September 24-25, 2019 | Oak Brook, IL USA
The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald's Campus


Join your CEO colleagues at the strategic and networking event of the year — a senior-level conference for industry decision-makers! Access industry experts directly...share information and ideas with other housewares and home goods leaders...wine and dine with your industry colleagues.


Presentations and Speakers

Peter Giannetti
Editor-In-Chief
HomeWorld Business

Peter Giannetti has reported on the housewares industry for more than 20 years and is a frequent speaker on housewares news and trends. Giannetti also oversees editorial operations for HomeWorld Business’ sister publication, Gourmet Insider, covering the independent gourmet housewares channel.

Housewares Hot Seat panel

The annual Housewares Hot Seat panel will tackle how to attract, inspire and engage young professionals equipped with perspectives, passion and skills to set the stage for future success. Listen to the new generation of housewares executives explain how to make the industry appealing for the next generation of business talent.

Lauren Greenwood
President and Co-Founder of YouCopia

In 2009, Lauren Greenwood co-founded YouCopia, a company that creates storage & organization products to help consumers triumph over small stuff. Greenwood serves on the IHA Young Professionals Advisory Council and a special committee of the Housewares Charity Foundation dedicated to increasing engagement and support from the next generation. She holds a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia.

Housewares Hot Seat panel

The annual Housewares Hot Seat panel will tackle how to attract, inspire and engage young professionals equipped with perspectives, passion and skills to set the stage for future success. Listen to the new generation of housewares executives explain how to make the industry appealing for the next generation of business talent.

Daniel Seehoff
CEO and Co-Founder
Sophistiplate, LLC

AS CEO and co-founder of Sophistiplate, Daniel Seehoff leads the sales, marketing and creative departments, managing key national accounts, food service and the specialty channel. He launched the lifestyle brand of designer single-use and re-usable tabletop, baking, barware, serveware, party and entertaining products in early 2016 with co-founder Gary Seehoff, and the company has quickly scaled the business to become a leading supplier, disrupting the stale category of disposable partyware. Sophistiplate has been featured by Martha Stewart, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show and as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. In 2018, Sophistiplate acquired the brand Simply Baked, expanding its distribution and product assortment, as well as establishing a robust food service division. At the 2019 International Home + Housewares Show, Sophistiplate launched the brand SugarPlum Party, geared toward the mass and grocery channel. Seehoff serves on the International Housewares Association’s Young Professionals Advisory Council. He has a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Boston University and a culinary arts degree from the Institute of Culinary Education.

Housewares Hot Seat panel

The annual Housewares Hot Seat panel will tackle how to attract, inspire and engage young professionals equipped with perspectives, passion and skills to set the stage for future success. Listen to the new generation of housewares executives explain how to make the industry appealing for the next generation of business talent.

Scott Felsenthal
Executive Vice President, Whitmor

After graduating from law school in 2009, Scott Felsenthal became the first member of the 4th-generation of the Felsenthal family to join the family owned and operated Whitmor, Inc. In his current role, Felsenthal is responsible for driving company culture and ensuring that the manufacturer of home organization and storage products is constantly positioning itself for sustainable future success.

Housewares Hot Seat panel

The annual Housewares Hot Seat panel will tackle how to attract, inspire and engage young professionals equipped with perspectives, passion and skills to set the stage for future success. Listen to the new generation of housewares executives explain how to make the industry appealing for the next generation of business talent.

Mark Jeffries
Former Merrill Lynch Stockbroker, Author & Keynote Speaker

Author, keynote speaker and former Merrill Lynch stockbroker, Mark Jeffries has become a trusted adviser and communications consultant to some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations, agencies and partnerships. He also has mastered a fascinating niche – moderating major corporate events – rapidly becoming the go-to person for facilitating, moderating and “MC-ing” multinational events for large and small organizations around the world. In addition to facilitating industry panels and chatting with more than 150 C-Suite executives on stage, Jeffries has interviewed celebrities including Will Smith, Richard Branson, Bob Mueller, Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, Janet Yellen and Michael J. Fox. He has published two books “What’s up with your Handshake?” and “The Art of Business Seduction,” and recently launched two innovative and engaging e-learning courses dedicated to elevating users into Trusted Advisors, Persuasive Communicators and Key Influencers. Jeffries regularly appears as an expert guest on NBC’s Today Show, Fox Business and BBC News, and writes for The Huffington Post.

The Art of Business Influence

Communication techniques to build trust, success & connections Communication expert, Mark Jeffries’ message is a simple, yet vital one – communication excellence leads to increased connections, trust and success. The best news of all – we don’t have to do much to tilt the scales of perception in our favor – we just need to know how! Jeffries presents a toolbox packed with instantly useable techniques, ideas and methods designed to give you a smart, proven, communication-based approach to the challenges and opportunities you face every day.

Marshal Cohen
Chief Industry Advisor - Retail
The NPD Group

Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor at The NPD Group, is a nationally known expert on consumer behavior and the retail industry. He has followed retail trends for more than 30 years at NPD and as the head of leading fashion and apparel manufacturers as well as major retailers. As part of his work at NPD, Cohen leads many top firms in long range and strategic planning sessions, often using motivational presentations to help launch corporate goals and kick off meetings. He is the author of two books, “Why Customers Do What They Do” (2006) and “Buy Me! How to Get Customers to Choose Your Products and Ignore the Rest” (2010). A regular contributor in the news media, Cohen is frequently quoted in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Women’s Wear Daily. Additionally, he appears on various television news programs including “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS Sunday Morning” and has been a regular guest on Bloomberg TV and radio. In addition to his duties at NPD, Cohen serves on several boards and most recently was appointed to the Cotton Board and American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA).

Driving Through the Retail Collision

The disruptions in the retail landscape have set the stage for a full-on retail collision. As the pace of change continues to accelerate, who will emerge as winners? Marshal Cohen explores the dynamics driving this pending collision of retailers, brands, consumers and technology to give you an unprecedented perspective from across the 20 industries NPD tracks. Understand how to identify the opportunities to drive growth for your business, both heading into and emerging from this collision.

Michael Dart
Partner, Consumer/Retail Practice
A.T. Kearney

Michael Dart, who is a partner in the consumer/retail practice at A.T. Kearney, is a retail specialist and visionary who advises companies on how best to navigate the industry’s seismic shifts. He combines his economics and finance training from Oxford University and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, with more than 25 years of consulting to provide a unique and creative perspective on consumer trends and the future of all consumer-facing businesses. The co-author of two books, “The New Rules of Retail’ (2014) and “Retail’s Seismic Shift” (2017), Dart is regularly quoted in the news media, including The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, and is a popular speaker, delivering keynote addresses at many global retail conferences including the WWD CEO Summit and the Global Department Store Summit.

Retail’s Seismic Shift: Understanding the Forces Changing Housewares Consumers

Providing a comprehensive overview of the forces driving dramatic changes in both the retail and wholesale landscapes, Michael Dart will show how three critical long-range trends will drive the consumer transformation:
  • The Supply / Demand Imbalance
  • The Great Consumer Fragmentation
  • The Technology Catalyst
Using examples, Dart will also describe a framework for how housewares manufacturers can build successful strategies to capitalize on these trends. Key takeaways from this session will be guidelines on how to:
  • Establish a neurological consumer connection
  • Exploit all distribution platforms
  • Control the value chain

Dana Telsey
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Research Officer
Telsey Advisory Group (TAG)

Dana Telsey is the CEO and chief research officer of Telsey Advisory Group (TAG), which was founded in 2006 and has grown to be a leading equity research, trade execution, investment banking and consulting firm, focusing on the consumer space. In 2015, Telsey formed Telsey Consumer Fund Management LP, an asset management firm utilizing a long/short strategy, investing in consumer-based companies. During her 34-year career, Telsey has followed over 100 companies across all markets. From 1994 to 2006, she was at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. covering the retail sector as a senior managing director. Prior to working at Bear Stearns, Telsey was the retail analyst at C.J. Lawrence and vice president of the Baron Asset Fund at Baron Capital, Inc.

In 2018, Telsey was elected to the International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) Board of Trustees for an initial three-year term. A regular guest analyst on CNN, CNBC and other major news networks, Telsey has been honored with awards including “Number 1 Stock Picker for Multiline Retail” by Thomson Reuters in 2016, the National Retail Federation’s List of People Shaping Retail’s Future in 2015 and Woman-Owned Brokerage of the Year from Traders Magazine in 2014.

Reinvention for Relevancy: The Changing Consumer and Retail Landscape

With the consumers’ need for speed and the growth of the “gig” economy, Dana Telsey and Joe Feldman will explore key retail trends including the use of technology and branding to drive top-line and bottom-line performance.

Joe Feldman
Senior Managing Director & Assistant Director of Research
Telsey Advisory Group (TAG)

Joe Feldman is a senior managing director and the assistant director of research, as well as a senior research analyst and founding member of TAG. With nearly 20 years of retail research experience, Feldman’s coverage focuses on the discount, grocery, hardlines and sporting goods retail sectors. Prior to joining TAG, he worked as a global retail analyst for Wexford Capital LLC, a hedge fund based in Connecticut. He also spent two years at SG Cowen and Co. as a vice president and senior equity research analyst following hardlines retailers. Feldman previously worked with Dana Telsey at Bear Stearns as a vice president and associate analyst in equity research following hardlines retailers. He spent the first four years of his career in the retail industry at Saks Fifth Avenue, followed by positions in equity research at Lazard and in credit research at Standard and Poor’s.

Reinvention for Relevancy: The Changing Consumer and Retail Landscape

With the consumers’ need for speed and the growth of the “gig” economy, Dana Telsey and Joe Feldman will explore key retail trends including the use of technology and branding to drive top-line and bottom-line performance.

David French
SVP, Government Relations and Executive Director
National Retail Federation

David French is senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation and executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants. As NRF’s chief lobbyist, he plans and implements advocacy strategy for the world’s largest retail trade association. As executive director of NCCR, French leads efforts to advance sound public policy that serves restaurant businesses and the millions of people they employ.

French has played a leading role in the most important legislative battles affecting retail, including swipe fee reform, internet sales tax, patents, labor policy issues, tax reform and trade policy. In 2017, French scored a rare double win for the retail industry on the same major legislation, first by managing a national coalition to stop the Border Adjustment Tax, a centerpiece of the House GOP plan for tax reform. After the defeat of the BAT plan, he coordinated retail industry lobbying and advocacy in support of the historic corporate tax reform law enacted at the end of 2017.

French came to NRF in 2011 from the International Franchise Association, where he served as senior vice president of government relations and public policy. Prior to joining IFA in 2006, he led the government relations programs at the International Foodservice Distributors Association and Food Distributors International for five years. He previously spent nearly 10 years on Capitol Hill, serving on the staffs of former Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., former Representative Matthew Rinaldo, R-N.J., and the House Select Committee on Aging.

French is routinely identified as one of the top association lobbyists in Washington by the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill and other publications.

French is a native of Pittsburgh and holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.

Tweets from the Frontlines: America's Hot Trade War

Tariffs levied during the U.S.-China trade dispute are affecting housewares categories across the board. As senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, David French is in the thick of the battle and will provide an up-to-the-minute report on what has happened so far in the trade dispute, the status of the tariffs levied and proposed, what housewares suppliers can do about it, plus what’s in store moving forward.

David DeLong
Author and President of David DeLong & Associates

David DeLong, president of David DeLong & Associates and Smart Workforce Strategies, helps leaders implement practical solutions to address critical skill shortages created by major changes in workforce demographics, shifts in generational values and new technologies. He also is a research fellow at the MIT AgeLab and has been an adjunct professor at Babson College where he teaches “Leading & Managing Organizational Change.” Co-author of “The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management” (McGraw-Hill), and author of the widely-praised book “Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce” (Oxford University Press), DeLong’s most recent book is “Graduate to a Great Job: Make Your College Degree Pay Off in Today’s Market.” DeLong has been cited in The New York Times, Fortune magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review Blog, CIO magazine, US News & World Report and The Boston Globe. He has also been interviewed on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.”

Closing the “Skills Gap:” Innovative Talent Management Solutions for a Changing Workforce

Top executives can no longer be complacent when it comes to recruiting, developing and retaining high potential employees and future leaders. During this session, DeLong shows how to prioritize talent-related risks, identify the seven talent problems that kill profit and explains how to accelerate knowledge transfer in the multigenerational workplace.

Laiza Cors
Co-Founder and CEO of EMBELLO

Laiza Cors is co-founder and CEO of EMBELLO, an influencer marketing platform that connects social media influencers with home and design brands. She started her career in the home industry nearly 10 years ago as a trade show sales manager for the International Home + Housewares Show, the industry’s premier marketplace for home and housewares products held annually in Chicago. After relocating to California, Cors became the director of brand development for Design Campus, an online education platform and conference series for the interior design community. In her most recent role as marketing communications manager at Barclay Butera, Cors was responsible for the company’s digital brand development as well as overseeing marketing, social media and events. Her passion for home and expert knowledge in marketing led Cors to create EMBELLO. She is also a contributor to California Home + Design Magazine.

Influencer Marketing - How to Find, Use and Measure Effectiveness

Dive deep into influencer marketing and learn how you can leverage this powerful marketing tool. Laiza Cors and Anne Sage will provide an overview of how influencer marketing has impacted the consumer landscape and actionable items to help you succeed in the space. You’ll leave knowing how to implement a goal-driven strategy, set a budget based on campaign deliverables, manage the campaign work-flow process, identify and recruit influencers who can make an impact on your business and measure for effective ROI.

Anne Sage
Talent relations strategist at EMBELLO

Anne Sage is talent relations strategist at EMBELLO, an online platform and agency that connects social influencers with home and design brands for campaigns. Prior to becoming a full-time content creator, stylist and designer, Sage was a consumer strategist in New York City. She started her blog The City Sage in 2008 and maintains it today. In 2010, she co-founded the online lifestyle publication Rue Magazine and in 2016 she co-founded Light Lab, a creative studio and design firm in Los Angeles. Sage is also the author of an interiors book, “Sage Living,” published by Chronicle Books.

Influencer Marketing - How to Find, Use and Measure Effectiveness

Dive deep into influencer marketing and learn how you can leverage this powerful marketing tool. Laiza Cors and Anne Sage will provide an overview of how influencer marketing has impacted the consumer landscape and actionable items to help you succeed in the space. You’ll leave knowing how to implement a goal-driven strategy, set a budget based on campaign deliverables, manage the campaign work-flow process, identify and recruit influencers who can make an impact on your business and measure for effective ROI.

Greg Parsons
Senior Director of Home Product Development
Kroger

As senior director of home for the Kroger Company, Greg Parsons leads the team that develops and delivers the go-to-market home strategies that support Kroger Restock. Parsons joined the Kroger family in 1987, working in the apparel department at Fred Meyer, one of two Kroger divisions with multi-department store formats combining grocery, home, garden, beauty, apparel and pharmacy all into one customer experience. Prior to his current position, Parsons led the general merchandise product development teams who expanded the use of exclusive private brands throughout the home and apparel divisions in Kroger. With more than 30 years of experience, Parsons considers his legacy to be the impact he has had helping his teams deliver strong results and the professional partnerships he has forged across the globe.

Connections: How Kroger Uses Housewares to Inspire Customers

Housewares is an important commodity for the Kroger grocery chain. Greg Parsons will explain how the retailer uses the category to connect its customers with food, achieving the Kroger mission of feeding the human spirit. His presentation will highlight Kroger’s ability to connect the food customer with the tools needed to help answer the age old question of what’s for dinner. Greg will illustrate how Kroger’s connection to their customer and their understanding of how she is choosing to shop today—in store, pickup or delivery – is fueling their growth in housewares and is allowing them to deeply connect with the foodie in all of us.