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February, 2015


Encore's Top Stories

  1. An interview with the PFS CEO Jim Husom

    First up in this issue is an enlightening Q&A with the “new” President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PFS Corporation.  On the job for a year already, Jim offers some insight into his background, his job, and his plans for the future.  Also included are news about PFS staff activities and introductions to the new faces at PFS.

  2. Rick Wenner speaks at Builders Breakfast

    On Wednesday, December 18, Rick Wenner, Vice President of the PFS Northeast Region, spoke at the Builders Breakfast in Frederick, MD.  The monthly breakfast is hosted by Gary Fleisher, author of the blog, “Modular Home Builder” at modularhomecoach.com.  The following is from the blog after Rick’s presentation.  Congratulations, Rick, on a job well done!

  3. The PFS Seminar # 90 

    Fifty-nine quality control inspectors, industry professionals, and PFS staff participated in the PFS Seminar No. 90 for Inspectors, Trainees and Maintenance of In-Plant Inspectors held at Woodlands Inn Convention Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on January 15 and 16, 2015.

  4. PFS Attends the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show

    PFS Corporation attended the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show held on January 21 - 23, 2015, at the Kentucky Exposition Center. 

  5. PFS Exhibits at 2014 Wisconsin Housing Alliance Annual Conference

    PFS Corporation Vice President of the Products Division, Ron Reindl, and the General Manager of the Manufactured Structures Division, Robert Gorleski, attended the 2014 Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) annual conference on November 12 and 13, 2014, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

  6. PFS Corporation Promotes Larry Turner, PE

    The Manufactured Structures Division General Manager, Bob Gorleski, is pleased to announce the promotion of Larry Turner, PE to Senior Engineer for the Manufactured Structures Division.

  7. PFS Corporation Welcomes Jeremy Kaukl

    PFS Corporation proudly welcomes Jeremy Kaukl to its corporate staff as a residential and commercial plans examiner for our modular clients. 



 

 


1. An interview with Jim Husom

Jim Husom, President and Chief Executive Officer of PFS

           

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My hometown is Ridgeway, Wisconsin; a small, rural community in southwest Wisconsin, and the home of the Ridgeway Ghost. I have an Associate’s Degree in Architectural Technology from Madison Area Technical College, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Lakeland College near Sheboygan, WI.  I’ve been married to my wife, Kym, for 38 years.  We built a home in 1985 in Middleton (Madison, WI) and have lived there ever since.  We have two children.  Holly, our daughter, is married to Sam.  They live in Minneapolis with their son Graeme (18 months).  Our son, Ryan, is married to Ella.  They live in Madison.   Editor’s Note:  We couldn’t let “Ridgeway Ghost” just float there (pun intended).  Wikipedia says that regional folklore holds that the Ridgeway Ghost is a combination of two brothers who had the misfortune to be murdered as a result of a bar brawl sometime in the early 1840s.  He (they?) have been sighted anywhere from the village of Blue Mounds to the town of Dodgeville in Iowa County, Wisconsin.   Sightings of the “Ridgeway Ghost” supposedly escalate in cycles about every 40 years, starting in the 1850s and occurring more frequently again in the 1890s, the 1930s and the 1970s.  Now you know!

 

How did you find out about PFS?  Who hired you? 

I’ve had two stints at PFS.  I was originally hired fresh out of technical school in 1975. There was a building recession in 1975 and jobs were hard to come by in the construction industry.   PFS had contacted the technical school, looking for someone with drafting experience to work for the summer.  I went in for the interview with the Executive Vice President, Ed Starostovic.  Ed asked me to identify some blue line drawings for him.  I told him one was a plumbing schematic and the other was an electrical diagram.  Ed replied “you’re hired!”  

 

What was it like for you at PFS "back in the day?” 

I believe I was the 10th person on the payroll when I originally joined in 1975.  The entire office staff consisted of just five people: Ed; Mary Duss, the office manager; Jim Rothman, Technical Director; Mark Severson, Plan Reviewer; and myself, Assistant Plan Reviewer.  That first stint at PFS, rather than three summer months, lasted five years from 1975 to 1980.  It was an exciting and fun five years.  I was originally hired as a plan reviewer, reviewing modular floor plans; but since the staff was small, I got to do a little of everything.  The new HUD Mobile Home (now Manufactured Home) standard was published in December, 1975, becoming effective in 1976.  I was soon reviewing HUD Code floor plans.  Before 1976 was out, I was inspecting HUD Code homes and had spoken at a PFS seminar on HUD Code homes.  Between 1976 and 1980, PFS also had me inspecting Taco John modular restaurants, wood truss plants for the Truss Plate Institute program, pallet plants for the Grocery Pallet Council, and preservative treated lumber.  I even got involved in developing an audit program for a 20-minute fire door manufacturer.

 

The PFS laboratory was located in Tacoma, WA when I joined the company, but we were able to conduct a little testing in Madison.  I got involved in the testing of kitchen cabinets and shear walls.  I even participated in the structural testing of metal skin insulated panels and geodesic domes.

 

What other experiences prepared you for your current position as President/CEO?

In the late 1970’s, high oil prices had driven the demand for wood burning stoves and furnaces.  The need for testing and certification of these stoves was high.  During parts of 1979 and 1980, PFS was testing wood stoves and furnaces literally around the clock.  Even at 24 hours/day, we had a testing backlog of several months, and many of those manufacturers were having a lot of trouble getting their stoves to comply with the UL safety standards.  While I didn’t do any safety testing of wood stoves at that time, I did get involved in efficiency and emissions testing of wood stoves.  I saw the huge backlog and the need for R & D testing, so I left PFS in 1980, and with two other individuals, set up Certicon, an R & D testing laboratory, in Middleton (Madison), Wisconsin.   At Certicon, we focused on safety and emissions testing of solid fuel heating and gas heating appliances.  We would work with the manufacturers to get their stoves in compliance, so that they could be certified by a certification agency, such as PFS, UL or Warnock Hersey.  While technically successful, I learned that we needed a regular, focused sales effort to sustain the company.

 

In 1983, we sold Certicon to Warnock Hersey which was eventually sold to Intertek.  I worked for Warnock Hersey and Intertek for 20 years.  Over those 20 years, I had several roles including Laboratory Manager, location General Manager, and US General Manager of Certification - Building Products.  At Warnock Hersey and Intertek, I learned about the need for a good, documented quality system to operate the company by.

 

I came back to PFS in 2004 managing the PFS Quality System, accreditations and internal audits.  I’ve also held the positions of IPIA Coordinator and Chief Operating Officer.

 

Why did you want to become President/CEO of PFS?  What is your vision for PFS? PFS has a very solid, core business and a strong client list.  PFS had just weathered the most recent recession and came out stronger because of it.  I felt that with my experience, I could help PFS improve efficiency, deliver even better service to its customers, and grow the business in a profitable fashion. I believe that PFS should be more sales focused.  I believe there are opportunities for PFS to expand beyond our traditional core businesses.  There are other building products that PFS could be testing, inspecting and certifying.  In short there are opportunities for PFS to grow.

 

As an employee owned company (ESOP), we have a somewhat different culture at PFS.  The employee owners of PFS have a different attitude about their jobs, their company, and their responsibilities that positively impact performance.  Employee ownership is successful at PFS because the actions of employees drive financial success throughout the company.  In ESOPs, company financial success leads to employee financial success. I want to foster that culture of employee ownership and company success.

 

What do you do outside of PFS for fun and relaxation?

For the last 18 months, we’ve been spending a lot of time visiting/playing with our new grandson, Graeme.  When I’m not with my grandson, depending on the season, I might be golfing, kayaking, or cross-country skiing.  We also attend quite a few University of Wisconsin Badger football and basketball games.

 

 

 



2. Rick Wenner speaks at Builders Breakfast


RICK WENNER SPEAKS AT BUILDERS BREAKFAST

 

On Wednesday, December 18, Rick Wenner, Vice President of the PFS Northeast Region, spoke at the Builders Breakfast in Frederick, MD.  The monthly breakfast is hosted by Gary Fleisher, author of the blog, “Modular Home Builder” at modularhomecoach.com.  The following is from the blog after Rick’s presentation.  Congratulations, Rick, on a job well done!

December's Builder Breakfast Passes PFS Inspection

Every month I ask myself if this month's Builder Breakfast will be one of my best yet and this month I knew after just 10 minutes that asking Rick Wenner, VP of PFS, the national third party inspector for the modular industry, to speak was one of my best decisions yet.

 

Rick began by showing us what PFS does that most of us have never known they do. Not only do they do Third Party inspections in modular home factories ensuring that the homes being delivered to modular home builders are compliant with all National and State building codes but they also do specific testing, evaluation and certifications for:

  • Engineered Wood
  • Industrialized Construction
  • Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)
  • Fire Testing
  • Adhesives and Sealants
  • Wood and Composite Panels
  • Treated Wood
  • Wood Foundations


Their employees include Architects, Engineers, fire specialists, wood scientists and lots of laboratory technicians. PFS also does consulting, forensic investigations, holds seminars and sends out a newsletter.

Rick fielded a lot of tough questions from everyone and in the end we all walked away with a better understanding of how PFS is one of the biggest allies we as builders and manufacturers could possibly have. He also cleared up a lot of misconceptions many of (us) have had about the third party inspection process.

Rick, Thank You for sharing what PFS does for all of us and I really want you to came back again in 2015 and address even more of the modular housing people about what your company does.



3. The PFS Seminar 90


PFS Seminar No. 90 - Well Attended

 

Fifty-nine quality control inspectors, industry professionals, and PFS staff participated in the PFS Seminar No. 90 for Inspectors, Trainees and Maintenance of In-Plant Inspectors held at Woodlands Inn Convention Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on January 15 and 16, 2015.

 

   

 

Rick Wenner, P.E., Vice President of the PFS Northeast Region stated, “The seminar was well attended. The content was well-chosen and very beneficial to manufacturing personnel in attendance. The presenters covered topics relevant to factory-built construction industry.”

 

The topics presented included:

 

Ø      Massachusetts Compliance Issues with Modular Manufacturers – by Stephen Kennealy, Director of Manufactured Buildings in Tauton, MA   

 

Ø      The International Residential Coded Braced Wall Line Transition from the 2012 to the 2015 editions – by David E. Billingsley, P.E., Glenco, Inc. in Middleburg, PA.

 

Ø      The Pennsylvania Commercial Modular Regulations for Document Submission and Requirements for a Third-Party – by Milton Stoltzfus, PA DCED Industrialized Housing and Program Manager in Harrisburg, PA.

 

Ø      Residential and Commercial State Code Updates for Factory-Built Construction Systems – by Rick Wenner, P.E., PFS Vice President of the Northeast Region in Bloomsburg, PA.

 

Ø      2015 International Residential Code Significant Changes – by Richard W. Bird II, Director of Engineering, Muncy Homes in Muncy, PA.

 

 

Ø      Energy Conservation Code Construction Practices for Factory-Built Homes – by Bryan Heitzman, Pennsylvania Housing Research Center Training and Educational Specialist in State College, PA.

 

Ø      Factory-Built Construction Systems Plan Review Errors and Omissions – by Harold Raup, PFS NER Plans Examiner in Bloomsburg, PA.

 

      

Stephen Kennealy         Richard W. Bird II                 David E. Billingsley

 

               

Milton Stoltzfus                                  Bryan Heitzman

 

            

Rick Wenner                             Harold Raup

 

 

Other topics presented included a brief overview of the 2014 year audit findings by the regulatory agencies for the Industrialized Building Commission (IBC), PA Industrialized Housing Program, and Maryland DHCD presented by Robert Gorleski, General Manager of the PFS Manufactured Structures Division in Cottage Grove, WI.

 

PFS Corporation expresses gratitude to all the speakers presenting topics, our loyal manufacturers, PFS Bloomsburg staff along with Debbie Stephenson and Angie Udelhofen from the PFS Corporate staff for another successful seminar.

 


4. PFS Attends the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show


Pictured from left to right: Ron Reindl (PFS), Walter Comer (Adventure Homes),

Robert Gorleski (PFS), and Rich Rice (Adventure Homes)

PFS Corporation attended the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show held on January 21 - 23, 2015, at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is sponsored by The Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation, including its five member organizations: the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association, the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association, the Kentucky Manufactured Housing Institute, the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association, and the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association.

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show provides an opportunity for manufacturers to showcase new manufactured homes, modular homes, and park models to the industry. The event included over 35 exhibitors, and many of the manufactured homes exhibitors are loyal PFS Corporation clients.

Ron Reindl, PFS Corporation Vice President of Products Marketing & Sales commented, “The show is an excellent opportunity to meet our clients in a different environment from the production facility, to network with industry professionals, and to catch-up with old friends.”

Bob Gorleski, the General Manager of the Manufactured Structures Division, stated, “The PFS Corporation clients showcased many exciting single-section and system-built homes with innovative and impressive designs.”

PFS Corporation expresses gratitude to Adventure Homes of Garrett, Indiana, and its President, Walter Comer and Director of Operations, Rich Rice for extending the invitation to PFS Corporation to attend the 2015 Louisville Manufactured Housing Show. We wish all manufacturers much success in the coming year!

 



5. PFS Exhibits at 2014 Wisconsin Housing Alliance Annual Conference


Pictured from left to right: Ron Reindl and Robert Gorleski

PFS Corporation Vice President of the Products Division, Ron Reindl, and the General Manager of the Manufactured Structures Division, Robert Gorleski, attended the 2014 Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA) annual conference on November 12 and 13, 2014, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Ron and Bob greeted visitors at the PFS exhibit and provided literature to attendees throughout both days. The WHA annual conference featured a variety of educational programs in addition to booths sponsored by manufacturers and suppliers in the industry.

The Wisconsin Housing Alliance is a trade association representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry.  The organization was founded in 1949 and is based in Madison.  The Alliance is a member of the Manufactured Housing Institute.



6. PFS Corporation Promotes Larry Turner, PE


The Manufactured Structures Division General Manager, Bob Gorleski, is pleased to announce the promotion of Larry Turner, PE to Senior Engineer for the Manufactured Structures Division. Larry holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. He is a licensed professional engineer in Wisconsin and Texas.  He is certified as a Wisconsin residential and commercial building inspector, a residential combination inspector with the International Codes Council (ICC), and an Industrialized Buildings Commission (IBC) inspector.
 
Larry has more than 30 years of plan review, inspection, and construction industry experience. He worked as a staff engineer for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Buildings and the Wisconsin cities of Verona, Oregon, and Middleton as a commercial and residential inspector.  As the owner of Turner Development, Inc., he developed custom built condominium projects in Wisconsin. He previously worked for PFS in the mid 1990s as a staff engineer for the Midwest Region, and he rejoined PFS in the early 2000s as a staff engineer, plans examiner and inspector for both the Products and Manufactured Structures Divisions.

Bob Gorleski stated, “Larry is a good fit for the Manufactured Structures Division because of his vast knowledge of engineering, plan review and inspection; and he works well with clients and co-workers.”

In his new position, Larry is responsible for the approval of modular and manufactured homes engineering plans and calculations for compliance to the codes and standards, and he will provide engineering technical assistance to PFS modular and manufactured homes clients and staff.  Additional duties and responsibilities include Energy-Star inspection for modular and manufactured homes, assisting our DAPIA Administrator on written responses to HUD design review issues, preparing DC and AC memoranda for clients and staff, and reviewing Florida product approval and alternate material approval for clients.

Larry and his wife Alice have two grown children and reside in Verona, Wisconsin.  They enjoy spending time with their family and grandchildren when they are not golfing or hunting.


To contact Larry, please phone him at 608-839-1476 or via email at lturner@pfscorporation.com.

 



7. PFS Corporation Welcomes Jeremy Kaukl


PFS Corporation proudly welcomes Jeremy Kaukl to its corporate staff as a residential and commercial plans examiner for our modular clients. Jeremy is a 2003 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. He has worked as an intern architect and draftsman developing AutoCAD drawings and reviewing shop drawings for accuracy, as well as drafting and designing commercial, retail, restaurants, K-12 schools, municipal, and residential projects.

“Jeremy is an excellent fit for the Manufactured Structures Division,” says Bob Gorleski, General Manager of the Manufactured Structures Division. “With his background in architectural drafting and design, he is well-prepared to provide plan evaluation to verify code compliance for PFS clients.”

Jeremy resides in Marshall, Wisconsin.  In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, canoeing, trail cycling and rock climbing.  The love of the outdoors and an interest in nature photography has led him to begin pictorially chronicling his hiking exploits,

Another of his diverse interests is home brewing, and he is an active member of the Madison Home Brewers and Tasters Guild. He volunteers at the Great Taste of the Midwest held at Olin Park in Madison, Wisconsin, each summer.
 
When Jeremy is not out exploring or brewing beer, he enjoys reading novels, searching science oriented websites, and solving crossword puzzles.

Welcome aboard, Jeremy!

 

 


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