March 08, 2017

HPBA Announces 2017–2018 Board Positions

Arlington, VA–The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association announces its 2017–2018 Board, with appointments to three Executive Committee seats, including Chairman. 

There is one new manufacturer representative appointment, and there are three new regional representative appointments. HPBA’s Board has a total of 21 voting seats: 10 manufacturing members and 11 retailers, distributors, service providers, and manufacturer’s representatives.

Officers

Chairman: Ingrid Schroeter partnered with her husband Wolfgang in 1976, starting their own business manufacturing and installing railings and stairs for the builder market. In 1979, the Schroeters started designing and producing woodstoves under the Timberwolf and Napoleon name, followed by glass doors and gas fireplace products in the 80s. In the 90s, Napoleon gas grills were introduced to the market and in 2010, HVAC products were added to complement the line-up. From its infancy over 40 years ago, Napoleon has turned into a global brand with manufacturing and distribution facilities worldwide. Ingrid and Wolfgang’s two sons have now taken over the bulk of the business transactions, allowing Ingrid more time to get involved with HPBA. Ingrid has been an active member of HPBA Canada, its Board, and Communications Committee since 2008. Ingrid joined the HPBA Expo Committee in 2011, and has served on the HPBA Board since 2013, as well as the Executive, Finance, and Affiliate Leaders Committee.

Vice Chairman: Amie Ryan is a second generation owner of her nearly 40-year-old company, Ryan Bros. Chimney Sweeping, Inc. in Roseville, California. Amie is a strong advocate for our industry's professionalism and invests in education and training for her staff company-wide. Amie has been on HPBA Pacific’s Board since 2006, holding several officer positions, including President. For the last ten years, she has worked with local air districts and other regulatory bodies to negotiate changeouts from old to cleaner burning woodstoves.

Treasurer: Dick Hoffman, owner of the Fire House Casual Living Store in Asheville, North Carolina, has been in the hearth industry for 21 years. The National Fireplace Institute has certified him in all three fuel appliance types––wood, gas, and pellet––as a Master Hearth Professional. He currently serves on the Southeast HPBA Board, and is a past president of Southeast HPBA and the Southeast HPBA Representative on HPBA’s Board. Dick also has an extensive business background as a wholesale distributor for 25 years.

Secretary: Joe Burns is co-owner of Bernard Dalsin Manufacturing (BDM) in Farmington, Minnesota. As head of sales and marketing, since 1997, he has driven sales and brand awareness for the company’s venting and outdoor fire products. He has been a contributing board member of NCHPBA for multiple (non-consecutive) terms dating back to 2000; and was previously Treasurer and Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee. He is NCHPBA’s Representative on the HPBA Board, and also Chairman of the Affiliate Leaders Committee. Joe has also been an attendee of the Government Affairs Academy.

Ex-Officio: Gene Butler has grown his store into the largest hearth products retailer in northern New Mexico since purchasing The Firebird in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1988. The store is also a leading distributor of drip irrigation products. Butler currently holds leadership roles on several HPBA committees: Chairman of the Affiliate Board Committee, the Arizona and Rocky Mountain Region Board Representative to the HPBA Board, and member of the Affiliate Leaders Committee. Gene was previously the President of the Rocky Mountain Affiliate for HPBA. 

Representatives

Manufacturer: Jodi Burson joined Big Green Egg in 2003 and currently serves as Director of Brand Enhancement. She oversees brand positioning across a variety of media and communications platforms, including marketing, promotions, publishing, and advertising. Jodi works as a liaison between the company and the Big Green Egg distributor and dealer networks, as well as Egg owners. Jodi has served on HPBA’s Board of Directors since 2014.

Manufacturer: Keith Wesol, joining Weber-Stephen Products in July 1997, has served as a sales person in the outdoor power equipment industry where he was responsible for various classes of retail trade. Now Senior Vice-President of Sales, Keith was a Regional Sales Manager for Weber’s Western Region until 2007, selling to hardware co-op, hearth, patio, pool, and other independent dealers. In 2014, Keith began his service on HPBA Board of Directors as an at-large member. Keith’s involvement with the Expo Committee and his extensive knowledge of every aspect of the HPBA Show floor representing Weber makes him a key resource for HPBA.

Manufacturer: Jeni Forman, with Hearth & Home Technologies for ten years, currently serves as the Senior Vice President, US Sales & Marketing for Dealer and Wholesale Channels. Jeni has held several roles at Hearth & Home Technologies: VP Sales - West, VP Marketing – Dealer, Brand Manager, and Senior Product Manager. Prior, Jeni was in food and beverage marketing industry with General Foods Bakeries and Southern Foods Group. Jeni has served on the NWHPBA Affiliate Board for the last three years, leading recent strategic planning efforts and chairing the annual meeting committee.

Mid-Atlantic Region: Rick Lapp joined the hearth industry full time in 1999 working at Byler’s Stove Shoppe as an installer and service tech. After two years, he moved into sales and eventually to general manager. Rick moved on to the Primo Ceramics team in July of 2015, where he currently works as Account Manager for the eastern part of the U.S. Rick joined the MAHBPA board in 2013 and has been active on several committees as well as Education Chair. 

Midwest Region: Jake Hunter joined the hearth, patio and barbecue industry as an Independent Territory Sales Manager with Results Unlimited in 2005. He has a diverse business background, which includes six years coaching college football, as well as experience in construction management and in the animal feed manufacturing industry. Jake has been a member of the Midwest HPBA board since 2011.

South Central Region: Eric Massey’s father started Fireplace Specialties in 1972 where he worked summers and weekends throughout his teenage years. He eventually bought Fireplace Specialties in 1999. Eric has served on the SCHPBA Board of Directors two different times and is very passionate about the organization and the benefits it brings to hearth dealers and retailers. He has two NFI Certifications and stays abreast of the new training and products as they evolve in the industry.

Manufacturer and retailers also continuing their service on the Board include: Roger Evans of Evans Marketing, Inc; Henry Hall, Skytech II, Inc.; Chris Hartley, Blue Rhino; Dan Henry, 5G3 Consulting; Mark Klein of Innovative Hearth Products, Inc.; Dave Kuhfahl of HearthStone Quality Home Heating Products, Inc.; Martin Miles of Valor Fireplaces/Miles Industries Ltd.; Ross Morrison of Big Woods Hearth Products; Glen Spinelli of Regency Fireplace/FPI Fireplace Products International, Ltd.; and Wayne Stritsman, Best Fire, Inc. Tony Gottschalk serves as HPBA Canada’s Staff Representative. 

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based just outside of Washington, DC, is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms, and allied associates for all types of fireplace, stove, heater, barbecue, and outdoor living appliances and accessories. HPBA provides professional member services and industry support in government relations, events, market research, education, certifications, consumer education, and industry promotion.

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