SHELTER
Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

January/February 2005                                Volume 44,  Issue 1

    
From the Editor
         The Issue at Hand

New for the New Year

It’s a real pleasure for me to be “guest hosting” in Samantha Carpenter’s column this month, and to do so for such a happy reason at that. You may not realize that editors schedule their lives, including their vacations, around deadlines and issue closings, so to find an editor on vacation with a column due is very unusual. 

Samantha recently got word that her husband, who has been stationed in Iraq for the past eight months, was coming home for two weeks of R&R. But she worried because his visit would be during the production of this issue. We all told her to forget about us for two weeks and enjoy husband Jeff’s visit. It will be the first time he has seen his one-year old twin sons (or Samantha for that matter) since they were two-months old. “But what about my column?” asked our very happy editor, “I didn’t write it yet.”

“I’ll try to handle it, Samantha,” I promised. “But don’t worry, I will let our readers know that it’s not being written by you.” So with full disclosure that Sam is on vacation and did not write this column, here goes:

As president of a company that publishes seven magazines, mostly in the construction field, I am sometimes afforded a unique view of the conditions that bind disparate parts of the industry together. These conditions, effecting most of the construction business, form the basis for my list of things to watch for in 2005, Specifically:

    1.     Housing starts will slow, but remain strong. Nearly every economic forecast you read says the same thing—starts will be down, but still strong. For more information on what’s ahead, please see the article called “Companies Share Trends for 2005” on page 18.

    2.     The evolution of our stateside industry into one global interdependent industry will continue. You need simply look at how much the channels to market have changed worldwide in the last five years to see the dramatic difference. Such changes offer tremendous challenges and tremendous opportunities.

    3.     China will continue to grow in influence at exponential rates. The Chinese are just beginning to turn attention toward the window, door and millwork industries. For 
more information on this growth phenomena, see the article called, “IMPORT-ant” in the March ’04 issue of SHELTER.

    4.     Interest rates will continue to rise slowly. The causal relationship between interest rates, new home starts and subsequent construction spending (including on remodeling homes) will remain strong as well.
    
    5.     2005 will bring some exciting new products.
We are aware of a number of break-through products scheduled for launch this year and will be excited to bring them to you in our pages.

We are also excited that SHELTER will be represented at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Jan. 13-16 in booth W9227. Please stop by and visit us and pick up a copy of SHELTER and our new magazine, Mold & Moisture Management. 

Publisher Brian Welsh and I will be there, and, of course, Samantha will be back. See you there.
                                                                                                                        —Deb

Debra Levy is the president of Key Communications Inc., which publishes SHELTER magazine. 


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