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NAHB executive to deliver keynote speech

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jerry Howard, executive vp and CEO of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), will deliver the builder keynote address on Oct. 3 at the 2008 ProDealer Industry Summit. The three-day event, scheduled from Oct. 1 to 3 in Chantilly, Va., is a joint conference of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) and Home Channel News.

Howard has led the NAHB’s lobbying efforts to pressure federal lawmakers to pass a first-time home buyer tax credit and other housing stimulus legislation. A former chief lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies, Howard has testified before Congress numerous times on a wide range of issues.

Another Washington insider, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, will kick off the conference at the Westfields Marriott. Ivy Zelman, one of the building industry’s most widely recognized analysts, will deliver her industry outlook.

Other educational sessions will include strategies for running a tight credit operation, preparing for the next wave of Energy Star requirements and how the downturn has changed builders’ attitudes toward their suppliers.

Agolf tournament benefitting the City of Hope will round out the social networking events and tabletop exhibits. For more information about the conference, visit  www.prodealer.com.

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Midwest Hardware Association launches marketing campaign

BY HBSDEALER Staff

More than 100 members of the Midwest Hardware Association (MHA) are launching an industry campaign called My Local Hardware Store, whose goal is to communicate the benefits of independent, locally owned hardware stores to customers across Wisconsin, the organization announced.

“You could call this a ‘Got Milk’ campaign for hardware stores,” said MHA president Bob Schmidt, who owns Gasser Hardware in Lancaster, Wis. “Just as milk producers promote the generic benefits of their product, we’re encouraging people to shop their locally owned, independent hardware store first.”

Commercials will air on more than 70 radio stations carrying Green Bay Packers game broadcasts and the Wisconsin Radio Network over a five-month period beginning in late July. The program also includes the launch of a new Web site, mylocalhardwarestore.com, designed to help people find the independent hardware store nearest their home with the products and services they need.

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California governor signs state housing bill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a new California law that authorizes local cities and counties to extend subdivision maps by one year. The bipartisan bill, proposed by the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), goes into effect immediately.

The downturn has put a hold on housing construction throughout the state, and dozens of subdivision maps were set to expire, according to the CBIA.

“Had these maps expired, dozens of home builders representing hundreds of housing projects would have been sent to the back of the line,” said CBIA chairman Ray Becker. Going through the government approval process again can take five to seven years, according to the CBIA.

Asecond housing recovery bill proposed by the CBIA was also passed by the California legislature last week. AB 2604 encourages local governments to defer the collection of most development impact fees until a new home sells instead of when the building permit is obtained. The bill is on its way to the governor’s desk.

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