Month: August 2011

Back to School

It is that time of year again: back to school time. And for us at Vent-A-Hood, it means that our training program at Vent-A-Hood University has started back up for the 2011-2012 “school year.” To see our last video post showcasing one of our training sessions click here. Vent-A-Hood started the Vent-A-Hood training program back in 2003 for our dealers and distributors, and it also received the endorsement of the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), allowing attendees to receive continuing education credits. In so many fields today as well as in our own field it is important to keep up with the times by continually educating ourselves. That is why Vent-A-Hood training is attractive to professionals across our industry with sold-out attendance each session to learn the latest and greatest that Vent-A-Hood has to offer. The training program runs weekly at our headquarters location and brings people from all over the United States and Canada to learn about our products.

Vent-A-Hood University as it was named back in 2004, is a top of the line training program which lasts two full days and focuses on the design as well as implementation of proper ventilation in addition to proper kitchen safety for kitchen cook tops in today’s modern home. Another fun perk of the program is that you get an in depth look at Vent-A-Hood’s manufacturing process and the engineering behind our patented Magic Lung®, which liquefies grease and removes 99% of smoke and odors during cooking. If you are an appliance dealer or Certified Kitchen Designer and you would like to learn more, contact your local Vent-A-Hood distributor for information. Attendance is reserved to individuals hosted by our certified Vent-A-Hood distributors, and each session is booked in advance to full capacity.


Distributor Spot Light: Shady Oak Distributing

Left to Right: Hal, LeAnne and Randy

Shady Oak Showroom

Vent-A-Hood has many distributors that mean a lot to us. We are going to highlight a distributor of our products in this section called: Distributor Spotlight. The first distributor that we are hi-lighting is Shady Oaks distributing. Please read below to learn more about them.

Shady Oak Distributing began in Hopkins, MN around 1957 as Vent-A-Hood of the Twin Cities (VAHTC). VAHTC was a retail appliance business as well as a distributor of Vent-A-Hood products. In 1969, VAHTC was purchased by Lee Guyer and in 1975, his sons Hal and Randy, joined the business. That same year, Lee started a builder appliance business and in 1980 he opened an appliance distributing company where he distributed brands such as Sub-Zero and Thermador.

In 1987 Hal and Randy bought VAHTC from Lee, including the Vent-A-Hood distributorship, which never left VAHTC. In 1993, because of their firm and well-founded belief that every home in America should have a Vent-A-Hood, Hal and Randy established a separate company, Shady Oak Distributing to more actively promote Vent-A-Hood sales in our recently expanded territory of MN, WI, ND and SD. In 2006 Randy’s daughter LeAnne joined the business and the Guyer family is now in its 3rd generation with Vent-A-Hood.

These days, loyalty is a very rare trait in the appliance business and should be acknowledged when it exists. The measure of success we have achieved is due, in no small part, to the loyalty of the Woodall family and the quality product they manufacture. Also aiding us are our many years of experience in the retail end of the appliance business which has provided us with insights that typical distributors don’t possess. We understand and appreciate how difficult it is to be a retailer today and know the kinds of support that dealers need to be successful in selling a product like Vent-A-Hood. It is our philosophy to sell the best products while making it easy for our customers to do business with us.

Prior to the mid-90’s not too much changed with Vent-A-Hood, but since then we have watched the line grow with the addition of a second-to-none dealer training program, many new hood styles, improved switching, lighting, construction techniques and much, much more. During this time period, liner inserts have grown into a very large part of our Vent-A-Hood business. We stock a large number of these liners in stainless steel , black and gunsmoke gray plus numerous popular hood models as well and we pride ourselves that we very rarely fail to have a stock item when a dealer needs it.

We have been, and always will be, grateful for the opportunities that selling Vent-A-Hood has provided!

Vent-A-Hood history

This post is a look back at Vent-A-Hood’s 78 year history. Our company started back in the early 1930s, with the patent of what we now call the “Magic Lung.” In 1937 Carr P. Collins Sr., a Dallas financier, helped to finance this company. Mr. Collins recruited his nephew, William Miles Woodall Jr., to help get the company going. He also recruited his two sons, James Collins and Carr Collins Jr., to help the company grow. During World War II, all manufacturing companies using “critical war materials” were under control of the United States War Production Board. Vent-A-Hood survived on government contracts during this time. After the war, we became stronger than ever by marketing our product in ads, making a film strip, developing a who’s who list of famous customers and having photos taken with celebrities and their Vent-A-Hoods in their kitchens. To help people afford the cost of a Vent-A-Hood we developed a finance program.

During the 1950s there was a fire in our factory which caused us to make a decision to continue to strengthen our product lines that were in the high end market. Although our factory was rebuilt after the fire, rising demand for our brand in the 1960s required us to look for a new home. So, in 1961 we opened our fourth factory and current home in Richardson, Texas.

Our products maintain the “hand-finished” quality that gave us our reputation. In the past few decades technology has advanced and given us new ways for manufacturing. Today, all Vent-A-Hood products are designed on the computer. In turn, the computers communicate with the punch machines to stamp out our hoods. This new surge in technology has allowed us to establish a higher volume of production. From Quick Ship items that are readily available to one-of-a-kind custom hoods made by hand from skilled craftsmen, the reputation of the Vent-A-Hood name delivers. Now a third-generation family-owned business and the pioneer of the category, Vent-A-Hood looks to the future and carries an incredible legacy with it.  [You can watch a historical video about Vent-A-Hood at (youtube link here).]