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LG expands HVAC contractor program

BY HBSDEALER Staff

LG Electronics USA has expanded its LG Excellence Contractor Program, which helps independent HVAC contractors sell, install and service its residential HVAC products.

The program, which was first launched last spring, is now being promoted by a team of distributors who will act as ambassadors to recruit local contractors. Other new benefits for the year include lead referrals from consumer outreach campaigns, access to LG materials and literature, ongoing training, customer-focused technical support and a rewards system that incentivizes contractors to sell LG duct-free products.

"As duct-free solutions become increasingly popular versus traditional heating and cooling systems, accurate and proper installations and services are necessary," said Mark Hatala, national distribution installer manager, LG Electronics USA Commercial Air Conditioning. "At LG, we know that long-term efficiency, comfort and reliability start with proper installation of the equipment, and we’re proud to work with our distribution partners to support residential contractors nationwide through our LG Excellence Contractor Program."

Contractors who wish to enroll in the program must be first nominated by a local distributor or LG sales manager. They then complete online training courses — or attend instructor-led courses in one of the LG Training Academies in Georgia, Texas, New Jersey or California.

In addition to new benefits listed above, participating contractors will now receive a one-year limited labor warranty.

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Toll Brothers and GTIS Partners acquire Sienna South

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a joint venture with private equity firm GTIS Partners, Toll Brothers has announced its plans to acquire Sienna South, the last major undeveloped parcel of Houston master-planned community Sienna Plantation.

"We are thrilled to be joining with GTIS and Johnson Development to bring Sienna South to the Houston market," said Karl Mistry, Houston division president at Toll Brothers. "With Houston’s well-publicized shortage of available home sites in premier master-planned communities, we believe the project’s timing, Sienna Plantation’s stellar reputation, our experienced management team, excellent location, amenities and highly rated schools will attract home builders and home buyers across the price point spectrum."

The 3,700-acre Sienna South is situated in the southwest corridor of Houston and is fully zoned for up to 10,000 single-family homes, as well as 140 acres of retail and commercial use and 63 acres of civic use. Toll Brothers expects to develop 6,500 single-family lots and sell them to various home builders over the years; up to 1,750 of those lots may go to Toll Brothers’ own home-building operation.

"The Houston housing market has been one of the most dynamic and resilient housing markets in the country, fueled by strong fundamental employment and economic growth," said Rob Vahradian, senior managing director at GTIS.

Sienna Plantation will be connected to Houston’s Inner Loop 610 upon the completion of the Fort Bend County Parkway extension early this year. This will situate Sienna South at an approximate 30-minute commute to downtown Houston, with easy access to Sugar Land Town Square, the Texas Medical Center complex and the Houston Energy Corridor.

Toll Brothers and GTIS expect Sienna South to eventually realize gross home sales of more than $2.6 billion.

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Billy Teaford named Klein Tools’ 2013 Electrician of the Year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Klein Tools has named its 2013 Electrician of the Year: Billy Teaford, a Southeast region finalist from Fincastle, Va., was the winning ballot out of more than 140 entries.

Teaford will receive $5,000 in prizes — half in Klein tools and half in cash — as well as an ultimate Klein garage package that includes a 41-piece tool kit, mini-refrigerator, golf bag, bar stools, can insulators, beverage opener tools and peg board.

“Billy demonstrates a passion for electrical safety and professionalism in addition to his charitable work,” said Mark Klein, VP domestic sales at Klein Tools. “His enthusiasm is contagious and has gained the respect and following of his co-workers and neighbors alike.”

Teaford has worked as an electrician at Roanoke Cement for 40 years and has had the same lock-out tag for just as long, as well as an ongoing stretch of zero lost-time accidents.

“No matter what employee it is, they always say, ‘Thank you for letting me work with Billy,’ ” said Dan Babish, Roanoke Cement technical manager. “Billy takes the time to teach them about why they are doing something, how to do it properly and why they are doing it this way to help the shift employees down the road… he takes the time to train the next generation of electricians.”

Teaford also received a nod from Captain Kenneth Argot of the Roanoke Salvation Army, who acknowledged his service to the organization and his initiation of the annual bike drive.

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