press release -
International Housewares Association

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


Howard “Chip” Steidle Jr. Elected Chairman of the Board

ROSEMONT, ILL. (September 13, 2019)—Two new directors have been elected to the board of directors of the International Housewares Association (IHA), the full-service trade association for the housewares industry. They are Paul Cosaro, CEO, Picnic Time Family of Brands, and Kavita Shukla, founder and CEO, The FRESHGLOW Co. Their three-year terms begin Oct. 1, 2019 and end Sept. 30, 2022.

Also elected were new board officers:

  • Chairman – Howard Steidle Jr., CEO, John Ritzenthaler Co.
  • Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect – William Endres, president, Select Brands
  • Treasurer – Yvette Laugier, managing director, Peugeot Saveurs North America, LLC

All officers serve one-year terms from Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.

Retiring from the board are Brett Bradshaw, director, Bradshaw Home, and Will Symonds, president, DKB Household USA Corp. Re-appointed for a second three-year term were: William Endres and Melissa Kieling, CEO, PackIt, LLC.

Cosaro joined Picnic Time in 2011. As CEO/Captain Picnic, Cosaro says his number one responsibility is to “relentlessly strive to achieve our mission of giving people the opportunity to make lasting memories by spending time with loved ones.” The company, which started in 1982 offering European-styled picnic baskets, has evolved to design and develop an array of picnic, outdoor leisure, indoor entertaining and barware concepts under the brands ONIVA, LEGACY, TOSCANA and PICNIC TIME. Prior to joining Picnic Time, Cosaro worked at Lionsgate Entertainment where he managed partnerships with retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Target, and at Capgemini Consulting, where he was a strategic and transformation consultant for major media and entertainment corporations.

Shukla founded The FRESHGLOW Co. at her local farmer’s market in 2010, and is the inventor of FRESHPAPER, a biodegradable paper that keeps food fresh and addresses the global issue of food waste. FRESHPAPER started as Shukla’s middle school science project, inspired by a home remedy from her grandmother in India. The FRESHPAPER line now includes all-natural produce savers, bread savers and cheese savers, made in the USA with active organic botanicals. Shukla holds four patents and has received international honors as an inventor and entrepreneur, including Forbes’ “30 under 30,” Fast Company’s “7 Entrepreneurs Changing the World” and TIME’s “Five Most Innovative Women in Food.” She is the youngest woman to have received the prestigious INDEX: Design to Improve Life Award, the world’s largest prize in design, previously awarded to Apple and Tesla.

Steidle has spent his entire career at John Ritzenthaler Company, joining them after graduating college in 1975. The company was purchased by Steidle’s father in 1968, and develops, designs, sources and markets kitchen textiles, table linens, specialty cleaning cloths, laundry products and chef apparel to retail, hospitality and food service marketplaces. Steidle learned the business from factory floor up, operating weaving looms and learning production in the early years, moving on to clerical, sales and managerial positions before being named president in 2001 after his father’s death. Steidle’s brothers, Bret and Ward, and his son, Trey, also are part of the family-run business.

Endres founded Select Brands in 1997. The company designs, develops and markets small appliances. Its brands include Babycakes, Kitchen Selectives and TRU, as well as the Disney and Toastmaster brands. Endres has more than 49 years’ experience in the housewares industry, beginning his career as a sales manager with Corning Glass from 1970-76. He then worked 22 years for Rival Mfg., serving as senior vice president, sales and marketing.

Laugier joined Peugeot Saveurs North America in 2013, when she opened it as a wholly owned subsidiary of Peugeot Saveurs SNC based in France. Peugeot, the world leader in mills since 1840, offers high-performance pepper and spice mills, coffee mills and wine and spirit accessories. Before coming to Peugeot, Laugier served as national accounts manager for Taylor Precision Products (now Filament Brands) from 2007-2013, and was managing director of Click Clack USA (now Innova Products) from 2003-2006. She is a member of both IHA’s Government Affairs Committee and Exhibitor Trade Show Advisory Committee.

Also serving on the IHA Board are Neal Asbury, CEO, The Legacy Companies; immediate past IHA chairman John (JC) Collins, president & chief marketing officer, Neatfreak Group; Fred Dohn; Steve Greenspon, CEO, Honey-Can-Do International LLC; Scott Henrikson, president, Dexas International Ltd.; Darrin Johnston; Robert Kay, CEO, Lifetime Brands; Lisa W. Knierim, chief business development officer, Eleven75; Jacob Mauer, president, Americas, The Cookware Company; Ingerid Mohn, president, Sagaform Inc.; Thomas Nichols, president, Pretika Corporation; and Michael Stoll, UT Brands.

Serving on the executive committee of the board are Neal Asbury, John (JC) Collins, William Endres, Steve Greenspon, Yvette Laugier and Howard Steidle Jr.


Editors: To download digital photos of the IHA Board of Directors, go to

The International Housewares Association is the 81-year-old voice of the housewares industry, which accounted for (US)$364.2 billion at retail worldwide in 2017 ($91.6 billion at retail in the U.S.). The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world's premier exposition of products for the home, The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market, and offers its 1,600 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, group buying discounts on business solutions services and direct-to-consumer engagement through