DC Talk – Keeping the Powder Dry for Manufactured Housing Residents, Pros

February 15th, 2016 No comments

Wikipedia says that, “Trust in God and keep your powder dry” is a maxim attributed to Oliver Cromwell. The NYTimes says, “The purpose of keeping powder dry is to be able to blaze away at the proper time.”

The nation’s Capitol is inspirational, but it can be sad and frustrating too.


One of the many “The Extra Mile” plaques set on the sidewalks near the White House in Washington, DC. Image credit, FlickerRiver.

In and around the Capitol area, there are historic monuments and buildings all around you. Each can make you proud to be an American.

At the W Hotel, where the MHI meeting was based, you’re about a block from the White House ‘as the crow flies.’ Yet on the walk to and from 10th to G or F Streets NW – half a mile from the White House – there are amazing numbers of people begging for money.

On 15th between the W Hotel and the 2+2, 10th story condo I rented during my stay in DC, you could periodically see “The Extra Mile” plaques embedded in the sidewalks, like those shown.


The quote at the base of this Extra Mile plaque of Booker T. Washington reads, “My life work is the promotion of the education of my race.” Image credit – TravelJournals.

Booker T. Washington was right. Education is indeed a critical issue for us all. Navigating the shoals of our industry and the maize that is politically is DC isn’t easy. But one must, as Clara Barton said, “…never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”

The Cannon Office building where my congressional representative’s office is, was started in 1905 and completed in 1908. The Washington Times reports the updating of the Cannon would cost $752.7 million dollars. “At 826,465 square feet, the House office building will cost more than $900 per square foot to renovate.” Can you spell the words waste, mismanagement and corruption?

No wonder our federal budget is so bloated, and the federal debt now tops $19 trillion dollars. That federal debt is about $56,716 per man woman and child in America.

To rephrase the debt, for a family of 4, every household in America could get:

  • a new multi-sectional home of $76,500,
  • two new vehicles totaling $60,000,
  • invest $40,000 for the home site’s and related stuff,
  • and still have $50,364 left over.

More on DC and our legislative lobbying efforts on behalf of MH in the days ahead.  

Holding the Digital Press…

We had this post ready all weekend, and where hoping to have finished a new video that we believe will be very useful for the industry at large. We’ve made numerous revisions, and hope it will be ready by Monday evening, or Tuesday.  Check back here for an update, please, that will have that link.

That communications – educational – tool can help do what Booker T and Clara both encouraged – meeting the needs we in MH face. Once posted, please see and share the video that some who have previewed it are saying could be a powerful tools in telling our story in DC, to the mainstream media and beyond.  


Senator Bob Corker, left, UMH CEO Sam Landy, CFPB’s Richard Cordray, HUD’s Julian Castro (r).

The promised update is linked above, and the early reviews continue to be strong…


Justice Antonin Scalia has died, and there are conflicting reports as to the cause of his death.

ICYMI – Unrelated at this moment to MH, but hugely important…

The death of Antonin Scalia will or should be big news for some time.  At first, his death was described as a heart attack, updated reports say that he was found with a pillow over his head and that he waved off his security detail for this trip to a Texas ranch.  May he rest in peace, and may each of us work and pray to make this 2016 election outcome a positive one, because it will shape our Republic for years and years to come. ##


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, Financing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

“Meh,” Manufactured Housing and Industry Advancement

February 10th, 2016 No comments

First, for those who don’t know the term, Google defines “MEH” as follows:


expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm.

“Meh. I’m not impressed so far”

uninspiring; unexceptional.

“a lot of his movies are … meh”


Meh image credit, memegenerator.

For millions, “meh” describes their feelings toward our industry. Meh. Little interest or enthusiasm. For others, its worse, its NIMBY, meaning “not in my back yard.” There exists a smaller group of MH Enthusiasts, a group which your Masthead scribes counts himself in.

Then there are those who may have a range of emotions, and are either employed in our industry or who live in homes produced by our industry. That groups something like 21 million people (+/-).

If we want to fire up our business and activist results locally and in DC, we need to move more people from apathy – meh – and NIMBY – to interest and enthusiasm.

We’ll explore that more in the days ahead, but one of the ways we do that right now is on MHLivingNews. Millions of visits suggests we are onto something there.

Why Creating MH Enthusiasts Matters

Fabled Zig Ziglar and more recently Stu Schlackman are among those who define… selling is a transference of emotions or feelings.”

Some get it, others don’t.

For those who don’t yet get it, ALL of us at various times are ‘selling something.’ You may be an educator, a politico, a lobbyist, dance instructor, a parent, priest, business or spiritual leader. You and all are at times ‘selling’ an idea, product, service or a desired outcome.


Its safe to say that most apartment and other rental housing aren’t as good looking as the home above. MH has a great story, we must tap our potential ever more to grow results. Burning cash graphic credit, Nanigans. Upscale, appealing single sectional home photo, credit, Sunshine Homes.

Schlackman says:

People don’t buy just for the logical facts about your solution….”

Fact number one: consider a little brain science. Customers react to a pain 3 times more often than a gain….”

Fact number two: in order to impact the customer emotions, you need to take them into the future. If you don’t alleviate the problem now, or you wait six months, what happens?…”

Fact number three: when customers are engaged emotionally with us, you will build stronger relationships….”

Find those:

  • pain and pleasure points,
  • find the emotional ties and
  • sell the sizzle and not the steak.


We will be looking into the issues raised in Washington, DC during the recent MHI and related Hill meetings. A lot of important items came up. Among those is something we may describe as – sorry – a new threat facing the industry, its retailers and communities. Some of you have already learned this the hard way. For others, its coming. We’ll plan to look into that and more on the weekend Masthead.


Washington DC meetings brought a number of revelations that we will explore in the days ahead here on the Masthead. Image credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

Dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s

Let me close by saying that we’re already working on more solutions to Meh.

We first needed a fact-based foundation for those 1 of 4 personality types that want to know every detail. Now that we have that foundation largely in place, we are able to do shorter, higher energy (read, transfer of emotions) videos, images and stories that hold and move the viewers attention. ManufacturedHomeLivingNews.com has brought millions of visits with tens of millions of hits.


Image credit, Pinterest and the SIngle Woman.

That’s a vote of confidence, an affirmation from the public that we’re on the right track.

Another vote of confidence are the comments heard from folks who told us that our twice-weekly emailed updates are something they love getting and routinely read. 

We hear those thank-you, kudos words face to face, in messages and from our data too! Fact. The click through rate on our emails is – per Mail Chimp – three times the industry average. That’s stratospheric.

That too is a vote of confidence from the masses that tells us we are on the right track.

None of this happens in a bubble. We get LOTS of input, and we value it. This is team work here. Our success is yours too, and your thoughtful input helps us better hit the mark that leads to more success.  We can’t do this without sponsors, readers, supporters and those who share their news, views and story tips.


                                                     Image credit – IndependentMusicPromotions.

I’ll close by saying that even those with a passion for MH won’t always agree on every issue or every strategy. That’s just human nature.

But what you can count on is that we love the industry, and support the short, medium and long term good for our home owners, business professionals and the public at large.  That’s my pledge to you.  It’s backed up by years of lived example.


The American shield, our national bird – the eagle – an olive branch or arrows in the eagle’s talons (meaning – take your pick, war or peace – we’re ready for peace, but are not afraid of war) is just one of the many examples of Triumph and Tragedy on Display in DC. We plan to look at that topic this weekend, unless something red hot takes us a different direction. Image credit, Encylopedia.com.

Together, we advance. E Pluribus Unum. “From the many, one.” ##


L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, speaking at the recent New York Housing Association meeting. Tony will be presenting at the 2016 Tunica MH Show on March 22, more details, click here.

By L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

DC Complexity plus Rising Sales, Rising Pressures on MH

February 5th, 2016 No comments

Reminder: like so many of you, we love the manufactured housing industry, and believe strongly in its future. Good news exists like the wine that cheers us ahead; troubling news is there for us to identify, navigate and overcome so our home owners and we as professionals can grow even more.

rising-home-sales-shutterstock-masthead-blog-mhpronews-Let’s note the rising new home MH shipment report, linked here, and look at a positive step forward.

DC Complexity

MHI issued a statement, which reads in part as follows:

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) to increase the flexibility for low income families to use a Section 8 voucher to purchase a manufactured home.  The amendment was approved by voice vote…”


Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

This amendment, which was supported by Financial Services Committee Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) and Ranking Member Waters (D-CA), allows vouchers to be used not just for the cost of leasing the land (which is currently permitted) but also for other monthly costs of purchasing a manufactured home loan, including mortgage payments, property tax, and insurance. The change would allow families that receive a tenant-based Section 8 voucher to help pay for an alternative to renting an apartment – allowing them to actually purchase a home.  The amendment does not provide any direct funds or require anyone to use a voucher to live in a manufactured home. However, with this change the approximately 2.1 million Section 8 voucher holders in America will now have the option to use their Section 8 voucher to buy a manufactured home.  

The broader bill that now includes this provision, H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 472-0. It will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Among the comments from readers on this was this:

More than ten years ago at an MHI convention (name withheld) suggested to Barney Frank that this was the one thing gov’t could do which would help everyone.  It went nowhere as he wasn’t listening.

Under the right circumstances this measure could be the most exciting thing since the HUD Code.

But, things are never as good or as bad as one thinks.  This does however, have the potential to really help. Why piss away apt rent money? Let people use that money to buy their MH.

Now let’s see the details and hope for the best.”

The reason the Masthead will refer to this as DC Complexity is this easily overlooked part of the MHI release:


Maxine Waters (D-CA), ranking member, Financial Services Committee.

This amendment, which was supported by Financial Services Committee Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) and Ranking Member Waters (D-CA), allows vouchers to be used…”

Recall that it was Maxine Waters that recently lead a public charge to have Clayton Homes investigated by the Department of Justice?

We shouldn’t look sideways at this potential for this gift to MH. Congressional Representative Waters is on the attack on MH on one topic, and yet supporting MH on this issue. That reveals how complex DC can be.

In this political environment, it doesn’t pay to burn a bridge in the nation’s capitol, does it?

Unreported in the release where acknowledgments of others who have publicly called on HUD for like reforms, including MHARR, MHI and another as seen from this link here.

Seattle Times –The Beat(ing) of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Clayton Homes and MH lending goes on…

The news alert read like this…

Washington state moves to protect mobile-home buyers

Center for Public Integrity

The ongoing investigation of the industry, “The Mobile-Home Trap,” has focused on Clayton Homes, a company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire …

In the wake of the above and related, we received this comment that was initially sent on the record by a well know industry leader, and then a follow up message requested it not be on the record.


In my opinion the Section 8 MHI posting and the DOJ investigation of Clayton Homes financial entities appears to be a concert conducted to appeal to the 98%ers and to get local NIMBY’s to remake the LLC communities into a new type of affordable housing.

The goal is to offset troubling local affordable housing issues nationwide.  Since Socialism and Rent Control appear to be a Democrat and Progressives theme and a claim to equality in housing. Only one “Gotcha” is needed to validate and prove Clayton Homes finance arm’s troubles.

The trend and recent actions clearly shows a path to change for the future of HUD (Code manufactured) housing.” (Editor’s note – the words “Code manufactured” – was implied, but not in the original, and was inserted above for clarity of meaning).

Follow ups made it clear that this writer wasn’t throwing someone under the bus, nor necessarily favoring what is happening on this issue. Rather, that professional suggests that the HUD Code MH and MHC industries are being forced into changes, whether it wants them or not.

About Lesli Gooch’s Op-Ed


Marty Lavin, JD looking happy and trim in the dining area of his winter residence in Miami Beach, the 70′ custom Italian ship, the Spy Sea.

Marty Lavin, JD, is a successful, award-winning attorney who’s business interests included MH lending, communities and retail sales. His opinion is worth noting, because he worked with one of the GSEs during the 2000s. When he read Dr. Gooch’s OpEd, he shared the following comment on the record to us:

I think Dr. Gooch is very well intended, but the industry position doesn’t necessarily align with the ends of the GSEs. Perhaps a better understanding of their position might lead to a better outcome…if that is possible. It’s much more than just helping consumers buy homes. The GSEs need these folks to be able to stay in them. Therein lies the rub.”

Once more, a close reading of his observations aren’t a slam on Lesli Gooch, or MHI. Marty Lavin has years of experience working with a particular GSE. He understands where they are coming from. Lavin is applying good reasoning: in the absence of meeting the GSE’s concerns, he believes they won’t voluntarily budge.


This leads to a broader issue, one we’ve raised in a slightly different way before.

What is keeping MHI from achieving its goals?

Yes, among other factors, there’s opposition in DC from so-called consumer groups. But those same groups claim to champion manufactured housing as a good solution for affordable quality living.

Manufactured housing and its lending ought to be seen as non-partisan issues. Yet all to often, it’s precisely in political and ‘crony capitalist’ terms how MH and it’s lending are being portrayed. That’s tragic, because the status quo is harming millions of owners of low cost MH, and untold thousands of buyers annually who in pre-Dodd-Frank had financing, and thanks to the CFPB’s 2014 implementation of those rules, today do not.

We know that DC works differently than many states do. But the principles are similar. State governments and the federal government mirror each other in the sense there is an executive, legislative and judicial branch and then there are executive branch agencies that enforce rules and regulations. There is lobbying at the state level akin to what happens in Washington, DC.

We know a number of MH state associations that are getting the job done for their members, while working in concert whenever possible with consumer groups. Let’s suggest that’s a model that MHI needs to better implement.


Ishbel Dickens, NMHOA, photo credit Madison Park Times.

Why? Until we either get consumer groups on the same page as the industry – for the sake of consumers and for


Doug Ryan, CFED’s point man on manufactured housing.

professionals alike – there exists an often adversarial relationship with non-profits such as Ishbel Dickens of NMHOA and Doug Ryan at CFED, to name but two examples.

Those groups are linked with what is going on in the ongoing media war launched against Clayton Homes et al, as the Center for Public Integrity’s own release indicates, “The ongoing investigation of the industry, “The Mobile-Home Trap,” has focused on Clayton Homes, a company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire…”

Our Daily Business News take on this thorny issue is below.

Seattle Times announces State Investigation of Warren Buffett’s Clayton Homes, as expected – Analysis –


Image credit – collage of Industry Association logos by MHProNews, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines.

DC Talk and DC Complexity

Once more, your Masthead scribe will be in DC to listen to what is going on there, first hand. The rules of the association are clear. I can’t report on what goes on in the meeting, but what is said in the hallways outside the meeting rooms and beyond the event are fair game.

We’ll see what that hallway and beyond – DC talk – will reveal.

We still want to see S 682 passed, because it is good for consumers and good for the industry. There are those who say Preserving Access is “dead, dead, dead” – that we might at best save the MLO comp rule portion of it.

Another well placed source says the entire bill is still at play, and that’s exactly why the Seattle Times et al are continuing their assault on MHI’s backed bill.

Is passage of the bill doable? Yes. Will it get done the way things are moving now? What do you think?  We Provide, You Decide. ©

Quoting from the MHI website…

MHI Mission Statement – MHI is the national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry. MHI serves its membership by providing industry research, promotion, education and government relations programs, and by building and facilitating consensus within the industry.”

Let’s ask: is this mission statement being fully lived up to?

If the mission statement were a reality, would we be further along or perhaps have even already passed the highly modest CFPB/Dodd-Frank reform legislation sought in HR 650-S 682?

What the high numbers of comments, forwards and thousands of reads on our recent Masthead on a related topic suggests is that change must come to MHI, the only question is how and when.


Graphic credit, OpenSourceway and FlickrCreativeCommons

We want the bill passed, for reasons noted numerous times over the years. It might get passed with no changes at MHI, just rocking along with business as usual there. But my sincere concern is that without change, we are whistling in the wind.

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com1I’m looking forward to visits on Capitol Hill.

We’ll catch up with another Masthead after the MHI meetings, perhaps next Wednesday.jan-hollingsworth-for-mhlivingnews-com-55

Until then, stay current with Matthew Silver’s Daily Business News, and you’ve simply got to read Jan Hollingsworth’s latest:


Your insights and thoughts? They’re valued.

Let’s end as we began. Good news cheers us on, issues are there for us to learn from and navigate. Onward! ##

l.a.'tony'kovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-mhpronews-com-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.


L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Facts, Figures, Fears, Fables and Frustrations – for – Fearless, Fix-It February in MHVille

February 2nd, 2016 No comments

Before diving into the headline topics, let’s briefly comment on what so many pundits missed in Monday’s Iowa Caucus results.

On the Democratic side, the questions hanging over their photo-finish results may prove to be worse for Hillary Clinton’s once inevitable campaign than if Bernie Sanders had won Iowa outright. Among the headlines Tuesday Morning on the Drudge Report:

It’s hard to see how those an other issues won’t dog the former First Lady and Madam Secretary.

For Republicans, there where three over-performers, not two or one.

Yes, Ted Cruz won. But Donald Trump did better than expected with evangelicals, with conservatives, others and he stood up to Fox News, all in Iowa. The Donald was behind double digits at one point in Iowa, and came back first against Ben Carson, and then vs. Ted Cruz. He was gracious in his taking second place.

Marco Rubio over-performed too, and will have some wind in his sails as he was not far behind Mr. Trump. It’s hard to see a path for Jeb Bush, Rand Paul or half a dozen other candidates mired in single digit polling that have or soon will need to bow out of the race for their party’s nomination.

The energy is still with the outsiders like Trump, Cruz and the fresh face of Senator Rubio, and with those who feel the Bern.

How will the race for the Oval Office – and election contests for House and the Senate play out for MH? We’ll keep an eye on that and more for you.

Kentucky Expo Center In Lousiville, site for the 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

Kentucky Expo Center In Lousiville, site for the 2016 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show.

Inside MH

This month, we take a number of looks back at the recently concluded Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, and look ahead to the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. We have videos with and by a number of MH pros on these topics, plus our strong line up of

  • Legal/Fair Housing

  • Finance

  • Marketing/Sales

  • Inspiration

  • Regulatory/HUD/MHARR

  • Communities

  • More!

New Interviews with MH Industry Success Stories (Alphabetical, by last name)

  • A Cup of Coffee with...John Bostick, Sunshine Homes

  • Darrell Boyd, Senior VP, Triad Financial Services, Inside MH Video Interview

  • Don Glisson Jr., Chairman and CEO of Triad Financial Services, Inside MH Video Interview

  • A Cup of Coffee with…Kris Jenson, Jenson Communities

  • Chris Nortley, MHRE Inc on the manufactured home community market, Inside MH Video Interview

You’ll see a number of other industry pros in shorter clips that we interviewed as part of the recap video from the 2016 Louisville Show, the link will be below with the other new featured articles for February.

Facts, Figures, Fears, Fables and Frustrations – for – Fearless, Fix-It February in MHVille

How will manufactured and modular home industry professionals, business owners and executives face the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?

The interviews we do provide clues as to what others with a track record of success are thinking.

What we know for sure is that we are under-performing as an industry. Fables and hopes won’t solve our current limitations. Because there are some players who are doing quite well, it implies that others can too. And who is “the MH industry?” It is obviously made up of thousands of professionals, just like you.

So how you perform matters. How the associations and key product and service providers do impacts you too.

Get and stay involved and informed. That’s what we do, we provide the facts, figures, fears, fables, frustrations that so many experience. Armed with the sure knowledge that we have a terrific product and that the value provided to our industry’s customers is very hard to match in the open market, we should face the future with fearless confidence and optimism. Let’s tackle what we need to, and fix it.

With no further adieu, let’s dive into the Featured Articles and Reports for Fix-it February in MHVille on MHProNews.com.

Featured Articles and Reports for Vol. 7, No. 5, 2015

Alphabetically by Category




• Fair Housing Hunt!

by Nadeen Green, JD

nadeen-green-mhpronews-comWhat is an author to do when she has monthly written articles about Fair Housing issues for L. A. “Tony” Kovach on MHProNews for more than 6 years and hits the proverbial wall?

Read more…


• MHPark Safety Inspections and Pride of Ownership

kurt kelly american insurance agency aia 50x50by Kurt Kelley, JD and Frank Rolfe
Safety inspections are a valuable part of our specialty manufactured home community (aka mobile home park) insurance programs.

Read more…



• A Cup of Coffee with…John Bostick

Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Sunshine Homes and where your company is based).

John Bostick, President, Sunshine Homes, Red Bay, Al.

Read more…


• The Terrific Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, March 22-25, 2016

by Andy Gallagher

andy-gallagher-executive-director-west-virginia-manufactured-housing-association-louisville-2014-industry-voices-mhpronews0com-55x55TUNICA, Miss. – Seventeen manufacturers and 62 services and supplier exhibitors are signed up to present at The Tunica Manufactured Housing Show March 22-25, 2016 at Tunica, Mississippi, a town 41 miles southwest of Memphis, Tenn.

Read more…


• THIS IS WHY – The Tunica Manufactured Housing Show – WILL always be there… 

by Dennis Hill


  • The Tradition Is Solid and Dependable

Read more…


• A Cup of Coffee with…Kristian “Kris” Jensen III

a-cup-mhmsm-com1) Who, What and Where: (Your name and your formal title at Jensen Communities).

Kristian “Kris” Jensen III, President, CEO & Chairman, Jensen Communities.

Read more…


• Manufactured Home Community (aka ‘mobile home parks) Buying, Selling, Investing – Chris Nortley, MHRE video interview 

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe manufactured home community sector is hot, some say, red hot! What some call “mobile home parks” is in demand, because affordable quality living is in demand.

Read more…


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

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThe 2016 Louisville Show is in the history books. Snow and the cancellation of the final ½ day (Friday) were contributing factors that slowed the previous 5 years of attendance growth at this year’s event.

Read more…


• Trade Journalism meets Mainstream Journalism – How the MHIndustry Benefits 

 by L. A. “Tony” Kovach

tony- kovachFor years, part of our mantra has been that good independent trade journalism can be part of the solution for what ails manufactured housing in the battle for an accurate public perception.

Read more…


• Don Glisson Jr & Darrell Boyd, Triad Financial Services – Manufactured Home Loans – Inside MH Video Interviews

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachTriad Financial Services closed some $400 million in new manufactured home (MH) loans in 2015.

Read more…


• Tantalize Your Taste-buds with the Video Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, March 22nd-25, 2016!

by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach

tony- kovachThere are plenty of details in Andy Gallagher’s and Dennis Hill’s pre-show write up this month, so let me share a VISUAL perspective – a fast-paced video of the sights and sounds that make the Tunica Show the largest industry trade show of the year.

Read more…


• Louisville Hits a Home Run

by Tifanee McCall

TifaneeMcCall-MHWC-ResidentialWarrantyCompany-55x55WOW! What an ending to the 2016 Louisville Show. I have only participated in this show for 15 years, so I might be considered a newbie, but this could be the first show concluded early due to snow.

Read more…


• Rachel Young Joins Western Region CU Factory Built Lending Team 

by John Walters

JohnWalters-CUFactorylandingCU Factory Built Lending Western Region Sales and Marketing team has a new member, Rachel Young.

Read more…


• HUD Action Would Directly Benefit Manufactured Housing Competitors 

by M. Mark Weiss, JD

MMarkWeiss-PresidentManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARR-postedMHProNews-com-50x50-An Outrageous HUD Rule Would Destroy Significant New Markets For Affordable Manufactured Housing.

Read more…



• You Have A Bad Review!

by Wayne Coakley

WayneCoakleyGrenadeMarketingGroupReputationMarketing-ManufacturedHousing-55x62 headshot_MHProNews-com-“Just go elsewhere! These people are horrible to deal with.

Read more…




• Success isn’t an independent journey

by Tim Connor, CSP

tim-connor-mhmsm-comLet me be clear as I approach this topic – yes, it takes – effort, passion, courage, wisdom, time, creativity, discipline and self-esteem and more to be successful, but let me ask you – do you think anyone can be successful alone?

Read more…


• ZigOn The Succession of a Philosophy

by Zig Ziglar

zig-ziglarOn a trip to India, I had the opportunity to address corporate executives on the truths I have been sharing for more than 50 years.

Read more…

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

2 Hats, 2 Phones, 2 Faces, 2 Standards, 2 Words and 2 Threats

January 29th, 2016 No comments

If you are one of those who have not had your email, text, voicemail of other outreach replied to, my apologies.

As the photo below suggests, there are dozens of voice messages – plus the others – that are yet to be addressed. If you are in that group of as yet unreturned calls, kindly understand.

There were calls into the night. Some came from voices I’ve never heard on the phone before, or from names who I might know, but who would not ordinarily call.


21 voice messages on the land line, 13 more on the cell, awaiting follow up. That doesn’t include unanswered texts, emails, missed calls with no voice messages, etc. One LinkedIn message came from as far away as China. If you are in the group not yet responded to, please be patient.

While some called or messaged to tweak this or that fact unrelated to the meat of the core topic, or to try to get me to reveal a source (sorry, when you have on a journalistic hat, we don’t do that), one – only one so far – has said something like the following message.

Defending MHI CEO Dick Jennison, and taking out parts that might reveal the source, one person emailed to say that Jennison in that writer’s option “is MHI’s best President ever...

Others see it differently. The two words most commonly used from most every caller or message so far? “Thank you...”

If you’ve missed the article/OpEds that sparked this outpouring of commentary, here they are in reverse order of the time they were published:

The balance of this post you are reading now is already drafted. Each one of the headlined topics will be covered.

But for fairness, we are awaiting a formal clarification on something that was attributed to MHI – which by way of disclosure, came to me indirectly, not directly from them – regarding alleged steps they propose to take on the light of the above articles. One might politely call those, threats. 

Depending on their reply, or lack of a reply, we will tackle updates to the above in 2 Hats, 2 Phones, 2 Faces, 2 Standards, 2 Words and 2 Threats. But again, we want to be fair, so we’re going to give them an opportunity to confirm or deny what others say came from them to me.

New Revelations…

Beyond 2 Threats, what we will say for now is that there have been numerous other revelations and allegations that came in as a result of the calls and messages to the Masthead blog on MHProNews.  The response has strongly underscored the validity of the concerns spotlighted in the 3 links above.

So the plan is to update this post, likely this evening. Please check back for the added details then, thank you…

And as a programming note, the new Featured Articles on MHProNews will be going live Monday evening or Tuesday by noon. New newsmakers, pros, mover and shaker interviews and videos plus other articles as the beat goes on.

Here is the promised, evening update.

Where The Buck Stops…

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Let’s apply Teddy Roosevelt’s principle from former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt, to MHI.  Instead of country, read association.

First, it was President Harry Truman who famously said, “the buck stops here.”  So doesn’t Dick Jennison bear any responsibility for missteps, and missed opportunities?

If he is truly MHI’s best president ever, why are we constantly coming up short in DC?

We are not going to say that Dick Jennison is lacking in skills, and he has his supporters.  But we are told of presidents past who are said to have commanded different skills; who pulled more pros together, who worked with staff better, etc..  

At a MHEC meeting a few years ago, a state executive director in an opening meeting turned to then president Thayer Long, and softely said, “Thayer, with all due respect, you are not getting the job done.”  It was not long afterwards, that Thayer left, apparently on his own accord.  

Let’s be candid.  MH is a tough gig, and MHI has had its challenges.  There is nothing personal or no unjust slam in reviewing elements of a person’s performance, and seeing if it measures up to the needs, is there? 

Two hats, two standards, one Denial

After a number of callers and messages spoke of a plan within MHI to allegedly retailiate for publishing the three stories above, we were told by MHI that no plan exists to do so.  That’s as it should be, as members must have the right to question and challenge if need be leadership, for the good of the organization and it’s goals.  That’s a takeaway from Teddy Roosevelt’s quote.

There is more to say, but we have raised the warning flags about what’s happening inside MHI enough for now.  Let people watch, observe and see where the current paths lead us; or let us encourage leaders to re-evaluate what has happened and why.  We’ll hold our peace on other revelations, as needed, for a later date.  

Hopefully, corrections will come and publishing more on this topic won’t be necessary. Once more, the initial report which we stand by, and others are confirming, is linked here.

Let’s push forward to the pressing items, and navigate the challenges – internal and external – that keep us from achieving success for industry pros and for millions of negatively impacted MH home owners.

The new February issue of all new featured articles, videos and interviews will be live Monday night, or by noon Tuesday.  Stay tuned. ##  


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, Financing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Manufactured Housing – Losing, Lemmings and MH Winning

January 26th, 2016 No comments

Housing isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a human necessity. Physically – not spiritually – speaking, there is food, clothing, transportation and shelter. In the natural order, all else is a bonus.

In the USA, affordable housing is a growing need. No industry – on paper – can make a better case for being the affordable housing solution. Manufactured homes – MH – is a uniquely American industry.


The collage above is both real and symbolic.  The homes shown are from independent producers and from major firms alike. There is work to do to make the collage a reality. Image credit, MHLivingNews.com.

The facts noted aren’t opinions, they are indisputable realities that if debated we could easily make the case for, and we do that digitally daily here, and to the public-at-large on MHLivingNews.

As the industry’s premier professional trade media – and most respected independent voice – the Masthead blog on MHProNews brings you views today and moving ahead that will take a politically incorrect, but pro-goal and solution oriented look at the following question.

So why doesn’t the MH Industry win more often in DC?

It’s a multi-billion dollar a year question. That means, your share of lost profits could be in the millions. Why doesn’t MH do better in the media, and better politically in DC?


Housing is a trillion dollar a year industry. MH is doing maybe 5 billion a year in sales. When will we take the steps necessary to advance the industry’s cause successfully, so that professionals and investors can earn what the industry’s true potential is? Image credit, blah-blah, blah.

We asked, here are examples of what we’ve been told.

The industry blew it during the early part of the Obama Administration and in the waning days of the Bush era,” an insider told MHProNews. “We had the opportunity to do great things for MH in Washington (DC), and fumbled it away.”

MHI’s CEO has the solid support of the Executive Committee,” another said. “A strong statement of support was made for Dick Jennison when his contract was extended.”

The flip side of that are those who say that Jennison has a tenuous relationship with staffers, and has a series of what some would say are notable – and avoidable – missteps with non-profit groups such as CFED, with MHARR and with others.

Example. While we see the world very differently than anti-MHC activist Ishbel Dickens on most things, please note her quote to us below:


Isbhel can tell you as well as anyone that we disagree on most things, but this statement of her’s we happen to have confirmed – quite by chance – by MHI. Ishbel Dickens, NMHOA, photo credit Madison Park Times.

Tim and I have met with the Board Chair and the in-house counsel for MHI and offered to try to negotiate acceptable compromise legislation regarding HR 650. However, to no avail.”

The “Tim” above means Tim Sheahan, NMHOA President. MHI’s Chair at the time referenced was


Tim Sheahan, President, NMHOA. Photo credit. National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA).

Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities. MHI’s attorney naturally reports to its president, Richard “Dick” Jennison.

Some of the other missteps made by paid MHI staff were documented – by MHI! – on MHProNews. An example is linked here, where Dick Jennison is said to have instructed Jason Boehlert to pull the trigger on issuing the victory-lap statement on meetings with the non-profits.

So what?

The problem was, that Jennison and Boehlert alledgedly didn’t clear the comment with the non-profits.

He wanted a victory to report, and we were personally asked to report it, to maximize the spread of the RichardDickJennison-MHI-CEO-PostedMHProNews-com‘good news’ on this topic to the MH Industry at large.

We did, word for word as we were asked to publish it. They were pleased, and thanked us for publishing their letter by Jason.

However, when the non-profits saw what they had published on MHProNews, they let Dick know they wanted to rip Jennison a new one.

We’ve sat on facts and insights like these and numerous others we have in hand, hoping the mistakes at MHI were going to be corrected.

In that hope, let me hereby admit my being wrong.  In the wake of the ongoing mishandling of the media, non-profits, politicos, MHI’s own members, etc. – and others that we won’t mention or publish today, but may soon – we are past tired of waiting.  

Moi had to look in the mirror and ask a tough question.  Are all in MH going to suffer and wait endlessly for the next track to replay on the same scarred vinyl record?


Vunyl record, stuck playing the same track, over and over. Royalty free image credit, dreamtime.

Inside MH

For those who don’t understand DC politics, the support of CFED and other non-profit groups such as Dickens-led NMHOA for MHI’s Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act bill would have meant the difference between a fight to pass the earlier or current versions of HR 650/S 682, and smooth sailing with both major parties in an agreement.

Dickens knows that reality. So read her words again with that context:

Tim (Sheahan) and I have met with the Board Chair (Nathan Smith) and the in-house counsel for MHI and offered to try to negotiate acceptable compromise legislation regarding HR 650. However, to no avail.”

I recall the briefing Nathan Smith gave to MHI members in attendance at MHI about the then-latest meeting on Preserving Access. It was what you’d expect from the opposite side of NMHOA’s pole in politics.

Those same non-profit groups may be wrong on the facts of industry financing and much else; and in the case of CFED, they may have a conflict of interest with the CFPB – which we exclusively broke the story on – linked here. To my knowledge, CFED hasn’t tried to explain that reported conflict-of-interest away. When something is true, it makes it harder to deny.

We’re doing our job today as pro-industry trade media by exposing what too few would know otherwise. The repeated missteps in Arlington directly and indirectly can costs your operation serious money. The graphs below tell the tale.


Facts and image credit – US Census Bureau, Reed Construction and MHProNews.


Credit – Bipartisan Policy Center.

When And Why Facts Don’t Always Matter…

In a normal world, having the facts on your side should mean victory. In the topsy turvey world of DC, that’s not always true.

But to screw up repeatedly, to snatch a bloody nose at the hands of PBS rather than be taking another step toward industry victory on a key finance issue that harms millions of MH home owners and thousands of MH businesses, that takes real talent.

Here are some comments and insights from MHI members and loyalists:

1) A prominent state executive first said a couple of years ago that the way the Preserving Access was being handled was going to lead to its likely defeat. That same exec did what he felt he could to advance the cause with his members. In the aftermath of the ST/BF and PBS reports, the statement yesterday to us was, has said exec now been proven right? The exec and others believe so.

2) After a briefing, another industry figure described Dick Jennison – almost three years ago – as sounding “clueless” on key industry issues being pushed then and still now in DC. That professional was telling MHProNews how concerned he was about how things were being managed in negotiations with the CFPB, and in promoting the prior version of Preserving Access to Congress.

Ironically, that person is working today for MHI. Perhaps that pro is patiently waiting for Jennison to be replaced?

3) Nor is that person alone in seeing how things are being handled in Arlington. Another at MHI is also awaiting Dick’s retirement – or other exit – with an eye on Jennison’s desk and chair.  Can you image how such inner-office rivals manage to make good things happen?


Our private and other efforts to stop the chaos have born no fruit.  So now, to end the repeated bottle necks the MHIndustry encounters in its political efforts, we and others must be willing to boldly identify the choke points. The above image is credit to Google’s online definition.

4) We hear from a growing list of long time MHI devotees – people who have paid dues and have served the organization for years – lament off-the-record why things are SNAFU’d. A polite Google definition of snafu is above, but do a search for the Urban Dictionary definition of SNAFU, please…

5) There are plenty of supporters for Arlington-based MHI’s measure. So why does MHI so often come up short? As we opened this column, affordable housing is a bipartisan issue. With the above fumbles, infighting and lack of confidence in leadership in mind, are you getting the picture of why we don’t win in DC?

Is the following quote the answer?

Tony, I’m tired of being a lemming, running off the cliff in support of the endless chase of MHI’s bill. Most of the state associations we are members of work far more effectively than MHI. You’ve been promoting passage of the current and two prior versions of Preserving Access for years. Let’s be honest. The PAC money, time and effort are being wasted. The way it works there is a mess. I was told that when Nathan (Smith) called the office, other staffers said Jennison would run to the phone. Okay, great. Dick has the (MHI) budget balanced, but the bill (HR 650/S 682) and regulatory reforms MHI lobbies for aren’t getting done. I’d rather he’d slowly swagger to the phone, because he gets the job done, than have him run because there is no good news to report.”

6) We are told there are *** larger battles looming in DC. *** Can MHI afford to keep hoping to get it right? Can we keep watching missed field goals and missed opportunities to score touchdowns? When the same mistakes keep coming up in sports or any other profession, sorry – but sooner or later – doesn’t a change have to be made?

One long time MH veteran told me a total house cleaning has to happen at MHI. Nothing less than that will do, was that professional’s take.


Total house cleaning? Pardon me, but the Masthead doesn’t see it that way. At the same time, the question of some degree of clean-up being necessary…isn’t that a different story?

We Provide, You Decide. ©

Releasing the MHI letter to PBS

Jennison has been asked and asked to release the 3 page letter sent to PBS by MHI. What good is that letter if it is read once at PBS and then tossed into file 13?


MHI logo is their trademark, and is used here for editorial purposes only. MHProNews Spotlight, credit, MHProNews.

Tony, please stay on that getting that alleged 3 page letter sent by MHI to PBS. The lack of transparency at MHI is stunning. Maybethe letter they sent PBS is great. Maybe it’s weak. Who the hell knows? Members paid for the work that went into that letter. We as dues payers deserve to see it published! Please, keep the heat on them regarding this issue!”


I was asked, when was the last MHI Week in Review (WiR) published? As I told an MHI staffer a few weeks ago, sometimes that goes into my spam, so I don’t always see it. So the question intrigued me. Given the query, I did a careful check. I came up with the date, January 8th. Surely, with a growing staff at MHI, that couldn’t be correct, so I called an MHI board member, he double checked too, and the last time MHI sent out WiR. He also said, January 8th.

Why call it “week in review?” One message to MHProNews said:

There are some things they print in Week in Review and in their Housing Alerts that are so clearly fluff, one has to wonder why they bother at all. To call the FHFA outcome on Duty to serve a “significant victory” is pure spin. Total propaganda.” 


“Total propaganda?” That’s too strong a comment, but it reflects the mood of some MHI loyalists. MHI’s logo is their property, and the above is used here under fair use guidelines.

Here above is the full MHI alert, to set the context of that writer’s comment. Please *** closely read paragraph two *** which is clearly contradictory. The above is used here under fair use guidelines, to spotlight the point of pure spin by MHI being given to members and through them, to the industry.  Is that reporting?

Let’s be clear. A truly “significant victory” for manufactured housing would mean, DTS for MH chattel lending was going to be included in the proposed rule. The word for months was that it was an all but done deal. By contrast, the reality check is that asking for public comments, means the odds are now against you. Some say, its a conspiracy. We think that’s unlikely. Candidly, isn’t the more likely case that this issue too has been badly mishandled?  More incompetence?

Release the Federal Minutes!

Do you see why some are calling for MHI to ask FHFA to release the minutes of their closed door meeting with FHFA?

MHI members can be loyal, and most are! But what does it say about those in Alrington who ok’d the Housing Alert letter above – which we’re told had to pass through Dick Jennison’s hands before going out to members – are being given spin instead of the obvious truth?

Yes. Given the pattern of recent years, the reason for frustration with Arlington and this or that particular person there is increasingly clear. Some loyalists who used to go to MHI meetings, no longer do. They send someone else from their operation, or don’t go at all.

Another MHI member told me there was no other option, no other national association “game in town” for his segment of the industry.

No competition might be helpful for job security at MHI, but in the real world, when you go years with minimal or no real results, you don’t keep large checks and big desks.”

Filling the Vacuum?

Compared to such serious issues, it seems petty to talk about the difference between how MHI and MHARR respectively count new home shipments. That’s like an American debating the cost of tea in China. That puts not a nickel in anyone’s pocket, save those who peddle that petty stuff.

But there is a big difference – a costly one – when top MHI staff are said to be keeping important facts from others, including secrets that ought to be known by other office or remote staff – or most espeically – from dues paying members, whose livelihoods are being impacted by MHI.

To be fair and balanced, there are some issues we get answers from top staff in Arlington, but on others like the 3 page letter to PBS issue – silence.  To be equally fair, we invite MHI’s president to respond to the specific issues raised by this column. Will he?

Or will something else fill that MHI vacuum?

No Third Party…not yet

The 40 billion dollar man – former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg – has floated a trial balloon. Should Hillary falter in Iowa and lose big in NH – and/or get indicted by the Feds – Bloomberg could toss an independent hat in the ring, and fund himself to the tune of $1B for the 2016 race.

Is there a trial balloon floating in MH, about a breakaway group born of the rifts and frustration within MHI?

Hmmm, yes, but at this point, they are no more serious than Bloomberg’s is, likely less so. But…

Don’t throw in the towel…

For those tired of DC politics as usual, let me say, please don’t throw in the towel yet.

Your voice matters. Who is the industry?  James Cook answered that by saying, each of us are.

These issues impact your businesses. They impact the value of MH home owners. They cost the industry billions of dollars a year.

We will continue to promote success for home owners and businesses alike. But we aren’t going to encourage lemming-like behavior that gets us no where good, and does that slowly.

Frustration-lead change looks to be coming in both major parties. Could frustration lead change be coming to MHI too?

Manufactured housing is a non-partisan issue.  The industry’s thousands of businesses and millions of home owners deserve a more cogent, cohesive effort than what we see from the Arlington, VA based MHI efforts in DC.


Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.  Loyalty isn’t about being a yes man, its about doing what’s right for the whole organization and industry. It doesn’t take an genius to know that you don’t keep doing the same things, the same way, and expect to get a new and better result. Photo credit, WikiCommons. Poster credit, MHProNews.

We Provide, You Decide ©

Next up…Tunica!

There will be news about Tunica, and one – possibly two – new Cup of Coffee interviews for the rapidly approaching February issue of MHProNews featured articles. Look for that in under a week, and please check back this weekend for more views from the Masthead that are Inside MH.We Provide, You Decide.” © ##


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, Financing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More Tunica Show details, linked here.

By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

MH Coup d’etat, Illegal Action, FHFA and More

January 22nd, 2016 No comments

Dictionary Reference defines Coup d’état definition as, “a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government …”

We won’t say the dates, but what follows is a true MH story.

1) MH Coup d’etat

Once upon a time, a duo of MH personalities decided to overthrow the leadership in a certain state’s MH Association. In concert with a few allies, they ejected the group’s state exec. They replaced him with their own hand-picked executive. They proceeded to gain access to information that passes through the association chain, and to leverage that state’s position to their mutual benefit.

In short, once in power, they did what is common to any coup d’etat. They used positions of authority to their own advantage.

Some will admire that, while others will be turned off.  But the answer or lesson is, get and stay engaged.

2) Next…A ‘Third’ MH Party?

In U.S. Politics, a two major party political system (Democrats and Republicans) has been common for longer than living Americans remember. In the MH Associations world, there are two national groups, MHI and MHARR. There has been talk from time to time of creating a ‘third national association’ – and even a group that claims to be one – but that “COBA7” group does very little of what state association execs say is common to MH associations.


Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American actor turned politician and served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He lead the nation for economic mailaise and a troubled foreign policy to one of the strongest economic recoveries of the 20th century. Reagan bridge the political divides, bucking the elite in his party to become its nominee. Photo credit WikiCommons/Facebook.

The talk of a third national association grows, fueled in part by frustration with a lack of progress in DC, allegations of a lack of transparency from Arlington to members, and other factors.

If things grow worse, a lesson discussed among those who know about the “MH Coup d’etat” and are frustrated with MHI, is that planned, organized effort can succeed in gaining control of an organization. As Ronald Reagan famously told his followers who were pushing for a third party:

Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?” Ronald Reagan.

The Masthead isn’t predicting a revolt or a third association. Facts and analysis are not to be mistaken for advocacy.

We are stating – as a fact – that the level of frustration among operations from small to larger with MHI is growing.

Are there still MHI loyalists, who think that the association works just fine as it is? Of course there are. We hear from those across the spectrum of camps within MHI.

But that fact also underscores that the divides within MHI are real and they are growing.

As an observation, staff and elected leadership are wise to reassess what is taking place, lest the grumblings and talk turn into open revolt or a third association is forged.

Perhaps a listening or feedback system needs to be instituted to better insure that the interests of the majority are implemented?

3) Third…Illegal Action

Each of these bold, black subheadings are different topics – please don’t confuse or conflate the opening, Next or Third, etc..

There is another allegation – this one is of a violation of federal law – pointed at a group (not a company or corporation, and not a national association) in MH.

When their legally questionable action was brought to their attention, rather than comply with the legal requirements, the group stuck defiantly to their position. So much so, that they pointed to their stance in writing.  They first stuck to their posture before they were questioned, then again after the legal concerns were raised – and validity of those concerns were confirmed – by a federal attorney.

Amazing. And a highly avoidable Ouch…stay tuned.

4) MH Fireworks

MH has had more than its share of media fireworks of late. Apparently the potential lessons learned from biased mainstream media reporting did not deflect or resonate with those in charge of said group.

Links to our public rebuttals to those slanted media accounts about Clayton et al are here and PBS here. We’ve been thanked a lot for covering these issues in a way that will show serious researchers that MH has been the victim of slanted media attacks.


Credit – screen capture of Google search circa 1:15 PM ET, 1.22.2016.

While MHProNews has added details in hand on topic 4, it seems prudent to sit on these at present, given the other drama facing the industry. We don’t need more problematic attention in MH, do we?  What we do need is jiu jitsu.

Some stories are better for MH when we hint at them. Other topics may go unreported, or are reported on later. Not to cover up, but rather to avoid making things worse. As a trade publisher, we seek the good of the MH industry and those we seek to serve.

Those involved should revisit their allegedly illegal actions, and change course.

5) Another, different topic – MHI grows…

In spite – or because? – of the new media driven headwinds in DC, MHI is loading up on new paid staffers. Stating the obvious, hiring talent in the DC metro isn’t cheap.

Tim Williams, MHI Chair confirmed for us the fact that a media relations person is being hunted.


MHProNews and our sister operations are MHI members, and naturally want the organization and its team members to do well for the industry at large and for the membership. We welcome Thomas Heinemann to MHI. Image credit, Linkedin.

I met Thomas E Heinemann the new VP of Federal Government Affairs, who is reportedly working under Lesli Gooch at MHI.

How will this play out in the light of #2, above? Time will tell.  But one comment from an MHI member about the new hire that came in via email on this topic read as follows: “No one knew!  Staff found out because they moved people around in the office.  Some are now working remotely even though they live in the DC area.  The new hire was supposed to be top secret like the release of the prisoners in Iran.  What a joke.”  

Please see the comments at the end of #2, above.

6) Next…The FHFA GSE DTS controversy

Word some months ago was that MH chattel loans being included in Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) was going to be “a done deal.”

There are concerns how the private meeting between FHFA and MHI went. The question has been posed is, did something occur that made things go sideways?

We’d like to see the minutes of that meeting produced by the FHFA. As a signal of transparency, MHI could send them a memo – with said memo to be made public – asking and agreeing to the minutes of the FHFA/MHI meeting to be made public.

As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Trust but verify.”

7) Flash Report – Shifting Gears, Louisville

Today’s final topic – or teaser for more detailed reports to come – is going to be the 2016 Louisville Show.

The overall reports of the show were positive. There was no one we spoke to that said they regretted coming, quite the opposite. While some factors – weather perhaps? – kept one or two exhibitors from manning their paid-for booth, all others were front and center for the all-indoor show’s start.


Brad and Cindy Simmons are one of the scores of family businesses that are raising their children to learn the MH industry.  Look for more photos in our upcoming February issue of MHProNews.

Final culling of attendance numbers are not yet in. “Zack,” who works the registration said that a number of badges went unclaimed. Total numbers – including no-shows were about what they totaled last year, according to those in the know.

All in all, given that old man winter is hitting hard the next few days, the show demonstrated it is now more resilient. Clients of our sister marketing operations reported good outcomes at Louisville. Others we spoke with said the same. Some said that despite the weather, it was one of the best show in years.

We’ll have more detailed reports as soon as the final numbers become available.


Tim and Nissey Williams, Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, with Tamas (pronounced “Tah Mash”) Kovach (pronounced CoVatch like a Watch with a V) at the 2016 Louisville Show.

Wrapping up, Looking ahead…

We will plan to be in DC in early February. We are going to Tunica too in March too.

Speaking of the Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, we are going to confirm a significant, surprise development. We’ll be doing the education at Tunica the Tuesday before the opening of the main show, to allow maximum time with displayed homes and exhibitors.

Please watch for news and views on that and other topics from here on the Masthead blog, Daily Business News and elsewhere on MHProNews.com. ##


Standing Room Only seminars are scheduled for the 2016 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, including SuperCharged Marketing and Sales, FInancing and MHC/Retail Lessons Learned. More details, linked here.

By L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

L.A. 'Tony' Kovach, MHM - Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com