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Maria Frank takes over at Cabinets & Designs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Maria Frank recently purchased Houston-based Cabinets & Designs from her father, Cabinets & Designs founder David Steffan Sr., who had owned the company for 40 years.

"I feel very proud that my father has the confidence in me to continue the business," said Frank. "To take care of something that he’s spent his life on is incredible."

According to a company statement, Frank has fond memories of spending time with her father when he was in the start-up phase of launching the business. As a child, she would travel with him to visit dealers and help him stamp company brochures.

Frank, who cites exponential growth in cabinetry varieties, plans on launching new products and implementing technological features like 3-D design.

"The primary goal is to keep it in the family," said Steffan. "Maria promised to take good care of it, and as far as I know she hasn’t broken any promises yet!"

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August brings 3-point gain in builder confidence

BY HBSDealer Staff

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) registered a three-point gain in builder confidence in August. The metric, which indicates builder sentiment toward new single-family homes, rose to an eight-year record of 59.

Two of the HMI’s three components were buoyed by this positive momentum. Sentiment toward current sales conditions also went up three points to 62, with sales expectations for the next six months up a point to 68. Sentiment toward the traffic of prospective buyers was unchanged at 45.

“Builders are seeing more motivated buyers walk through their doors than they have in quite some time,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “What’s more, firming home prices and thinning inventories of homes for sale are contributing to an increased sense of urgency among those who are in the market.”

NAHB chief economist David Crowe pointed out that the momentum sparked by this increased demand is slightly hampered by tight credit and insufficient supply.

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Haier America now wholly owned by Haier Group

BY HBSDealer Staff

Haier America is becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the multinational Haier Group in a move that aims to strengthen the company’s focus on the Americas.

Previously, Haier America was owned in part by joint-venture shareholders.

"This is an important step forward for Haier," said Shariff Kan, president and CEO of Haier America. "The acquisition is being made to further align the company’s global resources toward growth and success for the Haier brand in North and South America."

The company, which manufactures home appliances and electronics, "operates a proven infrastructure for sales, marketing, distribution and services, and is ready to launch into a more robust business model for all stakeholders during this dynamic digital age," said Haier in a statement.

Haier America recently opened a Research & Development Center in Camden, S.C., and elected Rian Cain and John Homlish to oversee the sales and marketing operations of White Goods and Brown Goods, respectively. Lintao Lu will also be overseeing HVAC products.

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