2017 Product Showcase Registration Just Started - Here's the Timetable for Booth Selection

DPHA has been receiving numerous inquiries regarding booth registration for the 2017 Product Showcase at our annual conference in Chandler, AZ from October 12-14, so we just wanted to reassure everyone that you haven't really missed anything yet. In fact, we have finalized the Floor Plan and have begun the booth registration process, which is as follows:

  • Gold sponsors (notified on April 14)
  • Silver sponsors (notified on April 21)
  • Bronze sponsors (individual notices will be sent on April 27)
  • 2017 Conference sponsors (individual notices will be sent on May 3)
  • 2016 Exhibitors (individual notices will be sent on May 8)
  • General membership (email blast on May 12)

      Please note: On the dates above, notices will be sent electronically around noon EDT (9 a.m. PDT).

      Additionally, when booth registration is open to the general membership, it will be announced in the May 12th issue of Connections as well as in the aforementioned email blast. Keep your eyes open for more updates and the booth registration announcements. We only have 72 booth spaces (10' by 10'), and if things go like they did in 2016, the booths will be completely booked within a week or so after registration is open to everyone.

      If you have any other questions or need help with something else, don't hesitate to contact Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net or via phone at 224-999-0434. And for those who are inquiring about our regular conference attendee registration, we will be sending out those notices sometime around the end of May 2017.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/21/2017




      If You Are Going to the MCEE Tradeshow in Montreal, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the MCEE Tradeshow next week, April 26 and 27, 2017 at Place Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec, please make sure that your tour includes the following DPHA members:

  • American Standard Brands - #627
  • Delta Faucet - #436
  • Franke #520
  • Pentair - #243
  • TOTO - #201
  • Valley Acrylic - #200

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/21/2017




      DPHA's April 2017 Showroom Spotlight is on Derek Hankins and Simon's Hardware & Bath, by Phil Hotarek (an Education Committee Member)

      As the oldest hardware store in New York City, Simon's Hardware & Bath is the poster child for small businesses that adapt to times and change. Continuing to evolve after over 100 years in business, we all can be inspired by the fact that their secret to staying in business for so long is staying true to the heart of success in this industry. Simon's began as a hardware store and evolved with the addition of kitchen and bath products and then two more locations due to their stellar reputation amongst designers and architects. The core values and tradition of small business - offering exceptional customer service, knowledge and support - will always retain its value in the decorative plumbing industry. Simon's Hardware has certainly captured the essence of its market.

      Recently, I had a chance to talk a bit with Derek Hankins, a lock sales specialist at Simon's location at 3rd Avenue in New York City, and Sam Dinacola, the Marketing Manager:

      Phil: Derek, tell me a bit about yourself.
      Derek: I graduated from Gettysburg College with a BS in Economics, and have been in the industry for 2 years.

      Phil: What is the biggest surprise to you about our industry?
      Derek: Every day is different.

      Phil: What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of our industry?
      Derek: Staying on top of sales volume.

      Phil: If there is one thing you can sell, it's...
      Derek: Architectural and decorative locks.

      Phil: Have you registered for the Recognition Program yet, and if so, have you completed any category tests?
      Derek: Yes and yes.

      Phil: Have you benefited from participating in the Recognition Program?
      Derek: Yes.

      Phil: One thing my coworkers don't know about me is...
      Derek: I am a personal trainer.

      Phil: When your friends ask, "You sell toilets?" you say...
      Derek: I don't, I sell hardware.

      Phil: Sam, what makes Simon's Hardware & Bath unique?
      Sam: Our staff's experience level is really what separates us. Many of our sales specialists have over 20 years of experience, which really helps with product knowledge, education and keeping up with industry trends. Our clientele consists mainly of trade professionals and retail consumers. We offer quality and personalized service to our trade professionals as well as having the ability to educate retail consumers who may not have as much experience.

      Phil: What can we do as an industry to move forward?
      Sam: Raising awareness of the value of having a professional help visualize the design process. Possibly even creating a virtual reality experience for the customer to make the process more enjoyable and realistic. Using technology to enhance the customer experience.

      Phil: What do we need to do as an industry to raise awareness of the value that showrooms provide?
      Sam: Focusing on adding value through a consistent brand message. One of our goals in 2017 is to increase content marketing through social media and blogging, to not only offer our high quality products but also how-to's, design trend reviews, and customer project highlights. Continue to find new ways to deliver your showroom's value to the customer by not only offering fantastic products through a great experience, but by helping them build their own knowledge and expertise, those add-ons will help differentiate showrooms from both online and offline competition.

      Phil: Derek, how about a few fun personal questions to conclude things. What's your favorite vacation spot?
      Derek: Fishers Island, NY

      Phil: One day I'll...
      Derek: Run my own business.

      Phil: Your favorite food?
      Derek: Salmon

      Phil: What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
      Derek: Fishing and hunting.

      Phil: The first thing I'd do if I were King/Queen, is...
      Derek: Turn Monday into a second Saturday.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/14/2017




      If You Are Going to the HD Expo in Las Vegas, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the HD Expo, May 3-5, 2017 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, please make sure that your tour includes the following DPHA members:

  • AMBA Products - #4477
  • American Standard Brands - #4610
  • Delta Faucet Company - #4913
  • Duravit USA - #5369
  • Fairmont Designs - #4620
  • Grohe - #4610
  • Hansgrohe - #4909
  • Infinity Drain - #5469
  • Neo Metro - #1706
  • QuickDrain USA - #5069
  • ROHL - #3165
  • TOTO - #4811
  • Victoria + Albert Baths - #1421

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/14/2017




      Here's Your April Reminder About DPHA's New 17-in-17 Recognition Program

      We want to remind DPHA members of the announcement we made in March - DPHA is proud to introduce the 17-on-17 Program, which is designed to recognize up-and-coming influencers in the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware business. This program will focus on profiling 17 individuals with 10 or less years of experience among all our membership base of dealers, manufacturers and independent sales agents. Each month from May thru October 2017, two or three members will be inducted into the 17-in-17 club, and their stories will be featured in DPHA's weekly newsletter, Connections. To submit your nominations, click here to download the nomination form, complete it and send your nomination to Jim Babbitt via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net or fax at 866-623-6180. It takes only a few minutes to complete a nomination form, but isn't that time well spent for recognizing someone who is making an impact on your business and/or our industry?

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/14/2017




      Stand Up and Be Recognized, First Quarter Graduates!

      DPHA is pleased to honor the first quarter 2017 graduating class of DPH professionals who have successfully passed all of the new Recognition Program examinations. They are:

      Bath & Kitchen Category:

  • Vladislav Bernard, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Shannon Boehm, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Kate Dellinger, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Toyia Frenzel, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Sherri Goldman, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Caroline Hughes, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Rachel Hyatt, Simon's Supply
  • Megan Jerkins, ProSource
  • Shahriar Jico, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Cheyenne Simone Roach, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Aimee Welch, ProSource

      Hardware Category:

  • Megan Jerkins, ProSource
  • Darren Martins, ProSource

      General Knowledge Category:

  • Vladislav Bernard, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Shannon Boehm, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Kate Dellinger, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Sherri Goldman, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Caroline Hughes, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Rachel Hyatt, Simon's Supply
  • Megan Jerkins, ProSource
  • Shahriar Jico, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Darren Martins, ProSource
  • Cheyenne Simone Roach, Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • Aimee Welch, ProSource

      Special Acknowledgement to those who have completed all THREE categories - Bath & Kitchen, Hardware and General Knowledge:

  • Megan Jerkins, Prosource

      And for those folks who are current participants in the Recognition Program but who initially signed up for the testing program prior to January 1, 2017, don't forget that, as we announced in last week's issue of Connections, you will need to successfully complete the following four revised tests before being eligible to receive your 2017 category completion certificates:

    1) Lavatory Faucets (Bath & Kitchen Category)
    2) Kitchen Faucets (Bath & Kitchen category)
    3) Locks and Latches (Hardware category)
    4) Care and Maintenance (General Knowledge category)

      The DPHA Recognition Program recognizes DPH showroom professionals for their product knowledge and sales expertise. The program is available only to DPHA members. The series of exams are based on information contained in the DPHA Education Program manuals, and each exam relates to an individual product category (e.g. lavatory faucets, tubs, cabinet hardware, etc.). To be recognized in each category, participants must answer 100% of the questions correctly. DPHA will electronically issue certificates to those participants who successfully pass all of the bath and kitchen, hardware and/or general knowledge programs.

      For more information on the DPHA Recognition Program, visit the member's side of www.dpha.net or email Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/07/2017




      Mark Your Calendars - 2017 Award Nominations Will Begin on May 15

      Our office has been getting several calls in the past few weeks regarding nominations for the 2017 annual awards, so we just wanted to reassure everyone that you haven't missed anything yet. Nominations will open on May 15 and run through July 15, and we will not only announce this in the May 12th issue of Connections, but via an email blast to our entire membership on May 15th and several reminder mentions in future issues of Connections during the summer.

      Remember, everyone wants to be appreciated and recognized for their contributions, but few of us take the time to say thank you to our exceptional peers for what they do for our companies, our organization and our industry. Starting on May 15, we will be asking for just a few minutes of your time to change this trend by submitting applications and nominations to the 2017 DPHA Awards program. At that time, you will be able to submit nominations for the following honors:

  • DPHA Showroom of the Year - 2016 winner was Pierce Hardware in Dallas, TX
  • DPHA Showroom Professional of the Year - 2016 winner was Kymberly Weiner of Best Plumbing Tile & Stone
  • DPHA Manufacturing Professional of the Year - 2016 winner was Cary Hergenrother of LIXIL Brands
  • DPHA Representative Agency Professional of the Year - 2016 winner was John Matlack of Level 5 Sales & Marketing
  • DPHA Rep Agency of the Year - 2016 winner was Associated Sales
  • DPHA Manufacturer Customer Service Department of the Year - 2016 Winner was Infinity Drain
  • DPHA Products of the Year (POTY) -
  • Plumbing Product, Fixtures (sinks, tubs, toilets) - 2016 winner was the Alape 2step Sink
  • Plumbing Product, Water Delivery (faucets, showerheads and valves) - 2016 winner was Axor's ShowerSelect SoftCube Thermostatic Trim
  • Furniture - 2016 winner was The Galley Dresser
  • Hardware - 2016 winner was Hamilton Sinkler's DP140Z Triangular Door Pull
  • Accessories - 2016 winner was MrSteam's Linear Steamhead

      For the Product of the Year (POTY) awards, DPHA is also in the process of confirming an independent panel of distinguished industry editors, designers and professionals for judging the five different products of the year. Those judges will be announced at the time the award nominations open on May 15.

      Manufacturers take note: When was the last time you were handed a golden opportunity to have your new products analyzed and critiqued by leading journalists of publications that are read and respected by your clients and prospects? DPHA is once again providing you this opportunity. Be sure to take advantage of it beginning next month.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/07/2017




      If You Are Going to the MCEE Tradeshow in Montreal, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the MCEE Tradeshow, April 26 and 27, 2017 at Place Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec, please make sure that your tour includes the following DPHA members:

  • American Standard Brands - #627
  • Delta Faucet - #436
  • Franke #520
  • Pentair - #243
  • TOTO - #201
  • Valley Acrylic - #200

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 04/07/2017




      Is This Your Last Issue of Connections?

      Is this going to be your last issue of Connections? As you may recall, last year we ran an article titled "This Is the Last Issue of Connections" as an April Fools' joke because that Friday was April 1st. Remarkably, we received more than 100 complaints via email or phone telling us how disappointed our readers were that the weekly publication was being discontinued, which necessitated response emails and phone calls assuring everyone that we were only kidding.

      That being said, since today is March 31st, we assure you that this time our inquiry above is no joke. Numerous reminders during the past three months advised that membership fees for 2017 are due today, Friday, March 31, so if we haven't received your renewal payment yet, your company's benefits will be terminated tomorrow, which includes receiving the weekly issues of Connections.

      If you have not paid your 2017 DPHA dues yet, it is not too late, but you should also be aware that there will be a 3 or 4 day delay now in getting your membership benefits re-established. As you know, dues are only $715 per year and we believe this is an incredible value given the benefits that the Association offers its members. If you are unsure as to whether or not you renewed your membership for this year and don't want to take a chance that your issues of Connections will be discontinued and your other member benefits terminated, contact Jim Babbitt now at jbabbitt@dpha.net or via phone at 224-999-0434 (if you get his voice mail, please leave a message). We truly appreciate everyone's past support, and hope we count on your participation again in 2017.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/31/2017




      Don't Worry - Registration for the 2017 Product Showcase at the Annual Conference Hasn't Begun Yet

      Our office has been receiving numerous inquiries regarding booth registration for the 2017 Product Showcase at our annual conference in Chandler, AZ from October 12-14, so we just wanted to reassure everyone that no, if you are a DPHA member and interested in exhibiting this year you have not missed anything. We are working on the floor plan for the Product Showcase and in keeping with our usual process, sometime during the second half of next month (April 2017), we will send out notices for booth sign-ups and selections in the following order:

  • Platinum sponsors (and then usually 4 working days later ...)
  • Gold sponsors (and then usually 4 working days later ...)
  • Silver sponsors (and then usually 4 working days later ...)
  • Bronze sponsors (and then usually 4 working days later ...)
  • 2017 Conference sponsors (and then usually 3 working days later ...)
  • 2016 Exhibitors (and then usually 4 working days later ...)
  • General membership

      Additionally, when booth registration is open to the general membership, it will be announced in Connections as well as in a separate email blast. Keep your eyes open for more updates and the booth registration announcements. We only have 72 booth spaces (10' by 10'), and if things go like they did in 2016, the booths will be completely booked within a week or so after registration is open to everyone.

      If you have any other questions or need help with something else, don't hesitate to contact Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net or via phone at 224-999-0434. And for those who are inquiring about our regular conference attendee registration, we will be sending out those notices sometime around the end of May 2017.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/31/2017




      There Are Four Revised Tests for Our Recognition Program Testing Participants

      The Education Committee, under the leadership of Traci D'Antoni (D'Antoni Sales Group) and Fred Felder (Simon's Supply), along with the extensive colaborative efforts of Jerry Williams (WMS Decoratve Resource) and Susan Sidney (Simon's Supply) have revised the following four Recognition Program testing modules:

    1. Lavatory Faucets (Bath & Kitchen Category)
    2. Kitchen Faucets (Bath & Kitchen category)
    3. Locks and Latches (Hardware category)
    4. Care and Maintenance (General Knowledge category)

      These four newly revised tests will be "live" as of Saturday, April 1 (seriously, no joke), and all current participants in the Recognition Program who initially signed up for the testing program prior to January 1, 2017, will need to successfully complete these new tests before being eligible to receive their 2017 category completion certificates.

      The DPHA Recognition Program recognizes DPH showroom professionals for their product knowledge and sales expertise. The program is available only to DPHA members. The series of exams are based on information contained in the DPHA Education Program manuals, and each exam relates to an individual product category (e.g. lavatory faucets, tubs, cabinet hardware, etc.). To be recognized in each category, participants must answer 100% of the questions correctly. DPHA will electronically issue certificates to those participants who successfully pass all of the bath and kitchen, hardware and/or general knowledge programs.

      For more information on the DPHA Recognition Program, visit the member's side of www.dpha.net or email Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/31/2017




      It Bears Repeating - DPHA's New 17-in-17 Recognition Program

      We wanted to make sure that you didn't miss last week's announcement - DPHA is proud to introduce the 17-on-17 Program, which is designed to recognize up-and-coming influencers in the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware business. This program will focus on profiling 17 individuals with 10 or less years of experience among all our membership base of dealers, manufacturers and independent sales agents. Each month from May thru October 2017, two or three members will be inducted into the 17-in-17 club, and their stories will be featured in DPHA's weekly newsletter, Connections. To submit your nominations, click here to download the nomination form, complete it and send your nomination to Jim Babbitt via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net or fax at 866-623-6180. It takes only a few minutes to complete a nomination form, but isn't that time well spent for recognizing someone who is making an impact on your business and/or our industry?

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/24/2017




      Did You Know That DPHA Recruiting Efforts are Worth More Than Just Our Thanks?

      Did you know that there is a program that rewards you for bringing new members to DPHA? The DPHA Marketing Committee, under the astute leadership of Kim Frechette (Infinity Drain) and Eric Phelps (Victoria + Albert Baths), continue to make it worth your while to recruit new members for our association. Just have any new member list you or your company on the "Referred to DPHA by" line on any of our membership applications, and you will receive credit for that new member joining or rejoining our association.

      Indeed, the incentive program is simple and straight-forward. Modeled after frequent flyer programs, DPHA awards recruiter credits for every new member who joins or rejoins our association. There is no time limit or expiration on these recruiter credits, and they can be "cashed in" at any time for the following items:

  • 1 recruiter credit: $25 certificate
  • 3 recruiter credits: Dinner on DPHA up to $100
  • 5 recruiter credits: Dues for a year
  • 10 recruiter credits: Free conference attendance

      These recruiter credits have been tracked since January 1, 2014, so if you believe you may already have some credits to your name, just contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434 or via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net. He will be happy to check his list for you. And thanks for continuing to spread the good word about our association!

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/24/2017




      Here's an Easy Way to Remind Everyone That DPHA is Now Accepting Applications for the Memorial Scholarship

      We know, with so much going on in your lives, many people forget that our association has a way to help the children or grandchildren of a DPHA member with the cost of college. Therefore, we have created a poster that can be posted in your lunchrooms or other appropriate areas. Just click here to download the reminder.

      The DPHA Council of Fellows established its Memorial Scholarship in 2008 with two primary goals. The first was to honor the memory of an industry leader and the second was to provide grants to the children and grandchildren of any employee working at a DPHA dealer, manufacturer, representative agency or professional organization.

      DPHA is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Memorial Scholarship.

      Download the application.

      Application Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Applicant must be the child or grandchild of a DPHA member employee.
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate currently enrolled in a college or university.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a high school transcript, and if in college, a college transcript.
  • Applicant must submit a double-spaced typed essay addressing the topic, "Why I Should Be Considered for the DPHA Memorial Scholarship." This essay should not exceed 1,200 words.
  • To be considered for the award during a given year, applications must be received at the DPHA office by the close of business July 31, 2017.

      Selection Criteria:

  • Applicant must fulfill all application requirements and complete the DPHA Memorial Scholarship Application Form.
  • Essays will be judged on content, writing skills and adherence to accepted grammatical standards.
  • Applicants must be well-rounded students, involved in extracurricular and civic activities and sports.
  • The DPHA Council of Fellows reserves the right to interview Scholarship finalists prior to selecting a recipient.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/24/2017




      DPHA's New 17-in-17 Recognition Program

      DPHA is proud to introduce the 17-on-17 Program, which is designed to recognize up-and-coming influencers in the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware business. This program will focus on profiling 17 individuals with 10 or less years of experience amongst all our membership base of dealers, manufacturers and independent sales agents. Each month from May thru October 2017, two or three members will be inducted into the 17-in-17 club, and their stories will be featured in DPHA's weekly newsletter, Connections. To submit your nominations, click here to download the nomination form, complete it and send your nomination to Jim Babbitt via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net or fax at 866-623-6180. It takes only a few minutes to complete a nomination form, but isn't that time well spent for recognizing someone who is making an impact on your business and/or our industry?

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/17/2017




      2017 DPHA Dues are Due by March 31

      If you have not paid your 2017 DPHA dues, what are you waiting for? Dues are only $715 per year and are due by March 31. This is an incredible value given the benefits that the association offers its members. Second notices were mailed at the beginning of February and Jim Babbitt is currently going through his second round of email notices and phone calls. If we don't hear back from you soon, please be kind to Jim when he attempts to contact you one last time. If you are unsure as to whether or not your membership has been renewed for this year, don't hesitate to contact Jim at jbabbitt@dpha.net or via phone at 224-999-0434 (if you get his voice mail, please leave a message). We truly appreciate everyone's past support, and hope we count on your continued participation in 2017.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/17/2017




      If You are Going to the 2017 ISH Fair, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the ISH Fair, March 14-17, 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, please make sure that your tour of the Messe Frankfurt includes the following DPHA members:

  • Alape - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth G54
  • Axent International - Hall 3, Level 0, Booth C61
  • Cosmics - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B02
  • Crosswater Ltd. - Hall 3, Level 0, Booth D60
  • Dornbracht - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth F99, G54
  • Duravit - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B99, C80
  • Franke Water Systems - Hall 4, Level 1, E46
  • Gessi - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B20
  • GRAFF - Hall 4, Level 1, E94
  • Hansgrohe - Hall 2, Booth 02
  • Keuco - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth A21
  • KWC - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth E06
  • Laufen - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B51
  • Lefroy Brooks - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth G52
  • Mountain Plumbing Products (in McAlpine Booth) - Hall 4, Level 0, Booth D21
  • Nikles - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth J70
  • Palazanni - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth H95
  • PomD'or - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B02
  • Steamist - Hall 4, Level 2, F04
  • TOTO - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth H05, J45
  • Victoria + Albert Baths - Hall 3, Level 0, Booth C86

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/10/2017




      Time is Running Out - The Dealers' Choice Award Voting Ends March 15!

      DPHA manufacturers are market and design leaders. Their offerings represent best-in-class products that DPHA believes are deserving of recognition. That's why the DPHA Awards Committee has added a new Dealer's Choice Award (aka, the POTY). This new award provides another opportunity for manufacturers to promote their products as award-worthy in front of the staffs of every DPHA dealer.

      Every product that was submitted last year for the 2016 Product of the Year is now eligible to win the Dealer's Choice Award. Voting opened on Wednesday, February 1, and runs through next Wednesday, March 15. All dealer showroom staff members who have a DPHA login are eligible to vote. One vote per person (unless you live in Chicago - just kidding!). And in case you don't know your login information to the members-only side of the website, contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434 (if you get his voice mail, please leave a message), or via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net. The winner will be announced during the opening session of the 2017 Conference.

      If you would like to refresh your memory on the various products that were nominated last year and eligible to win, just click here to download a copy of the 2016 Product of the Year Guide. Participating in the Dealers Choice Product of the Year (POTY) Award voting is easy and takes just a few minutes of your time. Just look for the voting menu tab (top menu item on the left) on the members-only side of the web site for more details. The previous award winners were chosen by an industry-wide independent panel of judges, but this time, you have a chance to help determine the winner yourself. So don't just sit there - vote!

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/10/2017




      If You are Going to the Architectural Digest Design Show, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the Architectural Digest Design Show, March 16-19, 2017 at Piers 92 and 94 in New York City, please make sure that your tour includes the following DPHA members:

  • Brizo - #361
  • GlassCrafters - #482
  • Native Trails - #168
  • Pentair Everpure - TBD
  • ROHL LLC - #439
  • Ronbow Corporation - #179

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/10/2017




      Thank You 2017 Corporate Sponsors!


      There are some that talk the talk; then there are others who walk the walk. The following DPHA members have expressed their commitment to the Association and the industry by becoming a 2017 DPHA corporate sponsor. Their support enables DPHA to develop new benefits that make our members and industry better. Our heartfelt thanks go to:



      Gold Sponsors:

  • Elkay
  • Franke
  • GRAFF

      Silver Sponsors:

  • BainUltra
  • Barber Wilsons/Sterlingham
  • Keuco
  • Lenova
  • MTI Baths
  • ROHL
  • Victoria + Albert

      Bronze Sponsors:

  • Alno Inc.
  • AMBA Products
  • Americh
  • Axent Corporation
  • Baci by Remcraft
  • Blanco America
  • California Faucets
  • Hamilton Sinkler
  • Hansgrohe
  • Hastings Tile & Bath
  • Kartners Bathroom Accessories
  • Mountain Plumbing Products
  • MrSteam
  • Steamist
  • Top Knobs
  • TOTO USA

      DPHA Corporate Sponsors receive a number of promotional benefits, including their name and logo (with active link) appearing in each issue of Connections. They also receive the recognition and gratitude of an industry that understands and appreciates their commitment to advancing the profession. If you are interested in becoming a DPHA sponsor, please contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434 or jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/03/2017




      If You are Going to the Architectural Digest Design Show, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the Architectural Digest Design Show, March 16-19, 2017 at Piers 92 and 94 in New York City, please make sure that your tour includes the following DPHA members:

  • Brizo - #361
  • GlassCrafters - #482
  • Native Trails - #168
  • Pentair Everpure - TBD
  • ROHL LLC - #439
  • Ronbow Corporation - #179

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/03/2017




      You Can Now Reserve Hotel Rooms for the 2017 DPHA Annual Conference

      The DPHA Annual Conference returns to the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Phoenix, AZ, October 12-14, 2017. The reason why DPHA is returning to the Wild Horse Pass Resort is obvious to everyone who attended the 2013 Conference there. The place is fantastic.

      The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass is a beautiful resort, situated adjacent to the Gila River Indian Community and just 12 miles from Phoenix' Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). Everything you would want to see or touch in Phoenix can be reached in just 20 minutes by car.

      Amenities? You betcha and only the finest. There are two golf courses, an outdoor pool, and plenty of family activities. The Kai restaurant was voted best in Phoenix for its ability to tantalize the palate with a seasonal menu featuring local and indigenous fare. The Aji Spa is the perfect place to wash away the stresses of the day.

      There are 500 rooms and suites with Native American-inspired décor plus private balconies or terraces. Technology includes a flat screen TV and High Speed Internet Access.

      It truly is a great property for a great group of members and room reservations are open now. Click here to make sure you don't miss out.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 03/03/2017




      Did You Know? Just Because You Missed the 2016 Annual Conference Doesn't Mean You Have to Miss the Content

      Although we posted this notice in the November 18th, 2016 issue of Connections, after talking with many of our members over the past 3 or 4 weeks, this item bears repeating. So many DPHA members were thoroughly impressed with the quality of content presented at the 2016 Annual Conference, they wanted us to share the experience and knowledge with their coworkers. Now here's their chance. DPHA has posted the following videos on the DPHA web site:

  • Donald Miller: Mother Goose was Right: How to Tell Compelling Stories that Earn the Trust of Your Clientele

  • Jill Schiefelbein: Friends, Romans and Clients: Lend Me an Ear - Listen More, Sell More

  • Kerry Singh: Delivering Exceptional Customer Service (Even on Mondays)

      To view the videos, log on to the membership only side of www.dpha.net, click on the 2016 Conference Videos menu tab and then click on the link of the video you wish to view. If you need your login information and/or the password for the videos, please email Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/24/2017




      The DPHA February 2017 Showroom Spotlight is on Pierce Hardware, by Phil Hotarek (Lutz Bath & Kitchen)

      I recently had the privilege of speaking with Erin Bittner, from Pierce Hardware in Dallas, Texas, that began as a spotlight interview but ended up becoming an insightful discussion about our industry. I first met Erin at the DPHA Showcase in Nashville, TN in October of 2016 and found him to be very passionate about the decorative plumbing industry, which resonated in the round-table segment of the weekend. Personally, I learn the most when I engage in discussions that revolve around business ideas and strategies with colleagues. There is so much we can learn from each other, and implementing these talking points can become a catalyst in strengthening the value of our showrooms and businesses in the current market. I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I did.

      Erin Bittner is the C.O.O. of Pierce Hardware and JCR Distributors, which has Pierce showroom locations in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and he has been in the DPH industry for the past 15 years.


      Phil Hotarek: What do you see as the biggest surprises about our industry?
      Erin Bittner: The value and power of strong relationships, how complex product offerings are and how challenging product integration into the construction of the home really is. The necessity to employ a quality professional who has tremendous product knowledge and experience matters!

      Phil: The most challenging aspect of our industry?
      Erin: Keeping up with the constant change from manufacturers to reps. New price books, new displays, product discontinuations, price changes, etc., certainly make our jobs challenging, not to mention trying to utilize co-op funds to promote quality brands alongside our own branding efforts.

      Phil: Any success stories you would like to share?
      Erin: Our company was generously converted to an ESOP (employee owned), which had to be fronted by our former owner Mike McKenzie during the great recession. It's hard to convey the value of what Mike did for this company - he carried a large financial risk for the benefit of longtime employees. He saw value in their tenure and experience and had a vision for how well that value would translate into an employee owned entity. That's a huge success story!

      Phil: If there is one thing you can sell, it's...?
      Erin: If you're referring to a product, I would say The Galley Workstation. If you are talking about my experiences though, I believe it is the value of using a quality showroom. "We must be experts at communicating all that we do for our clients to ensure our full value is recognized... This is especially important when so many customers are using online tools for research and comparison. New competitors continue to drive prices down and try to steal our clients, so we need to continue to innovate, execute well and always learn more."

      Phil: Have you registered for the DPHA Recognition Program yet?
      Erin: Yes. All our new employees have been registered. The Recognition Program at first was found to be complex and confusing because employees thought that simply going through the quizzes was the recognition program itself. We are rediscovering how much the program, as well as DPHA, itself has to offer. I strongly encourage your showroom managers to reach out to the team at DPHA to review the tools available through the Aassociation you can use immediately.

      Phil: Have you completed any category tests?
      Erin: The team has. I have a personal goal to finish 5 classes in 2017.

      Phil: How have you benefited from participating in the Recognition Program, if at all?
      Erin: In addition to helping our new employees get up to speed, participation in the program aids in the mental discipline of constantly learning, even if you are already fairly knowledgeable. Our team's knowledge and experience sets us apart, so continuing education is essential to our future. Just try to pass Jim Babbitt's 21 question sample quiz and you may be humbled on what all you could learn or re-learn.

      Phil: Is that face-to-face or online training?
      Erin: On-line and face-to-face. It depends on the subject or the quality of the online material.

      Phil: What are some key factors that set you apart from other showrooms?
      Erin: We closed down our historic showroom in a boutique shopping mall area (retail space, 1500 square feet of showroom space) and moved everyone to a new location next to Love Field in Dallas, a more industrial area that allowed us to create a much larger showroom (more than triple the previous size). People are now able to see both plumbing and hardware for the entire home. We are currently remodeling the Fort Worth showroom and we continue to invest in our employees as owners. The showroom is designed in such a way that the displays and decor can be frequently changed. We show exclusive brands and products you can only see at Pierce. But at the end of the day, the quality, tenure and knowledge of our team is what matters most.

      Phil: How do you compete with the surge in e-commerce sales?
      Erin: We constantly promote and communicate the value of buying from a professional. Our actions must back up our words as well. We also use smart merchandising techniques to better convey the value of our authentic brands. We focus on making Pierce Hardware a destination for seeing the latest and greatest products in the world and creating the strongest relationship possible along the way.

      Phil: In your opinion, what do we need to do as an industry to further education in decorative plumbing amongst the masses?
      Erin: We need to formalize and scale the educational process so we can take people who have the right DNA to sell decorative products and put them through a system. We need to capture best practices from expert showrooms around the country and integrate them, and not limit to materials a manufacturer provides. A Rolls Royce may be the finest car made, but how you sell one every week is what really interests me! Having a formal program, yielding recognized credentials such as the ones architects, real estate agents and/or designers have validates the credibility of what showroom professionals are offering. It could also lead to other elements such as certain manufacturers selling only to accredited qualified showrooms. We live in a society where everything can be purchased online or is accessible through an app right at your fingertips. An experienced professional saves the consumer time and hassle in addition to providing unmatched support to the trade. Formalizing the education program may validate us as qualified professionals, providing a myriad of possibilities through recognition amongst manufacturers, reps, designers, and consumers.

      Phil: And just for fun, what is one thing your coworkers don't know about you?
      Erin: I played the tuba from 3rd grade all the way through high school. I am sure there is a "hot air" joke in there somewhere.

      Phil: When your friends ask, "You sell toilets?" you say?
      Erin: Yes, lots of them, we sell the coolest potties you've ever seen!

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/24/2017




      If You are Going to the 2017 ISH Fair, Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Members

      If you are going to the ISH Fair, March 14-17, 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany, please make sure that your tour of the Messe Frankfurt includes the following DPHA members:

  • Alape - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth G54
  • Axent International - Hall 3, Level 0, Booth C61
  • Cosmics - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B02
  • Crosswater Ltd. - Hall 3, Level 0, Booth D60
  • Dornbracht - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth F99, G54
  • Duravit - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B99, C80
  • Franke Water Systems - Hall 4, Level 1, E46
  • Gessi - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B20
  • GRAFF - Hall 4, Level 1, E94
  • Hansgrohe - Hall 2, Booth 02
  • Keuco - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth A21
  • KWC - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth E06
  • Laufen - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B51
  • Lefroy Brooks - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth G52
  • Mountain Plumbing Products (in McAlpine Booth) - Hall 4, Level 0, Booth D21
  • Nikles - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth J70
  • Palazanni - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth H95
  • PomD'or - Hall 3, Level 1, Booth B02
  • Steamist - Hall 4, Level 2, F04
  • TOTO - Hall 4, Level 1, Booth H05, J45
  • Victoria + Albert Baths - Hall 3, Level 0, Booth C86

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/24/2017




      Don't Forget - The Dealers' Choice Award Voting is Open and Running Through March 15

      DPHA manufacturers are market and design leaders. Their offerings represent best-in-class products that DPHA believes are deserving of recognition. That's why the DPHA Awards Committee has added a new Dealer's Choice Award. This new award provides another opportunity for manufacturers to promote their products as award-worthy in front of the staffs of every DPHA dealer.

      Every product that was submitted last year for the 2016 Product of the Year is now eligible to win the Dealer's Choice Award. Voting opened on Wednesday, February 1, and will run though March 15. All dealer showroom staff members who have a DPHA login will be eligible to vote. One vote per person (unless you live in Chicago - just kidding!). And in case you don't know your login information to the members-only side of the website, contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434 (if you get his voice mail, please leave a message), or via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net. The winner will be announced during the opening session of the 2017 Conference.

      If you would like to refresh your memory on the various products that were nominated last year and eligible to win, just click here to download a copy of the 2016 Product of the Year Guide. Participating in the Dealers Choice Product of the Year Award voting is easy and takes just a few minutes of your time. Just look for the voting menu tab (top menu item on the left) on the members-only side of the web site for more details. The previous award winners were chosen by an industry-wide independent panel of judges, but this time, you have a chance to help determine the winner yourself. So don't just sit there - vote!

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/17/2017




      DPHA is Now Accepting Applications for the Memorial Scholarship

      The DPHA Council of Fellows established its Memorial Scholarship in 2008 with two primary goals. The first was to honor the memory of an industry leader and the second was to provide grants to the children and grandchildren of any employee working at a DPHA dealer, manufacturer, representative agency or professional organization.

      DPHA is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Memorial Scholarship.

      Download the application.

      Application Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Applicant must be the child or grandchild of a DPHA member employee.
  • Applicant must be a high school graduate currently enrolled in a college or university.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a high school transcript, and if in college, a college transcript.
  • Applicant must submit a double-spaced typed essay addressing the topic, "Why I Should Be Considered for the DPHA Memorial Scholarship." This essay should not exceed 1,200 words.
  • To be considered for the award during a given year, applications must be received at the DPHA office by the close of business July 31, 2017.

      Selection Criteria:

  • Applicant must fulfill all application requirements and complete the DPHA Memorial Scholarship Application Form.
  • Essays will be judged on content, writing skills and adherence to accepted grammatical standards.
  • Applicants must be well-rounded students, involved in extracurricular and civic activities and sports.
  • The DPHA Council of Fellows reserves the right to interview Scholarship finalists prior to selecting a recipient.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/17/2017




      2017 Dues are Due!

      If you have not paid your 2017 DPHA dues, what are you waiting for? Dues are only $715 per year. This is an incredible value given the benefits that the association offers its members. Second notices were issued a few weeks ago, and if we don't hear back from you soon, please be kind to Jim Babbitt when he attempts to contact you. If you are unsure as to whether or not your membership has been renewed for this year, please don't hesitate to contact Jim at jbabbitt@dpha.net or via phone at 224-999-0434. We truly appreciate everyone's past support, and hope we count on your continued support and participation in 2017.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/17/2017




      A Message from the DPHA President, Cynthia Carter

      Dear Fellow DPH Professionals:

      I don't think anyone would argue that 2016 was an interesting year and many of us are looking forward to what 2017 brings us both personally and professionally.

      It was an exceptional year for the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association, so I wanted to give you a recap, as well as announcing some exciting plans.

      Our 2017 Conference will be October 11th -14th at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona. This is the resort where we held our 2013 conference and because of the venue's luxury, great service, and ease of travel, we quickly booked the facility again.

      Last year, we sold out of the Product Showcase booths for the Nashville conference just a few days after offering them to the general membership, so if you are contemplating getting a spot in 2017 be on the lookout for the announcement in May and act quickly. One way to increase your ability to get exhibitor space is to become a corporate sponsor. For more information on Corporate Sponsorship offerings and benefits, contact Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      I am also pleased to announce we will be offering a sales seminar at a greatly reduced rate for your staff members who have never attended one of our previous conferences in 2017. As the economy and our industry's business continue to grow, so does the need for trained and passionate sales people. The program for these attendees will include sessions geared toward increasing your bottom line, as well as grooming them to be our future industry leaders. More details about this exciting new program will be forthcoming shortly.

      Speaking of our conference, the 2016 event at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee was spectacular. Indeed, the location was beyond beautiful, the food and drink gourmet-worthy and the speakers were informative, but more than that was the energy level of our members. Everyone was completely engaged; it was networking and fellowship at its best and of course, the Halloween Party did not disappoint. The level of participation was amazing and the costumes were certainly memorable. We are definitely a professional and fun group.

      I recently read in the February 2017 issue of Costco Connection an article by Paul and Sarah Edwards about creating new opportunities for your small business. Their big tip was to constantly network by belonging to a trade association within your industry. Where better to do this than the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association? It was further suggested that participating and making yourself an asset within the association increased your opportunities. So get involved. As the cliche goes, "You only get out of something what you put into it." Your opinions and ideas are highly valued and add to our success; this is your association so help make it even better by joining a committee. Our committees include Marketing, Awards, Programs & Showcase and Education. If you are interested, please let Jim Babbitt know and he can start including you in any correspondences.

      One of my goals this year is to increase communication about our association to the DPH community. Marketing has been my mantra and word of mouth is the best advertising. When you see a great movie or eat at a good restaurant, you let your friends know. I would ask you to do the same about our association. When talking to a manufacturer, representative, or dealer that is not involved, let them know you are a member and the many benefits you get from participating with our group.

      It cannot be said enough that our association is exceptional because of its members. We hope you continue to see the benefit of belonging to an industry and association that we all love and are proud be a part of.

      Hope to see you in Arizona,
      Cyn

      Cynthia R. Carter
      2015-2017 DPHA President
      214-864-5766
      cynthia@nextgenerationmarketing.biz

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/10/2017




      A Valentine's Love Story

      In honor of the February 14 holiday, Connections wants to re-share the real story of Valentine's Day. It dates back to the third century when Roman Emperor Claudius II ordered all Romans to worship 12 gods. Refusing to do so was punishable by death. You can certainly imagine that Christians did not take too kindly to Claudius' edict. One who refused was named Valentinus, who was subsequently arrested and jailed. Awaiting his ultimate fate, his jailer recognized that Valentinus was an educated man and asked him if he would tutor his blind daughter, Julia.

      Valentinus was a good teacher and Julia was a receptive student. After learning math, Roman history, biology and religion, Julia started to see the world through Valentinus' eyes. Then a miracle occurred. When Valentinus and Julia were praying together, there was a sudden brilliant flash of light in the prison cell. Eureka! Julia suddenly could see.

      On the eve of his execution, Valentinus sent a note to Julia that he signed, "Your Valentine." He was executed on February 14, 270 AD. However, from that day on, messages of devotion, love and affection are sent around the world.

      Now that you know the true story of Valentine's Day, don't you wonder where those heart shaped candies with corny phrases came from?

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/10/2017




      Dealers' Choice Award Voting Now Open and Running Through March 15

      DPHA manufacturers are market and design leaders. Their offerings represent best-in-class products that DPHA believes are deserving of recognition. That's why the DPHA Awards Committee has added a new Dealer's Choice Award. This new award provides another opportunity for manufacturers to promote their products as award-worthy in front of the staffs of every DPHA dealer.

      Every product submitted that was submitted last year for the 2016 Product of the Year is now eligible to win the Dealer's Choice Award. Voting opened on Wednesday, February 1, and will run though March 15. All dealer showroom staff members who have a DPHA login will be eligible to vote. One vote per person (unless you live in Chicago - just kidding!). And in case you don't know your login information to the members-only side of the website, contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434 (if you get his voice mail, please leave a message), or via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net. The winner will be announced during the opening session of the 2017 Conference.

      If you would like to refresh your memory on the various products that were nominated last year and eligible to win, just click here to download a copy of the 2016 Product of the Year Guide. Participating in the Dealers Choice Product of the Year Award voting is easy and takes just a few minutes of your time. Just look for the voting menu tab (top menu item on the left) on the members-only side of the web site for more details. The previous award winners were chosen by an industry-wide independent panel of judges, but this time, you have a chance to help determine the winner yourself. So don't just sit there - vote!

      The Recognition Program is dynamic. It will continue to evolve with the long term goal of DPHA eventually offering a showroom certification program for the industry. Don't be bashful. Many of your peers, other showroom professionals, have signed up to be part of this program. Why are you still waiting?

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/03/2017




      Did You Know?

      Did you know that DPHA created a library of educational videos developed by DPHA manufacturers? The videos range from how to install different products that manufacturers make to product and company stories. There are more than 500 videos available to you and your team for training and education, and watching these videos can help make you smarter and better informed. The DPHA Video Library can be found on the members' only side of www.dpha.net by following the path "Member Benefits > Educational Videos".

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/03/2017




      Isn't It Time for Your Sales Team to be Recognized as Professionals?

      Lack of recognition is the number one reason top sales professionals and top performers change jobs. Nearly 70% of top performers do not believe that their contributions to a showroom are appreciated. Do you believe your sales professionals receive the recognition they deserve for their product knowledge and the ability to use it to exceed customer expectations? Do you know? Are they likely to look for greener pastures? DPHA offers the only industry program that can help you recognize, retain and attract best-in-class talent. It's the DPHA Recognition Program.

      The program's goals are to:

  • Provide an easily accessible and cost-effective program that showrooms can use to recognize the expertise of their staffs.
  • Demonstrate to showroom staff that they are involved in a professional industry that celebrates knowledge and sales skills.
  • Encourage ongoing professional development to help improve the quality of service that DPHA member showrooms provide to their clients and customers.

      The Recognition Program is currently only available to DPHA members, and is housed on the members-only section of the DPHA web site (www.dpha.net). The Recognition Program includes a series of exams based on a showroom professional's understanding of different products and their ability to explain the technical, functional and aesthetic differences of products sold in showrooms and those that can be found elsewhere. The test questions have been developed from content found in the DPHA Education Program manuals. Currently, the following 22 different tests are included in the Recognition Program:

      Bathroom & Kitchen Category:

  • Accessories
  • Bathroom Furniture
  • Bathroom Lighting
  • Baths
  • Drains
  • Faucets
  • Introduction to Shower Systems
  • Kitchen Faucets
  • Sinks
  • Steam Systems
  • Supplies and Waste Assemblies
  • Toilets and Bidets

      Hardware Category:

  • Adorning the Door
  • Cabinet Hardware
  • Hinges
  • Locks and Latches
  • Multipoint Locks
  • Protecting the Door

      General Knowledge Category:

  • Care and Maintenance
  • Finishes
  • Greening the Bath
  • Universal Design

      The cost to participate in the DPHA Recognition Program is $60 per person per year. To sign up, visit the members-only side of the web site at www.dpha.net or contact Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net. In order to pass a test, showroom professionals need to answer all of the questions correctly. Those who successfully pass all the Recognition Program tests in a category will be emailed a certificate that they can print and display at their work areas in their showrooms.

      The Recognition Program is dynamic. It will continue to evolve with the long term goal of DPHA eventually offering a showroom certification program for the industry. Don't be bashful. Many of your peers, other showroom professionals, have signed up to be part of this program. Why are you still waiting?

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 02/03/2017




      Dealers Choice Award Voting Begins February 1

      As we told you all last summer during the Product of the Year award nominations, the Awards Committee added a new Dealer's Choice Award that provides another opportunity for manufacturers to promote their products as award-worthy in front of the staffs of every DPHA dealer.

      Every product submitted for the 2016 Product of the Year is eligible to win the Dealer's Choice Award.  Voting will take place from February 1 to March 15.  All dealer showroom staff members who have a DPHA login will be eligible to vote. One vote per person (unless you live in Chicago - just kidding!). And in case you don't know your login information to the members-only side of the website, contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434, or via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net. The winner will be announced during the opening session of the 2017 Conference.

      Participating in the Dealers Choice Product of the Year Award voting is easy. Look for the voting tab on the members-only side of the web site on Wednesday, February 1. And if you would like to get a head start on looking at the eligible products, just click here to download a copy of the 2016 Product of the Year Guide.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/27/2017




      Thank You, DPHA Leaders!

      The DPHA Board of Directors met Tuesday, January 24th, in Dallas, TX. The goal of the Board meeting was to finalize action plans for committee activities in 2017. Among the goals for the year are:

  • Updating education program manuals to help assure they reflect current industry practices and customer experience expectations.
  • Improving the Recognition Program to reward and recognize showroom sales professionals for their product knowledge and sales skills.
  • Leverage the success of the 2016 Annual Conference and Product Showcase to continue providing compelling content that improves DPHA member businesses and provides the industry's most effective venue to showcase new products.
  • More effectively communicate that DPHA provides a tremendous return on members' dues investments.
  • Provide multiple opportunities to recognize outstanding individuals, companies and products.
  • Deliver compelling content weekly that offers business practice guidance, sales training and industry updates that allow DPHA members to keep their fingers on the pulse of their industry.

      DPHA again wants to recognize and thank those who dedicate their time and expertise to better the association and industry by serving on the 2017 DPHA Board of Directors:

      Officers:

  • President: Cynthia Carter (Next Generation Marketing, and pictured)
  • President-Elect: Gary Erickson (Renaissance Design Studio)
  • Immediate Past President: Kate Brady (General Plumbing Supply)
  • Secretary: Ryan Paul (ThermaSol)
  • Treasurer: Cary Hergenrother (LIXIL Brands)

      At-Large Executive Committee Members (subsequently elected by the 2017 Board of Directors):

  • Richard Campbell (Belmont Hardware)
  • Traci D'Antoni (D'Antoni Sales Group)
  • Eric Phelps (Victoria + Albert Baths)

      Directors:

  • Stan Artman (Native Trails)
  • Erin Bittner (Pierce Hardware)
  • Oliver Bleich (Keuco)
  • Tony Carter (Carter Hardware)
  • David Crossley (Baci by Remcraft/Colonial Bronze)
  • Robert Foster (Foster Companies)
  • Phil Hotarek (Lutz Kitchen & Bath)
  • Sarah Jenkinson (Barber Wilson/Sterlingham)
  • Antonio Musso (ITALBRASS Group)
  • Michael Pechar (Mountain Plumbing Products)
  • John Smithman (The Plumbing Place)
  • Debby Stehr (Stehr Enterprises)
  • Steve Weinberg (California Faucets)

      Thanks again to all of you for your continued service in leading the association in 2017!

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/27/2017




      The January 2017 Showroom Spotlight is on Walter Bunda of Astro Design Centre (written by an Education Committee Member)

      Walter Bunda, of Astro Design Centre in Ottawa Canada, got his start in this industry in a most unusual way. Walter had been traveling around the world for two years straight out of college after earning a degree in interior design, but needed to find employment when he returned home. He contacted an old school mate who mentioned to him there was a job opening for a design and sales position at a design center that was making a mark in the city and suggested he apply for the position. Walter followed his friend's recommendation, and he has been at the same job now for more than three years.

      When Walter started at Astro Design Centre, he was surprised by the number of manufacturers and brands from which to choose. He would say, "How many brands of faucets do we need to have? Now I understand each manufacturer brings something unique and different to the table whether it would be finishes, styles, or technology."

      And learning about all these products was no easy feat. "I think the most challenging aspect of this industry is keeping up on product knowledge. With all the information on the internet these days, your clients often may know more about the products they are inquiring about than yourself. You need to be on the ball and always willing to learn more," Walter says.

      When Walter began his learning, he did most of it online. He has not participated yet in the DPHA Recognition Program, but he has set that as a goal for 2017.

      Because of Walter's design background, he really has a passion for selling lighting. "We no longer see people's homes with only just recessed and florescent bar lighting. They want accent lighting, decorative lighting and they want it to make a statement," he said.

      When not working, Walter likes to travel. Skiing and diving are his biggest passions, and he was lucky enough to spend two weeks last winter diving in Belize and living on the beach.

      Locally, his activities vary with the seasons. During the winter, it's snowshoeing and skiing, and in the summer you will find him hiking, on a beach or participating in water sports. In his downtime, Walter enjoys reading, photography and spending time with friends. His bucket list includes one day attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. And let's not forget his wish to one day sit on the VIP terrace of the Monaco Grand Prix.

      All this energy takes food of which Italian, Asian (especially Thai) and Indian food (lamb kofta with mint yogurt and flat-breads) are among his favorites.

      Trying to get everything accomplished he wants to can sometimes be a challenge because Walter admits he's not a morning person. How does he do it? "With large amounts of coffee and tea each day", he replied.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/27/2017




      In Case You Missed It a Few Weeks Ago - DPHA Heads Back to the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass for the 2017 Annual Conference & Product Showcase

      In case you missed the announcement in the January 6th issue of Connections, and now that the holidays are over and hopefully everyone is caught up on their emails and other work that may have accumulated during that time, we thought this piece of news warranted repeating. The 2017 Annual DPHA Conference returns to the beautiful Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, AZ October 11-14, 2017 (20 minutes from the Phoenix Airport). DPHA members that participated in the 2013 conference will recall that the resort is located in the Sonoran Desert on an expanse of rugged Arizona landscape where the ancient vistas, mountains and roaming wild horses remain untouched. The first-class amenities include two 18-hole golf courses, the 17,500 square foot Aji spa, complimentary guest room wireless Internet access, 7 restaurants (including the only five-star restaurant in Phoenix) and 4 bars.

      It's a first-class resort in every way except the room price. DPHA members will enjoy a $179 per night (plus tax) rate during the DPHA Conference.

      Additional details will be forthcoming in the next several weeks, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email jbabbitt@dpha.net with any questions.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/20/2017




      The Benefits of Committee Service

      There was a lot of enthusiasm at the DPHA Annual Conference in Nashville, TN last October and none more so than at DPHA committee meetings. Committees are "where the rubber meets the road" and value is created. DPHA committee service is a stepping stone to becoming an industry leader because serving on a DPHA committee offers skills, training and experiences needed to grow personally and professionally.

      Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to give back? Do you want to lead? Consider joining a DPHA committee. Here are few of the returns on investment that you will receive from contributing your time to DPHA committee service.

  • An opportunity for meaningful involvement in the premier association serving the decorative plumbing and hardware industry.
  • The ability to help direct DPHA activities and programs.
  • Leadership skills that enable you to advance your career and demonstrate to owners, corporate executives and others that you possess the qualifications and experience to accept increased levels of responsibility.
  • Delegation skills that enhance staff productivity and improve performance.
  • Public speaking and presentation skills that are easily transferable for new account presentations.
  • Budgeting skills that save time and money.
  • Strategic planning capabilities.
  • Performance monitoring skills that enable you to better direct staff and oversee day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Media relations skills.
  • Entrepreneurial skills that position individuals to accept leadership positions.
  • Access to an unprecedented source of decorative plumbing and hardware industry and business information.
  • Life-long friendships!

      DPHA is looking for a few committed volunteers who can help guide the association and give back to their industry while enhancing their individual skill sets and network. If you would like to volunteer for the Awards, Education, Marketing or Program & Showcase Committees, send an email to jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/20/2017




      A Friendly Reminder - 2017 Annual Dues are Due

      If you have not paid your 2017 DPHA dues, what are you waiting for? Our annual dues remain the same as they were in 2016, and are only $715 per year. This is an incredible value given the benefits that the association offers its members. Second notices will be issued in the next few weeks to those who may have missed the opportunity to pay on time. If you are unsure as whether or not your 2017 dues have been taken care of, please don't hesitate to contact Jim Babbitt at 224-999-0434 or via email at jbabbitt@dpha.net.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/20/2017




      It's a New Year, Which Means It's Time to Re-Register for the 2017 Recognition Testing Program

      It is the beginning of a new year, which also means that it's time for participants in the Recognition Program to re-register for the testing program. There will be several revised exams by the end of March, and those tests will need to be completed before someone receives their completion certificates for each of the three subject categories - Bathroom & Kitchen, Hardware and General Knowledge. There is also a new twist this year - when a participant successfully completes every test in all three categories, a desk plate with their names and the year of successful completion will be sent to them.

      The goals of the DPHA Recognition Program are to:

  • Provide an easily accessible and cost-effective program that showrooms can use to recognize the expertise of their staffs.
  • Demonstrate to showroom staff that they are involved in a professional industry that celebrates knowledge and sales skills.
  • Encourage ongoing professional development to help improve the quality of service that DPHA member showrooms provide to their clients and customers.

      The Recognition Program is currently only available to DPHA members and is housed on the members-only section of the DPHA website, www.dpha.net. The Recognition Program includes a series of exams based on a showroom professional's understanding of different products and ability to explain the technical, functional and aesthetic differences of products sold in showrooms and those that can be found elsewhere. The test questions have been developed from content found in the DPHA Education Program manuals. Currently, there are 22 different tests included in the Recognition Program as follows:

      Bathroom and Kitchen Category:
  • Accessories
  • Bathroom Furniture
  • Bathroom Lighting
  • Baths
  • Drains
  • Faucets
  • Kitchen Faucets
  • Showers
  • Sinks
  • Steam Systems
  • Supplies and Waste Assemblies
  • Toilets and Bidets

      Hardware Category:
  • Adorning the Door
  • Cabinet Hardware
  • Hinges
  • Locks and Latch Sets
  • Multipoint Locks
  • Protecting the Door

      General Knowledge Category:
  • Care and Maintenance
  • Finishes
  • Greening the Bath
  • Universal Design

      The cost to participate in the DPHA Recognition Program is $60 per person per year. Sign up at www.dpha.net. In order to pass a test, showroom professionals need to answer all of the questions correctly. Those who successfully pass the Recognition Program tests will be emailed a certificate that they can print and display at their work areas in their showrooms and scan and place on the company website.

      And for those who think they probably don't need any "refreshing", try taking our sample Recognition Program by clicking here. This sample test contains one question from 21 of our 22 Recognition Program tests, and we can tell you that no one has come close to getting all 21 questions right on their first attempt. If you take the test, you will get your results almost immediately (if you enter your email address correctly, that is), and only you and I know will the results (and I promise I won't tell on any one). Go ahead and try - the results might surprise you, and don't worry, you can verify all the answers by rereading the 22 different Education Manuals.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/13/2017




      The Best Bang for Your Buck?

      Become a 2017 DPHA Corporate Sponsor. Since we just welcomed in the start to a new year, DPHA wants to remind our members of the menu of sponsorship opportunities available to showrooms, manufacturers and representatives. Each level of sponsorship provides different marketing benefits. However, the most significant benefit that you receive when electing to serve as a DPHA corporate sponsor is the statement you make to the industry. Your sponsorship tells the industry that you believe in DPHA's mission and programs. You are not only talking the talk, you are walking the walk to enhance professionalism and improve quality in the decorative plumbing and hardware industry.

      PLATINUM ($11,000)

  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • A corporate/product profile in Newsleak
  • Marquis signage at DPHA events
  • Recognition in each updated and new installment of the DPHA Education Program
  • First opportunity to reserve display space at the Product Showcase
  • Two complimentary conference registrations
  • Four ads in Connections
  • Corporate profile in Newsleak

      GOLD ($6,500)

  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Marquis signage at DPHA events
  • Recognition in each updated and new installment of the DPHA Education Program
  • Second opportunity to reserve display space at the Product Showcase
  • One complimentary conference registration
  • Two ads in Connections

      SILVER ($3,750)

  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Marquis signage at DPHA events
  • Third opportunity to reserve display space at the Product Showcase

      BRONZE ($1,750)

  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Fourth opportunity to reserve display space at the Product Showcase

      Members that are interested in keeping their name and web sites in front of the most influential members of the DPH industry continuously and want to take advantage of DPHA sponsorship opportunities should contact Jim Babbitt at jbabbitt@dpha.net or call him at 224-999-0434. You can also download the 2017 Sponsorship Opportunities Form simply by clicking here.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/13/2017




      DPHA Heads Back to the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass for the 2017 Annual Conference & Product Showcase

      The 2017 Annual DPHA Conference returns to the beautiful Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, AZ October 11-14, 2017 (20 minutes from the Phoenix Airport). DPHA members that participated in the 2013 conference will recall that the resort is located in the Sonoran Desert on an expanse of rugged Arizona landscape where the ancient vistas, mountains and roaming wild horses remain untouched. The first-class amenities include two 18-hole golf courses, the 17,500 square foot Aji spa, complimentary guest room wireless Internet access, 7 restaurants (including the only five-star restaurant in Phoenix) and 4 bars.

      It's a first-class resort in every way except the room price. DPHA members will enjoy a $179 per night (plus tax) rate during the DPHA Conference.

      Additional details will be forthcoming in the next several weeks, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email jbabbitt@dpha.net with any questions.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/06/2017




      Why We Deserve Your Support in 2017

      DPHA dues notices will be issued during the first week in January. We are confident that we will continue to deliver the return on your dues investment that DPHA members expect and deserve. Here are just some of the things you can look forward to from your DPHA membership in 2017:

  • The industry's best conference where you not only obtain guidance on how to make your business better, more profitable and rewarding, but also network with the best minds in the industry.

  • The industry's only program that offers formal recognition for decorative plumbing and hardware professionals while boosting staff morale, helping team building and providing defined careers paths for your sales teams.

  • Sales guidance, industry developments and new product announcements weekly in the industry's best weekly eletter, Connections.

  • Updates to existing education program manuals that you can use to train new team members and refresh the skills of existing ones.

  • New/revised education training manuals to help expand your team's skill and provide opportunities to increase merchandise categories.

  • A Product Showcase which is the only venue to reach the leading DPH decision-makers in North America while seeing the latest products offered by trend-setting and market-leading manufacturers.

  • The best network of decorative plumbing and hardware minds in the world.

  • A series of regional meetings that bring networking and practical education to the local level, allowing your team to bond to their industry and learn from peers.

      We are confident you will agree that retaining your membership in DPHA provides a return that you will be hard pressed to achieve elsewhere.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/06/2017




      Going to KBIS 2017? Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Manufacturers

      If you are going to KBIS next week (January 10-12, 2017) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, please make sure that your tour of the exhibit concourse includes the following DPHA members:
  • AMBA Products - S6068
  • American Standard - W1547
  • Aptations - W1044
  • Artisan Manufacturing Corp. - W1287
  • Berenson Corp. - W1481
  • Brizo - W1928
  • Delta Faucet Co. - W2129
  • DXV by American Standard - W1547
  • Elkay - W355
  • Everpure - W1683
  • Fairmont Designs - W929
  • Franke Kitchen Systems - W2185
  • Grohe - W1547
  • Hardware Resources - W1157
  • Infinity Drain - S4434
  • Kallista - W2000
  • KWC - W2185
  • Lenova - W143
  • LIXIL Water Technology - W1547
  • Native Trails - S4608
  • OMNIA Industries - S5218
  • QuickDrain USA - S6030
  • Richelieu Hardware - S5220
  • Robern - W2000
  • ROHL LLC - W1149
  • Ronbow Corporation - W371
  • The Galley - S4644
  • Top Knobs - W1157
  • TOTO USA - W1329
  • Valley Acrylic - S6007
  • ZEN Design by Solua - S4567

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 01/06/2017




      The Reasons Why Associated Sales Was Named 2016 Representative Agency of the Year

      The DPHA Representative Agency of the Year Award recognizes firms for their:

  • Training programs
  • Customer service
  • Involvement and support of the industry
  • Professionalism
  • Demonstrated ability to create value for lines and showrooms

      In each of the above criteria, Associated Sales has excelled. The agency's staff spends countless hours training designers and builders about the products they represent, which in turn enables those designers and builders to be well versed when they come to DPHA member showrooms. Associated Sales takes care of the little details - helping to assure displays are current and installed properly, and conducting product knowledge sessions after these new displays are in place. They also tailor their training so that it can be customized for an individual or for a group.

      Associated Sales also has both inside and outside personnel to better service their showroom partners. Obtaining information for RGAs, products, technical requirements, quotes and order tracking is only a phone call away to Associated Sales, and this most certainly helps in saving showrooms both time and hassles. The agency is extremely active in the industry. It participates with ASID, NKBA AIA, and NARI, while helping to train remodelers which results in additional support for showrooms. Associated Sales also conducts CEU events with dealers and are actively involved on the Board level with industry organizations. Few requests are out of bounds, in fact, Associated Sales once drove a sink from California to Arizona to help a showroom out.

      Testimony to the quality of service provided to both manufacturers and showroom can be seen by the longevity of Associated's customer relationships. The agency has represented four of its major lines for more than 20 years and has repeatedly helped their clients improve their marketing efforts and outreach. The staff of 10 professionals are passionate about what they do every day and they take great pride in their ability to exceed both manufacturer and showroom expectations. DPHA is honored to have Associated Sales named as its 2016 Representative Agency of the Year.

      www.dpha.net


      Posted 12/30/2016




      A Long Overdue Thank You to Our Education Committee Connections' Authors!

      We know from the numerous feedback our readers have given us that mos