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A Note from the VP, Jim Greatorex: February 2023

Home Blog A Note from the VP, Jim Greatorex: February 2023

Jim GreatorexWe have some exciting announcements this month that we want to share, as we have two new events to promote and a new vendor partner to introduce.

Welcome a New Overhead Lift Vendor Partner

We have recently entered into an agreement to partner with Human Care USA. For LAH members, they manufacture an excellent line of overhead lifts and have a 100% emphasis on the homecare market. They are positioned well to participate in this market that has had some volatility in the last two years. Their product line is comprehensive, and they have some great new products to be introduced in the first half of 2023. Most importantly, their current customers have expressed high satisfaction with their product quality, timely customer service, shipping times, and the competitive pricing. They also have an assortment of other innovative products that will be market leaders in the homecare market. We are very impressed with their CEO, Liz Morand, and their sales manager, Tim Anderson. We think you will enjoy working with their team. Reach out to us and we will connect you to the primary contact for your market.

We will still have a relationship with Span. However, since Savaria has purchased Handicare, they have shifted the sales force for the overhead lift line over to the Savaria team, which mostly consists of the former Handicare sales team and away from Span. James Philpot and Jason Vitulli have been reassigned. We will still support the Span sales team but do not have a relationship with what is now the new Savaria division, which will handle all their home access products. 

We do still have an excellent relationship with Molift and will continue it as they move their headquarters from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. Mike Wieneke will still be our primary contact. 

Installer Training Returns  

Hands-on, in-person installer training returns to Ravenna, Ohio to what is now called the Vince Pelose Aging in Place Showroom. We have eight vendor partners (some who are new) scheduled to train during the week of April 17. Registration and more information is available here

Bestbath – VGM Live at Home Sponsored Dealer Day 

We are excited to co-sponsor a dealer day event exclusively for LAH members with Bestbath at their corporate headquarters in Boise, Idaho on May 10-11. The event will have a welcome dinner on May 10 and a full day of activity on May 11, which will include a factory tour, sales and marketing sessions, and roundtable discussions. You will also be welcomed to another dinner that night. This event has limited space. Find more information and register here.

LAH State Legislative Efforts

It has been seven years since VGM Live at Home has been involved in state legislative issues, and in the last month, two issues have come to our attention. The VGM Government Relations eam has a service that scans all state and federal bills and alerts us to any legislation that involves home modifications, along with all our other business communities. 

Last month, they uncovered a proposed bill in Massachusetts, MA HD 412. This proposed bill would give eligible Massachusetts residence a 50% grant for a home modification, but the grant maximum would $5,000. Eligible residents must have a disability and not exceed 120% of the area medium income. We had a virtual call in which eight interested companies had representatives. We are formulating strategies and talking points so together we can bring a unified and organized message to support this bill. Kudos to all the Massachusetts and Rhode Island (RI) members who have shown interest in supporting this issue, and a special thank you to Justin Oakley from Oakley Home Mods in RI who helped the sponsoring representative with bill language used in RI on a very successful similar bill. Please see our talking points on this document here.

In New Jersey (NJ), we have a bit of a different issue with Bill A2138. This bill would make it mandatory for any company or contractor who provides any service with over a $500 value to have a home improvement license. The major requirement for this license is to work five years under a certified home improvement licensee. This is an overreach in regulation and could result in any member in NJ without the license going out of business. As we know, many of the solutions we provide do not require that level of skill and knowledge. We feel that being certified and factory trained is sufficient in order to provide for building permit products and services. We sent a statement explaining our concerns to the NJ legislative committee and are hopeful some minor language edits will be made. See our comments here.

2023 Building Opportunities Summit Update 

We are close to finalizing the venue for this year's Building Opportunities Summit. Our dates will be in early November, and we hope to have full details for next month’s newsletter. 

Member Highlight 

We will be having a member highlight story for every month this year, starting this month with a story from Chris Moore from Solid Rock Enterprises on an inspiring job his team worked on last year. We have several member stories that will detail one of the following:

  • A challenging or rewarding job that held high meaning for the client 
  • A best practice in your business that helped you be more efficient, created a new revenue stream, or helped you recruit or retain staff 
  • An employee whose exceptional work has helped you grow 
  • An unique service or business model or journey your business has experienced

If you would like to be considered for a future highlight, please reach out to either Samantha Timmons or myself. 

We thank you for your membership and look forward to working with you throughout the promising year of 2023! 

Jim Greatorex 

VP VGM Live at Home