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Editorial_PhotoHello friends: I am honored to be the current chairperson of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). I assumed the role during the HPBExpo in Salt Lake City this past March, and will be in this position for one year.

It is quite a privilege and a little daunting as well. I have served on the Mid-Atlantic HPBA affiliate board for 12 years. I joined the HPBA national board five years ago, and what an experience it has been.

My interest in the hearth industry started while I was selling Carrier Air Conditioning to Carrier Dealers for Peirce Phelps Distributing Co. We decided that hearth could be a perfect counter cyclical business for us. That was 14 years ago, and from the minute I started calling on hearth dealers, I was hooked. I found them to be unassuming, under-served, and in general the nicest, most authentic folks I had ever met.

Since then, I have grown to respect their work ethic, skills, and resilience in light of the most difficult economy that we have seen in many years. I have admired the patience that they exhibit while dealing with the public. Over and over again, I have watched dealers find solutions for the most demanding customers.

It is fortunate that this year looks so much brighter than it has looked for quite a while. Most dealers are up substantially from last year and I think that the outlook is very bright—particularly regarding outdoor products. I think that since we have had such a brutal winter where we had to hunker down and remain indoors for much of it, we are really poised for the outdoors.

There has been a trend over the past five years for outdoor living, but I predict this year will be one for the records. I have been seeing a greater demand for all kinds of outdoor products from fire pits, grills, patio heaters, lights, islands and furniture. It is wonderful to see the hearth and outdoor products categories come together as they are this year.

I actively participate in HPBA because the association presents our industry with a forum to see new products, learn new technology, and perfect some of the current technology. The opportunity for networking is an important benefit as well. The HPBExpo this year was all of that and more. It was a great show in Salt Lake City and the feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive—even in light of lower attendance figures. That momentum is going to kick into high gear as we plan for Nashville.

The housing market is on the rise, and so are new opportunities for retailers and manufacturers. Hundreds of leading manufacturers and suppliers will come to demonstrate their newest innovations to thousands of mass-market retailers. With the one-of-a-kind outdoor burn area, tailgating parties, learning opportunities and much more, the 2015 HPBExpo in Nashville promises to deliver. If you’ve skipped an Expo in the past few years, you won’t want to miss this one in Music City!

While this is all good news, there are still hurdles we must face as well. HPBA continues to defend our products from unreasonable demands being made by the government. We need your help as the industry tackles the twin challenges of EPA’s New Source Performance Standards and DOE’s energy efficiency regulations.

I urge everyone to take an active role in these battles and voice your concerns to your elected representatives. If you need assistance in making these contacts, or just need more information so you are comfortable discussing the issues, HPBA’s Government Affairs team is ready to help. Just call the HPBA office and they will assist you. This is critical to the future of the industry. We must do this together!

During this busy year, I hope to represent all of the members of HPBA with a particular eye on the retailer. I consider those dedicated professionals to be our front line and the life blood of the industry. If you have suggestions on how HPBA can work better for you, please let me know. I am grateful for the collaboration among the people who make up this great industry.

Loretta Dolan is chairperson of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.

A durable powder-coat finish makes the fireplace scratch-resistant.

A durable powder-coat finish makes the fireplace scratch-resistant.

The Astria brand’s new Plantation™ wood-burning fireplace is a premium wood-burning fireplace with oversized viewing areas. Featuring a distinctive, realistic masonry look, the Plantation makes for a great focal point in any room. It has a clean face design with a tall opening that allows for an exceptional view of its impressively large flames.

One of its exclusive features includes a split brick profile in a herringbone pattern, offering a sophisticated yet traditional look. Plantation also incorporates a flushed “Rumford” hearth floor design.

Interior options include Ivory Split Mosaic Herringbone or Red Brick Split Mosaic Herringbone. Homeowners can choose from a

The Astria brand Plantation features a 12DM double-wall wood-burning chimney.

The Astria brand Plantation features a 12DM double-wall wood-burning chimney.

free-standing decorative screen or add a barrier to prevent direct contact with hot glass. Three glass fireplace door finish options are available, including Black, Copper and Silver.

The Plantation has a durable powder-coat finish which makes the fireplace scratch-resistant with carefree handling. It also comes with a standard cast iron grate with andirons and a retractable mesh fire screen for a clean, elegant look.

The Astria brand Plantation features Nashville-based Innovative Hearth Products’ 12DM double-wall wood-burning chimney. To safeguard the Plantation’s longevity, it is backed by a 20-year limited warranty.

www.astria.us.com

American-made Master Flame Fire Pit Screens can now be ordered in three types: High Grade Steel; Hybrid; and All Stainless Steel. This applies to Hinged Twin Door Round, Pivot Access Round, Lift Off Dome and Hinged Single Door Square, or Rectangular Fire Pit Screens.

High Grade Steel Models    
• 1/4-inch by 1-inch Solid Steel Flat Bar Framework
• High Grade Steel Mesh Screen (8 by 8 per square inch, 23 gauge)
• Stainless Steel Hardware (Hinges, Handles and or Pivot Pins)
• High Heat-Resistant, Electrostatically Applied Weather-Resistant Black Finish

Master_FlameHybrid Models    
• 1/4-inch by 1-inch Solid Steel Flat Bar Framework
• Stainless Steel Mesh Screen (8 x 8 per square inch, 23 gauge), 304 Stainless Steel
• Stainless Steel Hardware (Hinges, Handles, Pivot Pins)
• High Heat-Resistant, Electrostatically Applied Weather-Resistant Black Finish

All Stainless Steel Models
• 1/4-inch by 1-inch Solid 304 Stainless Steel Flat Bar Framework
• Stainless Steel Mesh Screen (8 by 8 per square inch, 23 gauge), 304 Stainless Steel Wire
• Stainless Steel Hardware (Hinges, Handles, Pivot Pins)
• High Heat-Resistant, Electrostatically Applied Weather-Resistant Black Finish

Fire pit screens cover and help prevent sparks and embers from flying out—even in the wind. Helps prevent accidents, and contains incendiary sparks, ash and soot. Master Flame Brand made-to-order fire pit screens are completely fabricated of welded steel—no rivets or screws are used.

www.masterflamegaslogs.com

Active display models are an effective tool for demonstrating the awnings’ functionality and benefits.

Active display models are an effective tool for demonstrating the awnings’ functionality and benefits.

Arizona Iron Patio Furniture has continued its hot sales streak thanks in part to a 2011 decision to offer awnings as a shade option. As a retailer with a reputation for innovation in the Grand Canyon State, Arizona Iron chose Solair Shade Solutions, a brand of residential shade products from Trivantage LLC.

In an effort to offer a wider selection of shade options to their customers, Arizona Iron worked closely with Trivantage to showcase Solair retractable awnings as an innovative solution for effectively shading the outdoor space. The Solair product line presented a perfect solution in terms of flexibility and value to Arizona Iron’s large customer base, many of whom were looking for products to complement their home and lifestyle.

Sizing options and Sunbrella® fabric selections make an impression on customers.

Sizing options and Sunbrella® fabric selections make an impression on customers.

The sizing options and Sunbrella® fabric selections, paired with the added benefits of the motorized controls and wind sensors, made an impression and ultimately led to Arizona Iron’s selection of Solair awnings. The company believed that Solair would be a good “add on” to its existing product line, and that belief has produced dividends for the past three years.

Since Arizona Iron began selling Solair awnings in its three locations (Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale), the company has experienced an increase in sales volume. All three locations have active display models that each sales team has found to be an effective tool for demonstrating the awnings’ functionality and benefits.

The display models allow customers to visualize what the awning would look like as an extension of their home. Additionally, Arizona Iron enjoys being able to offer an extended line of 400 beautiful and durable Sunbrella fabrics, beyond those showcased at the store locations.

www.solair.com

A hand crafted design of gorgeous western red cedar features two well-spaced shelves.

A hand crafted design of gorgeous western red cedar features two well-spaced shelves.

Gibson, Pa-based Creekvine Designs has dealers’ attention with its latest Entertaining Buffet Table, a hand crafted design of western red cedar that features two well-spaced shelves for storing just about anything.

The functional curve in the legs also makes a stylish statement.

A collection of high back patio furniture is both an economical and stylish choice, and dealers save when they buy in groups.

This collection (see photo below) features:
• 6-foot Cedar Bench
• Cedar Patio Chair
• Cedar Patio Table
• Cedar Coffee Table

Western Red Cedar is, above all, a wood of exceptional beauty. In its natural, unfinished state, it has a richly textured, tactile grain combined with a palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from light amber to deep honey brown. No man-made material can duplicate the depth of cedar’s natural luster. It also remains subtly aromatic, and the characteristic fragrance of cedar adds another dimension to its universal appeal.

Cedar Twin Ponds Furniture Collection

No man-made material can duplicate the depth of cedar’s natural luster.

Western Red Cedar contains natural oils that act as preservatives to help the wood resist insect attack, termites and decay. Cedar is also a dimensionally stable wood that lies flat and stays straight.

Properly finished and maintained, Western Red Cedar ages gracefully and endures for many years. If left unstained/unsealed, Western Red Cedar will weather to a silver/gray patina look and will maintain a smooth texture.

www.creekvinedesigns.com/

Gensun Casual Living’s Online “Room Planner” shows how all the pieces can fit together.

Gensun Casual Living’s Online “Room Planner” shows how all the pieces can fit together.

ONTARIO, CA – Potential customers who are having a hard time envisioning how to furnish an outdoor room have a new option. Gensun Casual Living’s Online “Room Planner” shows how all the pieces can fit together. All you need is a tape measure, imagination, and a computer.

A dealer, armed with proper measurements from the customer, could use the application right there in the shop. “It’s a really cool tool,” says Lynn Hanson, marketing and sales manager, Gensun Casual Living, Ontario, Calif. “Everything is set to scale, and it’s a very intuitive application. You can go through a list of products, click on them, and place them and arrange them. You can change from stone to wood.”

Customers don’t have to be interior designers or architects to make the most out of their little corner of heaven. To start, measure the dimensions of the outdoor room, then access the Room Planner application and create an account.

Dining, kitchen and fire pit/table collections are integrated from pull-down menus.

Dining, kitchen and fire pit/table collections are integrated from pull-down menus.

“Once you’ve logged in, select from templates based on some of Gensun Casual Living’s most popular outdoor furniture and outdoor kitchen configurations,” says Hanson. “Or, customize a template to more closely match your existing space. Then, populate it with patio and pool furniture piece by piece. All of Gensun Casual Living’s furnishings are scaled to fit dimensions for a realistic projection of how the outdoor room will look.

For DIYers looking to build a dream patio from the ground up, Gensun Casual Living’s Room Planner lets them choose from flagstone, poured concrete and decomposed granite, to grass, redwood decking and tile. Define the space with a couple of outdoor rugs and potted plants, then add boulders and bushes, trees, ground covers and flowers. Add a hot tub, water features and a concealable entertainment area for a truly deluxe outdoor room – then color it all in.

Each of Gensun Casual’s seating, dining, kitchen and fire pit/table collections is integrated into the Room Planner from pull-down menus within the application and scaled to fit with one another, so users know exactly how much (or how little) they will need to make the outdoor room functional and fashionable. The possibilities are endless.

www.gensuncasual.com

An idea born in Canada in the mid 1970s has blossomed into many innovations for Miles Industries, with the latest coming via the L2 linear luxury fireplace.

L2

The L2 linear luxury fireplace from Miles Industries has a 50-inch viewing area.

It’s a bold statement in any living space, with an impressive 50-inch linear viewing area highlighting magnificent flames.

Beautiful radiance on both high flame and low glowing embers, the L2 combines Valor efficiency and heat performance with the latest in contemporary styling.

The Valor Legend G3.5 Insert also shows off its design pedigree, and four generations of Legend DNA, with its radiance, high efficiency, and comfort control. Clean trims and a large viewing area highlight warm, glowing flames within. A contemporary update for existing spaces, the Legend G3.5 is Valor’s latest addition to the highly successful Legend Insert family.

G35

The Valor Legend G3.5 Insert shows off its design pedigree with high efficiency and comfort control.

When the company began, the gas fireplace industry was virtually non-existent in North America. Rising energy costs, sparked by the oil crisis, had ignited renewed interest in alternative sources of heat.

Research suggested that homeowners were receptive to the concept of an efficient gas fireplace/heater that was easy to use, technically advanced and capable of zone heating. It also had to be relatively attractive and cheap to operate. Valor, based in Britain, was the apparent leader in gas fireplaces; test marketing of the product in British Columbia for several years confirmed it was the way to go.

Garry Miles ultimately set about the task of bringing these gas burning and efficient fireplaces to Canada. His efforts were fruitful: in 1984 Miles Industries obtained the exclusive Canadian distributorship for Valor products and the first Canadian Gas Association (CGA) Certified products arrived for sale on a national basis.

www.valorfireplaces.com

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