As anyone who has seen a dust-storm live or on video knows, the dust and debris in the dust-cloud masks a clear view of what would otherwise be clearly visible in the absence of the flying dirt.
That principle of the dust-cloud masking reality is worth keeping in mind in the current climate that’s filled with both real and artificial distractions or “dustups.”
The largest national trade association in the manufactured home industry is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
Another perhaps modest change has occurred on the MHI website in how their board of directors and so-called Executive Committee members are listed. With MHI busily spending money via the MHI PAC and “advocating” on behalf of what they describe as a rental housing coalition – instead of staying laser focused on the obstacles that limit manufactured housing sales – it is prudent to look at the MHI board to see what insights may flow from that exercise. Or as Emmy award winning journalist and New York Times best selling author Sharyl Attkisson advises, “check your facts” and “follow the money.”
The seemingly modest change on the MHI website is this. It is how prior MHI Chairman Joseph “Joe” Stegmayer is listed. Instead of “Cavco Industries” following Stegmayer’s name, as occurred previously, it is now listed as follows.
Mr. Joseph Stegmayer, ETS
So, what does “ETS” mean? And why isn’t “Cavco Industries” still shown? Both of those issues will be examined in the report that follows.
Additional Information, MHProNews Report and Analysis
See To illustrate the change, the screen capture from 2019 – now approaching one year ago – that is shown below is useful. The notes with arrows are from MHProNews, but the base image and text are from MHI.
Among the possible meanings of “ETS,” per the Urban Dictionary, is “Eat That Sh-t.” Let’s presume that is not what MHI, in its great leadership’s wisdom and sophistication, means in this instance.
Among the possible meanings of ETS per the Free Dictionary are these:
- ETS End Term of Service
- ETS End of Time in Service
- ETS End Tour of Service
- ETS Extra Terrestrial Spacecraft
- ETS Enron Technical Services
- ETS Entertainment Television Services, Inc. (Beverly Hills, CA)
While some of those are intriguing, let’s once more presume that something like “end of time in service” is what MHI meant by ETS.
But the question remains. Why not spell out Stegmayer’s years of relationship with Cavco Industries? Or have read hot articles like the one below that pull back the veil make Stegmayer – MHI’s prior chairman – and related issues that connect him to Cavco now prove to be embarrassment for MHI?
The new method of showing MHI’s executive committee members is as shown below.
Next, let’s survey some, not all, of the current listing of the MHI board of directors. Note that the first 5 shown make up what is know as their “executive committee.” If there is one or more reported controversy associated with a given firm, that will be reflected by the link below their name with the [hotlink to a report shown in brackets].
MHI Board of Directors
Mr. Tom Hodges, Clayton
Mr. Leo A. Poggione, PHC, Craftsman Homes – Reno
Mr. Patrick Waite, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.
Mr. Eric Hamilton, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.
Mr. Joseph Stegmayer, ETS
From the other MHI board members that follow, only a few will be spotlighted. The same process of bracketing links to reports involving that person will be used.
MHI Board Members
Ms. Amy Bliss, Wisconsin Housing Alliance
Mr. Stephen Braun, Hometown America Communities
Mr. F. R. Daily, American Homestar Corporation
Mrs. Amie Hacker, Parkplace Homes
Mr. Eric Hamilton, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.
Mr. John McLaren, Sun Communities, Inc.
Mr. Scott Oliver, Oliver Technologies, Inc.
Mr. Cody Pearce, Cascade Financial Services, LLC
Ms. Tawny Peyton, Rocky Mountain Home Association
Mr. Karl Radde, Southern Comfort Homes
Mr. William Raffoul, Sun Communities, Inc.
Mr. Nathan Smith, Flagship Communities
Mr. Tom Tracy, KYOCERA SENCO Industrial Tools, Inc.
Mr. Michael Wade, Cavalier Homes Inc.
Ms. Betty Whittaker, Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute
Mr. Timothy Williams, 21st Mortgage Corporation
Mr. Mark Yost, Champion Home Builders, Inc.
While MHI CEO Lesli Gooch is not a MHI board member, she is their handpicked Arlington, VA nonprofit team leader. So, it is worth noting some of the controversies that have dogged her during her short tenure as the staff leader of so-called “MHI 2.0”
Keep in mind that the above are just a sampling of such reports. There are several others. In each instance, they stand uncontested. The words of those involved in a given controversy are cited accurately. None of the sources involved named have said there is some inaccuracy involved or some logical fallacy being used.
Rather, in each of those linked reports, the evidence is revealed and then reasoning is used to show how that evidence is impacting the longstanding drag on manufactured housing industry performance.
Let’s note that MHProNews has stressed that the presence of so-called ‘black hat’ firms doesn’t imply that everyone working for such a company or organization is automatically tainted. Additionally, the presence of ‘black hat’ firms doesn’t imply that honest and ethical operators are tainted. There is some good and bad, some strength or weakness, in every person, organization or thing. Thus, applying the ancient wisdom of separating the wheat from the chaff is necessary.
That noted, what emerges from that review of the above, which has been previously summarized in the graphic shown, reveals that numerous high-profile firms and players are routinely caught up in various controversies.
The rival Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has on their site identified – as have various reports, interviews and analysis performed here on MHProNews – how manufactured housing is suffering from both internal challenges to the industry and external ones. Without diminishing the relevance or importance of regulatory hurdles, MHARR’s leaders have made compelling arguments that issues that flow from MHI and their more powerful members are adding to the issues.
Why does this pattern occur?
Perhaps an equally important question is, why do MHI leaders permit the same types of ‘errors’ to occur time and again? After all, it was prior MHI chairman Nathan Smith who said that the industry – meaning, MHI – had to be honest with itself.
Andy Gedo, in his public debate attempt to defend MHI and their leaders, tried to make the case that it would seem to be against their interests to do some of what MHProNews has reported. On the surface, that would seem to be logical. But upon closer examination, the point made by Carol Roth applies.
When Gedo was asked to examine anew specific reports that reflected how consolidation was being fostered by years of ongoing failure by MHI to get existing laws properly implemented, Gedo ended up tossing in the proverbial towel. He did so after saying himself that “Clayton’s finance capability is a barrier to entry that limits competition.”
It is a fair point to say that MHI has proven to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. That’s been documented repeatedly by quotes like those below from present and prior MHI members.
Those MHI members, past and present above, illustrate the point that MHARR’s Mark Weiss and Danny Ghorbani have made for years.
The evidence of the undermining of manufactured housing from within for the purpose of fostering consolidation at discounted valuations is compelling when it is organized in this fashion and viewed through the lens of their ‘leaders.’
Programming Notice: quick survey or summary of what hobbles manufactured housing from within will be a useful reference for a series of upcoming reports. Watch for it.
After years of dustups and failures, one would think that common sense would kick in, right?
But MHI and their ‘big boy’ leaders have arguably mastered the art of illusion and collusion. Pleasant events, smiling faces, promises made the seem to rarely materialize, these are part of the pattern. If it were not so, they would logically try to disprove these claims in a public debate. But they have for years declined such a defense of their performance. They have opted instead to create an echo chamber of other voices that parrot the MHI line.
When you pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and follow the money trail – looking beyond the often artificial dustups – what becomes clear is that a few benefit from limiting the industry, while posturing doing the opposite.
Until that decade plus pattern is broken, the industry can only reasonably expect more of the same.
Namely, consolidation that benefits a few at a cost to the dwindling numbers of manufactured housing independents. It is routinely those independents that have the better reputation with consumers.
There is always more to know. Stay tuned with the runaway largest and documented number one most-read source for authentic manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.
Communities, Assoc Exposé – Whistleblower “Leaks” – Lesli Gooch Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) CEO and Sheila S. Dey, Executive Director Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA)