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City of Hope builds in Las Vegas

BY Ken Clark

As the homebuilding industry prepares for the annual tradition known as the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, amid the fanfare of Design & Construction Week, another tradition will attract a significant crowd on the eve of the show.

City of Hope’s 2016 Spirit of Life Award Reception will take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Spa on Jan. 18. The spotlight will shine on Bob Tellier, president of Orchard Supply Hardware, this year’s Spirit of Life honoree.

City of Hope is the Duarte, California-based research and treatment facility for cancer and other diseases. Over the years, it has nurtured a close relationship with the building supply industry.

 “The Hardware/Homebuilding industry has been unwavering throughout the past 34 years,” said Kevin Courtney, City of Hope’s senior director for the hardware and home building industry. “Retail leaders and their vendor partners work together to support the groundbreaking research and cures developed at City of Hope.

“Not even the Great Recession could keep them down,” he added. “Since 1982, the industry has raised over $150 million.”

Courtney, a former USG executive, took on his current role last year upon the retirement of Al Olsen.

Past Spirit of Life honorees include: Robert Strickland (Lowe’s), Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus (Home Depot), Maggie Hardy Magerko (84 Lumber), Paul Hylbert (ProBuild Holdings), and Peter Grace (W.R. Grace & Co.).

According to Courtney, bringing a competitive industry together under one roof to support City of Hope isn’t as difficult as one might think. “The industry group was founded on the notion that we’re competitors by day, but partners-for-the-cause by night. Consolidation in the Hardware/Homebuilding industry does create some challenges, but the legacy lives on in the dedicated volunteers who work on our behalf.”

The Spirit of Life Reception kicks off a year of fundraising activities for City of Hope. Other highlights will include events at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, California; The Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, California; and Pebble Beach Resorts in Carmel, California.

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Massive methane leak hits home

BY HBSDEALER Staff

As California’s Aliso Canyon methane gas leak continues to rage, one home improvement company is pointing to its products as useful tools for the times.

Blueair says the California Air Resource Board (ARB) has agreed that several of Blueair’s models may help reduce the levels of the chemicals of concern in homes affected by the gas leak. 

The enormous eruption of methane from the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) natural gas storage facility in Aliso Canyon has caused the evacuation of thousands of homes, closed several schools and seen reports of acute nausea caused by the odor from the gas leaks.

“Blueair mobile indoor air purifiers are designed to help reduce indoor concentrations of odorous chemicals, such as those from the Aliso Canyon leak, especially our Smokestop filter that comprise deep beds of activated carbon,” said Herman Pihlträd, president of Blueair Inc.

Pihlträd added that SoCalGas has ordered 210 Blueair air-purifying units as part of its efforts to enhance support for residents in communities impacted by the Aliso Canyon storage facility leak.

The Southern California Gas Co is the USA’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.4 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities.

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HIRI bears down on research agenda

BY HBSDealer Staff

Along with the nuts-and-bolts consumer-research basics, the Home Improvement Research Institute will deliver bonus insights to members in 2016.

That’s according to Pam Heidel, HIRI’s managing director.

“The industry appears to be on track for sustained growth, and HIRI data will continue to support our members’ growth,” said Pam Heidel, HIRI’s managing director. “The 2016 research agenda builds upon our previous strong work done.”

Included in the HIRI lineup are the following highlights:

• The HIRI 2016 size of market provides important data on the health and direction of the industry and includes updates on all nine Census Divisions delivered February and September. Two interim updates provides insight if forecasts are on track delivered in May and November.

• The HIRI Sentiment Tracking Studies are a quarterly reading on the outlook for the industry with data on project areas around the home.

• The Product Purchase Tracking Study is scheduled to be complete in June 2016. It is an amazing overview of 228 specific products, 37 specific products, 21 home services, along with extensive attitudinal, demographic, lifestyle and media information. This wave will include a new product category segmentation to provide deeper detailed insights.

• HIRI’s Social Media Listening Program will provide insights on interest levels in 10 home improvement projects and identify trends within those projects.

For the complete list of upcoming reports, visit HIRI.org.

According to Heidel, the value of the research delivered to members (in excess of $560,000) is 50 times the cost of the subscription dues of $11,250. “This is member-driven research at a value that is remarkable,” she said.

HIRI is managed by Lebhar-Friedman, the parent company of HBSDealer.

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