press release -
International Housewares Association

Contact: Deborah A.Teschke
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Email Debbie Teschke

Employee-First Culture, Keys to Innovation Success Are Focus of Keynote Presentations at 2011 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession

Senior-Level Conference for Industry Leaders to be held in October

ROSEMONT, IL  (August 19, 2011)— Kip Tindell, chairman & CEO of The Container Store, whose 2011 sales are projected to approach $650 million, will share the retailer’s philosophy behind its approach to vendor relationships along with what has made The Container Store an "Organization with Heart"  in his keynote address to open the 2011 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS). A senior-level conference for industry leaders, CHESS will be held Oct. 4-5 at The InterContinental Chicago O'Hare,
Rosemont, Ill. It is designed for chief officers of all IHA member companies and their top decision-makers.

On day 2, Peter Sims, author, speaker and entrepreneur, will explain the approach that breeds success for such diverse businessmen as Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Chris Rock and architect Frank Gehry in his keynote address, "Little Bets: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Design." According to Sims, they all use a similar approach—methodically taking small, experimental steps. Rather than believing they have to start with a big idea or plan a whole project out in advance, trying to foresee the final outcome, they take low-risk action to discover, develop and test an idea.

Closing CHESS 2011 will be Ken Harris, CEO at Kantar Retail Americas Consulting, who will explore the range of market channels for housewares products in the U.S., with a strong focus on the various online options, in his presentation, “Retail Update: What’s Next for Housewares?”

The two-day program also features sessions on critical business issues including: an overview of the global market, social media, global supply sources,  building successful relationships with sales reps, patent protection and intellectual property issues and an update on the Consumer Product Safety Commission initiatives. The mix of general and breakout sessions includes Q&A time with speakers after each session. Networking breaks, luncheons and a cocktail reception and dinner also provide time for attendees to network and meet informally with speakers, industry service providers and their colleagues—the most valuable part of the program according to past participants.

Other speakers and topics include:

  • “Global Market Overview: Past, Present & Future” by Sandy Lincoln, chief market strategist, BMO Asset Management U.S.
  • “Social Media: Myth or Magic Bullets” by Sima Dahl, president & CEO, Parlay Communications.
  • “Gaining Access to Competitive Sources of Supply Worldwide” by Berk Fernandez, managing director, UNA Worldwide.
  • “Current USPTO Initiatives” by Robert Stoll, commissioner, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
  • Four breakout sessions: “Entering Emerging Markets: A Practical & Low-Cost Approach” by Berk Fernandez; “Building a Successful Relationship with Your Sales Rep Organization: Maximize Sales & Profits” by Frank Brady, president, Brady Marketing; “Selling Has Nothing to Do with Selling” by Rick Farrell, president, Tangent Knowledge Systems; and “Consumer Product Safety Commission Update” by Nancy Nord, commissioner, CPSC.

To register for CHESS or for more information, visit the CHESS website at or contact Judy Colitz of IHA at


EDITORS NOTE:  If you would like to attend CHESS 2011 or would like photos of the speakers, please contact Debbie Teschke at or call 847.692.0110.

The International Housewares Association is the 73-year-old voice of the housewares industry, which accounted for (US)$288.4 billion at retail worldwide in 2009. The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world's premier exposition of products for the home, the International Home + Housewares Show, and offers its 1,700 member companies a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy, export assistance, State-of-the-Industry reports, point-of-sale and consumer panel data through Housewares MarketWatch, executive management peer groups, a unique Web-based community at and group buying discounts on business solutions services.