Industry Update

NKBA, SERVICEMAGIC ANNOUNCE ALLIANCE

Golden, CO — ServiceMagic, Inc., a leading online marketplace connecting homeowners to pre-screened home service professionals, has entered into a strategic relationship with the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the Golden, CO-based company announced.

Under the terms of the agreement, the NKBA will promote ServiceMagic to its members “as a means to increase their revenue and profits by reaching the growing number of consumers utilizing the Internet to find plumbers, remodelers, builders, designers and other kitchen and bath professionals,” said officials of the publicly traded ServiceMagic.

The company operates nationally, attracting over 2 million visitors to its Web site each month and facilitating more than 125,000 monthly service requests to its 31,000 member businesses. To date, ServiceMagic has facilitated more than 3.7 million consumer requests for home services, representing an estimated $8.5 billion in consumer spending.

“ServiceMagic’s system allows NKBA members to spend less effort marketing, prospecting and qualifying leads since the system brings potential jobs to them,” said a spokesman for the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA, adding, “ServiceMagic is a strong online tool that we feel will help our members target the growing number of consumers searching the Internet for local kitchen and bath service professionals.”

Unlike other marketing methods, ServiceMagic allows home-service professionals to target customers who have shown a need for specific types of work they find most profitable in the areas in which they like to work.

WM OHS TO OPEN SHOWROOM IN CA

Newport Beach, CA — Wm Ohs, the Denver-based manufacturer of custom cabinetry, will open its fifth showroom in California this August, with the newest location set for Newport Beach, the company announced.

Wm Ohs said that the planned opening of the Newport Beach showroom was a result of “the vitality” of the California market, as well as a positive response to the company’s products in that market. The new location will be managed by kitchen designer Laurie Haefele.

Other Wm Ohs showrooms in California are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and La Jolla.

THERMADOR CITED FOR APPLIANCES

Huntington Beach, CA — Thermador has been honored by the Chicago Athenaeum for its contributions to the advancement of original design concepts in major home appliances, the company announced

Thermador, based here, was presented four times with the Chicago Athenaeum’s prestigious “2004 Good Design Award” – two for specific products and two for entire product categories.

Product awards went to Thermador’s triple wall oven, the 30" SEMW, and its Universal Cook ‘n’ Vent downdraft ventilation.

The two categories cited were the company’s Professional Series Ranges and Built-in Refrigerators, noted Thermador, a unit of BSH Home Appliances Corp.

Founded in 1950, the Good Design Award honors innovative and advanced product designs, based on such criteria as concept, form, function and utility.

SNAIDERO DEALER WINS AWARDS

Madison, WI — Studio Snaidero Wisconsin won three awards at the recent annual meeting of North American Snaidero kitchen dealers, in Majano, Italy.

The Snaidero dealer was honored for “Outstanding Studio Presentation Exemplifying the Design Philosophies of the Snaidero Kitchen,” and for selling the first Acropolis kitchen in the U.S. The Acropolis is a space-age concept kitchen designed by Paolo Pininfarina, best known for his designs for Ferrari, the company pointed out.

ATLANTA OUT AS SITE FOR BUILDERS SHOW

Washington, DC — At its annual spring board meeting held here over the weekend, the 2,000-member Board of Directors of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) voted to exercise its contractual rights and terminate its commitment to hold the 2007 and 2008 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in the city of Atlanta.

“When we first made the decision to go to Atlanta in the mid-1990s, the IBS was a significantly smaller show that attracted about 65,000 guests over four days,” said NAHB President David F. Wilson. “In recent years, attendance at the IBS has soared to more than 100,000, hotel room bookings are exceeding 50,000 per show and demand for exhibit space at the convention facility has risen significantly. While our members believe Atlanta is a terrific city and have fond memories of holding the convention there in the past, it was the show’s double-digit growth over the last three years that has precipitated this very difficult decision by our Board.”

“Mayor Shirley Franklin, The Georgia World Congress Center and The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau [are] great to work with and been very gracious during this period. The NAHB Board made it very clear that NAHB will meet all of its contractual commitments stipulated in the termination agreement,” Wilson said.

“Atlanta values its 25- year partnership with the National Association of Home Builders. We understand the business decisions regarding the 2007 and 2008 IBS, and the city would welcome them back for future meetings and conventions of any size,” said Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. No final decision has yet been made on where the show will be relocated.

LEADING MEMBERS HONORED BY SEN

Memphis, TN — Chuck Chwastyk, president of Custom Crafters, Inc., of Kensington, MD, has been selected as the eighth recipient of the M.A. Peterson Businessperson Of The Year Award, announced Kenneth Peterson, CKD, president of the SEN Design Group.

The award was presented during the SEN Design Group’s recent National Spring Conference here.

Chwastyk was recognized for his company’s outstanding support of SEN Preferred Vendors, his 2004 record of high business achievement, and his overall business practices, according to Peterson.

“Your example of business excellence is now the model for others to emulate,” commented Peterson in presenting Chwastyk with a trophy and $500 check.

Chwastyk is the first two-time winner of the award, having also been selected in 2001.

The award is named in honor of Peterson’s father, who made a series of notable contributions to the kitchen and bath industry during a 30-year career prior to his death in 1997. Through the SEN Design Group, the Peterson Family makes the award annually in his memory.

Others honored at the SEN Awards Banquet included:

  • Mark Ergmann, president of Coastal Kitchen & Bath Designs, of York, ME, recognized as the “Best Design Studio Businessperson.” “His firm has consistently furnished outstanding support of SEN Preferred Vendors and displayed sound business ethics,” Peterson said.
  • Vince Hodshire of Holiday Kitchens, Jim Haubenschild of Medallion, Steve Carson of Plus Closets, and Fred Selvais of Warmly Yours, for winning “Vendor Of The Year” awards. “All four companies demonstrated strong support of SEN programs and goals while achieving outstanding sales growth with the group,” according to Peterson.
  • Dale Windsor, president of Windsor’s Cabinetry of Greensboro, NC, for winning “The Newcomer of The Year” award. Windsor’s firm recorded the highest vendor sales achievement by a new buying member,.

    The SEN Design Group, based in Chapel Hill, NC, has over 220 kitchen and bath member firms. There are over 130 vendors in cabinetry, appliances, plumbing fixtures, lighting, decorative hardware, accessories, and bathroom equipment affiliated with SEN that make their products available to the members at group buying rates plus rebates.

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