From the Desk of the President, Joel Etter/HHT:


I hope everyone is safe during these trying times. The COVID pandemic has tested our health, families and friends, as well as our businesses. NEHPBA has been here through it all by providing members with information on Legislation, Finances and Loan Programs, Marketing, and Wellbeing, we have offered shortcuts, synopsis, tools, and webinars. Heading into 2021 we are committed to continuing to help our members grow their businesses, stay informed, and stay healthy at home and in their business.

We continue to present our case against Electrification and Net Zero mandates. We have done great work with our hired PR/Lobbying firm, O’Neill and Associates, who is helping us navigate our way through the Government Affairs and Legislative Agendas by assisting us in getting overturned Stretch Energy Codes, Bills, Amendments, and rulings. We have joined The Massachusetts Coalition for Sustainable Energy (MCSE) as well as the Empowerment Alliance, and we are cooperating with likeminded organizations such as AGA, MCSG, and PGANE. Additionally, we are in the process of partnering with other associations and organizations to produce a campaign to help Save Our Natural Gas and Propane in order to solidify the security of our industry and ensure that we are part of the sustainability conversation. Additionally, we are in-process of analyzing the Climate Bills in both the House and Senate in order to submit a letter regarding our concerns to the Bill Conferees.

As we continue serving our members into 2021, we hope that we can count on you all to promote the value of NEHPBA, to refer us to area businesses and your supporting trades, to attend our sponsored networking events, to help monitoring state and municipal legislation, to find information on state licensing issues, and to help out on the NEHPBA board or committee.

What do you need from us? How do you think we are doing? We’d very much like to know.
Just a Few Things We Have Accomplished in 2020:

* Board of Building Regulations & Standards, MA (BBRS) – State Wide NetZero Building code – Testified at Public Hearing and submitted written comments. Got BBRS to “stay” the vote in Nov 2019 and to vote AGAINST in May 2020, removing this completely from the agenda.

* A Members-Only webinar with David Ismay, Undersecretary of Climate Initiative to Governor Baker re the path to Net-Zero – this is the highest government official we have ever had the ear of one-on-one for a conversation.

* MA Attorney General Healy voted against the Brookline, MA city-wide gas ban – Submitted written testimony on behalf of our members and initiated a letter-writing/email campaign to the MA AG in July 2020.

* MA S.2842 State-Wide Gas Ban Legislative Amendment we had overturned through a phone call/email campaign by our members.

* Overturned MA amendment 61 to House Climate Bill removing language about improving greenhouse emissions through the use of biomass/wood/proper forestation – email writing campaign for members to Massachusetts House of Reps.
And, where we are heading in 2021:

* We are working on a “Save Our Natural Gas and Propane” campaign hopefully in combination with PGANE and/or AGA as well as with HPBA.

* We are publishing regular press releases on “energy diversity and security”, Joel Etter (NEHPBA President) and Karen Luther (Executive Director) participated in a podcast with O’Neil & Associates on this subject just last week!

* NEHPBA is closely monitoring legislation in CT regarding greater accountability in the utility sector.

* We are closely monitoring natural gas legislation in New York, Burlington, VT and Portland, ME as well as licensing legislation in VT.

* NEHPBA was integral in the writing and editing of the MCSE letter to the conferees regarding the MA Climate Bill.

* Presently, we are writing a comment letter on behalf of our members to be submitted to the Conference Committee regarding the MA Climate Bill.

* State House Visits (April 2021) in all 7 states. Our members will be able to personally visit their respective State Legislators and talk about concerns and ideas. We want to be part of this conversation. Most of all, we need state legislators to understand who we are and what we do. We’ll be lobbying for our industry, all members welcome!

* 2021 Road Show – Stay Tuned! This is in progress. We’ll be bringing mini-trade shows to you (with all Covid guidelines respected) in March 2021. Many of the Manufacturers and Distributors in our region are excitedly helping us plan NEHPBA sponsored events at their facilities so you can see new products or revisit existing ones! Stay tuned, more to come on this!

Introducing the NEHPBA Board of Directors for 2021 – “Thank You” to all of them for volunteering their time!

Joel Etter – President (Manufacturer) Hearth & Home Technologies
Holden Demers – Vice President (Retail/Service) Demers chimney Service
Dale Charamut – Asst. Treasurer (Manufacturer) ICC, Industrial Chimney Company
Tina Hemming – Asst. Treasurer (Manufacturer) Condair/HumiLife
Cory Atkinson – Secretary (Retailer) Spicer Advanced Gas
Ron Clarke – At Large (Retail) The Chimney Chap/South Shore Fireplace
Alexis Ellis – At Large (Manufacturer) Napoleon Products
Chip Brown – At Large (Distributor) Northeast Distribution, LTD
Wayne Stritsman – HPBA Board Representative (Retailer) Best Fire, Inc
Heidi Pompey – (Retailer) Sin Cal Chimney Hearth & Home
Shaun Huggins – (Distributor) Ray Murray, Inc.
Jonathan White – (Service) Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep

Northeast HPBA will continue the fight for Clean and Affordable Energy. We will continue to advocate for our members and our industry! Please join us. If you would like to participate, join the board, or join a committee we have a lot going on so we’ll take all the help we can get! In particular, we need help with state licensing and issue monitoring. Interested? Email Karen@nehpba.org

Thank you for your Support. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. I am available via phone 978.440.0344 and email Karen@nehpba.org anytime. Hope to see you soon. Take care!

Sincerely,
NEHPBA Board of Directors

BLUE COLLAR MAGAZINE COVER CONTEST


My magazine continues to provide its advertisers the greatest value-added perks in the chimney service industry. In 2021 the magazine is running a cover photo contest for readers to send in their pictures of chimney related work and the finalists shall win a nice prize package.

In our February 2021 we shall introduce this contest and a list of some of the sponsoring advertisers who provide some of the prizes available. As we announce our finalist list and eventual cover photo winner, again our magazine advertisers shall be promoted with their donated prizes.

Marge Kithcart Paditt, Hearthmasters author and contributing magazine writer, is donating one of her great books, CHIMNEY AND HEARTH PRO’S RESOURCE BOOK. As an Alumni Advertiser of Blue Collar Magazine, you company is invited to be a part of this marketing opportunity and donate any type of prize. It may be your branded clothing item, a product or tool that chimney sweeps will use, a certificate to use toward a future purchase or any collectible item of value to the sweep.

Our deadline for our February 2021 Magazine for your Ad changes and inputs is December 15. Send me an email with any items that you would like to be included in our Blue Collar Magazine Cover Photo Contest.

This magazine shall always provide our loyal advertisers great marketing opportunities you will not find from other media. Currently in our brainstorming is another promotion:

Vote for Miss Blue Collar Magazine – The purpose of this promotion is to honor the great women of the chimney service industry! Woman Sweeps, Women Sweep Company Owners or significant others of Sweep Company Owners. Women Support Staff of Sweep Companies, and Women Volunteers of our industry trade organizations. We want to shine a light on those women in our industry who are doing the hard work to grow our trade. This may provide our vendors additional marketing opportunities when it comes down to presenting our finalists in our December 2021 Magazine.

Thank You for your continued support of my magazine. Dave Hannah Publisher