Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Dan Bonar, for one!
Occupation: “Director of Sales & Marketing, ICC Industrial Chimney Company.”
Special Interests/Hobbies: “I try to take advantage of the snowy Québec winters by downhill skiing. I used to be an instructor, so I give my daughters (7 and 3 years old) lessons. In the summer I trade my snow skis for water skis and we spend most of our free time lakeside.
“I love to entertain and consider BBQ and cooking an avid pastime. Wine tasting, beer tasting, and scotch tasting are also high on the list – just not all at the same time.”
Problems/Issues Facing the Hearth Industry: “I’m on the Board of Directors of the HPBAC as well as the APC (Québec’s association). Through the Government Affairs Committees it’s obvious we’re still fighting a long-held negative view of our industry from a health and environmental standpoint.”
“The HPBA and HPBAC are doing an incredible job of educating those who make decisions, but changing established perceptions isn’t easy. Too many consumers and legislators are uninformed about how incredibly clean-burning and efficient modern hearth products are.”
“Also, recent tariffs across the U.S. / Canada border have made life difficult for chimney manufacturers in both countries. As steel chimney lengths cross the border, they are subject to 25% tariffs. This has meant increased prices for consumers on both sides of the border.”
Key Trends in the Hearth Industry Today: “Customers want EPA 2020 certified units today, and emissions reduction is becoming the trend. Many of our customers are starting with an emissions goal, and then finding an appliance that suits their objectives. As a company at the forefront of clean-burning technology, it’s a great position to be in.”
“Customers also want the biggest, aesthetically-clean glass doors you can put on a fireplace, with the smallest chimney possible.”
Forecast for Your Overall Business in 2019: “We’ve continued to grow our product offerings; this year we expanded into the wood grill and fire pit markets. The 2018–2019 season is shaping up to be strong for pellet appliances. That will bring in sales from a previously slow category in which we have very good market share. With 2018 shaping up to be our biggest year on record, we’re optimistic that will rollover into a very strong 2019.
Years Reading Hearth & Home: “Fifteen, ever since I first started working as a wood stove/fireplace installer.”
Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “Hearth & Home feels like it really has its finger on the industry’s pulse. Reading it gives me insight into my competition, my customers, and the industry as a whole. The industry numbers are helpful in planning, and it’s always exciting to see our products on the back cover!”