Making a Difference for Girls Inc!

When Girls Incorporated of Holyoke, MA needed new windows for its After School Program building on Nick Cosmos Way, Hastings President Dusty Hoyt, a long time supporter of Girls Inc., stepped in to help. During the cold month of January 2013, Hastings and r.k. Miles of Hatfield donated and installed several brand new Integrity All Ultrex windows in the Girls Inc building.


Executive Director of Girls Inc., Suzanne Parker was very pleased with the outcome of the project. “We are all glowing! The windows look fabulous and it was wonderful to hear from staff how much more comfortable and warm the building feels to staff and girls now that the drafty, old windows are gone,” she said.

Girls Inc. has provided girls ages 5-18 in the Holyoke, MA area with year-round comprehensive, engaging and educational youth development programs since 1981. The Nick Cosmos Way building is home to the After School Program and Summer Youth Program, while a second location, opened in 2003, houses Holyoke’s only girls-only Teen Center.

All of us at Hastings are glad to see the girls and staff enjoying their new windows – and we know that they’ll be doing so for  years to come!

   Dusty Hoyt (second from the right) joins Executive Director, Suzanne Parker (third from the right) and the Girls Inc staff for a photo in front of a newly installed Integrity All Ultrex window.

Dusty Hoyt (second from the right) joins Executive Director, Suzanne Parker (third from the right) and the Girls Inc staff for a photo in front of a newly installed Integrity All Ultrex window.

Hastings’ 5th Annual Charity Tag Sale – May 18 & 19

Tag Sale

Wow!  Is this crazy or what!  We started our tag sale five years ago in an effort to raise money for our Big 3 charities that A.W. Hastings feels strongly about: MS, Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer.  Never did I imagine five years later we’d still be doing this – and each year the enthusiasm is just as strong as year one.  I now see familiar faces, year after year who come to find a bargain, all knowing the money goes directly to those charities.

The proceeds raised are divided equally among our Big 3 charities.  The first year we raised something around $1100 – and last year it was a little over $2100.  Each year we fill at least one tractor trailer full of donated items (sometimes two trailers).  Employees spend many volunteered hours preparing the items in our warehouse for the big sale, and then more volunteered hours on the days of the sale.

Each one of the charities we support has a special place in our hearts at Hastings.  For some it’s a direct hit, for others it through someone knowing someone “with.”  Every year we have teams that participate in either a hike, bike or a walk to honor those we hold so close to our hearts.  For the Big 3 – we participate in the Rays of Hope – A Walk Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer, Bike MS: Bike and Hike the Berkshires, and the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk.

So, come join us this year!  The tag sale takes place at our headquarters at 2 Pearson Way in Enfield CT.  Donate items, volunteer time, come to the tag sale, join our teams.  Every little bit is welcomed.  For more information, contact me at 860-745-2424, extension 2280, or at  Thank you – and we hope to see you at the sale!

Mary Jane Wytas
Information Technology Adminstrative Assistant


Marvin Architect’s Challenge Inspires!

When I was asked to blog about the 2013 Marvin Architect’s Challenge, I was very excited!  Being new to the Marvin brand team, I’m continually learning and discovering how our brand relates to consumers and our partners.  This challenge in particular, is a way to reach out to architects and celebrate their work on projects that help us slow down, look around and take in the view.

As I looked to last year’s winners from our region, James Estes and Donald Giambastiani, I was struck by how their projects were designed – with the same intention to heighten the experience with nature in a wondrous way.  Both architects were able to create a place with the ability to resonate with us on a deeper level. They provide us with a sense of connectivity and coherence, and we can recognize the significant role Marvin played, as conduit, to help achieve that sense through the beauty, quality craftsmanship and design flexibility of its windows and doors.

Architects continually provide us with a gift of a new pair of eyes so that we can see the world differently.  And for Marvin, there is no greater honor but to have our products be part of that.  That’s why the challenge is so important.  It’s a great way to have ideas and ideals that help shape our communities be showcased and recognized.

Now in its 5th year, the 2013 Marvin Architect’s Challenge is seeking designs, both residential and commercial, featuring Marvin windows and doors.  Entering the challenge is easy and the benefits are countless.  This year, along with the traditional panel of judges portion, there is a special “Showdown” component; where designs will be judged by the public.  In the past, winners have enjoyed the rewards of recognition and greater marketing exposure.  Also, the promise of exciting new challenges and opportunities cannot be ignored, either.

So if you are an architect take the challenge and enter your project!  Submit your best by MAY 1, 2013.  Entering is easy – visit to learn more.

-Marichu Vanasse
Marvin Brand Manager


JLC Live: Building Connections for Future Success

JLC Live 2013 is in the books – and by all accounts, it was a fantastic show that allowed us to deliver a truly premier experience for attendees.  I’ve been thinking about what made this particular show so successful, with an eye on how we can apply what we learned at the show to help our retailers and their customers grow their businesses as we move forward.

marvin jlc 2013 wideshot

JLC Live is a show that touches many diverse areas of Hastings, with involvement from employees across our company.  As I consider the teamwork that went into the planning and execution of this show, from a completely revamped booth design to our brand message development and marketing communications, and from our sales team coordination with retailers to the execution of the event itself, I can’t help but be amazed at how these wide-ranging efforts came together.  It’s easy to see that while our employees are phenomenal in their own disciplines, we are at our most effective when we come together as a team in pursuit of a common goal.

This year’s booth took on a whole new feel, portraying the Marvin Family of Products in a very realistic job-site setting. This approach provided the perfect environment, generating a high energy level and enabling us to bring the trade customer into their element while fully engaging them in our messaging on product features and benefits.   Installation demos by Marshall Baser and John Tyler were also extremely effective for our hands-on audience on the show floor.

I always enjoy talking to tradespeople about their business, and this year was no exception.  Many contractors shared that the Replace and Remodel segment continues to lead the way, and as the housing market continues to improve, several of them had residential new construction projects underway as well.  I also spoke with several contractors who had recent interactions with Hastings on the service side. Many of my conversations were with business owners and decision makers – people who are getting the job done every day.

For me, the JLC Live show is about building connections – and our work doesn’t end just because the show is over.  For the Hastings team, this show serves as a great reminder that even tradespeople who are loyal users of the Marvin Family of Products can benefit from more product education.  As Marvin’s product lines evolve, we need to not only continually deliver that education – but we must also measure its effectiveness.  In that respect, this show is a key benchmarking opportunity for us, as we consider our next steps in reaching out to the important trade audience in conjunction with our retailers.

It’s important to note that through our efforts at JLC Live, we are sending a strong message not only to the trade audience, but to our retailer customers as well.  Hastings is committed to adding value for our retailers, and we appreciate their willingness to support our investment and engage with us on a show like JLC Live.  We thank our retailers for not only getting their trade customers to the show, but for allowing us the opportunity to talk to them about the Marvin Family of Products in a series of special presentations.

Thanks to everyone who played a part in making the 2013 JLC Live show a tremendous success.  I know that our customers have product and supplier choices, and I speak for all of us at Hastings when I say that there’s nothing more gratifying that having a customer choose our product and our supplier.  Adding loyalty to the process is the ultimate reward – that’s when we know we’re doing things right!

Keenan Burns
Executive Vice President & COO