The Story of
"Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country. And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs."
- President Barack Obama, January 31, 2011Meet Tommi.
She lives here in Asheville, NC. About 25 years ago, Tommi was working in real estate in Texas when she came up with an idea to help agents sell homes. She took her idea to her garage
"And so, in her garage, with hacksaw in hand, Tommi Crow made the first strikes against the white plastic PVC piping that was to become the prototype for the InfoTube�."
The InfoTube� was born
. Demand increased quickly. To boost production, she launched an assembly line operated by handicapped and disabled Americans.
"In 1990, with a growing demand pressuring her, Tommi took her product to the University of Texas at Denton's Vocational and Rehabilitation Center. Here, the first InfoTube� assembly line opened and was operated exclusively by handicapped and disabled people."
Did I mention she was educated as a teacher, specifically with a degree in elementary / special education?
One day, the Home Depot called asking about InfoTube�. Success came quickly. Over the years, Tommi's company grew and eventually moved to Western North Carolina. Today, InfoTubes are built by workers at Haywood Vocational Opportunities
, a non-profit organization located in Waynesville, NC. HVO employs two hundred handicapped and disabled Western North Carolinians. By the year 2014, Tommi expects to produce over a million InfoTubes per year.That is, until recently, when Tommi received news that her product would no longer be carried at Lowe's or Home Depot. Instead, their distributor, Ohio-based The Hillman Group, chose to replace Tommi's patented products with Chinese factory replicas. This decision will effectively put Tommi and her American company out of business.
This is not the America of our past nor must it be of our future. A great idea born by the hands of an American entrepreneur must not die in the automated lines of a foreign land.
What You Can DoSIGN THE ONLINE PETITION
We want at least 10,000 signatures to deliver to The Hillman Group:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/5/help-save-american-jobs/
---------FOLLOW THE FIGHT
Read updates here:http://www.infotube.net/blog/
And send a note of encouragement to Tommi:http://www.infotube.net/contactus.php
---------SEND AN EMAIL IN SUPPORT OF TOMMI CROW AND HER AMERICAN COMPANYDan Smercina, The Hillman Group
Dan.Smercina@hillmangroup.com Drew Strole, Lowe's
Drew.D.Strole@lowes.com Bill Boltz, Home Depot
Bill_Boltz@homedepot.comAsheville City Council
(this email will send a message to all council members)
AshevilleNCCouncil@ashevillenc.govBuncombe County Commissioners
email@example.comState Rep Patsy Keever
Patsy.Keever@ncleg.netState Rep Susan Fisher
Susan.Fisher@ncleg.netState Rep Ray Rapp
Ray.Rapp@ncleg.netState Sen Martin Nesbitt
Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.netGovernor Bev Purdue
Send a message by clicking on the following link:http://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact/Contact.aspxCongressman Heath Shuler
Send a message by clicking on the following link:https://shulerforms.house.gov/contact/Senator Kay Hagan
Send a message by clicking on the following link:http://hagan.senate.gov/contact/The White House
Send a message by clicking on the following link:http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
---------WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITORAsheville Citizen-Times
firstname.lastname@example.orgSmoky Mountain News
email@example.comRaleigh News & Observer
Submit a letter by clicking on the following link:http://www.newsobserver.com/about/newsroom/editor/USA Today
---------SHARE TOMMI'S STORY ONLINE
Like the Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/InfoTubenet-for-Real-Estate/270160132902?ref=ts&sk=wall
Follow on Twitter:http://twitter.com/#!/infotubes
---------As always, thank you.Paulpaul.firstname.lastname@example.org