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First Aid Safety Class

April 8, 2010 

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 Ilene McDonough of the American Red Cross to help. Ilene 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:
 ˇ Check-Call-Care and when to call 9-1-1
 ˇ Caring for someone who is choking
 ˇ Recognizing the signals of a heart attack and stroke
 ˇ First Aid care for injuries 
Our featured presenter, Ilene McDonough has over seven years of Red Cross experience and has taught hundreds of classes. Ilene became employed as a Certified Workplace Health Educator with the American Red Cross in February 2003. In addition to her work as a Red Cross trainer, Ilene is employed as Adjunct Faculty at Brown Mackie College in Northern Kentucky where she teaches Psychology.

Ilene and her AKC Golden Retriever, Macbeth, are certified with Therapy Dogs International, Inc., and are now in their sixth year of volunteer work doing pet therapy twice weekly for the patient group sessions for the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital, in Cincinnati. Join us as Ilene teaches us the basics 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!



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.
   ˇMaster Certified Remodeler (MCR)
   ˇGreen Certified Professional Certification (GCP)
   ˇCertified Remodeler (CR)
   ˇCertified Remodeler Specialist (CRS)
   ˇCertified Remodeler Associate (CRA)
   ˇCertified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR)
   ˇUniversal Design Certified Remodeler (UDCR)
   ˇCertified 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:

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


Homearama Canceled for 2010

The Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati has decided not to present its Homearama home show this year and will focus instead on its CitiRama urban show, the association said Monday.
"The HBA feels that having a high-end traditional Homearama show this year would draw attention away from the important themes of CitiRama 2010, so we decided to make (CitiRama) our signature show for 2010," said Josh Blatt, president of the association, in a news release.
The annual event, which was approaching its 50th anniversary, was in doubt this year as the association debated whether it could attract enough builders for a high-end show.
Homearama, which has traditionally featured high-priced homes with top-of-the-line amenities like wine cellars, game rooms and home theaters, was the victim of the recession and plunging demand for upscale, customized homes. As the slump hit, 2008 Homearama homes sat on the market for months, with some of the 10 homes unsold six months after the show.
Last year, the association postponed the event, usually held in June, until September. It also moved Homearama from Long Cove, where prices for some homes topped $1 million, to the less-pricey Carmelle in Mason.


What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You... And Cost You Money!

Avoiding FMLA Compliance Mistakes: What's My Obligation? 

Many employers remain unclear about what their responsibilities are underneath the Family Medical Leave Act.   Does an employee have to 'request' FMLA and what is considered 'being put on notice?'   Unfortunately, many employers turn a blind eye to FMLA and only provide it when an employee specifically requests leave under FMLA.   Mistakes surrounding 'notice' are all too common and can place employers into litigious situations.  Here are some points to remember: (click
here for the entire article)


11th-Hour Appeal Seeks to Delay Lead Rule


Just weeks before the two-year clock runs out, a dozen associations and retailers have joined forces to delay sweeping new federal lead-safe work rules set to take effect April 22.
In a joint letter dated March 8, the group appealed to four U.S. senators involved in developing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule." The rule, approved April 22, 2008, would affect up to 250,000 contractors from a variety of trades.
The rule mandates training and certification in lead-safe work practices for construction contractors, property managers and others who work in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978.
Opponents of the rule say the industry is still not nearly prepared for it-even after two years' notice.
"Currently, EPA has only 135 accredited trainers and 13,669 certified renovators nationwide, although its own compliance-needs estimates indicate that it needs at least 200,000 or more certified renovators," said the letter submitted to Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK).
The letter was signed by these organizations and companies:
ˇ Lowe's Companies Inc.
ˇ The Home Depot
ˇ National Association of the Remodeling Industry
ˇ National Association of Home Builders
ˇ National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association
ˇ Window and Door Manufacturers Association
ˇ Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
ˇ Window and Door Dealers Alliance
ˇ National Glass Association
ˇ Manufactured Housing Institute
ˇ Vinyl Siding Institute
ˇ Independent Electrical Contractors
Critics of the rule never liked its cost, its reach or its many requirements. Still, with the clock running on a previously approved time line, there seemed no room for appeal.
That changed with President Obama's "State of the Union" call for a multibillion-dollar stimulus plan to incentivize energy efficiency upgrades in older homes and buildings. The resulting legislation produced the HOME STAR Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program, informally known as "Cash for Caulkers."
Past precedent, although not law, has given such presidential programs preference over agency regulations when it comes to resources and implementation.
LRRP critics contend that HOME STAR and LRRP make similar demands on many of the same contractors and affect the same housing stock, so contractors cannot comply with both at once.
While calling HOME STAR "an effective approach" toward improving energy efficiency, the additional requirements risk "derailing compliance with the LRRP" or complying with LRRP at the expense of HOMESTAR.
"As manufacturers, distributors, retailers and installers of new construction materials, we support efforts to ensure that home renovations in pre-1978 homes are conducted in accordance with EPA's LRRP requirements," the group's letter said.
"Unfortunately, based on EPA compliance-needs estimates, we do not believe EPA is prepared to adequately implement the LRRP. Further, if implemented now, the LRRP will negatively affect economic stimulus funding designated for housing weatherization and planned efforts for a national residential retrofit program."
LRRP would require that any renovation work that disturbs more than six square feet inside a pre-1978 home follow new Lead Safe Work Practices (LSWP) supervised by an EPA-certified renovator and performed by an EPA certified renovation firm, as outlined in 40 CFR § 745.85.
The rule's opponents noted that fewer than 10 percent of contractors had been certified, adding: "Obviously, these numbers are far too insufficient for the millions of renovations carried out annually, even without a substantial retrofit incentive program like HOME STAR.
"With the April 22, 2010 deadline nearing, it is clear that EPA cannot ensure enough certified renovators will be available for compliance with the LRRP. Meanwhile, there is going to be an additional influx of new residential contractors and renovators generated by the HOME STAR proposal."
Furthermore, the group noted, HOME STAR is certain to draw more contractors and renovators into the residential sector, which is sure to compound the competition and confusion.
"We believe renovation incentives and HOME STAR, if passed as proposed ...  will only magnify LRRP compliance issues."
The critics cited a similar case in September 2000, when the Housing and Urban Development's "Lead Safe Housing Regulation" was deferred until more personnel and firms could be trained.
Certification programs for the LRRP have grown slowly. Seven states still do not have even one, according to NARI.
"In light of the high priority given by both Congress and the Administration to improving energy efficiency in older homes and creating a robust residential retrofit industry..., contractors and industry professionals must have a resolution to the LRRP compliance issue before April 22, 2010," the letter said.
Neither the EPA nor the senators had an immediate response to the appeal.


Online Fund-Raiser Tracks Social Media's Reach

By Morgan Zenner

Alison and David Sturm, CKBR, of Attention to Detail Home Remodeling, are long-time supporters of Atlanta's Hunger Walk Run. The Hunger Walk began in 1984 as a movement to curb issues of hunger both locally and globally.
The Sturms joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta to raise money and canned food items to donate to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
"We have been participating in the walk for the past four years because we value the fact that our efforts direct back into the local community," Alison Sturm says.
Over the last few years, the Sturms have watched the event grow in size and in donations, and this year they decided to grow with it. "It is the first time we decided to raise money using new technology and mass communication," Alison Sturm says.
The fund-raiser allowed the Sturms to experiment with social media and gain perspective about how receptive their messaging is. Before this point, they were unsure of how successful they were at reaching their audience through new online channels.
Many fund-raisers now provide online platforms for people to promote and donate easily. In this case, the organization gave each team a page through the Hunger Walk Web site with details of the team, including a logo, team members, the goal (visualized as a thermometer) and a place for others to contribute to the team's goal.
The page also links back to the main Hunger Walk Web site, where it gives details of location and time of the event. Team members can use the link their Hunger Walk donation page to other places online and ask people for donations.
The Sturm's online capabilities of the fundraiser made it easy for the Sturms to announce their participation in their social media networks. They took to the Attention to Detail Facebook page and blog to announce their participation in the fund-raiser and to ask for donations.
"For two people running a small business, it was very easy to get the message out to our networks through our blog and Facebook page," David Sturm says.
Frequent updates on the progress of their donation goals, visualized as the thermometer, were posted to the company Facebook page, and on the Friday before the event, a Hunger Walk blog posting invited readers to join the Attention to Detail team at that actual event.
"We invited people to join our team either by donating or joining us at the event on the day of the walk," Alison Sturm says.  The Sturms also were using this to test the waters of social media platforms. They wanted to test whether people were interested in what they had to say on these sites and to see who was listening.
The results proved a positive response from others. First of all, it was the first time in four years the Sturms had ever reached 100% of their donation goal.  Second, most of those who contributed were new or prospective clients. Even though, 15% of those who donated were anonymous, the Sturms didn't recognize the sources of many donations, which created even more success in their minds.
"Those who already know us know that we are socially responsible and passionate about this cause, but it's interesting to wonder if those who don't know us now have an improved impression about us or simply wanted to donate," Alison Sturm says.  This is something the Sturms may never know, but they are hoping clients are gaining a positive perception of their company. "We hope that people are appreciative that a remodeling company is putting things back into the community and that we are supportive of the families that live here," David Sturm says.
On the day of the event, the Attention to Detail staff was in full attendance, walking with company T-shirts down the streets of Atlanta. The event boasted about 5,000 people, and there was plenty of food and entertainment throughout the day.  The Sturms raised 10 percent beyond their original goal, and they were announced as one of the top five fund-raising team on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta during the pre-event.
"This year's experience has been extremely rewarding, and we are definitely participating again next year, and we are going to make it a company-wide effort, both by promoting the fund-raiser through social media and by collecting food donations in our office," Alison Sturm says.


Become a Business Resource Outside of the Building Industry

By Morgan Zenner

Mark Scott, CR, GCP, of Mark IV Builders Inc., has a good reputation both within the building industry and outside of it. Over the years, he has positioned himself as the go-to guy for advice, resources and quality referrals.
All industries rely heavily on good referrals because they build an underlining trust between strangers by way of the shared connection. Referred customers give business professionals the benefit of the doubt, whereas a call generated from a faceless magazine ad brings more skepticism into the picture.
"Referrals make others feel special about you trying to help them, and they strengthen your relationship with that person," Scott says. "And, they strengthen the possibility that you may get a referral from someone else at another time." They also keep Scott top of mind.
Scott has positioned his company to be top of mind by making it a point to know what his clients do for a living and then referring other of his clients to them when appropriate. This, in turn, causes his clients to refer Mark IV Builders to their friends. Whereas many contractors refer clients to people within the building industry (i.e. architects, designers, interior decorators), the majority of Scott's referrals are outside of the building industry.
"I have been doing this for so long, I don't even quite remember how it happened," Scott says. "People call me all the time and ask me for business advice or personal advice, and I always end up referring them to someone I know."
For example, on any given day, Scott makes a standard check-up phone call to one of his current clients. They begin the conversation talking about the project, and oftentimes it turns to something else. One particular client was in need of an attorney, and Scott knows a great attorney who was a client years ago.  He also knows a couple doctors, accountants and financial advisers, too. Connecting people might seem a time-consuming task-and one that doesn't necessarily immediately benefit Mark IV Builders. But Scott believes in the adage of, "What goes around comes around."
Scott used to spend tens of thousands of dollars on glossy magazine ads. However, he has discontinued paid advertising, instead retaining 90 percent of his business from referrals. He admits that his business has dipped somewhat over the last two years like most other companies, but he believes that dip wasn't deeper because of his company's reputation in the businesses community.
"When someone else speaks highly of you as a professional and your work, it definitely gives you a leg up." But Scott says there's another influential force when it comes to referrals. "People want to be like their friends and neighbors, and they tend to rely on their friends to show them the way."
This might sound a little like high school, but then again, think about what happens when you need to find a new doctor, new dentist or new place to get your hair cut-you ask people close to you whose decisions you trust.
"I love knowing someone who belongs to a country club," Scott says. "I literally start with one person, and next thing I know, my name is being passed around from one friend to the next."  Scott also takes the time to perform favors for new or prospective clients, even when he's not the one to take the work.
"I make house calls all the time, whether the new client was referred to me or not. I take a look at their problem, or the house, and I tell them exactly what they need." Even when the work is outside the realm of Scott's company, he refers them to other contractors who can do the work.  "If I can do something for a friend of a friend, it almost always makes the friend look like a hero and a source to his friend," Scott says.
Scott has advice for those who are depending solely on good karma by way of referrals. First, if you're going to refer someone, it's a good idea to know that they are ethical or fair to stay out of the crossfire of a sour business deal.
Assure people that there are no hard feelings if nothing comes of it. This way, you're not trapping yourself or others into a bad situation. Keep things light and helpful.
Scott's advice for new business owners interested in trying referrals as a way to grow business? Find a small group of peers that you trust and who have similar interests with which to share advice and support. These people can be your starting point for building your reputation and meeting others through them. As everyone starts to develop a client base, you can share referrals amongst the group.
"There is big misconception out there that just by paying a fee and joining a group or club, you will start to get referrals within the first six months," Scott warns. He says that people in those groups can sense insincerity in others who are only looking for leads. Referrals shouldn't be made based on the fact that you owe someone a favor. It's in your best interest to make a good referral, and not randomly referring others because it happens to be a colleague's turn.

Also, bear in mind that the referral business is a two-way street. If people are referring you business, it's only fair to reciprocate.  "I've been around for 23 years, and it took me a long time to cultivate the relationships I have with people and build my reputation to where it is today," he says. To make a group like this work, members must be patient and willing to invest the time and effort into getting to know people and learning to trust them.



March 31, 2010




Construction Workers


Ohio Valley NARI

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