Bernard “Bernie” Madoff was once wealthy and considered untouchable by many. But Madoff ended up disgraced and died in federal prison. With that reminder, blogger, MHInsider contributing editor, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) award-winning member emeritus George F. Allen sent an email to MHProNews that copied dozens of other industry professionals on 4.9.2022. In that email to MHProNews, Allen copied Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff leaders, some board/corporate MHI leaders, at least two MHI outside attorneys, plus several dozen MHI members and industry professionals. Part of that message by Allen urged MHI skeptics and critics “convene a national meeting” to discuss – as Allen phrased it – “MHI does not truly and fully advocate for the entire manufactured housing industry.”
Allen’s message and MHProNews’ formal response will be part of a separate planned report for the upcoming week. Note that per informed sources, Allen was given the designation of MHI “member emeritus.” Meriam Webster defines an emeritus as “a person retired from professional life but permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held.” Apparently, the office held by Allen was that of “member” of MHI.
Suffice it to say for now that this writer for MHProNews offered to debate MHI performance publicly live or by video in the reply and numerous times previously. As a disclosure, this writer had offered to do such a debate or discussion of MHI effectiveness pre-Biloxi. If years of recent history holds, MHI won’t debate and will not directly respond.
But perhaps matters are akin as the Madoff case before the tables turned. Because things are not always what they seem to be. As Cambridge dictionary explains the “tables have turned:” to change a situation so that you now have an advantage over someone who previously had an advantage over you,” with an example of “She turned the tables on her rival with allegations of corruption.”
And as the classic mob movie, the Godfather tells us, the mantra of a confidence (con) artist is ‘never give up the con.’
Corruption, spin, paltering, and mendacity at MHI? That has been and will be explored.
“MHI 2.0” was declared by that organization when Lesli Gooch was named CEO and Mark Bowersox was named as the Arlington, VA based trade group’s president. Pro-MHI voice Ken Corbin did a video interview with Gooch and Bowersox on 4.6.2021. So, just over a year later, that video on 4.9.2022 had a total of – wait for it – 13 views. One of those was by MHProNews several months ago. That would imply that MHI’s own staff didn’t all view the video, much less at least one person for each of the roughly 1,000 claimed members of that trade group. In short, the viewership is pathetic. What does that dismally low number of views say about authentic interest in MHI 2.0? What does it say about the motivation behind MHI 2.0, that they didn’t even bother to follow up and see what the results were, so they could attempt to do what some of their members have done? I.e.: game the system?
Facts and evidence matter to some people, but others are seemingly delighted to live in a fact- and evidence-free environment where claims are made without something akin to actual proof.
Perhaps similarly, stopped publishing their readership (“views”) data after MHProNews’ fact checks revealed just how poor their engagement was with industry professionals.
Other trade publishers and bloggers have made bold claims but have done so largely evidence free, save MHProNews and MHLivingNews, which would periodically show precise data on numbers of reports. It was only well after MHInsider stopped sharing their data that MHProNews opted to show rankings without specific traffic on a given article. Compared to the New York Times, our readership of several million visitors a year accessing reports millions of times annually is modest, but compared to others in what passes as MHVille media, our readership towers over them.
Based on historical norms and known evidence, this platform and our MHLivingNews sister site have long been and remain the runaway #1 most read in MHVille trade media. MHI stopped publishing their claimed page views years ago, after MHProNews published data dwarfed that of the Arlington, VA based trade group.
That’s not to say that MHI is without impact.
Within the industry, they clearly hold significant sway, perhaps due to the composition of their board of directors. MHI represents several of the largest, and arguably some of the most notorious members of the manufactured home industry.
As but one example of how outrageous MHI’s ‘leadership’ can be, the former Chairman of MHI, Joseph “Joe” Stegmayer, former President and Chairman of Cavco Industries (CVCO) and former division president of Clayton Homes, was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Per the SEC, Stegmayer settled with the SEC and paid a hefty 7 figure fine. See the reports linked above for EVIDENCE.
MHI can continue to attempt to duck public debate and accountability. But as this platform has reminded readers, Harry Markopoulos acted as a whistleblower with respect Bernard “Bernie” Madoff for years before enough mainstream media and public officials finally acted. “The system” can grind slowly when it comes to big names, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work at all. Madoff, once a luminary in business and seemingly untouchable ended in disgrace and died in federal prison.
Don’t miss today’s postscript with one of Allen’s interesting observations, one that this platform has asserted for years.
With no further adieu, let’s pivot to the headlines for the week that was from 4.3 to 4.10.2022
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR
What’s New on MHLivingNews
What’s New on the Masthead on MHProNews
What’s New on Words of Wisdom by Tim Connor, CSP
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
Graphics, Lists of 10 Richest Men, Women in World, Tech & Finance Include MH Connected Warren Buffett, Bill Gates But Some Names May be Missing from Bloomberg, Forbes Lists; plus MHVille Market Update
As with Madoff and persistent whistleblower Markopoulos, the day may come when public officials and media decide to go deeper than they already have. When they do, the apparent ‘connect the dots’ of corruption and predatory behavior with MHI could well become an issue. When such a day arrives, which trade media will have the ability to stand up and say without cross fingers that for years they consistently spotlighted the obvious failure to enforce MHI’s antitrust and “code of ethical conduct” statements?
In musing about his career, Allen said in the email to MHProNews referenced above in part that: “during those 44 years [in manufactured housing] I’ve vacillated from being an enthusiastic supporter to critic of the way the institute [sic: i.e.: MHI] does things – or doesn’t do what I think they should. So I somewhat understand frustration that’s ‘out there’ today, especially with our industry shipping only 105,772 new HUD-Code homes during year 2021, in the midst of our nation’s affordable housing crisis. We should be shipping many more new homes nationwide.” The emphasis and typos are in Allen’s original.
Allen went on to say “plan and convene a national gathering for everyone interested in improving advocacy for the post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry!”
One of Allen’s own former clients turned critic described him and his writing this way, “With George, its always AAA. All About Allen.” Perhaps true to that form, Allen closed his message with an invite to all to read and sign up for his blog. Be that as it may, his message may yet prove useful. The industry is underperforming. MHProNews and our sister site have documented this for the industry for some years. But in 2022, we have begun the wider outreach to the mainstream media, to document the troubling issues in manufactured housing in a manner that they have not yet routinely done.
Somewhat ironically, Allen said nearly verbatim what the mainstream headline below does.
It is better to be late to the dance, service, or other event, than to miss something worthwhile entirely. MHI award winner Allen saying in that email that the industry is underperforming is a step in the correct direction.
The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has consistently and persistently attempted to hold MHI to account and has long called for a new post-production trade group. Their announced ‘white paper’ is pending.
The reason that there have been periodic calls for a new post-production trade group is arguably a vote of no-confidence in MHI. Given industry underperformance and a range of troubling image and legal issues, perhaps the only wonder is that a group of white hats with sufficient chutzpah and horsepower haven’t already done what has been tentatively tried several times in recent years.
‘Announcing!’ ‘Manufactured Community Owners’ Association of America’ ‘Finally Bringing Fight To Manufactured Home Community Sector of the Industry’ – plus Sunday Weekly Manufactured Housing Headlines Review
The clock is ticking… …stay tuned for what is to come, which you can count on finding right here at your home for manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©
Again, our thanks to you, our sources, and sponsors and God for making and keeping us the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © 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.