HPBA Announces New Board Positions for 2016–2017 > Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
April 05, 2016

HPBA Announces New Board Positions for 2016–2017

Arlington, Va. - The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association announces its 2016–2017 Board, with new appointments to three Executive Committee seats, including Chairman. There are two new manufacturer representative appointments and three new regional representative appointments.

HPBA’s Board has a total of 21 voting seats: six on the Executive Committee and 17 Representatives for manufacturers and geographic regions throughout the United States and Canada.

Board Executive Committee

Chairman: Gene Butler purchased The Firebird in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1988 and has been very active in the industry ever since. From its humble start out of a garage, The Firebird has grown into the largest hearth products retailer in Northern New Mexico. The store is also a leading distributor of drip irrigation products. Butler, previously Vice Chairman of the HPBA Board, currently holds leadership roles on several HPBA committees: Chairman of the Executive Committee and the Affiliate Board Committee, the Arizona and Rocky Mountain Region Board Representative to the HPBA Board and member of the Affiliate Leaders Committee. Butler was previously the President of the Rocky Mountain Affiliate for HPBA. He holds a BBA degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Vice Chairman: Ingrid Schroeter has co-built Napoleon with her husband, from a startup to a global company, celebrating 40 years in business this year. On the HPBA Board since 2013, Schroeter, of Barrie, Ontario, has also served on the HPBA Expo Committee since 2012; and with HPBA Canada, its Board and Communications Committee since 2008.

Secretary: Amie Ryan is a second generation owner of her nearly 40-year-old company, Ryan Bros. Chimney Sweeping in Sacramento, California. Ryan is a strong advocate for our industry's professionalism and invests in education and training for her staff company-wide. Ryan 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.

Past Chairman Jess Baldwin of Hearth & Home Technologies, Inc., will remain active on the Board and Executive Committee as Ex-Officio. Randy Dryden of the Fireplace Center & Patio Shop is beginning another term as Member-at-Large and Ken Belding of Empire Comfort Systems is finishing the third year of his second term as Treasurer.


Manufacturer: Chris Hartley has worked in the industry since 1999, and currently works for Blue Rhino, a division of Ferrellgas, in Winston-Salem, NC. As VP of Marketing, he oversees marketing for all Blue Rhino products and services including propane exchange, barbecue tools and accessories, patio heaters, fire pits, mosquito traps, covers, and fireplace accessories. Hartley was part of HPBA’s Long Range Planning Committee and was previously Chairman of HPBA’s Communications Committee, on which he still serves.



Member-At-Large: Henry Hall is President of Skytech II, Inc. in Fort Wayne, Indiana and has been with the company since 2007. He has a diverse business background that includes: finance, accounting, capital procurement, wholesale and retail distribution, and business growth strategies and processes. Hall has participated in Department of Energy government affairs efforts with HPBA, and actively contributes as a member of the HPBA Membership Committee.



Northeast Region: Wayne Stritsman started Best Fire as a hearth retailer in 1977. Today, Best Fire Hearth & Patio is one of largest hearth retailers in New York. Stritsman sold the business to his two sons, but remains active as a consultant. He has served on the Northeast HPBA Board, as well as the HPBA board previously.



Northwest and Oregon Region: Dan Henry, currently with 5G3 Consulting, co-founded Quadra-Fire Stoves in Colville, Washington, in 1979, later selling the company to Hearth & Home Technologies. He has served on the HPBA Government Affairs Committee (and as chairman for several years), the HPBA Technical Committee, the Northwest HPBA Board, the Pellet Fuels Institute Board and numerous ASTM Committees. Henry has advocated with state and federal legislators for years and has attended the HPBA’s Government Affairs Academy.



Southeast Region: 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. Hoffman also has an extensive business background as a wholesale distributor for 25 years.



Manufacturer and retailers also continuing their service on the Board include: Bill Bathe of Forshaw of St. Louis, Inc.; Joe Burns of Bernard Dalsin Manufacturing Co.; Jodi Burson of Big Green Egg, Inc.; Loretta Dolan of Loretta Dolan & Associates, Roger Evans of Evans Marketing, Inc.; Mark Klein of Innovative Hearth Products, Inc. (re-elected); Dave Kuhfahl of HearthStone Quality Home Heating Products, Inc.; Martin Miles of Valor Fireplaces/Miles Industries Ltd.; Ross Morrison of Stellar Hearth Products; Glen Spinelli of Regency Fireplace/FPI Fireplace Products International, Ltd. (re-elected); and Keith Wesol of Weber-Stephen Products, LLC. Tony Gottschalk serves as HPBA Canada’s Staff Representative.

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of barbecue, patio and hearth appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising, and consumer education.


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