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Home Expo Represents “Dream Time” For Home Builders and Buyers in Southern Indiana

The good news is: The dream is back. After four years, Home Expo is back in Southern Indiana this summer.

The bad news? There really isn’t any.

That’s the estimation of Charlie Smith, CEO of the Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana (BDASI).

“The recession was a tough time for the housing industry,” Smith said. “People stopped buying. Builders stopped building. Lenders stopped lending. It was a standstill.”

In 2013, after years of putting on the annual Home Expo – a building and housing showcase of what builders could do and what was available on the market – BDASI put the event on hiatus. But, said Smith, the time is exactly right to start exhibiting homes again.

And not just homes, he said, “but what we feel are the best of the best. The crown jewels of the building industry. It’s time to dream again.”

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The site of this year’s expo, which begins June 17, will be Champions Pointe, a luxury resort-style community in Memphis, Ind. The expo will feature a selection of new homes in various styles. The homes are all fully furnished and decorated. No two houses are alike. However, said Smith, they represent the very best of what today’s builders are capable of, at price points starting at $550,000.

“This,” he said, “represents what the building industry can do – and what we do best.”

Besides, he said, Champions Pointe is a glorious setting to serve as a showcase.

Representatives of these companies will be on hand to discuss how they are able to work for interested buyers. It may be buying a particular house. It may be building the same home on another plot in Champions Pointe or a similar home somewhere else.

Various suppliers – of materials, furnishings, kitchens, countertops and the like – will be on hand, as well, to explain their work on display in the show homes and all the various things they have to offer. Everything from a fully furnished kitchen to a paint color that an attendee might like.

Smith said the homes on display represent a brand-new section of Champions Pointe, a premier development situated on the beautiful backdrop of one of the resort-style golf courses designed and built by Southern Indiana’s own Fuzzy Zoeller, Masters and U.S. Open champion who won 10 PGA tour events and was the USGA golfer of the year in 1985.

The development also features amenities that include a swimming pool, best-in-class clubhouse and the area’s only private splash park. Tennis courts are coming, too.

bdsi4The presenting sponsor of the event is River City Bank, which will have representatives on site to discuss today’s lending and mortgage opportunities.

Platinum sponsors include Signature Countertops and Coronado Stone.

For a full list of the sponsors involved, please visit BDASIHomeExpo.com.

“There are a lot of other home events out there, and a lot of fluff,” said Smith. “Our event has substance. That’s why we’ve waited since 2013. That’s why we feel now is the time.”

Champions Pointe is located at 1820 Champions Club Lane in Henryville, three miles west of I-65, off Exit 16 – 15 minutes from downtown Louisville.

The eight-day event begins June 17, and runs through June 25. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays. Admission is $10 per person.

More information is available on the association’s website, bdasihomeexpo.com.

“This is the Home Expo the way it’s intended to be,” Smith said. “The types of houses people dream about.”

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The Building & Development Association of Southern Indiana is a local non-profit membership association dedicated to serving the housing industry by advancing professional growth and providing quality, affordable housing for the community. While a large portion of its membership is builders, about two-thirds of its membership is in closely related fields such as mortgage financing, building products and design. Associate memberships are available to providers of products or services to home builders. They might sell lumber, windows or appliances, or offer services such as land development or financing expertise.

There’s also a Builder Level Membership for any person whose business is the construction, remodeling or renovation of housing. In addition to Home Expo, BDASI also puts on the Parade of Homes, this year scheduled for the fall.

BDASI HOME EXPO

WHEN: June 17-25

WHERE: Champions Pointe, 1820 Champions Club Lane in Henryville

COST: $10 per person

MORE INFO: bdasihomeexpo.com

Signature Countertops: All About Their Clients

Chris Garten and his team pride themselves on being a company that puts their clients’ needs first.

Garten is president of Signature Countertops, which has a showroom in Jeffersonville on Fabricon Blvd. Their manufacturing facility is in Scottsburg. Garten, who served as a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps reserves for 14 years and just recently transferred to the inactive ready reserve, said his philosophy stems from something a commanding officer taught him. “One of the best commanding officers I ever served for gave me this advice, he said ‘It doesn’t matter what industry or business you are in, it’s all about people.  Always serve other first first and the rest takes care of itself.”

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Signature Countertops, Inc. celebrated its 10-year anniversary on March 1. The company is a natural stone manufacturing and installing company. “Our core products are countertops, shower surrounds, and vanities,” Garten said. In addition to granite, they also specialize in Marble, Quartzites, Soapstone, and many brands of quartz including LG Viatera, Silestone, Caesarstone, Colorquartz, and Hanstone just to name a few.

“We import directly from granite quarries in Brazil, Italy, and China,” he added. He added that there are two things that set them apart from their competitors: “The first is our unwavering commitment to our clients. If you choose to do business with us, we take that very seriously and we are committed to the relationship long term. The other is our team. Our team has been through some of the industry’s most high level training thanks in part to a few industry associations: the Marble Institute of American and the Stone Fabricators Alliance.”

Signature’s showroom has as shock and awe effect that will stun the senses and encourage the most creative design ideas. It also has a kid’s play area with artificial turf and a slide. “It has to do with taking care of families and our clients. We want them to feel comfortable bringing their kids while they look around the showroom,” he explained. “It is about serving and focusing on the needs of the family right from the very start of the process.”

Garten said there is about 6,000 square feet, including inventory. “We probably warehouse about 500 more slabs at any given time.”

Signature Countertops has completed projects in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky.

The company currently employees 22 people. “We call them team members at Signature. We don’t use the word employee at our company. They are either team members or family members and that is it. It is all about putting people first,” he said. “We believe in growing our team through accountability, extensive training, and leadership by example.”

Garten also said his company gives back to the community throughsc2 organizations such as the Kiwanis program and United Way. Signature Countertops also is a member of the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce, where Garten serves as vice president; as well as a member of One Southern Indiana.

Garten also is a board member for the Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana (BDASI), and his team recently participated in the BDASI’s Habitat for Humanity Build Day in March.

In addition, Garten has declared his candidacy for Indiana State Senate District 45, which represents Switzerland, Scott and Jefferson counties in Indiana, as well as a portion of Jackson and the northern half of Clark county. “God has blessed me with a very unique set of life experiences that I believe will serve Hoosiers well. From growing up in a broken home and being adopted, to 2 combat tours in Iraq, to starting a small business in my 1-car garage over10 years ago, I can relate to most people and fully understand the true meaning of commitment.”

Above all else, Garten takes great pride in his family. He will have been married to his wife, Beth, for 13 years this October. They have three sons ages 11, 9 and 4. Having the boys adds “all the chaos you love. We have Nerf wars, wrestle, shoot guns and they play every sport known to man. I would not have it any other way.”

Garten said they have a fully-digital manufacturing facility. “”From templating, to our digital dual table sawjet cutting solution, to our automated CNC routers, Everything we do is fully automated,” he said.

Prospective clients can take advantage of Signature’s cutting edge and interactive design tools on their website – www. signaturecountertops.com – Clients can engage in their Kitchen design tools which allows prospective clients to select details like different types of flooring, cabinets, countertops, and even wall colors to ensure the best design possible. The website also allows browsing customers to make simple sketches and submit them for a hassle free estimate.

Garten served in Iraq in 2003 and back again in 2005-2006. After being home for almost a year he birthed Signature Countertops, Inc. on March 1, 2007. “Frankly, I just saw needs in this industry and in our market that weren’t being met and felt like I could contribute in a positive way.”

Garten says although the products he uses may look that same as a lot of companies, there can be vast differences in stone quality. “Most consumes have no idea that all granites are not created equal. Some of our competitors push commercial grade slabs in hopes they can make higher margins. We warranty everything we do and only source the highest quality stones.”

SIGNATURE COUNTERTOPS SHOWROOM

1611 Fabricon Blvd. | Jeffersonville

812.913.1214
www.signaturecountertops.com
info@signaturecountertops.com

HOURS
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday

8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays

CLOSED SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS

Kentucky Fertility Institute

Providing the most modern infertility care in Kentucky and Southern Indiana 

The subject of infertility can be one of the most sensitive issues for men and women of reproductive age.

Because so much of both men’s and women’s self-worth is tied up in their successful procreation of children, frank conversations about what the problem might be, or what the solutions could be, are too often shrouded in anger, accusations and embarrassment.

Not only do couples have trouble discussing it calmly with one another, they frequently have trouble seeking help from their support group: parents, siblings, friends, medical providers, even religious leaders.

“Studies show that the psychological impact of a diagnosis of infertility can be equivalent to a diagnosis of cancer,” said Robert Hunter, M.D., a Louisville-based reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. “It can be really devastating to accept that this dream you’ve always had may be in jeopardy.”

Early this year, Hunter and fellow reproductive endocrinologist Tiffany Justice, M.D., opened the Kentucky Fertility Institute to offer a comfortable – and comforting – solution-based setting for couples who are frustrated by their lack of success as well as couples who know they have fertility issues but don’t know what to do about it.

“Everyone who comes in is apprehensive,” said Justice, “and we have to first treat the emotional aspects. At the end of every appointment, I write every patient’s treatment plan down, step by step, so they have a paper to go home with, to review at their leisure once they get home.”

The plan is comforting because it helps take the uncertainty out of the process. “Too often, in the past, people were told to go home and just keep trying, it will happen,” she said. “That’s dismissive and not very encouraging.”

“Just the view of seeing their treatment plan is so comforting to patients,” agreed Hunter. “They also know we’ll hold their hands every step of the way, be their advocate and their cheerleader.”

Often, Justice said, there are no reasons for the couple’s lack of success and a little patience and more trying really are what’s called for. And sometimes, she said, “we can help just by tweaking the natural cycle, adding supportive hormones and medications to make things physiologically more compatible for pregnancy.”

Guidelines show that if a woman is younger than 35 with normal menstrual cycles, there’s an 85 percent chance she’ll get pregnant naturally within a year with routine, well-timed intercourse.

“Sometimes, we just have to tell them, ‘You’re normal, nothing is wrong, let’s give it time. The more I mess with you is not a good idea,’ ” said Justice. “I show them the data and explain the menstrual cycle. I advise, ‘If you’re normal, let it be normal.’ ”

But to think that most people who’ve been unsuccessful are unnecessarily impatient or can become successful just by turning down the stress levels is unrealistic. A 25-year-old woman without a normal menstrual cycle is well-advised to come in – at least for a conversation.

“We commonly see patients who’ve been trying unsuccessfully for one or more years,” Hunter said. “They want more than reassurance – they want help.”

And help is what Kentucky Fertility Institute offers, starting with a calm and informative one-hour introductory conversation. Then, a series of tests are administered, including bloodwork and an ultrasound, to find possible causes of infertility.

“There are several common reasons for infertility,” said Hunter, “and, roughly, they’re equally distributed between male and female issues.”

The male may have an abnormally low sperm count or low sperm motility. (The sperm don’t swim through the female reproductive tract.) Causes for this can vary. It could be a genetic defect, or the result of illness, lifestyle or previous medical treatment.

Smoking, medication, high levels of stress, hormonal issues, certain medical procedures, like cancer therapy, all might contribute to sperm deficiency.

The female might not be ovulating regularly, or might have other medical or endocrine issues that interfere with ovulation. For her, too, medications, smoking or obesity could all disrupt normal ovarian functions. In addition, previous abdominal or pelvic surgery (including appendectomy, gall bladder surgery, or treatment of a miscarriage) might have left scar tissue that can affect future pregnancies.

And then there’s age. “As women move through their mid- to late-30s and early-40s, there’s a natural decline in fertility, even for women who previously were fertile,” said Hunter. And there are other reasons, as well. The fact is, fertility issues are not rare. “Infertility affects about 15 percent of all couples,” said Hunter.

“Statistically, that’s close to 100,000 couples in Kentucky alone.”

Regardless of the cause, a number of treatment options are available. In some cases, it may be advising one or both parties to stop smoking, lose weight, or otherwise improve their overall medical condition.

In some cases, it might involve augmenting the female’s ovarian function with medical treatments to increase the chance of fertilization occurring.

For men with low sperm parameters, an intrauterine insemination (IUI) – taking a sperm specimen, concentrating it and placing high numbers of motile sperm cells directly into the woman’s uterus – will increase the sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg.  “We use a small catheter to gently place the cells into the uterus,” Hunter explained. “For the woman, it’s more or less like getting a Pap smear.”

Sometimes, surgery might be required to repair issues with the woman’s reproductive organs – such as removing mechanical obstructions in the fallopian tube or reversing a previous tubal ligation. Hunter and Justice perform all of their own surgeries, either on-site at their center or at Louisville-area hospitals.

The final option, of course, is in-vitro fertilization (IVF), in which eggs are removed from the woman’s ovary, fertilized and then placed back in her uterus. The state of the technology has improved so much over the years, said Hunter, that “in the most favorable cases, success rates for IVF can exceed 70 percent per treatment cycle.”

And, since only one embryo needs to be transferred, it reduces the risk of multiple pregnancy, with which fertility treatments were so often identified years ago.

There are other exciting developments in the field, as well. DNA-screening of embryos can help head off certain congenital conditions, like cystic fibrosis or Huntington Disease.

For women who are reproductively healthy but are interested in delaying pregnancy while they pursue their education or career, KFI offers elective egg freezing. “It’s essentially a mini-IVF procedure that freezes a young woman’s eggs prior to fertilization, keeping them as insurance for the time in the future when she’s ready to start a family, giving her a higher chance of conception,” Hunter said.

KFI also offer a full spectrum of third-party reproduction options for patients who are not able to use their own eggs or sperm, or may require a gestational surrogate.

“Third-party reproduction is a wonderful option that has given many patients the opportunity to grow their families who otherwise would not have had any viable options,” Hunter said, “It’s also a great solution for same-sex couples who want to have children.”

Even when an individual has been diagnosed with cancer and is facing treatment that will harm his or her chances of fertility, KFI can freeze the sperm or eggs, in a procedure referred to as “onco-fertility.”

“If we can have two weeks to put a woman through a fertility preservation cycle before she starts her cancer therapy, we can often save her ability to have children in the future,” said Hunter. “Even when cancer affects reproductive organs, there are ways to help these couple have genetic children.”

Hunter said he and Justice were motivated to open the Kentucky Fertility Institute because there had been no comparable facility in the state of Kentucky before. “We’re the only center in the area with a full-time, on-site lab director, so we’re able to provide continuous, comprehensive services in a way no other center in state is able to right now,” he said. Previously, people had to drive to Cincinnati, Indianapolis or Nashville for comparable services.

“And,” said Justice, “since so many of these treatments involve multiple visits per week, that became a considerable inconvenience.”

The institute is located near the intersection of the Gene Snyder Freeway and I-71, so with the completion of the East End Bridge, it will be conveniently accessible to residents of Southern Indiana, as well as the counties of Kentucky.

“We’re quickly becoming a destination center for comprehensive fertility care, and we’ve already seen patients from all over the region,” Hunter said.

How have the outcomes been? Since KFI has been open only seven months, it’s too soon for its patients’ babies to have been delivered. But Justice said, “We’ve already had close to 100 patients who have been released to back their obstetrician with a clinical pregnancy. I can’t tell you how great it makes you feel when you hear the good news that a patient checked her pregnancy test at home and it’s positive. After her husband and parents, we’re often the third call she makes.”

Kentucky Fertility Institute 

4612 Chamberlain Lane

Ste. 200

Louisville

502.996.4480

*The initial hour-long visit is $50

*This is an advertorial