Posts Tagged ‘jen hall’

New Financing for MH in 2015; Plus DC, Tunica and Louisville Updates

January 11th, 2015 No comments

A lender who’s firm originated hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages in December is poised to enter manufactured home (MH) lending. That lender holds a high level management role. Our source has been talking to us for about 2 1/2 years, as part of their expanding their understand of the MH space. He tells us their entry could happen in time for the 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show.

There are a number of reasons this should be welcome news in MH retail and community circles. The way this particular loan program is toon-clips-laugh-all-the-way-to-the-bank=credit-posted-masthead-mhpronews-com-being described, the rates and terms would be competitive with its conventional housing counterpart. The loans could be made on manufactured homes in both fee simple and land-lease scenarios.

Stop by booth #115 at the Louisville Show and leave your business card to get follow up announcements expected on what looks like a unique, non-recourse MH lending option.

Manufactured Housing’sDC Talk

Sources close to Arlington-based MHI tell MHProNews that the Manufactured Housing Institute is giving off-the-record assurances to MHARR. The issue is MHI’s planned hiring of a full time membership recruiter, and the alleged assurance is to not use that yet-to-be-hired recruiter to ‘go after’ MHARR’s members. If that plays out that way, it’s a bullet dodged for all, and thus good news for an industry tired of periodic tugs-of-war between the two national trade associations.

But dozens – if not hundreds – of high level eyes will watch to make sure such a detente proves to be true. Of course, we will track that for you too.

More DC talk. As we foreshadowed the night before the official MHI word was released, Lesli Gooch was hired to replaced Jason Boehlert. We welcome Ms. Gooch to MHI, and hope for the best in the important work that needs to be done on Capital Hill and with regulators.

Tunica Surprise

We’ve known for week’s about the upheavals that have taken place with respect to the late March, 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show. While we lightly hinted, this was a deliberate “failure to report.” It was important for the Tunica Show to come up with a strong plan B, when a specific Harrah’s manager allegedly threw a major monkey wrench into the mix.

That said, we now want to tip the hat to Jen Hall, who also knew (and who is not our source on this), for her bold and smart effort to try and repair the Harrah manager’s curve ball. The Mississippi executive’s effort deserves a separate article someday, but until then, Jen – as some say…”good-on-ya!”

For the official word on “what’s up” with the 2015 Tunica Manufactured Housing Show, please click here.

Louisville is Large and in Charge!

Louisville has been the big #1 in attendance for U.S. Manufactured Housing Events two years running! Even with a clear-but-cold long range forecast for 2015, preregistrations for Louisville are running nicely ahead of the 2014 pace.


Change up on Wednesday Morning Presentation schedule!

Please see the Daily Business News Monday morning for updates on the first Wednesday morning Speaker’s line up. Bill Matchneer, MHI’s CEO Dick Jennison and the MMHF Chairman – speaking about MH finance and more – will all be on the revised plan for the first, fast paced hour. Don’t miss it.

Everything at the Kentucky Exhibition Center is all indoors, in climate controlled comfort. Here is a snapshot!

  • New Homes! – more manufacturers than any year since 2010! See this page linked here.

  • Lenders, on homes, MHCs and inventory. The full compliment of dependable MH lenders will be at Louisville, of course. See the finance panels at this link here.

  • Suppliers! Compare quality providers side by side, see exhibitors line up, linked here.

  • Quality and free ‘SRO’Business Building Seminars! SRO stands for Standing Room Only, as was the case in most of last year’s sessions. So Show Management has grown the space by 30% so you can take a seat if you were standing last year.

There are lots of reasons the attendance and excitement has been strong and growing year after year. Come see why first hand. We will be at booth #115. Drop off your business card, and we’ll keep you posted on lending and other industry news, free of charge. Wasn’t it the TV character “Kojack” who said, “Who loves ya, baby!We love MH!

My wife, our growing-in-MH-trade-show-fame 8 year old son, a guest and myself will all be there to say hello.

tamas_kovach-masthead-blog-manufactured-housing-pro-news- (1)

Want to grow? Then Go to the Louisville Show. See you bright and early Wednesday at the KEC Seminar Room at 8:30 AM! ##

(Image credits – see individual image file name.)

latonykovach-us-supreme-court-washington-dc-posted-masthead-blog-mhpronews-By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.


Arlington National Cemetery and MH DC Talk

February 12th, 2014 No comments

The words 'freedom isn't free' can't be more eloquently expressed than when you see Arlington National Cemetery.



In and around DC, dead soldiers and dead presidents are among the many monuments and reminders of the difficult, tumultuous, yet noble tale of our American Republic.

Freedom isn't free, and that includes our economic freedom, which we as members of the manufactured housing industry must fight for, daily. As in "Now."

Starting Sunday afternoon and on into Tuesday morning (2/9 to 2/11), the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff and sponsors have put on an insightful event for members that combined informed and insightful speakers, division meetings, issues updates and briefings, meals and networking opportunities.

A hearty pat on the back for all who helped make it happen!






Manufactured Housing Executives Committee – MHEC – Westin Arlington Gateway 2014

One Industry. Many Faces.

During the many meetings, you can't help but notice that we are an industry which literally has many faces.

When you put 100 people in a room, you are going to have a wide variety of opinions about many topics. This was certainly noticeable in the many side discussions apart from the formal meetings at the Westin Arlington hotel where the event was held.

We plan to bring you more faces and insights in the days ahead, here on, but perhaps also in For now, we will just mention that builders, land-lease communities, suppliers, lenders, retailers, associations and others were all part of the mix.

Mark Weiss, Vice President for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was present during the Manufactured Housing Executives Committee meeting. Always good to see Mark – a cool and congenial head for MHARR – and it is helpful to have that level of interaction between the two national groups. one bats 1000, but Charlie Cook was among the speakers at this year's function. Cook has been called the “Picasso of election analysis,” and his Cook Report is widely read by inside the Beltway types.

More on the speakers and topics in the days ahead, but here is a tip of the photographic hat to Jen Hall, state executive director from MS, a prior chair of MHEC and a hard charging fund raiser for the MHI PAC, with Charlie Cook.

Again, look for more such photos of the people at the event will be showcased in the days ahead. We invite guest commentary from other attendees as well. 

Up The Hill

The fight for economic freedom for millions of our home owners and residents is well underway. With 108 co-sponsors for HR 1779 and routinely growing, there is good momentum on the House side of Congress.

On the Senate side, the bill S 1828 dropped late in 2013, but there is bipartisan support there too.

Further, 11 U.S. Senators have written Richard Cordray at the CFPB in favor of our industry's fix efforts to protect financing and provide bright line guidance on issues.

Your Masthead scribe made 3 visits on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, February 11. What follows below is the guts of the follow up sent to Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Chairman Nathan Smith, MHI CEO Dick Jennison with cc's to MHI's Jason Boehlert, Rick Robinson and Jenny Hodge.

The below has edited out those visited, until the results of the discussions are in.


First, good pre-Hill visit meetings, well done.  But my focus in this message is to say that this year the visits I was involved in, there was already good leg work done in advance.  

The legislators offices were already 'aware' of the issues, unlike prior years.  

Rick's name came up a number of times, which clearly suggests he's been in touch with them. Jenny Hodge had a great handout for a meeting that Dick wanted her involved in. One office I spoke with used Jason's name, as if they too had spoken before.

My point?  Nice prep work, good synergy, it made my part of the efforts easier.  Keep it up!

All the Best,


The above sums up a lot. Good reports have been coming in from others who were present to make their Hill visits.

Problem or Solution?

Each person decides day by day if we are going to be part of the solution, or if we will let apathy or another excuse stop us from acting, which can make someone a de facto part of the problem. Some attack an effort, without offering a serious alternative they will lead the charge on.

Let's be solution oriented. Let's work for what's moving.

Normally your scribe is behind the camera, but this shot was so filled with symbolic meaning! 
The U.S. Supreme Court is in the background, in this photo take 2.11.2014.
There is construction taking place out front. The inscription on the Supreme Court building
reads “Equal Justice Under Law.” That's what we are working to build. We are working to
level the playing field, to create equal justice for our industry and our home owners!

In meetings with offices of both major parties, the reception was good. We can do this. We are affordable quality living that is not subsidized. We have great issues both major parties can embrace!

Our manufactured home owners customers/residents need us, and we as business professionals need these reforms of the reform to get done too.

Speaking of lending…Tunica: Manufactured Home Financing Available NOW Insights!

At the upcoming 2014 Tunica Manufactured Home Show, we will showcase our industry's major lenders in a panel discussion led by the Industry's top independent finance pro, Dick Ernst.

Public officials, associations and companies big, small and in between turn to Dick Ernst. He's been in the meetings with the CFPB, with FHFA and a number of other events and key meetings in DC and from border to border.

Dominate Your Local Market! Upgrade Your Customer Base!

Learn modern marketing that drew rave reviews and a packed house in Louisville! Yours truly will present. The bottom line in this is a simplified means of creating an image campaign in your market, that helps you sell your homes. Learn how to tap into this process with low or no out of pocket costs! Sell more homes fir cash or to financeable customers.

Customer Relationship Management Panel

At Louisville we added a last minute panel that was well received by attendees who see the value if selling more homes. At Tunica, this will be a formal part of our line up! Scott Stroud and Brad Nelms will share their expertise in this field. Don't miss it, unless you want to pass on more sales to better credit worthy customers.

MH Land Lease Community owners and operators, unite!

1) Will you be buying, selling or refinancing your community/commercial property in the next year or so? Then our popular Commercial lenders panel is for YOU. Moderated by Dick Ernst of

2) MHC Lesson's Learned! Get tips from your peers in the community world, and a great inactive discussion, moderated by Jenny Hodge from the National Communities Council (NCC). The NCC has become vibrate once more with David Lentz as Chair, and Jenny as their VP and Executive Director. Come see why!

See the complete seminar line up and schedule at this link here.

More Educational, Business Building and Networking Excellence!

The MHI Congress and Expo is coming in this April. Frankly, we think that the educational opportunities in Louisville and Tunica whet the apatite for the broader offerings at MHI/NCC/MHEI's flagship event held annual in Las Vegas. Learn more about the 2014 Congress and Expo or sign up at this link here.

As Nike says, “Just Do It.”

We go to these events and more every year, about 8 a year in all. Some people ask, isn't that “meeting overload Tony?” My reply is that at every meeting I come away with more than what I went in with. Other industries and professions do this, of course ours should too!

But here is the secret. Those that go, tend to grow.

Think about that statement, those that go, tend to grow.

Come to these events. Invest the time and effort. Get engaged in your state's efforts politically to protect and promote our great industry. Freedom isn't free. Business isn't free. It takes effort, time and talent. But it is worth it.

Spoiler Alert. We might lob a heated topic in this weekend, please check in again to the Masthead then. ##

L. A. "Tony" KovachL. A. 'Tony' Kovach | |
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Frustration and Gratitude

May 13th, 2013 No comments

All too often, politics in our country simply seems frustrating. I routinely meet people – in and out of our industry – who feel that what happens in DC, state or local politics is simply beyond their ability to influence. So they tune it all out. On the other end of the spectrum are those who are in the trenches of politics. In manufactured housing, souls like DJ Pendleton, Jen Hall or dozens of their association peers come to mind; plus business pros like Nathan Smith, who can cross the aisle to work with anyone.

I feel gratitude towards those who do it and empathy for those frustrated.

Let's take a short odyssey on this timely MH related topic, and see the amazing places it will lead us…

This quote I read weeks ago has been on my mind:

"For several days now, I have been captured by this sentence. "The forces that change history are the same as those that change man's heart."" – Geri Benoit, Haitian Ambassador to Italy.

There is a powerful truth here! Truth is indeed useful, but often it is the forces that change a person's heart that drive history, be it for good or ill.

The unspeakable horrors that occurred in:

  • Nazi Germany,
  • Lenin and Stalin's Russia,
  • Pol Pott's Cambodia and
  • the slaughter of the Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda

Rwandan-genocide-skulls-WikiCommons-posted-on-mhpronews-com(1).jpgare a handful of numerous past or present examples where the evil that drove the hearts of a few narcissistic 'leaders' ended up taking root in many. In turn, that lead to genocides we find difficult to imagine.

Sometimes indifference or a lack of engagement has a frightfully high cost.

But those historic macro events take place on a micro level too. Ariel Castro's alleged decade of horrors against those kidnapped women in Ohio can be seen as a case in point.

Such deeds are too horrible for many to accept, so it may seem easier to tune it out. For many it comes down to the rhetorical canard, what can one person do?

Yet ironically each example above started with one person who – wrongly or rightly – inspired others. So it is precisely when the one won't act for the good, when too many tune out and ignore evil or wrongdoing, that we end up with more horrors!

I control me. You control yourself. Edmund Burke said it well:

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is when good men do nothing."

In every one of the national horrors mentioned above, a tipping point was reached. That tipping point occurred when enough people allowed their minds and hearts to be changed for ill and so they facilitated or took part in the horrors that followed.

The reverse was also true; that not enough good people stood up and acted to stop it.

Madder then Hell

Anger is not always a negative emotion. There is such a thing as righteous anger! Just as one self-absorbed person's tainted heart can lead millions down a road to a living hell, so too one person's pure heart can lead others through the chaos of indifference or evil to do good.

Consider the following:

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts." – Arnold Bennett


"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. " – Theodore Roosevelt

Consider Moses, Jesus of Nazareth, Joan of Arc, George Washington, Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, Jr. as some of the many historic examples of how a single person could lead or inspire others to changes for the better. Many different people and styles, but their personal commitment and leadership made the difference.

Let's also cite innovators or entrepreneurs like Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Helen Blanchard, Henry Ford, Dr. Grace Hopper, Bill Gates, Dr. Patricia Bath or Steve Jobs who influenced the world! They do so even if their names remain unknown to millions whose lives their work touched.

We can be tempted – inspired! – to good, just as one can be tempted to do or ignore evil.

Part of what sets these various leaders apart is a quality we could sum up as "never, ever quit." None of those named, good or ill, were quitters!Edison's-light-bulb-WikiCommons-posted-on-mhpronews.png

So if the cause is just – and manufactured housing is a good cause – just don't give up!

Thomas Edison became famous for his 10,000 failed efforts to invent the light bulb, before his breakthrough success.

Think about the drama/comic classic movie, Network, where a fictional anchorman inspires millions to get madder than hell, and just not 'take it' any more!

Sometimes we need a righteous anger in order to effect positive change.

There are times we need to make an irrevocable decision to not quit – to not give in – until a just cause is accomplished.

/Winston-Churchill-photo-credit-WikiCommons-posted-on-mhpronews-com(3).jpgWinston Churchill lead an England that seemed isolated and alone against a Nazi war machine that had swept the armies of Western Europe and Poland aside with relative ease. It must have seemed hopeless to the Brits. Yet, as the bombs dropped during the arial blitz of London – as thousands died when houses, buildings and churches collapsed – Churchill famously said:

"Never, never, never, never give up!"

We all know who prevailed. One person helped inspire a nation. The Bristish never quit and won.

Or ponder this gem:

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;

courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

– Winston Churchill

The Manufactured Housing Phenomenon

Ladies and gentlemen, MH pro Ron Thomas Sr. is correct in saying that the manufactured home industry is nothing short of a phenomenon!

Manufactured housing is misunderstood. It is dismissed and besmirched. But MH refuses to die because it is such an incredible value that even indifference, ignorance, sloth or just plain foolishness isn't enough to kill it!

For some, their work in this industry is just a job, or just another investment. I get that.

But some like Mike Evans, Randy RoweSam Landy or other leaders we've interviewed correctly see our industry as nothing short of amazing!

I listened in Las Vegas last month to Stacey Epperson tell me and Howard Banker – Executive Director of the Fair Mortgage Collaborative – how she went from hating manufactured housing, because she was blind to its true worth, to becoming just as passionately for it.

Epperson was a stick builder! Now as the CEO of NextStep, Epperson sees and promotes the incredible value of manufactured housing! I've asked her to share her story, which I hope will happen in the days ahead.

For some, a manufactured home is just another roof over their heads.

But for others, a manufactured home is a dream come true! Starting back in 1981, I've met, worked with and sold thousands who loved their manufactured homes. I've managed land lease communities where many residents could not have been more pleased with their homes. We work routinely with pros who are clients in retail, communities, lending and other phases of manufactured housing. So I can tell you first hand…

Manufactured housing is indeed a phenomenon!

To be able to sell a durable, eco-friendly home for 25% less than conventional construction is simply amazing.


In the part of the upper Midwest where we live, a new residential style manufactured home with finished drywall may cost 40% +/- less than a similar sized new conventionally built house. An entry level home with VOG walls may cost 50% +/- or less than on site construction.

Manufactured housing is amazing. It is a phenomenon. We're part of a phenomenon.

We are the answer to America's looming affordable housing crisis. That means for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, that we have an incredible opportunity hidden in the affordable housing crisis.

To tap our potential, we should take two immediate steps.

1) We must rouse ourselves – and others – to get HR 1779 passed into law.

Geri-Benoit-AVSI-org-posted-on-mhpronews-com.jpg2) We must define ourselves and not let others falsely define us! So we must rouse ourselves to stand up to and call upon those ignorant (or whatever…) who de facto slur us. Let's begin with the Princeton WordNet project, calling upon them to change their insulting definition of our incredible homes. It harms their image and ours to have such an error filled 'definition' of our homes so prominently online. Please see the link above.

We must become manufactured housing evangelists!

The antidote to frustration is action. The antidote to indifference is passion!

There is a reward waiting for those who do so. In fact, millions will be benefited when we personally do what it takes and never, never, never, never give up!

Combine knowledge with passion. Because:

"The forces that change history are the same as those that change man's heart."

– Geri Benoit.

Together, we can do these two steps above and make a little history. Please follow those two links above. Just do it.

Then, ask your co-workers, family and friends to do the same. Don't give up. The antidote to frustration is positive action! Millions will benefit – and there will be gratitude! – towards those who do, thank you. ##

Photo credits:

Rwandan genocide skulls: WikiCommons
Edison's light bulb: WikiCommons
Winston Churchill: WikiCommons
Geri Benoit:

PS: Check our many Exclusive and Red Hot Featured Articles for May and see the

other new stories at too.

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford