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True Value exec honored

BY HBSDEALER Staff

True Value announced that Susan Katz, the co-op’s director of corporate events, is the recipient of the Professional Convention Management Association’s 2008 Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year Award.

This award is given each year to individuals in the meeting and hospitality industry who excel professionally, personally and within the community, True Value said.

Katz, who has more than 30 years of industry experience, joined True Value in 2004, leading a team of professionals responsible for coordinating more than 75 corporate events and meetings each year in Chicago and nationwide. These include three annual conventions where True Value store owners purchase products and learn about the latest trends in retailing. These shows encompass an average of 500,000 gross square feet of exhibit space and 50 training sessions and demonstrations.

Prior to joining True Value, Katz worked for several non-profit organizations, including the National Safety Council and the American Dental Association. PCMA will formally recognize Katz at its 53rd annual meeting, to be held in New Orleans in January 2009.

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Leviton appoints director of national accounts

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Leviton has promoted Brian Sorensen to director of national distribution accounts for the company’s commercial data networking business. In this role, Sorensen will direct the growth of the company’s line of voice and data devices and build relationships with channel partner and end-user markets.

In 2006, Sorensen joined Leviton as manager of national accounts. His previous experience includes positions with Tyco Electronics/DEK and Prestolite/Krone.

“In his two years with the company, Brian has demonstrated consistent and outstanding performance,” said Brad Leland, Leviton’s vp-sales for network solutions. “I am confident he will direct Leviton’s Network Solutions’ growth and work to develop solutions that meet our customer needs.”

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Obama wins election

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States in heavy voting yesterday. The latest electoral tally stood at 338 votes for Obama and 161 for his rival John McCain. Obama’s reported views on housing, taxation and small business were presented on the campaign trail, and represented here.

Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP)

Obama has called for greater oversight of Wall Street, and assurances that taxpayers will benefit from the $700 billion TARP. He also supported limiting the pay of executives from the companies being bailed out. He has expressed support for homeowners in danger of foreclosure and reiterated the need for a stimulus package of tax cuts.

Housing

Obama has proposed a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide tax relief for what his campaign estimates are around 10 million homeowners in income brackets under $50,000 per year. He has also supported the Stop Fraud Act for several years, a proposal that includes various reforms meant to protect consumers from “abusive” lending practices, and also supported mandating accurate loan disclosure, including a simplified borrower metric — described as similar to the APR — for home buyers, called the Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score.

Taxation

Obama’s proposals include a tax cut of $500 per person or $1,000 per couple for most families, but letting President Bush’s tax cuts lapse for those making $200,000 or more a year and raising the capital gains tax rate for big companies.

Small business

Obama has proposed a tax relief plan for small businesses and start-up companies that will include elimination of all capital gains taxes on those types of businesses, with the aim of encouraging innovation and job creation. His campaign’s $50 billion “Obama-Biden Relief Plan” would include the creation of a $25 billion Jobs and Growth Fund. He also has pledged to make the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent.

Green building

Obama has proposed a plan with the goal of creating 5 million “Green Collar jobs,” including jobs related to a plan to weatherize one million low-income homes annually, part of an over-arching energy-savings initiative that supports green building. The campaign also has voiced a plan to increase funding for federal work force training programs, while directing them to incorporate training on “green technologies.”

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