Surprisingly Affordable Luxury with New Freestanding Tub from American Standard

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cadet-freestanding-tub-american-standardThe new Cadet freestanding bathtub from American Standard makes building a beautiful luxury bathroom more affordable than ever. This sleek, attractive tub is available for a competitively priced $1,750 (suggested list price), which also includes a contemporary styled tub filler, a convenient hand spray, and the drain assembly.

Offering the comfort of a luxurious, freestanding soaking tub without the price tag, the Cadet tub is a perfect option for new homes or for a bathroom remodeling update. The Cadet freestanding soaking tub is also built to last, with high-gloss, acrylic-capped ABS construction for a scratch-resistant shine and lasting durability.

For more information on the new Cadet freestanding tub, view the complete press release or email us.

Luxury | New Building Products | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


National Kitchen & Bath Association Reveals Top 10 Industry Trends for 2013

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The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has released the top 10 kitchen and bath design trends to watch for in 2013, based on input from more than 300 member-designers in the United States and Canada.

Among the overall trends identified for this year, gray color schemes in both kitchens and baths have witnessed a dramatic escalation since 2010, particularly over the past year. Used currently in 55% of kitchens and 56% of bathrooms, shades of gray are growing in appeal, creating chic, sophisticated spaces that many consumers desire. Separately continuing an important trend from last year, transitional-style kitchens and baths have clearly surpassed traditional styles, a longstanding favorite until 2012. Also, while the use of quartz finishes was in slight decline last year, it has surfaced as a clear trendsetter this year, coming a close second to perennial favorite granite.

No growth in consumer outlays: While the total cost of the average bathroom remained steady in 2013, the average kitchen cost dipped slightly to $47,308, from $51,050 in 2012.

Follow the link to view the press release about this announcement as well as access the complete NKBA Kitchen and Bath Style Report, or email us.

Building Industry News | Luxury | New Construction | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News | Remodeling


Jeffrey Earnhardt Racing Uponor Ford Mustang in Charlotte

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MOORESVILLE, NC — Jeffrey Earnhardt announced that he would be driving the #39 Uponor Ford Mustang for Go Green Racing in the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 12. Earnhardt will be racing in his fifth Nationwide race of the season and looks forward to competing in his hometown.

“It’s always nice when family and friends can get to the track and be part of the day,” said Earnhardt. “We’ve had to choose which races to run this season so I could preserve my rookie status for 2013, and we’re glad that our sponsor Uponor chose Charlotte.”

Uponor is a leading manufacturer and supplier of plumbing, fire sprinkler and radiant heating and cooling systems for commercial and residential building markets across North America and Europe. Uponor’s Director of Brand Management Ingrid Mattsson commented, “The Uponor team is thrilled to bring Earnhardt racing to our contractors and partners and looks forward to cheering on Jeffrey in the Uponor Ford Mustang.”

Earnhardt’s been maintaining his focus through intense MMA (mixed martial arts) training while working on sponsorship plans for 2013. He won an MMA contest earlier this year with a unanimous decision.

“Our JEI group has been working hard to make sure we run a full season in 2013, and I’ve been front and center with sponsors so they get to know me and the value of working together,” he says. “Uponor is a world-class company and it’s pretty special having the opportunity to be part of their team. We’re going to give 110% to make sure their customers enjoy the experience.”

The race will be televised Oct. 12, 2012, on ESPN at 7 p.m. EDT. Jeffrey can be heard weekly at 9 p.m. on SiriusXM NASCAR radio with Claire B. Lang.

Building Industry News | Luxury | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


New Website Helps Homeowners Identify Independent Living Solutions from American Standard

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With the number of aging homeowners on the rise and multigenerational households becoming commonplace, American Standard Brands has established an online resource that showcases a number of safe and accessible product solutions designed to provide convenience for all lifestyles and life stages.

The website,, offers a complete range of home design and independent living solutions — from walk-in bathtubs, zero threshold showers and wheelchair-accessible lavatories — as well as resources from the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) Program.

For more information on this new resource, view the complete press release for the Safe and Accessible Bathroom website  or email us.

Building Industry News | Luxury | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


New Digital Design Guides for JADO, Porcher, and American Standard

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Navigating kitchen and bath design choices just became a whole lot easier, thanks to two new interactive “brochures” from American Standard Brands: the JADO/Porcher Design Guide and American Standard Designer’s Portfolio.

In the new design guides, users can click on product images and other hot links to easily access product information and specifications.

Created to improve the showroom selling experience for designers, dealers, and customers alike, the brochures allow designers to walk customers through the product showroom with a mobile device such as a tablet or iPad displaying the digital catalog. Users can connect to informative online videos — that play directly within the brochure — to guide them through features and benefits of particular product lines.

For more information on these new resources, view the complete press release for the digital design guides or email us.

Building Industry News | Luxury | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Don’t let Marketing-Speak Drown Authentic Communication

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As marketers and communicators, we all bring a sophisticated and practiced eye to storytelling. When communicating with customers and media, we think and rethink both the message and the manner. This is as it should be. But during this cycle of refinement, we must remain vigilant that our marketing speak doesn’t drown authentic communication.

Authenticity. It sounds so simple. You know it when you hear it. Yet in business today, it can be so difficult to achieve. Is this because we’ve forgotten how effective an honest exchange can be? Is it because it is harder and riskier to drop the “should” and focus on the “is”?

Tony Radcliff, VP-offerings/marketing at Uponor

What drives authentic communication? A dialogue with your customers that involves active listening. Recently, I was privileged to participate in the biennial Uponor Convention: a two-day event that the company’s customers actually pay to attend, so they learn about how the manufacturer is engineering new solutions to help them be more competitive.

This year, Uponor management realized the meeting delivered an ideal opportunity for an authentic conversation.  As VP-offerings/marketing Tony Radcliff told attendees in the opening session:  “At Uponor – you ARE our friends. In the next few days together, honest exchanges can strengthen our bond and create a shared success. Our businesses are dependent upon each other as we move forward in this slowly, but surely improving economy…[W]e are hear to listen – to lay the foundation for an ongoing collaboration that hopefully erases the feeling that anyone here is in this alone.”

This brand promise embodies the relationship Uponor – and most other suppliers – seek with their customers. Radcliff’s next words offer the type of authentic communication that brings the brand promise to life:

“I don’t want to be presumptuous. There is a feeling in the Uponor organization that we haven’t been as attentive to our customer relationships and connections as we aspire to be. In fact, some of you folks in this room may have had some less-than-stellar experiences with Uponor during the past several years. We may well have some reparations to make. If so, we start today.”

Think we have total control over how our messages are perceived? Not so much any more. Consider the recent campaign waged by one teenage girl against Seventeen magazine. Sick to death of images of perfect, look-alike models, issue after issue, she took to Facebook to say “enough.” Her lone voice soon became a groundswell of thousands of Seventeen readers demanding that the magazine present a more authentic view of American teenage girls. After weeks of silence from the publisher – and news stories on nearly every network – the magazine did the only thing it could: engage in a meaningful conservation about content with its readers.

Owning an authentic message about your product – your “brand promise” – is an everyday job for everyone in an organization. Commitment to this dialogue makes responding in a crisis so much simpler and effective.

Luxury | Public Relations Insights | The OR-DP POV


American Standard Launches Product Training Laboratory for Hands-On Education

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A new American Standard Product Training Laboratory in Piscataway, NJ. enables in-depth training and best practices instruction on the installation, troubleshooting and repair of residential, commercial and institutional products and technologies.

The 1,600 sq. ft. hands-on education facility is designed for plumbing showroom managers and sales consultants to learn about the product design, engineering and performance testing behind the extensive range of American Standard products.

For more information on the new facility, view the complete press release for the American Standard Product Training Laboratory or email us.

Building Industry News | Luxury | O'Reilly-DePalma Client News


Danish pump maker centralizes municipal waste water business near Chicago

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Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos dedicated a new water utility center today in Aurora, Ill., that will serve the North American municipal waste water market. Pictured (left to right): Tom Weisner, Mayor of Aurora, Illinois; Dan Seals, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Pia Olsen Dyhr, Denmark’s Minister for Trade and Investment; and Jes Munk Hansen, president and CEO of Grundfos North America.

Executives from Denmark and the state of Illinois were on hand Wednesday as Denmark-based Grundfos debuted a new business development center devoted exclusively to the municipal waste water market in Aurora, Illinois.

Nearly 100 guests joined Grundfos personnel for a ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurating the new Water Utility Center, led by Pia Olsen Dyhr, Denmark’s Minister for Trade and Investment; and Dan Seals, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner.

More than 100 guests were on hand as Grundfos dedicated a new water utility center “competency center,” that will serve the North American municipal waste water market.

Speaking at today’s ceremony, Grundfos North America CEO and president Jes Munk Hansen said: “This center is pivotal to Grundfos becoming a leader in the North American municipal waste water business. We have big ambitions for the next five years, as we strive to double—if not triple—our sales in that key segment, with commensurate growth in our product offering.”  Learn how this event supported Grundfos business objectives.

Grundfos has invested more than $50 million in municipal water-related activities in the United States during the past few years, including acquisitions, increased production and infrastructure, information systems, product launches and the hiring of key people. Over the next half-decade, the company expects to invest an equal amount in its North American operations.

“These investments are part of a global strategy that aim to capture 10 percent of the worldwide municipal market and generate roughly $1.3 billion in export sales,” said Hansen.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn commended the company for its area investment and centralized location.

Dan Seals, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, helps dedicate a new water utility center for Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos

“Illinois is one of the best places to do business in the world,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “We are pleased Grundfos has chosen to expand its operations in Illinois and build a new business development center, which will create more jobs and boost economic growth in our state.”

Grundfos expects to use the Aurora Water Utility Center as a platform for launching increasingly sophisticated, energy-saving pump technologies in the coming years, all targeting the waste water market. While the segment has been slow to adopt these more advanced—and therefore more costly—technologies because of a slumping economy and local-government budget shortfalls, Hansen is confident that the current brake on infrastructure spending will not last much longer.

“That is why our focus at Grundfos is on developing more energy-efficient pumping products, and why we look at the market in terms of the next two decades, instead of the next two quarters,” says Hansen. “As a privately held organization, we can afford to have a long-term perspective with regard to our investments and business strategy. Our dedication to the municipal water market in North America is a long-term strategy.”

Building Industry News | Luxury | The OR-DP POV


American Standard Honors W.T. Leonard & Associates for Top Sales

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Mark Owens (left) of American Standard Brands awarded the company's 2011 Top Sales Award to Tom Leonard (right) of W.T. Leonard & Associates, recognizing the firm's outstanding sales growth and performance.

American Standard Brands recently honored W.T. Leonard & Associates for outstanding sales achievement and performance in 2011. This top sales award for 2011 was presented by Mark Owens, central regional business manager for American Standard, to Tom Leonard, president of W.T. Leonard & Associates, in recognition of the firm’s continuous growth in sales and successful execution during the past year.

“We congratulate Tom Leonard and his team on a fantastic effort in 2011,” Owens said. “The Midwest territory – consisting of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Central/Southern Illinois – showed consistently strong growth throughout the year. The groundwork laid by W.T. Leonard in each of these states positions this company to hit new levels of growth well into the future.”

For more information on this announcement, view the complete press release on the American Standard top sales award or email us.

Building Industry News | Luxury


American Standard Brands Awarded Gates Foundation Grant to Develop Toilet System

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Cheers to our client, American Standard on being awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. American Standard Brands will develop and test a low-cost and potentially life-saving toilet system.

It’s easy for those of us in developed nations to forget how plumbing systems and plumbers “protect the health of the nation,” as  heralded in the famous 1930s advertisement from American Standard.

Lack of adequate sanitation facilities affects around 40 percent of the world’s population. 40 percent!   The World Health Organization estimate that 1.6 million people, mostly children under the age of five, die each year from water and sanitation related disease.

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American Standard is putting its top toilet scientist on the case, Jim McHale, a Ph.D, assisted by industrial designer Daigo Ishiyama.   McHale and Ishiyama just returned from a fact-finding trip to Bangladesh with International Development Enterprises (iDE).   Above, Ishiyama opens the door to a typical latrine.

Inside a typical Bangladesh latrine.  The pit is directly under the latrine, allowing flies to easily enter and exit the pit, spreading disease:

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The villager is holding a “bodna.”  Everyone goes to the river to fill the bonda before using the latrine, pouring the one liter of water down the latrine after use.

Improving the situation is quite challenge. There is simply not enough money in developing countries to construct and maintain sewer systems to safely remove waste from homes and villages.  Nor can villagers pay much more than the roughly $10 they currently pay for latrines.

Eight universities are also taking on the challenge with Gates Foundation grants.

Building Industry News | Good Works, Good Business | Luxury

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