Dozens of comments from MHPros coast to coast came in within hours in response to an OpEd by publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Writing on the Masthead blog, Kovach outlined examples of errors and tensions within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which allegedly point back to the national association’s CEO and President, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison.
Noting that the MH industry typically loses in Washington politics, which means the loss of potentially billions of dollars in lost sales to the industry, Kovach points to examples of missteps made at MHI.
One of the dozens of messages in response to the Masthead read, “Something has to be done or everyone including the consumers will suffer.”
Another message read in part, “…without Hydrick down in Alabama, and her knowing Shelby, our legislation would have gone nowhere…” The comment went on to say Doris Hydrick’s contribution was largely unrecognized by the national association.
“I was shocked…I was not aware all that had taken place. Serious need for transparency, obviously,” read another comment from an industry leader.
Numerous sensitive comments came from those who even a generic published reference would likely reveal the source. They included new revelations that underscored points made or alluded to by Kovach’s OpEd. Questions and comments about what direction the executive committee members will take on the revelations where numerous.
As troubling as the recent PBS and other news have been to MH, there are sources who tell MHProNews that the worst is yet to come. Which begs the question – if that’s true, would Jennison’s resignation, which insiders say is unlikely, could that in any way help MHI’s media-embattled efforts?
“Confidence in Jennison waned years ago.” stated an MHI member. “Rumors and allegations within the Arlington office, coming from staff and those who know staff well, have sporadically arisen,” stated another.
Boe Davis, Vice President of the MHBGroup, followed Kovach’s OpEd within hours with one of his own, on the problems he experienced as a member in working within the MHI structure. For 3+ years his firm tried to expand a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for MH they had operated in the Santa Clara Valley in California for almost 30 years into a national service.
To that end they joined local associations as well as MHI, and were encouraged to attend meetings, pay dues, expound their idea by renting booths at trade shows, traveling and spending tens of thousands of dollars to promote their idea, but all for naught.
They finally realized they were seeing the “Same people and companies, doing the same thing over the course of two of three days. To grow an industry one needs to attract new blood. Having a limited, narrow membership base will get you narrow and limited input and outcomes. To me this means that our associations are attempting to achieve goals and outcomes for a selected few.”
Davis’ full letter to the editor, is linked here. A comment from an informed source who read Davis’ OpEd stated that MHI took elements of his ideas, and applied them in a different way, that brought no benefit to Davis’ operation.
Thousands read the Kovach OpEd in just a matter of hours, and traffic on the MHProNews website spiked 50%.
A among the issues raised by Kovach is that Ishbel Dickens and other non-profits allegedly tried to work with MHI on a compromise bill, and examples of how those efforts went sideways. Kovach told the Daily Business News, “For President Truman, the buck stopped at his desk. Where does the buck stop at MHI? If Preserving Access and other issues are important for the industry – and we’ve supported them and editorially believe they are important to thousands of pros and millions of MH home owners – can we afford to let business as usual continue in MHI’s office in Arlington?” Kovach says he is renewing his call for MHI to release the 3 page response they claim to have sent to PBS in the wake of their slanted video report, and suggests that MHI should ask FHFA to release the minutes of their meeting with MHI. He also invited Dick Jennison’s response to the allegations. Kovach’s referenced and link-laced column, is linked here. ##
(Photo credit: MHI–Richard “Dick” Jennison, CEO of MHI)
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.