Outreach to your local elected officials: One Affiliate’s story > Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
January 22, 2021

Outreach to your local elected officials: One Affiliate’s story

Note: Northeast HPBA made the decision to email all of the newly-elected house and senate representatives in each state to congratulate them on their victory, to introduce them to the NEHPBA members in their district, and introduce them to NEHPBA and what we do. We've been getting so many wonderful responses. See an example of one of the letters we sent and some of the many responses below.


Dear Representative Kushmerek:

Congratulations on being elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. 

The Northeast Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (NEHPBA) is a trade association representing more than 300 individual member retail and related companies throughout the Northeast. These are our region’s chimney sweeps, installers, hearth retailers, maintenance companies, and any other entity having a commercial interest in the hearth, patio and/or barbecue industry, including—but not limited to—gas utilities, publications, testing laboratories, insurance agencies, financial institutions, business systems providers, advertising agencies, public relations firms, and so much more. Specifically, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we have over 60 member companies—all of whom are independent “mom and pop” small businesses.

Feens Country Living, owned by Wendy Feen in Fitchburg, is a local, family owned and operated business that has been servicing the area for over 45 years. Feens is an NEHPBA member that installs gas, wood and pellet fireplaces. They are well known in your community and we look forward to introducing you further to our member businesses.

Our member businesses are community contributors. They sponsor local little leagues; they are members of school boards and PTAs; they provide a sense of vibrancy to Main Street, they know the towns and cities they represent because they live there; and the local impact they are making in the economy is needed, now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, where so many of our small businesses are already being pushed to the limit—from North Adams to Natick and Springfield to Salisbury. 

NEHPBA and our members remain committed to working with government officials and regulators at all levels to increase access to more sustainable and climate centric fuel sources throughout our homes and businesses. I look forward to getting to know you and introducing you to our members. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (978) 443-0344 or via email at Karen@NEHPBA.org with any questions.


Karen L. Luther

Executive Director

Northeast Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association


Responses from the letter above: 

  • “Thank you, Karen. I look forward to working with you, as well.” - Steven G. Xiarhos, State Representative
  • “Thank you for your email and for reaching out. I certainly appreciate the introduction and look forward to working with you and your district members. Wendy - If my office or I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out. Additionally, I’ve cc’ed my legislative aide, Brandon Robbins on this email.” - Michael P. Kushmerek, State Representative
  • “Thanks so much for your note. Your trade organization is not one that I was familiar with, but I can imagine that with the COVID-19 pandemic and folks wanting to spend more time in comfortable outdoor settings you have been more in the spotlight. I've cc'ed my aide Emerson Gagnon.  Feel free to reach out to him if you have particular issues that you think need my office's attention.  I'm also happy to meet with any of your members who live in or have businesses based in my district so I can better understand their concerns.” - Steve Owens - State Representative
  • “Thank you for reaching out to our office, Karen. I look forward to working with your organization.” - John Cronin, Senator
  • “Thank you, Karen!  I have cc'd my aid as well in case you need anything at all.”  - Jake Oliveira, State Representative
  • “Thank you for reaching out!  If you need to contact the Senator, please feel free to do so through myself especially for future urgent matters. Looking forward to working with you and your organization.  Thank you!”  - Danielle Allard, Chief of Staff/General Counsel, Office of Senator
  • “Thank you for this communication. I’m cc’ing my Legislative Counsel, Chris Westfall, so you have his contact information as well.” - Fluker Oakley, State Representative


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