Monday, April 15, 2013

The Hurst Convention Center was bustling with nearly a thousand Real Estate Investors this past weekend for the 3rd annual REI Expo. With so many speakers and sponsors there was something to be seen every which way. One thing was certain, this was a well run event and could be at least partially attributed to the veterans that were hired though The Military Veteran Peer Network to staff the event.

Tim Herriage, Founder of the REI Expo served as a Marine and it shows in the way he runs the event. When asked about the veteran staff he said, “Whenever I get the opportunity to help out a fellow vet I take it. They did not disappoint.”

“The Military Veteran Peer Network or the MVPN is an organization that helps vets that have gone through some hard times to get back on their feet. They are good people, they just need another chance at life.” said Anthony Suber of MVPN. MVPN helps the veterans with a place to stay, counseling and work opportunity.  

Belinda Savage of IRA Services attended the event as a sponsor. She commented on how well the event was run. One of the veterans identified himself as such and told her that his paycheck was going to pay his tuition and that it would change his life. Savage said, “I was so grateful to have been blessed to hear this from this fine man that had given so much for us. It really touched my heart deeply.”   

The giving didn’t stop with the paycheck. Scott Carson of Inverse Investments, also an event sponsor found out the staff were veterans and took up a collection for them. He raised over $600 in the little time that was left. As Carson talked to others about the veterans they emptied their pockets to give what they had. Carson said, “It was really cool seeing people giving back to those that gave so much. Those guys went out with dreams and so many came back to an unexpected cold welcome. This was our chance to make that up to them in a small way.”

Carson continued, “Those guys have given so much there is no way we could really ever thank them enough for what they have done for us. Those guys went out of their way. They are the reason we can have these events. Both veterans that served and those serving now give us our freedom to enjoy all the little things in life.”           

As this money was divided equally and presented to the veterans in a private room, many looks of amazement turned to humble tears and strong words of gratitude. One veteran looked upwards and thanked his maker.

The REI Expo thanks everyone that helps make this event so special on so many levels.

Military Veteran Peer Network
Scott Carson Inverse Investments /
Tim Herriage REI Expo
Written by: Samuel Sadler elleven group

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Energy Swing Windows Manufactures Windows in Murrysville

I did this press interview 2 years ago. It has been fun continuing to watch this company grow and still bring innovation to the window industry. February 10, 2011 – Murrysville, PA – Energy Swing Windows is manufacturing and installing windows in Murrysville. In a recent interview Energy Swing Windows CEO, Stephen Rennekamp commented “In the perfect world a company would sell, manufacture, install and service custom windows entirely in-house. Welcome to our perfect world. With us homeowners deal directly with the manufacturer. We make every window for a specific opening in a specific home. Every homeowner gets the best case scenario every time.” That is very different from the middle man approach so common in their marketplace.

No one else in Murrysville both manufactures and installs custom windows. Their competitors rely on another company to manufacture the windows and would then either install them or they may have subcontractors install the windows for them so the only role they really play is middle man. This is a very popular business model, not so much because it is what is best for the homeowner, but it is relatively inexpensive to open and operate this type of business.

Energy Swing Windows has a different philosophy and they attribute their growth in Murrysville to that philosophy. “If a homeowner has a problem, they only have one call to make. They won’t get the run around. They won’t get two or three companies blaming each other for the problem. They will get the same people they bought the windows from coming out and taking care of the product both labor and material. Most homeowners do not understand that most window manufacturers will have the homeowner send in their faulty part and send them a repaired or replacement part. The homeowner would then have to reinstall the part themselves or pay for the part to be reinstalled a second time,” Says Rennekamp.

“It makes a lot of sense to manufacture a window specifically for an opening instead of trying to fit a mass-produced window into a custom opening,” Says Rennekamp. With variables such as brick or siding on the exterior or drywall, cinder block, metal, plaster or jamb and casing on the interior, significant risks are taken if the replacement window is not custom manufactured for the opening with the correct surface systems in place for that specific application. Many contractors simply use caulk and backer rod to try to aesthetically fix an imperfect window installation or size issue. Over time that installation will fail and leave the homeowner with significant problems. Energy Swing Windows offers the solution.