press release -
International Housewares Association

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

IHA Board Of Directors Welcomes Three New Members
Keith Jaffee Elected Chairman of the Board

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Sept. 13, 2013)-The impact of digital commerce is undeniable. What strategies are housewares execs using to optimize and control business in the vast digital marketplace without undermining a brick-and-mortar foundation? A panel of top industry leaders will address this issue and other hot topics during the keynote session "Housewares Hot-Seat: Tough Questions for the Industry's Top Decision-Makers" to kick-off the 2013 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), Oct. 8-9 in Rosemont, Ill.

The blue-ribbon panel will open the CHESS conference Oct. 8. Moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business, the panel will include Greg Cairo, president, Groupe SEB USA; Evan Dash, CEO, StoreBound; and James Glenn, president/CEO, Household Essentials, LLC. In addition to the digital marketplace, the panel will also discuss "showrooming," price transparency, digital content and experience development, social media and mobile marketing, consumer data mining, omni-channel participation and direct-to-consumer selling.

CHESS, the strategic and networking event for industry leaders, will be held at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare, Rosemont, Ill. It is designed for chief officers of all IHA member companies and their top decision-makers and features sessions on digital commerce, viral marketing, retail trends, re-shoring, the Affordable Care Act and more.

On Oct. 9, another panel of experts will explore why "Everyone Should Sell Their Business at Least Once." Moderated by Linda Graebner, executive chairman of Chef'n Corporation, this panel will feature Keith Berk, managing partner Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered; Mark Dufilho, director, Consumer, Food & Retail Group, Houlihan Lokey; Keith Jaffee, O2 Cool; Bruce Lubin, president, Illinois Commercial & Specialty Banking, The Private Bank; and Scot Swenberg, president and managing director, CID Capital.

Topics they'll address include how to prepare and when to start the transaction; selecting the right time to sell, the best advisors and capital sources, including senior debt; establishing the right value; and common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

The CHESS agenda offers a mix of general and breakout sessions, including Q&A time with speakers after each session. The Day 2 keynote will feature Brian Zeug, industry director at Google, Inc., discussing how Google data can help suppliers better understand how consumers research, compare and shop for housewares in "Rethinking the Shopper's Path to Purchase." Ryan Beach, vice president/divisional merchandise manager for Housewares, Home Improvement and Automotive at Target, will share his insights on the retailer's changing guest and plans for the housewares market during the session, "A Multi-Channel Retailer's Perspective."

Closing CHESS 2013 will be Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, who will share his perspectives on winning in the real-time retailing game of thrones in his presentation, "3D Retailing: Retail Opportunities for Today & Tomorrow."

Other speakers and topics include:

  • "The Future of Making" by David Pescovitz, journalist/blogger/futurist.
  • "Digital Overview" by Dale Nitschke, managing partner, Ovative/Group.
  • "Crafting Contagious Ideas" by Jonah Berger, viral marketing expert and author of the best-seller "Contagious: Why Things Catch On."
  • "Two breakout sessions: "Off-Shoring, Near-Shoring, Re-Shoring: Making the Right Choices" by Michael Hetzel, president, Northern Galaxy Corporation; and "Affordable Care Act: Pay...Play…Delay" by Michael Nader, partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

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.

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 2013, please contact Debbie Teschke at or call 847.692.0110. To download photos of the panelists please go here

The International Housewares Association is the 75-year-old voice of the housewares industry, which accounted for (US)$305.5 billion at retail worldwide in 2011. 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.