press release -
International Housewares Association

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

Housewares Export Council (HECNA) Changes Name to
International Business Council (IBC)

ROSEMONT, IL (May 2, 2014) - The Housewares Export Council (HECNA), a special interest group of International Housewares Association members who sell their products internationally, has changed its name to the International Business Council (IBC).

The rebranding, which coincided with the start of IHA's 2015 membership year on April 1, better defines the global activities of IHA's international programs and services and also opens the group to global members. In addition the separate IBC membership dues were eliminated. IBC membership is open to all regular IHA members upon completion of a questionnaire regarding IBC services, benefits and members' exporting activities.

Originally created in 1995 as the Housewares Export Council of North America, the IBC is dedicated to helping members market and sell their products internationally by sharing information, providing networking opportunities and offering programs to assist, support and educate.

Among the services offered through the IBC are:

  • The IBC Global Forum, an annual meeting featuring retailer presentations from markets around the world, industry-savvy specialists discussing relevant export topics and providing education on market entry, global product development and marketing strategies. The 2014 Global Forum will be held June 17-18 in Chicago.
  • Export trade missions to key global markets to help members grow their international sales. The trade missions include one-on-one meetings with key retailers and distributors, retail tours, receptions, transportation and lodging all arranged in advance so participants can focus on business rather than logistical details. Trade missions planned for this year are South Africa from Sept. 28 - Oct. 3 and the UK, Nov. 9-14.
  • Pavilions at international trade shows. An IHA pavilion is planned for Interior Lifestyle China Fair Sept. 18-20.
  • Resources to help members better market themselves to international buyers at the International Home + Housewares Show, including sponsorship of the Monday Night Reception.
  • Key international retailer and distributors reports offering details and contact information for the world's leading retailers and an analysis of home and housewares products they carry.
  • Export Explorer, the IBC's blog featuring international news important to the home and housewares industry and exporting companies.


"The number of key industry contacts whom I have met through the IBC is significant,"says Mark Adkison, vice president, Global Sales, at Smith's Consumer Products, Inc., and president of the IBC Board of Directors. "From participating in IBC Global Forums, I've met not only industry peers but also buyers - both of whom I've maintained beneficial relationships with for far longer than the meetings at which we've met.  In addition, I've made countless buyer connections by participating in IBC sponsored trade missions.”

For more information about IBC programs, services and members, please visit or email Lori Szudarek, manager, international services, at