Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Reasons Why Accurate Lock & Hardware Was Named DPHA's 2017 Customer Service Department of the Year

Accurate Lock and Hardware Founder and Chairman Ron Salvatore likes to tell a story about a customer who called at 4 p.m. and needed a custom piece of hardware to be made immediately and shipped for arrival the next day.  Accurate was a new company at that time, but every team member stayed late and met the customer's deadline.  The custom piece shipped that night. 
 
The ability and willingness to go above and beyond and even exceed the most demanding of expectations remains a hallmark of Accurate Lock and Hardware to this day, and that is one of the reasons why DPHA honored the company with the 2017 Customer Service Department of the Year Award.
 
Accurate Lock and Hardware is a go-to resource for DPHA members that sell hardware.  Their product quality is first rate.  Their sales engineers and account representatives have decades of experience and are well versed in CAD, Solidworks and other manufacturing-based disciplines.  The expertise of the staff helps assure that even incorrectly specified orders are corrected before a product is made. 
 
Every member of the Accurate team must also work in the factory, which helps to assure that they know how Accurate's products are made.  This experience enables every person to confidently answer customer questions and provides showrooms the ability to partner with Accurate to develop custom solutions. 
 
Accurate understands that mistakes, however rare, are also opportunities to shine.  One showroom that nominated Accurate for the Customer Service of the Year Award wrote, "I had an overdue P.O. for custom-made pivots and received a revised ship date.  The products did not arrive on time.  When I called a second time, Accurate found my order had it out the door in 24 hours and shipped it overnight at their own expense." 
 
Everyone on Accurate's team has the ability to walk a customer through all of their lock functions so they can ensure that orders are correct.  Not only are Accurate team members knowledgeable, they are friendly and proactive.  Accurate's team, the company's commitment to technology and their passion ensure that customers receive the right solution for even the most challenging need.  It's not uncommon for Accurate's customers to say, "How did you do that?"
Again, our congratulations to the entire team at Accurate Lock and Hardware!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Beautiful Story About Christmas Giving

In keeping with the Christmas season and the spirit of giving, we came across this very delightful story in the December 14th issue of Long Island Newsday, which just so happens to include a DPHA member, Jonathan Brill of Infinity Drain (and pictured above on the left).  The article read as follows:

A Long Island entrepreneur is trying his best to provide children in Puerto Rico with a little bit of joy over the holidays.

Kevin Donnelly, 48, of Lido Beach, has set a goal to collect 10,000 toys to be delivered on the day of Los Reyes Magos, or Three King's Day, which is a major holiday in Puerto Rico, celebrated Jan. 6.

Donnelly was inspired to help after learning that many children were still living in shelters months after Hurricane Maria. He turned to his network of other Long Island entrepreneurs and business owners for help.

First, he asked everyone in the Long Island chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), a global peer networking group of which he is a member, to bring a toy donation to the group's Christmas party.

"When I started, the first couple days it was just a local thing," Donnelly said, but soon other YPO chapters across the country and another group, Entrepreneurs'

Working primarily with two other Long Island members of YPO, Jonathan Brill and Brad Caracciola, Donnelly called the mission Operation Toy Story and launched a Facebook page, website and Amazon gift registry. From Amazon, people can purchase toys and send them directly to Operation Toy Story's shipping headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, where a company called Cool Transport Jax will handle shipping to Puerto Rico.

"I just kind of made a number up, and said we're shooting for 10,000 gifts," Donnelly said. The group is about halfway to its goal overall, he estimated this week.

About 500 gifts were collected on Long Island, said Brill, president at Infinity Drain, a drain manufacturer.

"Personally, this time of year, it's better to give than to receive," said Brill, 45, of Cold Spring Harbor. "To me, this is the ultimate gift."

On Wednesday, Caracciola's company, Ground Force Logistics, provided freight transportation to get the New York donations to Jacksonville. The packing boxes had red and green bows tacked on for a touch of Christmas spirit, Donnelly said. 

Anyone who wants to donate can still do so if they ship directly to Jacksonville and the shipment arrives by Dec. 24. The address is available at OperationToyStory.com.  

The gifts will be sent to Puerto Rico by boat starting Dec. 20, with another shipment going out a week later, Donnelly said.

Once in Puerto Rico, the gifts will be distributed by staff at Gersh Academy, a school for children on the autism spectrum, Donnelly said. Gersh Academy was founded by Kevin Gersh, whom Donnelly knows through YPO, and has two locations on Long Island and one in Puerto Rico.

Donnelly is still hopeful they can reach 10,000 toys. He said any late donations will still be sent to Puerto Rico.

"We still have a couple days to go and stuff is coming in heavy," he said. 

Just another wonderful example of a DPHA member giving back.  Thank you, Jonathan, let us know how it all turned out.  And a Merry Christmas to all!

Going to KBIS 2018? Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Member Exhibitors


If you are going to KBIS, January 9-11, 2018 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 - S4784
  • American Standard - W1585
  • Amerock - S4200
  • Aptations - W845
  • Artisan Manufacturing - W1893
  • Ashley Norton - S5008
  • Berenson Corp. - W1813
  • Brizo - W1928
  • Danze - W1570
  • Delta Faucet Company - W2129
  • Du Verre Hardware - W1355
  • DXV - W1585
  • Easy Drain USA - S3288
  • ELKAY - W428
  • Everpure - W745
  • Fairmont Designs - W957
  • Fleurco Products - W2391
  • Franke Kitchen Systems - W901
  • Galley, The - S5815
  • GROHE - W1585
  • Hardware Resources - W1355
  • Infinity Drain - S3835
  • Kraus USA - S4431, S5438
  • Lenova - S3805
  • LIXIL Water Technology - W1585
  • OMNIA Industries - S5418
  • Palazzani USA - S4461
  • Robern - W2000
  • ROHL - W2371
  • RUBI/Kasa Distribution - #S3875
  • Top Knobs - W1355
  • TOTO USA - W1329

Friday, December 22, 2017

In the Spirit of the Season

It's that time of year again when we anxiously await St. Nick's arrival and spend time with our family and friends, celebrating the holiday season. The entire DPHA staff wishes our Connections readers the happiest of holidays and best wishes for a healthy and profitable new year.

Please note that a couple of elves have already kidnapped your intrepid Connections editor and plan on keeping him indisposed for a while. Connections will return next Friday, December 29th.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Let's Try This Again! The Reasons Why Premier Bath & Kitchen (Walnut Creek, CA) Was Named DPHA 2017 Showroom of the Year

Apologies are certainly due to our readers with regards to the article about Premier Bath and Kitchen (Walnut Creek, CA) in last week's issue of Connections.  There were more than a few typos and errors in the story, which in some small part should serve as an example as to why you should avoid proof-reading things at 34,000 feet in the air.  Therefore, we have made the necessary corrections and are starting things off again this week with the revised news item.

As was already related last week, the criteria used to select the DPHA Showroom of the Year are:
  • Training programs
  • Marketing programs
  • Customer service
  • Involvement and support of the industry
  • Merchandising
  • Innovative presentation of decorative plumbing and hardware products within the showroom
Premier Bath and Kitchen's Walnut Creek showroom is a show stopper.  There is no doubt that every detail was considered in the design and development of this exemplary facility that showcases the best our industry has to offer.  Vignettes are carefully curated with tile, lighting, and soft goods that tap the imagination and tug at the heart strings. The working kitchen is complemented with custom cabinetry, tile and high-end appliances.  

The physical beauty of the space is taken up several notches by the company's commitment to outstanding customer service.  From the receptionist that greets visitors, sales consultants who guide customers on their purchasing journeys to the warehouse team that inspect products prior to delivery, every team member understands that they are in the customer service business and their job is to exceed the customer's expectations.  

Premier Bath and Kitchen uses the DPHA training modules as a core component of their professional development program.  Senior managers direct training using both the modules and the included exercises along with encouraging their team to participate in factory tours and training classes.  The effort has definitely provided a very attractive return on investment for customers and the company.

Premier Bath and Kitchen is also an active member of its community and industry. In addition to participating in DPHA, the company supports NKBA, ASID and NARI wherever their showrooms are located.  

The company attributes much of its success to its social media presence on Facebook, Pinterest, House and Instagram, as well as hosting designer-and-dinner meetings and CEU presentations for the design community.

A stunning showroom combined with an expert staff that understands not only product but consumer needs, wants and desires, certainly makes Premier Bath and Kitchen a worthy recipient of DPHA's 2017 Showroom of the Year Award.

Go Ahead, We Triple Dog Dare You!

Many of our readers are under the impression that the DPHA Education Manuals are for people just starting out in our industry. Although that is certainly the target audience for many of our manuals, newcomers are not the only audience or the only demographic that can benefit from the content, sales tips and technical guidance offered in DPHA Education Manuals.

The manuals help showroom sales professionals become better. Taking a second or even third look through the material helps jog memories that make you a better and more trusted advisor to your clients.

The DPHA Education Manuals are also the source for the DPHA Recognition Program, which recognizes DPH showroom professionals for their product knowledge and sales expertise. The program is available only to DPHA members. Each Recognition Program exam is 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 issues certificates to those participants who successfully pass all of the plumbing, hardware and general knowledge programs electronically. For more information on the DPHA Recognition Program, visit the member's side of www.dpha.net.

So how about trying something during a few of those "kick back" moments during the holidays? Several people (both members and non-members alike) have tried taking our Recognition Program sample test over the past several months, and no one has come even close to passing the test, which includes one question from 21 of our current 22 Recognition Program tests. Needless to say, the results have been entertaining, fun and informative. So go ahead and  click here, and see how you do.

As long as you enter your email address correctly, you should get an email almost immediately letting you know your results, and you may take the test as often as you like. The results will be known only to yourself and me (Jim Babbitt), and I know how to keep a secret. On the other hand, if someone successfully completes the sample test on their first attempt, I will be sure to announce that fact in an upcoming issue of Connections.  So sit back, grab another cup of coffee and see how you do. We triple dog dare you!
 

Going to KBIS 2018? Make Sure Your Tour Includes DPHA Member Exhibitors

If you are going to KBIS, January 9-11, 2018 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 - S4784
  • American Standard - W1585
  • Amerock - S4200
  • Aptations - W845
  • Artisan Manufacturing - W1893
  • Ashley Norton - S5008
  • Berenson Corp. - W1813
  • Brizo - W1928
  • Danze - W1570
  • Delta Faucet Company - W2129
  • Du Verre Hardware - W1355
  • DXV - W1585
  • Easy Drain USA - S3288
  • ELKAY - W428
  • Everpure - W745
  • Fairmont Designs - W957
  • Fleurco Products - W2391
  • Franke Kitchen Systems - W901
  • Galley, The - S5815
  • GROHE - W1585
  • Hardware Resources - W1355
  • Infinity Drain - S3835
  • Kraus USA - S4431, S5438
  • Lenova - S3805
  • LIXIL Water Technology - W1585
  • OMNIA Industries - S5418
  • Palazzani USA - S4461
  • Robern - W2000
  • ROHL - W2371
  • Top Knobs - W1355
  • TOTO USA - W1329

Remember, Your AmazonSmile Purchases Can Also Contribute to the Council of Fellows' Scholarship Fund


We wanted to remind you last minute holiday shoppers who use Amazon about an announcement we made earlier in the year regarding AmazonSmile and the DPHA Council of Fellows Alberto Comini Memorial Scholarship Fund.  We have made it simpler for you to donate to this worthy charity while at the same time costing you absolutely nothing.  If you are already an Amazon.com member, you can make contributions simply by purchasing products and services through the AmazonSmile website (click here or on the image above for the DPHA AmazonSmile link). Some often asked FAQ's about this website are:
  • What is AmazonSmile? AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the DPHA Council of Fellows' Scholarship Fund every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the DPHA Council of Fellows' Scholarhship Fund (or any other charitable organization you choose).
  • How do I shop at AmazonSmile? To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. 
  • Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations? Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible. 
  • Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile? Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
  • How do I select the DPHA Council of Fellows' Scholarship Fund to support when shopping on AmazonSmile? By either clicking on the link above, or on your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select DPHA Council of Fellows' Scholarship Fund to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.
  • How much of my purchase does Amazon donate? The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, AmazonSmile may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to Fidelco. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details. 
  • Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile? Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you. 
  • How can I learn more about AmazonSmile? Please see complete AmazonSmile program details.
The percentage total of 0.5 may not seem like a lot, but since AmazonSmile's beginning near the end of 2013, they have sent almost $70 million to registered charities.  So if you are already an Amazon.com member, please use AmazonSmile instead, make the DPHA Council of Fellows' Scholarship Fund your charity of choice, and help send children and grandchildren of fellow association members to college! 
 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Reasons Why Premier Bath & Kitchen (Walnut Creek, CA) Was Named DPHA 2017 Showroom of the Year

The criteria used to select the DPHA Showroom of the Year are:
  • Training programs
  • Marketing programs
  • Customer service
  • Involvement and support of the industry
  • Merchandising
  • Innovative presentation of decorative plumbing and hardware products within the showroom
Premier Bath & Kitchen's Walnut Creek showroom is a show stopper.  There is no doubt that every detail was considered in the design and development of this exemplary facility that showcases the best our industry has to offer.  Vignettes are carefully curated with tile, lighting, and soft goods that tap the imagination and tug at the heart strings. The working kitchen is complemented with custom cabinetry, tile and high-end appliances.  

The physical beauty of the space is taken up several notches by the company's commitment to outstanding customer service.  From the receptionist that greets visitors, sales consultants who guide customers on their purchasing journeys to the warehouse team that inspect products prior to delivery, every team member understands that they are in the customer service business and their job is to exceed the customer's expectations.  

Premier Bath & Kitchen uses the DPHA training modules as a core component of their professional development program.  Senior managers direct training using both the modules and the included exercises along with encouraging their team to participate in factory tours and training classes.  The effort has definitely provided a very attractive return on investment for customers and the company.

Premier Bath & Kitchen is also an active member of its community and industry. In addition to participating in DPHA, the company supports NKBA, ASID and NARI wherever their showrooms are located.  

The company attributes much of its success to its social media presence on Facebook, Pinterest, House and Instagram, as well as hosting designer-and-dinner meetings and CEU presentations for the design community.

A stunning showroom combined with an expert staff that understands not only product but consumer needs, wants and desires, certainly makes Premier Bath & Kitchen a worthy recipient of DPHA's 2017 Showroom of the Year Award.

The 17-in-17 Program Recognizes Lexie White from Miller's Fine Hardware in West Palm Beach, FL

The DPHA 17-in-17 Program recognizes up-and-coming influencers in the decorative plumbing and hardware business. This program will profile 17 DPHA members with 10 or less years of experience. Each month from June through the end of 2017, members will be inducted into the 17-in-17 club, and their stories will be featured in DPHA's weekly newsletter, Connections. This week we recognize Lexie White, a sales associate at Miller's Fine Hardware in West Palm Beach, FL. 
 
Lexie started at Miller's Fine Hardware four years ago.  Within a year, she was promoted to a sales position and only a few months later took over as the lead salesperson at Miller's West Palm Beach location.  According to one of her nominators, Lexie is a willing and enthusiastic student who has done a great job learning the intricacies of both high-end plumbing and hardware sales, especially when dealing with the trade.  Additionally, another nominator notes that her professionalism while working with manufacturers and representatives is remarkable, and that her background in hospitality and marketing helps explain her amazing ability to network with designers.  
  
Connections: How long have you been in the DPH industry?

Lexie: 4 years  

Connections: What has surprised you about the industry?

Lexie: My background is in restaurant hospitality and marketing.  I fell into this industry not having any experience or expectations of what it really was.  I was very surprised by how vast the DPH industry is and what it encompasses.  I was also happily surprised by how many people were willing to mentor me and guide me through my first few years in this business.

Connections: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in our industry?

Lexie: In the beginning, it was definitely the overwhelming amount of information that I needed to learn.  Now it's keeping up with evolving products and trends to ensure I have accurate knowledge on all the lines I sell.

Connections: What do you enjoy about being in this industry?

Lexie: Every day is unique.  Working with so many different clients has been a great experience as well as an excellent learning tool for me.  It has really helped me navigate products and personalities.  It also keeps me engaged and loving what I do.

Connections: Anything else you would like to add?

Lexie: I am honored to be nominated.  I never thought I would be where I am today in this industry.  I am humbled and very grateful. 

The Best Bang for Your Buck? Become a 2018 DPHA Corporate Sponsor


As we prepare to welcome in 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
  • 25% discount on Newsleak and Connections advertising
  • A corporate/product profile in Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Product spotlight in Connections
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • 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
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference prospectus
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference program
  • Profile in the conference program
  • Product spotlight in the conference program
  • Four ads in Connections
GOLD ($6,500)
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • 25% discount on Newsleak and Connections advertising
  • A corporate/product profile in Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Product spotlight in Connections
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • 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 registrations
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference prospectus
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference program
  • Two ads in Connections
SILVER ($3,750)
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • 25% discount on Newsleak and Connections advertising
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Product spotlight in Connections
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • Recognition in each updated and new installment of the DPHA Education Program
  • Third opportunity to reserve display space at the Product Showcase
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference prospectus
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference program
BRONZE ($1,750)
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Newsleak
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor in each Connections
  • Product spotlight in Connections
  • Recognition as a corporate sponsor on the Web Page
  • Recognition in each updated and new installment of the DPHA Education Program
  • Fourth opportunity to reserve display space at the Product Showcase
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference prospectus
  • Corporate sponsorship recognition in the conference program
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 2018 Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities Form simply by clicking here.
 

Take Note! The Dealers' Choice Award Voting Ends on Friday, December 15

DPHA manufacturers are market and design leaders. Their offerings represent best-in-class products that DPHA believes are recognition-worthy.  That's why the DPHA Awards Committee added the new Dealer's Choice Award last year. This award - which for 2016 was the Brizo Litze Single Handle Lav Faucet - was added to place new products in front of the staffs of every DPHA dealer.   
   
Every product that was submitted this year for the 2017 Product of the Year is now eligible to win the Dealer's Choice Award.  Voting opened on Wednesday, November 1, and will run through next Friday, December 15.  All dealer showroom staff members who have a DPHA login will be eligible to vote - one vote per person.  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 jbabbitt@dpha.net.  The winner will be announced during the opening session of the 2018 Conference.

To refresh your memory on the various products that were nominated this year and therefore are eligible to win, click here to download a copy of the 2017 Product of the Year Guide.  Participating in the Dealers Choice Product of the Year Award voting is easy, takes just a few minutes of your time and is fun! 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.  Please make sure to do so no later than next Friday, December 15th! 
 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Stand Up and Be Recognized, Fall 2017 Recognition Program Graduates!


DPHA is pleased to honor the Fall 2017 (August, September, October and November) graduating class of DPH professionals who have successfully passed all of the new Recognition Program examinations. They are:   

Bath & Kitchen Category:
  • Kourtney Camp, ProSource
  • James Dozois, The Sales Group
  • David Genest, Robinson Supply/The Bath Splash Showroom
  • Courtney Kendrick, ProSource
Hardware Category:
  • Kourtney Camp, ProSource
  • James Dozois, The Sales Group
  • David Genest, Robinson Supply/The Bath Splash Showroom
  • Courtney Kendrick, ProSource
  • Ryan McDonald, Simon's Hardware & Bath
  • Laura Moore, ProSource
General Knowledge Category:
  • Kourtney Camp, ProSource
  • James Dozois, The Sales Group
  • David Genest, Robinson Supply/The Bath Splash Showroom
  • Courtney Kendrick, ProSource
  • Laura Moore, ProSource
Special Acknowledgement to those who have completed all THREE categories - Bath & Kitchen, Hardware and General Knowledge:
  • Kourtney Camp, ProSource
  • James Dozois, The Sales Group
  • David Genest, Robinson Supply/The Bath Splash Showroom
  • Courtney Kendrick, ProSource
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. 

Additionally, the Education Committee, under the leadership of Fred Felder (Simon's Supply) and Traci D'Antoni (D'Antoni Sales Group), along with the Recognition Program Subcommittee headed by Jerry Williams (WMS Decorative Resource), introduced earlier this year a new benefit for the Recognition Program participants - anyone who successfully completes all 22 testing modules in 2017 will receive a desk name plate announcing their accomplishment. 

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.

Blake Rivas (TCB Sales) Recognized as 2017 DPHA Representative Professional of the Year

Blake Rivas (TCB Sales) was honored as the 2017 DPHA Representative Professional of the Year award winner at  the 2017 DPHA annual conference in Chandler, AZ. The Award recognizes a DPHA representative professional for his or her outstanding contributions to advance the decorative plumbing and hardware industry based on the following criteria:
  • Degree of involvement in DPHA activities
  • Personal achievements in the industry
  • Pursuit of personal improvement and education
  • Job performance and accomplishments
  • Involvement in, and support of, other DPH-related organizations
  • Public recognition of a deed or accomplishment, which may or may not pertain to the DPH industry but reflects favorably on the individual as a DPHA member.
In each of the criteria, Blake Revis proves to be a deserving recipient.  Blake excels at training and is a certified CEU presenter.  Showroom owners rave about her ability to connect with sales staff and the design community.  She also recognizes the value of plant tours to connect customers with her manufacturers and arranging these trips is one of her distinctive competencies.  Another primary reason why DPHA honored Blake as its Representative Professional of the Year is that Blake not only does what most people believe reps are supposed to do, but she does those things so very, very well.  She promotes her partner manufacturers' products.  She effectively trains showroom team members on why and how to sell the products she represents, while also calling on the trade and design community.  And of course, she promptly takes care of problems that arise while making the lives of her customers' easier.  For these reasons and many more, Blake Rivas is indeed a most deserving recipient of the DPHA 2017 Representative Professional of the Year Award.

Missed the 2017 Conference? Don't Miss the Content


So many DPHA members were thoroughly impressed with the quality of content presented at the 2017 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 (unfortunately, we were not allowed to video record Doug Stephens' presentation):
  • 2017 Product of the Year Awards
  • Richard Hadden: Contented Cows Give Better Milk
  • Chris Ramey: Five Commandments to be a Customer-Centric Company
  • 2017 Saturday Awards Luncheon and Professionals of the Year Awards

To view the videos, log on to the membership-only side of www.dpha.net, click on the 2017 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


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fun Facts About Thanksgiving That You Might Not Have Known


  • The Pilgrims did not invite the Indians to join them at their first Thanksgiving because neither group liked or trusted one another.
  • Turkey was not on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Instead the colonial settlers celebrated the harvest by dining on different types of fowl, flint corn, cod, bass and other types of fish.
  • Until 1863, there were only two national holidays - July 4th and George Washington's birthday. That changed when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be held on the last day of November. Despite Lincoln's pronouncement, not all states were eager to adopt Thanksgiving because some thought the national government was exercising too much power in declaring a national holiday. Additionally, southern states were hesitant to observe what was largely a New England practice.
  • We can thank Sarah Josepha Hale for convincing Lincoln to act. She campaigned for 20 years to have Thanksgiving designated a national holiday, urging five different presidents, governors, congressmen and others to celebrate the Pilgrim's first harvest. Why has turkey been the main course as opposed to other types of protein? Perhaps the holiday's chief lobbyist had something to do with that as well. In addition to championing Thanksgiving as a national holiday, Hale is best known for writing Mary had a Little Lamb.
  • Thanksgiving was not always held on the fourth Thursday in November. The date was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help extend the holiday shopping season. When Roosevelt changed the date to the fourth Thursday of November, many Republicans became incensed and would not abide by the new date. Instead, Republicans elected to have their own Thanksgiving on the last day of November per Abraham Lincoln's dictate. Wow, how times have changed!
  • In 2007, President George W. Bush pardoned two turkeys named May and Flower, continuing a tradition of pardoning Thanksgiving turkeys that began in 1947.
  • Speaking of turkey, Americans will consume approximately 535 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • Baby turkeys are called poults. Only male turkeys gobble and therefore are called gobblers.
  • The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday largely because stores hope the busy shopping day will take them out of the red and generate profits. Black Friday has been a tradition since the 1930s.
  • The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was held in 1924. The Snoopy balloon has appeared in the parade more than any other character. The Beagle Union gave this fact its highest praise, a four paws-up rating.
  • Macy's was not the first department store to sponsor a Thanksgiving Day parade. That honor goes to Gimbels in Philadelphia who held the nation's first parade in 1920. Today the parade is known at the 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Because white meat is the most popular part of the bird, turkeys have been bred to have huge breasts. This genetic engineering has had a downside of sorts. Today's domestic turkeys are unable to mate due to the fact that their large breasts prevent males from mounting females. As such, most domestic turkeys are artificially inseminated.
  • Connections is being published this week on Thanksgiving morning (Thursday) instead of Friday afternoon since your editor anticipates being too stuffed to work tomorrow.
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday everyone - Connections will be back on December 1!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are currently celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday, but wanted to take a brief moment to say to you, our valued DPHA member, thank you. We humbly extend our gratitude to all of you for allowing us to be your professional trade association.

During this season of thanks, we can't express enough just how much we appreciate your support and the trust that you have bestowed upon us. Our promise to you is to continue to provide exceptional experiences, a vibrant community and essential tools that help make you and your organization more successful.

We encourage you to take advantage of a vast range of member benefits:
  • Engage with your peers through our online communities and social media (Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and Instagram) and the DPHA web site, www.dpha.net.
  • Engage with your peers face-to-face at the DPHA annual conference.
  • Improve your staff's performance by signing them up to receive our weekly issues of Connections.
  • Train your staff to not only understand the technical and functional superiority of products sold in your showroom, but also the special skills required to sell premium and luxury products by taking advantage of the DPHA Education Program. It is exclusive to DPHA members and it's free. Download the manuals from www.dpha.net.
  • Improve employee retention and performance by enrolling your team members in the DPHA Recognition Program. Another DPHA exclusive, the Recognition Program is the only medium in our industry that recognizes showroom sales professionals for their technical knowledge and sales acumen.
  • Use video to your advantage by capitalizing on the DPHA video library of products and technical information produced by DPHA manufacturers. Available only to DPHA members.
  • Provide answers to the most common questions your customers will ask on your web site by taking advantage of the DPHA message brochures, available on the members' only side of www.dpha.net.
Please accept our wishes of health, happiness and continued success and enjoy this time with your friends and loved ones.

Contact me (Jim Babbitt) at jbabbitt@dpha.net or call me at 224-999-0434 with any questions about your membership

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Tom Bryant (BainUltra) Recognized as 2017 DPHA Manufacturer Professional of the Year

Tom Bryant (BainUltra) was honored as the 2017 DPHA Manufacturer Professional of the Year award winner at  the 2017 DPHA annual conference in Chandler, AZ. The Award recognizes a DPHA manufacturer professional for his or her outstanding contributions to advance the decorative plumbing and hardware industry based on the following criteria:
  • Degree of involvement in DPHA activities
  • Personal achievements in the industry
  • Pursuit of personal improvement and education
  • Job performance and accomplishments
  • Involvement in, and support of, other DPH-related organizations
  • Public recognition of a deed or accomplishment, which may or may not pertain to the DPH industry but reflects favorably on the individual as a DPHA member.
Tom Bryant has lived and breathed decorative plumbing for more than 30 years.  He is the rare combination of a great sales person who understands the inner workings of the products he sells.  That's why Tom has built the well-deserved reputation as a professional who is a "go-to" resource for dealers, manufacturers and representatives.  Showroom managers and owners rave about Tom's ability to train their sales staff not only in product knowledge, but also in proven sales techniques that resonate with luxury consumers.  Tom recognizes that if showroom professionals are more skilled in the overall sales process, he and his company benefit because those sales professionals will feel more confident selling his products.
 
Tom's background of working in a showroom, serving as a representative and working for different manufacturers truly provides him with a global view of the industry and a unique ability to look at each segment through a personalized lens.  One of the qualities Tom possesses that makes him a valuable partner and team member is his humility.  He is truly grateful for the opportunities that the industry has provided and he willingly and appreciatively gives back whenever possible.  That humility led Tom to develop a consultative selling syllabus for the decorative plumbing and hardware industry that he shares with his showroom partners.  He offers guidance to present value propositions - e.g., answer the question why someone should buy from this showroom instead of online or at the discounter down the street, how to greet and actively listen to customers, up-selling and asking for the order. 
 
Tom Bryant's career has been marked by forging nearly unbreakable bonds between all three legs of the decorative plumbing and hardware stool.  For his professionalism, positivism, knowledge, expertise and humility, DPHA was delighted to name Tom its 2017 Manufacturing Professional of the Year.

We Toast the 2017 Council of Fellows Scholarship Foundation Winners


The DPHA Council of Fellows Jack Fase Memorial Scholarship awarded two $3,000 educational grants to Colin Raposo, son of Robert Raposo (Group 2C, Inc.), and Isabella Villa, daughter of Edgar Villa (California Faucets) at the 2017 DPHA Annual Conference and Product Showcase.  
 
Colin Raposo is in his junior year at Tufts University where he is majoring in Biology. In high school, Colin was an A+ student, primarily taking Honors and College AP courses. He also was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, was captain of his cross-county team which won the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) D3 state championship and played in his high school's marching band.  At Tufts, Colin is hoping to earn his PhD in the biomedical field while at the same time competing on the varsity cross-country and track-and-field teams, where he has twice been named a member of the National All-Academic team.
 

Isabella Villa is a sophomore at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA where she is majoring in Economics.  She too is an accomplished student athlete, having played on her high school's varsity water polo team for all four years, and then playing on Pitzer College's water polo team her freshman year where she earned a 2017 ACWPC All-Academic Award.  In high school, Isabella was an honor roll student in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and she was all recognized in her graduating class as a 2016 Distinguished Scholar with Honors.
 
Renamed for 2018, the DPHA Alberto Comini Memorial Scholarship offers a significant educational grant to two children or grandchildren of DPHA members to help pursue undergraduate or post graduate degrees. The Council of Fellows established a foundation to manage the scholarship program. At the 2017 DPHA Annual Conference and Product Showcase, the Council of Fellows was able to add $9,100 to the scholarship endowment. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who purchased raffle tickets and donated items for the raffle.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Dealers' Choice Award Voting Open and Running Through December 15


DPHA manufacturers are market and design leaders. Their offerings represent best-in-class products that DPHA believes are recognition-worthy.  That's why the DPHA Awards Committee added the new Dealer's Choice Award last year. This award - which for 2016 was the Brizo Litze Single Handle Lav Faucet - was added to place new products in front of the staffs of every DPHA dealer.   
   
Every product that was submitted this year for the 2017 Product of the Year is now eligible to win the Dealer's Choice Award.  Voting opened on Wednesday, November 1, and will run through December 15.  All dealer showroom staff members who have a DPHA login will be eligible to vote - one vote per person.  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 2018 Conference.
 
To refresh your memory on the various products that were nominated this year and therefore are eligible to win, click here to download a copy of the 2017 Product of the Year Guide.  Participating in the Dealers Choice Product of the Year Award voting is easy, takes just a few minutes of your time and is fun! 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!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tonya Martin (ProSource) Recognized as 2017 DPHA Showroom Professional of the Year

Tonya Martin (ProSource) was announced as the 2017 DPHA Showroom Professional of the Year award winner at this year's annual conference last month in Chandler, AZ. The Award recognizes a DPHA showroom professional for his or her outstanding contributions to advance the decorative plumbing and hardware industry based on the following criteria:
  • Degree of involvement in DPHA activities
  • Personal achievements in the industry
  • Pursuit of personal improvement and education
  • Job performance and accomplishments
  • Involvement in, and support of, other DPH-related organizations
  • Public recognition of a deed or accomplishment, which may or may not pertain to the DPH industry but reflects favorably on the individual as a DPHA member.
In each of the criteria, Tonya Martin stands out.  Along with her husband Grover, the Martins have opened five showrooms that are not only gorgeous and incredible for their South Carolinian clientele, but ones that would stand out in any market in North America.  Tonya has boundless energy and unbridled enthusiasm for the industry.  ProSource team members are frequent attendees at DPHA and other industry conferences, and Tonya has encouraged all of her team members to participate in the DPHA Recognition Program.
 
Tonya has a naturally curious and creative mindset.  She is constantly looking at innovative ways to promote her brand and engage her clientele to make them feel special. She and her team are highly involved in their local community and well known in the markets that they serve, especially among architects and designers.
 
Another reason why DPHA honored Tonya as its Showroom Professional of the Year is her willingness to share her expertise and energy to help others. She leads by example and her no-nonsense approach to problem solving is both enlightened and refreshing.  DPHA was honored to recognize Tonya for all that she has accomplished professionally and her contributions to our industry.