December 2019 Print

President's Report

I hope to find all gearing up for the holidays and that all had a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Remember to always watch for IAHA training opportunities.  Some great training is being planned for 2020, both for standalone training sessions as well as for the Clinic.  The theme for the Clinic this year is “Salute to our Military”.  We are switching it up this year and I think you will be very pleased with our opening session.   It is hard to find better training than IAHA offers at the price we offer it at.  I always encourage Executives to give as much opportunity for training as you can.  It helps not only your employees, but also your agency. Mark your calendar and plan to be at the IAHA Maintenance and Management Clinic on April 15 to 17.  We will again be at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, IL.  Watch the website for registration details!

We had a great Annual Meeting in Joliet back in September.  Thank you NICHA for coordinating this.  It was well attended, the training I felt was very good and I think the venue offered some great opportunities (and space – wow, that veranda) for people to network, relax and just have a fun time.

Chris Blechle and Tim McAnarney have been very busy with all of the “stuff” going on in Springfield.  I want to thank both for the great job they do keeping IAHA informed on this “stuff” that affects us.  I also want to thank them for keeping IAHA involved and acknowledged by legislators and legislative offices.  They were instrumental in getting these politicians and committees to reach out to IAHA now to ask and consider our position in the legislation that affects us.  Thank you, Chris and Tim!

That is about it for now.  I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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New Shop Talk

Hi again everyone!  2019 is grinding to an end and soon everything will be 2020 to us, so our focus should be somewhat improved shortly, right?

Here is something to focus on - a vendor that I have used over the past couple years and now feel comfortable to recommend -  Less expensive than Grainger and Home Deport Supply for every large ticket plumbing (and other) needs I have.  Their website is easy to navigate, purchase from, and allows you to monitor the shipment following the order.  We have saved at least one-third to one-half on our circulating pumps, fittings, etc.  I know we all get into that comfortable rut with our vendors, especially the local ones, but really owe it to the HA to look for a better source.  Remember, if you depend on your local HVAC or plumbing vendor to supply the service AND PARTS you need when you break down, those parts have been marked up at least once and sometimes twice since the original purchase. ( is a great source for “attic stock” of parts.  We pay enough for the trades (whom I greatly respect), but we don’t need to pay overhead and profit fees assessed on the exact same materials I can get and store on my own.

So, let me tell you about our most recent purchase.  After considerable consideration, our HA purchased and is now using a Pro-Press system for plumbing repairs.  All legal and within our local codes, this system will pay for itself very soon.  No more cleaning, sanding and sweat-fitting copper lines by a plumber.  The average cost for a local plumbing contractor to replace a natural gas water heater for us is $150 - $175.  I saw the Milwaukee Pro-Press 12 for about $1,800.  I saved an additional 5% for ordering on Black Friday.  In addition, the Milwaukee brand is promoting a free 3 piece accessory kit for the tool through January 31st.  This is a very timely newsletter as TODAY is the day we first used it in the field.  Everything worked well and I am doing a quick time study on how long the payback time will be.  Well, as of this article, we are 1/10th on the way already.  Nine more water heaters and it has paid for itself!  The Pro Press works with the “pex” water supply couplers, too!  The kit we bought came with two batteries and three sizes of presses.  Before buying, I recommend you visit the Milwaukee Tools website and watch the very short, yet very informative videos on the proper use of such tool.  

If you have some time, REAC’s new proposed “NSPIRE” protocol is available for your viewing.  There are several ways to access the site, but I just go to HUD’s website ([email protected]) and click on “HUD seeks NSPIRE Standards”.  This is great training and shows you how many different categories they are working on.  While the REAC inspectors are still using the current protocol, which includes the NIS upgrades, I have recently learned from many of my HA counterparts that achieving a high score is as tough as ever.  We all have different extenuating circumstances, and situations that are tough to bring into compliance.  As I continually preach, however, those issues will not go away and are things that you should take into consideration. 

It is hard not to bring up HD Supply somewhere in each of my newsletters.  Coming to WCHA from retail, this vendor impressed me early.  Now they are getting serious about water heaters and you probably should give them a look, not only for purchases, but also the dreaded warranty issues that arise with water heaters.  I sense that a lot of money is wasted by simply replacing what we consider defective instead of filing a warranty claim, or requesting covered replacement parts.  Most plumbing vendors who install our water heaters hand us the paperwork to submit for proof of purchase, warranty information and even recalls, then leave.  Take the time to go to HD Supply – Water Heaters for A. O. Smith water heater training videos, warranty info and much more.  Then, call your commercial HD Supply representative for pricing.  If you do not know who that person is, call the main number, give them your account number (they have caller ID, so don’t be alarmed if they already know who is calling!) The figure they gave me is higher than my current vendor, but they offer free delivery to whatever site you want them to deliver it to.  Not sure if we will jump…but it is an option.

We all have a lot to be grateful for and I always end my newsletters praising all of you who put roofs over people’s heads.  Daunting tasks they are, often tough enough to try the most thick-skinned of us, but you know where many of the comments and attitudes come from, and end up accepting it.  I really enjoy being your counterpart in this business, and happy holidays to all! 

Dennis Schumacher

Warren County Housing Authority  

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The IAHA Public Relations Committee awarded five individuals with awards at the September Anual Meeting in Joliet Illinois on September 26th.  The winners were...

  • Anne Smith with Menard County Housing Authority Receives the 2019 David W. Morgan Award

  • Peg Barkley on behalf of the Macoupin County Housing Authority Team Receives the Outstanding Achievement Operational Excellence Award.

  • Lynda Krulac with Fulton County Housing Authority Receives the Outstanding Achievement Resident Relations Award

  • Tom Upchurch with Jefferson County Housing Authority Receives the Outstanding Achievement Creativity Award

  • Dennis Green with Pekin Housing Authority Receives the Outstanding Achievement Miscellaneous Award

IAHA is very fortunate to have such devoted, creative and caring people working within the housing authorities of Illinois.

You can read all of the nominations here.

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IAHA Board of Directors

Your IAHA Board of Directors for 2019 ~ 2020

IAHA Executive Committee


Mr. Randy McGill

Kankakee County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Past President

Mr. Dennis Green

Pekin Housing Authority

[email protected]

1st Vice President

Ms. Jackie Newman

Springfield Housing Authority

[email protected]

2nd Vice President

Ms. Deanna Mitchell

Richland County Housing Authority

[email protected]


Mr. Ed Bochniak

Carroll County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Recording Secretary

Ms. Lindsey Morris

Edward County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Executive Board Directors

Mr. Derek Antoine

Knox County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Ms. Peg Barkley

Macoupin County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Mr. Chris Blechle

Randolph County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Ms. Rhonda Cronin

Jersey County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Ms. Diana Etheridge

Marion Housing Authority

[email protected]         

Mr. Jerry Gille

Quincy Housing Authority

[email protected]

Ms. Gina Hardiek

Effingham County Housing Authority

[email protected]   

Mr. Todd Harris

Livingston county Housing Authority

[email protected]

Ms. Shelly Perkins

DeKalb County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Mr. Tom Upchurch

Housing Authority of Jefferson County

[email protected]

Ms. Jaclyn Vinson

Danville Housing Authority

[email protected]

Ms. DiAnne Witsman

Livingston County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Council Presidents

Northern Illinois Council of Housing Authorities (NICHA)

Ms. Diane Gregoire

Woodford County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Central Illinois Council of Housing Officials (CICHO)

Mr. Chris Bruns

Pike County Housing Authority

[email protected]

Egyptian Council of Housing Officials (ECHO)

Ms. Sara O’Neal

Johnson County Housing Authority

[email protected]

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