Hearth Insight
April 2021
President's Message
April 1st, 2021

On April’s fool’s day at the near of a Pandemic, I have found it hard to, or have the heart to actually April Fool Anyone today. To say it Mildly I think we are done with what 2020 wreaked upon us whether it be good or bad. We are tired and have been taken to our wit's end in every way possible of how to manage our businesses let alone our families. But as we come to an end and see the future ahead of us we are still wondering what lies ahead?

The pulse of Hearth in the NW remains brisk with a new batch of stimulus checks and spring break DYI projects we are still seeing good flow thru the retail stores. Distributors and Mfg.’s are pulling their hair each and every day wondering how to feel their Back Orders. Personally, I have found myself taking each day minute by minute and only helping one customer at a time. Although that one customer is usually the one yelling the loudest. We can only do so much work in a day and tomorrow is guaranteed to be there so just do your best and do it right, so you do not have to do it again.

The EXPO in Louisville has been canceled and will instead be done Virtually! We should all look at this as one more way to learn how to do business differently. We will all miss our yearly reunions with friends, but we can take this new version and really focus on the manufacturer’s wares. I want to stress to all stores and members to not skip this Virtual Expo, Sign Up Now and start preparing for what will surely be a new experience. You will not be rushed going booth to booth, you will not be worried to breathe, you will not have to eat trade show food at the convention center and best of all you can work Hangover Free! Take advantage this year to get your employees involved with the many education classes offered as there will be no travel costs involved and they will not miss any of the Expo to take them. Make this year an Expo to Remember!!

As we break into BBQ season, I wish our industry the best as it appears to be a great summer season ahead. Dust of the BBQs and show your customers how to cook differently on their purchases. Get them excited about Food and the Experience to cook on a quality grill. Demos once a week should become the norm. Designate one of your employees as chief chef for the week on Saturdays and boost everyone’s morale.

Have a Great Spring Break, Get Refreshed come back and Sign Up for EXPO and Prepare to Be the Best!

Scott H. Ongley
NWHPBA President
Legislative Update
from our NWHPBA Lobbyist, Carolyn Logue
All is quiet on the Northwest HPBA front – except for in the State of Washington. As legislators are dealing with COVID-19 recovery, reopening businesses and vaccine distribution, Washington continues to try and move towards an aggressive climate agenda.

Still moving in Washington are E2SHB 1099 which adds climate change to the state’s Growth Management Act. While not a direct attack on the hearth industry, NWHPBA is concerned about whether the bill might drive some local governments to be more aggressive about trying to implement gas bans in order to meet climate goals. More concerning is what the changes will do to the cost of housing. Builders are also trying to push a bill that puts affordable housing into the Growth Management goals as well.

Also moving through the Washington State Legislature is SB 5126, the Climate Committment Act. This is the major “cap and invest” bill that started moving late in the session after the building decarbonization bill (HB 1084) died. The bill passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and now goes to the full Senate for a vote. The bill still must go through the process in the House of Representatives. Cap and Invest sets greenhouse gas emission caps and then auctions off allowances to go over the caps to major emitters in the state. The money from the auctions goes into a state fund and is expected to raise billions of dollars that will be put into programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  There are concerns about what the caps and the need to buy allowances from the major emitters will do to overall costs of electricity and natural gas but certain utilities, such as Puget Sound Energy, are supporting this approach to try and stay away from bills like HB 1084 (building decarbonization) or SB 5373 (a straight carbon tax). On a positive note, the bill assumes a continuation of natural gas and provides ratepayer assistance for natural gas — which is a positive compared to other carbon tax or building decarbonization bills. 5126 also appears to be part of a growing “grand bargain” with a new transportation package (noted above)— it specifically targets over $5 billion to transportation to help offset dwindling gas tax revenues when it comes to funding transportation projects. It is this “grand bargain” that will keep 5126 alive as long as a new transportation package is being discussed. Whether or not this gets completed before the April 25th end date for session is unknown. 
On a positive note, the Washington State Capital Budgets were released this week. The Senate version held onto the $4 million for woodstove changeouts. The House budget cut the woodstove changeout dollars to $3 million and put in language that says, “Whenever possible and most cost effective, the agency and local air agency partners must select home heating devices that do not use natural gas to replace noncompliant devices.” This language is absolutely opposed by NWHPBA since the priority must be customer choice to ensure they are willing to engage in the changeout. Yesterday, we testified in FAVOR of the Senate version of the budget and will be testifying with concerns on the House budget and asking that this limiting language be eliminated. 
Washington’s regular legislative session will end on April 25th. Alaska’s is scheduled to end on May 19th, and Montana’s is scheduled to adjourn on April 30th. Idaho’s Legislature, originally scheduled to adjourn on March 26, has recessed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and will reconvene on April 6.
Member Spotlight:

Company Name:
Cascade Fire Solutions, Inc.
Puyallup, WA

Company Birthdate/Year: 
January 2018

NWHPBA Member Type:

Size of store/showroom sq feet:
1500 sq ft

Number of buildings/stores:
1 building with attached corporate office

Number of employees/installers/service techs/sales/sweep:
3 office staff, 4 installers, 2 sales team members, & a mason.
Q: What do you do to separate your business from others?
A: It has been said that we are a small company with a big heart and that is true. We answer emails and phone calls in off-hours, sometimes late on Sunday nights if the situation calls for it.

Q: What diversifies your business, product-wise?
A: When I started the company in 2018 we worked from a 300 sq foot office with 3 employees. In May, we will be grand opening our 1500 sq foot showroom! We are proud to offer Marquis, Enviro, Heat and Glo, and Napoleon products. Soon we will be adding outdoor products and patio furniture.

Q: What are customers telling you when they come into the shop?
A: This is to be determined, hopefully they are wowed!
Personal Info:
Q: How long have you been in the hearth business?
A: I started in the hearth business in 2006.

Q: What got you started in the hearth business? 
A: I like to say that I just stumbled into it.

Q: What has kept you in the hearth business? 
A: I love this industry because it is so specialized. I am constantly learning new things and growing. Fire is my passion.

Q: Why are you a member of NWHPBA? 
A: Not only am I a member of NWHPBA but I am also a member of the board. I decided to join because of the behind-the-scenes advocacy that the group does. If you are in the industry or a consumer of our products NWHPBA has your back.

Q: Have you attended NWHPBA/HPBA Events? If so… what is your favorite part about them?
A: I plan on attending the convention this year.

Q: First car?
A: My first car was a brown Ford Pinto that my dad bought from someone in Bonney Lake, WA. We paid for it with loose change and small bills.

Q: First concert?
A: Late 80’s- New Kids on the Block at the Tacoma Dome. 
Membership Renewals
For those who have not yet renewed, your membership is crucial and allows us to continue to advocate for the health of our industry. While 2020 was full of unprecedented events, we are thankful for our NWHPBA community. With the help of one another, we were able to support each other and share our successes through tough times.

Renewing your membership is easy, and we have many options for your convenience!
  • Renew online and pay via card or check
  • If you select to pay by check, you will be directly invoiced and can mail us a check.
  • Call us directly at NWHPBA and we can renew over the phone with you
  • 253-525-5153 (Due to COVID, if you do not connect with us, please leave a voicemail, and Katie, our Executive Director, will return your call within 24-48 hours)
"This industry can feel really secluded and alone. Maintaining my membership has allowed me to build relationships and really get to know the other members. This has opened doors and encouraged brainstorming to solve industry wide issues as well as internal ones within my business that someone had already been through and knew a great solution for."

-Ryann Blake, Chimney Techniques
Job Opening
Sales Representative

Earth N Sun is looking for a Sales Representative with some sales experience. Earth n Sun is a small mom-and-pop store in Rainier, OR that has been open for 35+ years. Earth N Sun sells hearth products that require keeping track of a lot of information. The Sales Representative we hire needs to have good memory skills, be able to work alone, be able to lift a 40-pound bag of pellets, be able to drive a forklift, and be able to work at least but not limited to working every other Saturday.

To apply for this job email your details to woodstovewarehouse@gmail.com
HPBExpo June 23-26th, 2021:
Virtual Event
The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association announced today that HPBExpo 2021, scheduled to be in Louisville, will now be an all-virtual event. HPBExpo Connect will take place on the same dates, June 23-26, 2021, and be completely online.

For all news Expo, go to www.hpbexpo.com.
We want to hear from you!!!
The NWHPBA Communications Committee publishes the Hearth Insight monthly. If you have a story or article you would like to have shared, submit below to be included in our upcoming editions!!!
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