IDAExpo 2013 Exhibitor Hospitality Concert: Lorrie Morgan to Headline IDAExpo Concert

Country and western singing star Lorrie Morgan will be the headliner for a spectacular concert to be conducted Friday evening, May 10, during the 2013 IDAExpo.  It will be an evening filled with music, food, beverges, games and fun for IDAExpo attendees.

Lorrie Morgan is not only a singer, but also a songwriter and worldwide entertainer on the performing and theatrical stage.  As a songstress she has sold more than six million records and received four Female Vocalists of the Year awards.  Her duet partners have included the likes of Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and The Beach Boys.  She’s appeared on Broadway and abroad.

And, on May 10, Lorrie Morgan will perform for IDAExpo registered attendees and exhibitors.  you won’t want to miss this special concert!


2013 IDAExpo: Keynote Speaker – Steve Rizzo “The attitude adjuster”

After being told by a guidance conselor that he didn’t have the intelligence for college, and having been saddled with the dubious high school honor of “Least Likely to Succeed,” Steve Rizzo didn’t give himself much of a chance to emerge as anything special.

After high school, Rizzo would go on to surprise everyone, including himself, by excelling with honors at the university and post-graduate levels.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of Rizzo’s career was the stellar degree of success he achieved as a performer, sharing the stage with Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy, and Ellen DeGeneres.

As a professional speaker, Rizzo offers a unique and insightful perspective on the journey that brought him to where he stands today.

Rizzo’s quest to remove the boundaries that were keeping him from the life he truly desired has brought his work full circle and he now understands that all of his past experiences were necessary to prepare him for his true calling: to help people learn to be happy and successful no matter what their current circumstances are.  “If they laugh while they learn,” says Rizzo, “then that’s just a bonus.”

Visit IDAExpo’s website to learn more about Steve Rizzo and see videos of his performance!


How to Get the Most from the 2013 IDAEXPO.

“Seeing friends, networking, enjoying the social activities and scheduling a  working vacation are all good reasons that many door dealers attend the IDAExpo.  But, they should be viewed more as pleasant parts of an annual opportunity to invest in one’s own company, supplemental to the business side of the event.

Simply stated, if you aren’t generating more business and enhancing your company’s profitability following the IDAExpo, you aren’t doing it right!

In addition to the networking, golfing, bike riding, motivating, dining, and dancing, there are two main components to the IDAExpo that are all about your business.  The first is education.  IDA devotes two full days each year for IDEA-produced seminars aimed at making a difference in the day-to-day lives of door dealers and their employees.  The second is the showcasing of products, also given two days, for attendees to discover new opportunities in the market.

Let’s first get two common myth about the IDAExpo out of the way:
– Myth #1 – The seminars are the same each year.
– Reality – No, they’re not!

A small number of topics are repeated from year-to-year, but not many, and only when they remain timely in the industry.  Most of the sessions are new, even if some of the presenters are the same.  When seminars are repeated, it is to accommodate dealers who attend ever other year, typically based on geographical location, and for those who attend each year, but often have to choose which seminars they can attend, and may want to learn from one they missed the previous year.  Each year, IDEA evaluates the market and seeks to determine what matters most to door dealers, at that time, and then produces seminars aimed at helping dealers address those challenges.  This changes each year, and a closer look at the workshop descriptions will clearly reveal this reality.

Additionally, sessions such as the Annual Economic Forecast presented by John Zoller and David Bowen, are new each year, based on data gathered during the course of the year, even if the title remains the same.

Myth #2 – There is nothing new on the exhibit hall floor.
Reality – Oh, yes there is!

The vast majority of industry manufacturers and suppliers who invest significant resources to display their products at the IDAExpo do so to display products and services that are in demand and which can bring new sales opportunities to the customers, both existing and new.  Very few exhibitors display the same products, without variation, from year-to-year.  Even those whose displays don’t show apparent remarkable change have new products to share with dealers.

Whether you are a frequent or infrequent IDAExpo attendee, you can turn the IDAExpo into a profit-driven event for your business, by following some basic steps.

– Plan ahead.  Review the IDAExpo schedule and identify the educational sessions that matter most to your business.  The schedule is aimed at ensuring there is something for everyone during each time slot throughout the two educational days.  Sometimes this means attendees must make choices, but pre-planning can help you maximize the benefit you receive from your educational journey.

– Bring people with you, and then split up.  This can resolve the dilemma just mentioned about having to make choices during the educational sessions.  There is cost associated with each attendee, and we understand that.  But remember, the purpose of the IDAExpo is to help dealers succeed, and if that means a modest investment in your company’s performance, it can generate a nice educational return.  Determine which of you will attend which seminars and then plan to sit down and share that information with one another afterwards.

– Bring your technicians.  We know you can’t bring them all, but most dealers have one or more technicians who lead by example.  They are the people who carry your reputation forth in the market each day.  If you are committed to professionalism – and the IDAExpo attendees certainly represented the professional side of the dealer market – then it’s important that every member of your team share that philosophy.  Giving them the opportunity to learn and gain a better sense of the broader industry will further advance the image you work so hard to embed in your company’s brand.

– Enroll your technicians in an IDEA certification course or two, and schedule their testing during the event.  The credentialing, alone, gives you more horsepower in the market by promoting your use of trained and certified technicians.  This year, for example, IDEA is producing a two-day training course on rolling steel doors, including rolling steel fire doors, and then offering both certification exams as an option at the conclusion of the second day.  Take advantage of these opportunities and watch your work force elevate themselves to the highest levels of performance and professionalism.

– Have a results-based plan for what you will derive from the educational programming.  If you are seeking to increase market share, there is a diversity of powerful sales seminars scheduled to help you accomplish that objective.  If you are seeking higher profitability through efficiency and management actions, there are sessions to help you learn from others, and which will inspired confidence in your willingness to make critical changes in your operations.  Determine your business objectives, and then attend the seminars that best fit your desired outcome.

– Spend tow days in the exhibit hall.  This is the one opportunity you have each year to conduct your own market research.  If you were to outsource such a venture, it would cost you far more than the expense of attending the IDAExpo.  By conclusion of the show on Saturday, you should leave with a clearer sense of what’s taking shape in the marketplace, what’s available to you and how you can best meet the needs and desires of your customers.

– Talk to the exhibitors.  Ask them “What’s new this year?”  By doing so, you’ll never leave saying “It’s the same products every year.”  New products and opportunities for your company may or may not be evident by waving a cursory glance at the displays at your steadily move from aisle to aisle.  The exhibitors have expert personnel on their company’s products on hand to tell you what’s new.  Ask them, and you’ll be amazed at how many new opportunities you can find in the exhibit hall.

– Don’t be afraid of the sales people.  The exhibitor personnel at the IDAExpo know their products, they understand the needs of door dealers, and they are experts at matching the two.  Not every exhibitor is going to meet the needs of every dealer, and many in fact, represent your competition.  But, by stopping to visit and ask questions of the exhibitors, you will learn more in your market research.  They won’t bite, and they won’t try to hard sell you.  They, too, are professionals just like you.

By taking the time and effort to utilize the opportunities available to you, your company can and should expect a measurable return on your IDAExpo investment.  If you take these approaches during the Nashville event, you’ll see the IDAExpo in a new light, and it will make all the fun that goes on at the show even more enjoyable.”

– Article by Todd Thomas.  Taken from the 2013 IDAExpo issue of “International Door and Operator Industry”.

Time to clean your garage door?

Your garage door is bound to get dirty, especially with all the different weather conditions it’s exposed to throughout the year.  The best time to clean it is during the spring and summer seasons.  The weather is perfect for being outside to clean out the garage and/or cleaning the doors.  Keeping your garage door clean is very simple!  Don’t be scared, or think it’s a daunting task!  Dirt, dust, and grime can be removed easily.

You should start off by taking a stiff brush or broom to remove all dirt and debris from the outside of the door.  To wash it, all you’ll need is a cloth or sponge, a bucket of warm water, and your favorite mild household detergent.  Gently scrubbing down the door with the sponge, cloth, or mop if necessary, is usually all that’s needed.  To rinse away soap easily, simply use warm water through a hose.  If extensive cleaning is needed, a pressure washer would work just fine, but in many cases isn’t required.  In cases of rust, this should be removed immediately before it starts to spread.

It’s that simple!  You can clean your garage door at any time during the year, but you’ll find that the warmer seasons is the best time to do it.  For more information about servicing your garage door, give us a call!


2013 Technology and Design Trends: Quality, convenience, and curb appeal

“Whether it be the typical steel garage door or a fancier carriage house-style consumers are seeking, garage door dealers find keeping up with the trends and developments in the industry is crucial to operating a successful door dealership.

The right garage door not only makes a statement, but is an investment that adds value to a home.  This is backed by data from the annual Cost Vs. Value Report from “Remodeling” magazine.  For three years in a row, the study has shown installing a new garage door offers homeowners a big return on their investment.

So it’s no surprise homeowners are upgrading their garage doors, operators and even gate entry systems for better-performing and better-looking doors and door systems.  Staying on top of these trends puts door dealers ahead of the curve and can bring in bigger revenue.

Material Choices Offer Improved Design Options
When it comes to garage door design, the carriage house door has been and still is a highly desired look due to its distinctive style.  Carriage house garage doors remain a popular choice for homeowners and builders looking to add character and differentiate their homes.  The versatility in designs makes this look suitable for a wide range of architectural styles.  Carriage house doors are available in wood, fiberglass and steel, along with various colors and stains, large windows and decorative hardware.  This flexibility allows homeowners who don’t want a traditional wood carriage house door to choose a less expensive material, such as steel, that also requires less maintenance.  Many consumers are looking for a door that looks like swing-open stable doors, but have the convenience of a sectional garage door.

While traditional wood carriage house doors are preferred by some homeowners, most opt for steel faux-wood carriage house doors.  The faux-wood garage doors are more affordable and require much less maintenance than a real wood door while still giving homeowners the look they desire.  Low maintenance, faux-wood doors have surged in popularity over the years.

Since homeowners are staying in their homes longer and are investing remodeling dollars in improvements that reflect personal style and taste, decorative hardware and color options have increasingly become an important part of ever door manufacturer’s product line.  Increased colors, decorative hardware and window options give them more ways to realize their vision.  Consumers enjoy having more options so they personalize their new doors to match their home, whether that’s by color selection or hardware design preference.

Insulation Beefs Up Door Durability
Although curb appeal is an important factor when it comes to choosing a garage door, long-term durability is also a consideration.  In fact, garage door insulation is climbing the ranks in importance, and not just for climate-extreme locations.  Door dealers are finding a better insulated door not only helps regulate the temperature inside the garage, but can also increase the door’s durability and reduce outside noise.  Some qualities of an insulated door include strength and durability, higher R-value for improved living comfort, energy efficiency in both warm and cold climates, and quieter operation.

Wanted: Quiet, Reliable Garage Door Openers
While homeowners tend to pick a garage door based on style, choosing a garage door opener is all about performance.  With smartphone capabilities and changes in technology and safety features, homeowners are looking for garage door operators that don’t just meet their needs but exceed their expectations.

Door dealers agree that among the features most important to homeowners looking to replace or upgrade a garage door operator, quietness is a top priority.  Door dealers typically install belt-drive operators to ensure quiet function.  Quiet operation is very desirable, especially when a garage door operator is beneath bedrooms where loud systems can wake up the house any time someone is coming or going.  Quiet operation is achieved through smooth-start and soft-stop functionality, which significantly reduces noise when opening and closing.

Battery backup systems are also an important feature for homeowners.  As more and more customers rely on their garage door as the main entranceway into the home, it’s important to have a built-in battery backup in case of a power failure.

While the battery backup system is not a new technology, it has become more efficient in recent years.  With severe weather and more frequent power outages, homeowners simply don’t want to risk not having access to the garage, so backup power supplies are in demand.

Openers Interact With Mobile Technology
With smartphones leading the way in consumer connectivity, it’s no surprise homeowners are also seeking garage door operators that can be controlled via technology.  Over the past couple of years, a number of access-control manufactures have added mobile functionality to their garage door openers.  This new technology allows homeowners to open or close a garage door through an app on their cell phone.

While garage door dealers agree smartphone technology is gaining popularity, the demand is not as high as expected.  They’ve been around for about a year, but they’re just gaining popularity in the last few months.  Improved technologies and expanded capabilities for garage door operators are on the horizon, which could lead to greater interest from homeowners.

In addition to controlling the garage door, some operators can also act as a base for whole-home automation.  Called “smarthome” technology, homeowners can seamlessly integrate several devices in the home, such as lights and other connected devices, through the garage door opener, which can then be controlled via a smartphone or computer.  From inside the house, the ability to integrate with security, access control and other systems offers a wealth of potential.  With each system networked to a central control unit, the door operator can act as a trigger, so when’s its opened, the lights turn on, the heat goes up, even a surveillance camera can be enabled.

While there’s some consumer demand for smartphone capabilities and similar technology, many homeowners seems to be satisfied with a visor transmitter for the car and an illuminated wall station in the garage.  As smarthome technology comes down in price and more garage door operators connect into a home’s network, we’ll definitely see increased demand and better control options.

Technology advancements in garage door openers are also leading to safer products.  Some of the functionality can literally be life-saving.  For instance, a garage door operator can be connected to a carbon-monoxide sensor and programmed to open automatically when unsafe levels are reached.

From smartphone technology to battery backup to a whole-home automation, the garage door opener’s role is evolving.  The standard has changed.  It’s not just a chain drive or a screw drive anymore.  It’s belt drive, it’s battery backup, it’s all these bells and whistles.  You’re able to turn your lights on in your house with your smartphone via your garage door opener.  There are just so many little gadgets that come with the motors now.”

– Article by Rachel Adams from the “Professional Door Dealer” magazine, May/June 2013 issue.

Liftmaster 8500 Wall Mount Opener

Today’s garages go far beyond a place to merely park your car. So no matter if you want the extra storage space up above, have an oversized garage door, or even a cathedral ceiling, the LiftMaster® Elite Series® Model 8500 Wall Mount Garage Door Opener is the perfectly engineered solution to fit your specific garage door opener requirements. It mounts easily on the wall beside the garage door, and comes with a remote 200-watt light that can be positioned anywhere in the garage. The optional Battery Backup – that continues to operate your opener even when the power goes out – makes it even more convenient. Equipped with MyQ® technology, the included MyQ® Control Panel when paired with the LiftMaster® Internet Gateway allows you to close your garage door or turn lights on or off using a smartphone or computer – from anywhere in the world.

– Powerful 24V DC motor provides ultra-quiet operation, along with variable speed smooth start and smooth stop
– Easy wall-mount installation means no rails to hang
– Auto-force feature constantly monitors garage door systemand adjusts forces to temperature fluctuations, floor height, and door track movement
– The Smart Garage Door Opener® lets you electronically program security codes from the MyQ® Control Panel® or the powerhead
– Enclosed gear case provides continuous lubrication and protection for longer life and smoother operation
– A 6-foot power cord makes connecting to a power source easier than ever
– Optional Alternate Power Source (580LM) is a safe, permanent option to power the 8500 when an outlet is not within 6 feet; UL approved
– Remote light delivers 200 watts of light with adjustable light time delay
– Meets all UL325 requirements


– The Protector System® safety sensors project an invisible light beam across the garage door opening and automatically reverse the door if anything interrupts the beam while the door is going down
– Sensing technology will stop the door from closing if contact is made with a person or object
– Opener light turns on automatically when The Protector System’s infrared beam is broken
– Security+ 2.0™ rolling code technology assures a new code is sent every time the remote control is used
– Manual release handle in case of power failure


– Lifetime motor warranty
– 5-year parts warranty
– 1-year Battery Backup warranty (optional; 475LM)

To reduce the risk of injury to persons – When the LiftMaster® Internet Gateway is used with garage door openers, the operator must be installed with sectional doors.


A Can’t Miss Event By Michael Beltrami, President of IDA


After a long and cold winter I am looking forward to Spring and attending the IDAExpo – Tune in for Education.  This year’s event is scheduled for May 8th through 11th at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  The event offers:  networking opportunities, an expanded educational lineup with technical, sales and management workshops and the exhibitor trade show.  The IDAExpo committee, and the IDEA and IDA staff’s have worked very hard to put together an excellent event for the attendees and exhibitors.

Thee scholarship fundraisers are scheduled:  the Annual Golf Tournament, the 5k Fun Run for Education and the Jim Giles Memorial Motorcycle Poker Run.  These events are an excellent opportunity to catch up and have fun with old friends and to help support the IDA Scholarship Foundation.  The IDA Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $850,000 in scholarships since its formation.  These scholarships are awarded to dealer and industry member nominated students to help build and improve their futures.  Because I am not a distance runner nor do I ride a motorcycle, I have always enjoyed the golf tournament.  It’s an excellent opportunity to spend time reconnecting with friends from near and far as I hit my golf ball from one hazard to another.

The expanded educational schedule at this year’s Expo includes:  sales/marketing/management workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, special door technician education programming on Thursday and Friday and the SuperTech seminar on Saturday.  The sales, marketing, and management workshops have outstanding professional and industry presenters covering topics such as Branding, Creating Powerful Teams, Marketing and Increasing Sales.  These workshops will provide new insights and ideas on how we can improve our personal and our company’s performance. A new two-day IDEA sponsored technician training program will cover Commercial Rolling Door Systems and Rolling Steel Fire Doors with testing and certification available to technicians registered in one or both of the certification programs.  I am truly excited about the new ideas and insight that I will grain from attending the educational workshops.

The trade show will feature the new and innovative products that the leading suppliers have to offer.  We will have the opportunity to walk the trade show floor and meet with our current suppliers, continuing to build and strengthen our partnerships and relationships with these companies.  We may find new suppliers and learn about new products and services that can meet our company and customer needs.  I have been attending the IDAExpo and prior industry trade shows throughout my 26 years in this business and I have always found a new product or service that could improve our performance.

A highlight at this year’s IDAExpo is the expanded Exhibitor Hospitality Concert Party featuring Lorrie Morgan.  The party will be Friday evening and includes music, food, beverages, games and fun for all registered attendees and exhibitors.  The party will be a fun filled event that will spice up your Expo experience.

From supporting the IDA Scholarship Foundation, to attending the educational workshops, to the hospitality party, to the trade show, this year’s IDAExpo is a “can’t miss” event.  See you in Nashville!


Introducing Clopay’s Intellicore Insulation Technology

Clopay’s Intellicore insulation is a new proprietary polyurethane foam that they inject into the garage door which expands to fill the entire door.  The result is a door that is stronger, as well as warmer and quieter.

– Stronger: Intellicore-equipped doors prove to be twice as strong as a polystyrene garage door of the same thickness.

– Warmer: The Intellicore insulation also helps keep warm air out in the hot climates, and helps keep your garage and home warmer in the cold climates.  Intellicore doors are energy efficient, and are equipped with R-values that are some of the highest in the garage door industry.
– Quieter: Intellicore’s dense insulated doors reduce noise by up to 16 decibels, and help to make the door uncommonly quiet.

To find out more information regarding Clopay’s Intellicore insulation, visit their website at


Before and After – Garage Door Installation

Garage doors get damaged by homeowners every day.  You back out too quickly and run in to the bottom panels, a storm rolls through and blows your door in, a torsion spring breaks and you try to lift the door, and the list goes on.  Luckily, these are all fixable!