKBA for the 2010 golf outing to be played at Glenview Golf Course, 10965 Springfield Pike in Cincinnati Ohio. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 11:00 a.m. sharp on Thursday, August 12th. There are plenty of sponsorship and golfer opportunities still available.

Please click
here for sponsorship opportunities and click here to register as a golfer. More information can be found by visiting www.naricincinnati.org
 

 

Powder Coatings for Architectural Applications

 

DuPont Co. Inc. (Wilmington, Del.) introduced a line of premium architectural powder coatings formulated to meet the specifications of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and contribute to green-building credits under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system.

 

DuPont™ Alesta® AR architectural coatings provide a high level of design freedom and can be matched to glass, plastic, wood, or other building materials, the company says. Colors can be adjusted to suit individual aesthetic preferences without compromising essential functional properties such as weather ability or impact and abrasion resistance, the product-launch announcement states.

 

The standard product line includes products that meet AAMA 2603 specifications. The AR400 version is a TGIC-free premium weathering polyester that meets AAMA 2604 specifications, and is backed by five- and 10-year warranties, and the AR500 grade is described as an ultra-premium fluoropolymer coating that meets AAMA 2605 specifications and carries 10- and 20-year warranties.

 

Does Social Media Change Your Agency Relationships?

By Merritt Colaizzi 


Trust, authenticity, engagement and transparency - four key tenets of a successful social-media strategy - are not the kind of things that can be farmed out.
 
That's why we were not at all surprised by the results of a recent Forrester study that show brands reluctant to entrust either traditional or interactive agencies with their social-media activities.
 
There are strong opinions on this topic, ranging from those who believe firmly in DIY social media, to those who use agencies or consultants to get up to speed before taking over themselves, to companies who find social media bringing them closer to their agencies. Some of the biggest companies are even moving their agencies in-house.
 
In Sean Corcoran's opinion, "marketers should own their social-media strategy, since it is about creating direct conversations with consumers, with agencies playing a supporting role helping develop strategy, identify influential's, build out communities and infrastructure and help with analytics (to name a few)."

 

Business Owners Pay for Layoffs

By Emily Maltby

 

After several years of growth, the company, which has two reptile pet stores in Montclair and Covina, Calif., ran headfirst into the recession. As employees left, they weren't replaced, but recently the company decided to let go of three workers. In three years, the staff shrunk to five from 12. Now, like many owners, Mr. Solar will be paying a higher state unemployment insurance tax as a direct result of those layoffs.

State unemployment insurance taxes are paid throughout the year, as owners pay their other payroll taxes. States typically have a base unemployment tax, which owners will pay according to the size of their payroll. But as a company lays off employees, it develops a negative history or so-called "experience rating" that can boost that tax.
 
"We didn't know there were repercussions, but we had to do it," says Mr. Solar of his thin staff. "But now we're going to be punished for keeping the business alive."
 
Adding to the burden, a number of states are running out of funds to pay for their out-of-work populations. With jobless claims swelling and coffers depleting, at least 35 states are hiking unemployment tax rates this year, according to a survey by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies conducted late last year.
 
"This has been a gradual problem, and like a cancer, it's been spreading as more and more states hop on the bandwagon," says Henry Atkinson, a financial consultant for staffing solutions provider Ajilon, part of Adecco Group North America in New York.
 
The tax increases will impact thriving businesses as they expand their payroll, as they will have to pay based on their growing wages. But the hikes are more detrimental to firms that have laid off employees recently.
 
"The business that has laid off folks gets hit proportionately higher because while they pay less in total wages, and therefore less in employment taxes, their experience rating will go up and it takes numerous quarters of no layoffs to get that experience rating back down," says Henry Paula, a tax principal at Reznick Group PC, in Bethesda, Md. "Things are tough already for them, so this is a big deal."

Jim Garland, owner of Sharp Details Inc., pays state unemployment taxes in the six states where his airplane-cleaning and custom-detailing business operates. Four of those states have increased tax rates recently.
 
Taking into account the vacillating base tax rates in all six states, Mr. Garland says he's paying about 7% more than three years ago. "From 2007 to 2008, there was no increase. From 2008 to 2009 there was some. But between 2009 and 2010 there was a big jump, which I see as a direct correlation to the unemployment levels," he says.
 
Some employers are bracing for higher increases, particularly if they have had multiple rounds of layoffs or are located in hard-hit states. According to the NASWA survey, the unemployment insurance tax increases vary widely from state to state, with a median of 27%.
 
Mr. Garland's 55-employee company has been growing and adding staff, so his state tax rates have remained at the base levels, but because some of those base levels have been rising, he's been burdened by the cost. "When the economy was rolling, we could... explain we need to pass costs along," he says. "But now the customer is facing the same squeeze and wants lower prices."
 
Meanwhile, payroll tax breaks have become a priority on the federal level. In January, President Barack Obama proposed giving firms a $5,000 tax credit for every new job added and, for those firms expanding payroll, a payroll tax holiday on the 6.2% Social Security tax. A watered-down version of the proposal passed in a $17.5 billion jobs bill earlier this month, relieving employers from Social Security payroll taxes on new hires and giving them a $1,000 tax credit if the workers stayed on for a year.
 
It's difficult to evaluate whether the good news from the federal level outweighs the bad news from the state level, financial experts say. Johanna Sweaney Salt, a CPA at Kaufman, Schmid, Gray and Salt LLP, says growing firms may find the federal tax breaks lucrative in states where unemployment taxes are only marginally increasing.
 
But others, such as Mr. Atkinson, say there's no clear-cut answer. "For most businesses, the [state] payroll tax hike starts to bite pretty hard," he says.
Mr. Solar, the pet store owner, doesn't see federal tax breaks helping him, as he is in no position to hire.
 
"To take advantage of a tax credit, I need to make a profit and I'm not," he says.
Mr. Garland thinks the federal tax breaks are too restrictive. For example, the provisions outlined in the recently-passed jobs legislation will only apply to new employees who have been out of work for two months.
 
"When the government helps you out, it's extremely complicated," he says. "You have to set aside a weekend to find out if it'll help you and, at the end of the day, it might not. But when there are new
taxes...it's just across the board."

 

Perfecting Schedule, Budgeting Help Manage Client Expectations

By Morgan Zenner

A remodeler can tell right away if their new client has gone through a remodel before. New clients assume they know the answers when really they need more direction. The most common misconceptions deal with price, timing, permitting or the designing process.
 
What if you could get past all that? Bruce Meller, president of Home Forge Remodeling Inc., set out to do so by guaranteeing all client's kitchen and bathroom remodels to be completed and ready to in a specific timeframe.
 
"We sell all of our kitchens and bathroom projects to be 18 business days long, or 3-and-a-half weeks, from first nail to frying eggs," Meller says.
 
To promote the 3-and-a-half-week guarantee, Meller took 18 photos of an actual kitchen remodel at the end of each day and posted a time-lapsed slideshow on his Web site. Each photo is accompanied by a brief description of what was accomplished that day.
 
The slideshow has become a very useful tool in promoting his company and managing client expectations. 
 
Doing the homework
Meller is a former corporate engineer and marketing professional, who comes at remodeling from a different point of view.
 
Meller studied logistical models of different industries to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each and create his own unique remodeling model based off his findings.
 
"I looked at the manufacturing process of Mercedes-Benz and found that unlike other car companies in the U.S., which build cars on an assembly line full of different people, Mercedes builds each car individually with the same group of people from start to finish," Meller says.
 
Meller also studied how log cabins are built in America. "Log cabins are actually built in the warehouse, having each piece measured perfectly and then numbered," he says. By the time the materials are shipped to the location, everything is ready to be built.
 
To mirror these processes, Home Forge remodeling dedicates one team to work at the same home every day until it is completed. The teams consist of three full-time employees who each bring a broad range of functions and experience to the project including tile, cabinetry, drywall and plumbing.
 
Teams are comprised of a working lead manager, who both works and manages simultaneously. The rest of the team members have certain areas of strength, but overall, every member can perform all of the functions necessary to build a kitchen or bath.
 
It also uses the log cabin process in terms of preparing for the remodeling project before it actually touches a wall in the actual house.
 
Turning the model into a business
The Home Forge team spends an average of 45 days in the designing phase of the remodeling project. Meller says the majority of the 45 days is spent with the homeowners, coaching them through designs and product selections.
 
Before work begins, the project is designed, materials are ordered, cut and measured, and the work schedule is planned down to the day. By the time workers are in the home, the planning is so exact that all that's left to do is execute.
 
"The model takes the burden of the logistics off of the homeowners and alleviates their fears and concerns," Meller says.
 
The photo slideshow on Home Forge's Web site is proof that what Meller is selling can be done. It also serves as an insider's look into what homeowners can expect during a remodel. This is especially important for homeowners who have never gone through a remodeling experience before.
"People love it because the photos help explain exactly how it happens, and it reduces the stress of having people in their homes," Meller says. "The other positive aspect is that people love to know that they can schedule their remodel around big events."
 
One homeowner scheduled her kitchen remodel in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Another family scheduled their kitchen around their son's bar mitzvah.
 
In the last six years of being in business, Home Forge signed 150 contracts, all of which have been completed within the 18-day timeframe and price that was agreed upon when the contract was signed. If a project goes over 18 days, Meller promises to pay the homeowners a penalty for each day the project is late.
 
There have been situations in the past when a more complex project, for example one with structural changes, required a specialist. In these cases, the 3-in-a-half-week limit is extended, and most homeowners are agreeable. Also, many homeowners change their mind on product halfway through the project. Meller ships the materials FedEx to accommodate the project schedule.
 
Unexpected things can and do happen once the house is opened, and the Home Forge team always finds a way to clear them up within 18-days. "We've opened up flooring to find that the entire floor structure was eaten by termites 20 years before," he says. To Meller, that's only an 8-hour problem, and not a two-week problem.
 
"Logistically, most kitchen remodels can be done within three weeks, so I tag on the half to give myself extra cushion room if something were to happen," Meller says. He adds that he's either a day ahead or a day behind but never any more than that.
 
The key to Home Forge's three-in-a-half week magic is careful planning and a lot of communication between everyone involved. He says that the designers spend as much time as they need with the clients to make sure everything is perfect. By the time the various components come in, they, too, are examined to ensure perfection.
 
Regardless of how long the designing and planning takes, Meller insists homeowners appreciate efforts to plan ahead, especially if it means that the project is done on time and on budget. And the slideshow makes his job a lot easier when it comes to alleviating a homeowner's fears and managing expectations.

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April 7, 2010

 

QUICK LINKS

 

Construction Workers

 

Ohio Valley NARI

800.498.NARI (6274) | Fax: 937.222.5794 | info@naricincinnati.org