October 5 – 6, Chicago, IL

Thank You to Our Sponsors

CHESS—Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession—is IHA’s annual senior-level conference for industry leaders. This strategic education and networking event of the year allows attendees to access high-profile industry experts directly and share information and ideas with other housewares and home goods decision-makers. Held every fall, CHESS attracts the chief officers of IHA’s most prominent member companies. The program includes keynote speakers, panel discussions, general sessions and networking opportunities—the most valuable part of the 2-day event according to past participants.

IHA asks that all CHESS attendees follow local and venue-specific guidelines regarding masks, vaccinations, testing and social distancing, which are subject to change between now and the event. We will publish updated information as it becomes available. Please check back closer to the event for more details.

Location

CHESS is being held at the Hilton Rosemont, whom with we’ve partnered to bring you a reduced nightly rate of $175.

Hilton Rosemont
5550 N River Rd,
Rosemont, IL 60018
847.678.4488

 

Schedule

Tuesday, October 5

9:30 — 10 AM

Breakfast

10 — 10:30 AM

Welcome and State of the Industry Report

IHA leadership will provide an update on IHA, The Inspired Home Show and new member services that have expanded IHA’s year-round support in post-COVID marketplace.

Speakers: Derek Miller,
President, IHA; Yvette Laugier, IHA-Chair Elect & Managing Director, Peugeot Saveurs North America

10:30 — 11:30 AM

Housewares Hot Seat: The New Beginning

The Housewares Hot Seat, during which industry leaders exchange thoughts on the today’s searing topics, is back to help kick off CHESS 2021. Veteran industry editor Peter Giannetti, now with IHA and HomePage News, returns to moderate this year’s revealing discussion with home and housewares chief executives, who will share progressive ideas and best practices behind their companies’ post-pandemic growth strategies.Panelists:

Mike Otterman, President & CEO, Lodge Cast Iron
Kris Malkoski, Business Unit EO, Home Solutions, Newell Brands; Glenn DeStefano, President, StoreBound
Moderator: Peter Giannetti, Editor-In-Chief, HomePage News

11:30 — 12:30 PM

The View From Washington: A Progress Report On Supply Chain & Tariff Relief Action

IHA’s Washington insiders will provide a frontline update on legislative and White House action— and how IHA can help — to relieve the burden on the home and housewares business caused by skyrocketing shipping costs and related supply-chain disruption; and the continuation of widescale import tariffs.

Speakers: Craig Brightup, CEO, The Brightup Group; Rafe Morrissey, President, Morrissey Strategic Partners

12:30 — 2:00PM

Networking Opportunities Over Lunch

2:00 — 3:00 PM

The New Retail & Consumer Journey

Consumers have only one demand now: “Spoil Me, Or Else.” “New Retail Model” pioneer and retail futurist Michael Zakkour will demonstrate how delivering the 4Cs (consumer centricity, convenience, customization and contribution) in the New Retail and Unified Commerce Era will spoil them and grow your business in the coming 3D Retail Metaverse. 

Speakers: Michael Zakkour, Founder & Chief Strategist,
5 New Digital

3:00 — 4:00 PM

Tracking the Return to Normal: How High-Frequency Data Offers Insight Into Consumers’ State of Mind

This interactive discussion with global intelligence company Morning Consult will reveal insights from “Tracking the Return to Normal” a weekly interactive series featuring Americans’ changing comfort levels when it comes to shopping, dining, travel, socializing, entertainment and more.

The series features trend data and interactive graphs to better understand sentiment shifts among several demographics — including race, age, work status and more — and which newly adopted behaviors are likely to endure post-pandemic. This session is designed to learn the predictive power of high-frequency data in better understanding consumers and their purchasing habits.

Speaker: Claire Tassin, Retail &E-Commerce Analyst, Morning Consult

4:00 — 5:00 PM

The New Hybrid Workplace: How Your Company Can Avoid Hiccups and Earn Hurrahs

How has the coronavirus changed the nature of your workplace? Have some or all of your workforce been working from home? Are you returning or planning to return employees to working at the office or other company facility? Are you considering a hybrid workplace where work time is split? Are you requiring employees to be vaccinated if they are in the office? This presentation will review the latest labor and employment issues arising from working at home and what may be the new “hybrid workplace,” where employees split time between the office and working at home. Explore the latest developments on issues such as expense reimbursement, tracking hours worked, complying with out-of-state employment laws, having to register relocated employees in the states in which they now live, providing accommodations for home offices, the myriad new and evolving OSHA and CDC requirements and guidance, and other topical HR issues for your organization related to the pandemic.

Speaker: David N. Michael, Partner, Gould + Ratner

6:00 — 9:00 PM

Networking Opportunities Over Dinner

Wednesday, October 6

7:00 — 8:00 AM

Breakfast

8:00 — 9:00 AM

Retail is Alive and Well

The past 18 months have been a roller coaster – from the spike in retail bankruptcies at the onset of the pandemic to the recovery in sales over the last few months. As we reassess the landscape, one thing is clear, not only is retail alive, but it is also thriving in many segments.
This discussion will review and analyze the evolving retail landscape while focusing on how the pandemic has specifically impacted the housewares category. Includes an in-depth look at the financial health of retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JC Penney, Tuesday Morning, At Home, Belk, Williams Sonoma, Home Goods, Wayfair and others.

Speaker: Dennis Cantalupo, Partner, Riemer+ and CEO, Pulse Ratings

9:00 — 10:00 AM

Expanding Your Reach: Leveraging Digital to Your Advantage for International Expansion

The digital acceleration that has occurred over the past 18 months has significantly lowered the barriers to entry for international markets from the EU and EMEA to SEA and China. This discussion will examine the newest digital platforms and strategies companies —startups to established market leader—are using to enable growth outside the US.

Speaker: John LeBaron, Chief Revenue Officer, Pattern

10:00 — 10:30 AM

Networking Break

10:30 — 11:30 AM

Revisiting Post-Covid Retailing
Speaker: Don Unser, Chief Retail Strategist, The NPD Group

11:30 AM — 12:30 PM

Tell Your Brand Stories to Create Customer Karma for Life

Customers decide emotionally and justify rationally. In a world where many businesses scream their brand features, Arjun Sen is excited to share stories of success and recovering failures from 30 years of big wins in the corporate world, where he has helped brands worldwide connect to the hearts of customers. These stories have helped businesses break through the clutter, evolve from 1-of-few to 1-of-1 and jump-start their journeys to ongoing “Big Wins.”

Sen will demonstrate that every brand with a purpose has a story; and he will share real-life secrets on how to discover and tell brand stories to truly connect to your customers’ heartbeats. This presentation will feature stories from leaders in the audience, who will leave with easy-to-implement ideas that will inspire companies to win big.

Speaker: Arjun Sen, CEO, ZenMango

12:30 — 1:00 PM

CHESS Wrap-up & Closing Thoughts

Review key takeaways…

Speaker: Peter Giannetti, Editor-in-Chief, HomePage News

1:00 — 2:00 PM

Networking Opportunities Over Lunch

Dinner @ Carlucci

Relax after CHESS, and network with your peers over dinner at Carlucci at 6 PM (CT)! 

Carlucci
6111 N. River Rd.
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 518-0990

 

Craig Brightup

CEO The Brightup Group

Craig Brightup, CEO of The Brightup Group LLC, a government relations consulting firm, leads IHA’s office in Washington D.C. Brightup has worked for more than 20 organizations since 2009, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

View Full Bio

Craig Brightup, CEO of The Brightup Group LLC, a government relations consulting firm, leads IHA’s office in Washington D.C. Brightup has worked for more than 20 organizations since 2009, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and he is a founding member of E Street Partners, a bipartisan consortium providing public policy services to corporations, associations and coalitions. Previously, he was vice president, government relations for the National Roofing Contractors Association, and before that headed congressional relations for the Federal Trade Commission by appointment of President Reagan. In 2000, he was named to Fortune Small Business magazine’s POWER 30 list of “influential insiders” in Washington, and recently he was elected president of the Washington Industrial Roundtable through 2021.

Dennis Cantalupo

Riemer Plus CEO
Riemer Plus

Riemer+ & Pulse Ratings’ sole objective is to help manufacturers, landlords, investors, and other unsecured creditors reduce losses and bad debt write-offs related to retail bankruptcies.

View Full Bio

Riemer+ & Pulse Ratings’ sole objective is to help manufacturers, landlords, investors, and other unsecured creditors reduce losses and bad debt write-offs related to retail bankruptcies. Our unbiased financial analysis is acutely focused on identifying early warning signs, so as to provide creditors ample time to adjust their exposure accordingly. Dennis has been quoted in financial articles from Bloomberg, Retail Dive, Forbes and has also been invited to speak at retail industry meetings including: International Council of Shopping Centers, Toy Industry Association, Department Store Suppliers Credit Association, Outdoor Products Manufacturers Group, and others. Riemer+ was founded in 1965 by Lois & Paul Riemer and has recently transitioned ownership to Kristine Riemer, Chris Sherman and Dennis Cantalupo. Dennis founded Pulse Ratings in 2018.

Glenn DeStefano

Storebound President
StoreBound

Glenn DeStefano in 2016 was named president of StoreBound, which develops and markets small appliances, housewares and specialty furniture under such brands as Dash, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Sobro. Groupe SEB acquired a majority stake in StoreBound in 2020.

View Full Bio
Glenn DeStefano in 2016 was named president of StoreBound, which develops and markets small appliances, housewares and specialty furniture under such brands as Dash, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Sobro. Groupe SEB acquired a majority stake in StoreBound in 2020. Prior to StoreBound, DeStefano was with Lenox Corporation for several years, rising from market and product development director for the Lenox, Dansk and Gorham brands to president of the Dansk, Donna Karan, DKNY, Michael Wainwright and Food & Wine brands. He also served as president of Rosenthal USA. Before moving into brand leadership, DeStefano spent 12 years with Macy’s as a corporate tabletop merchant.

Peter Giannetti

Editor-In-Chief HomePage News

Peter Giannetti joined IHA in March 2021 as Director, Editorial, Content and Education. In his new role with IHA, Giannetti directed the development and launch of HomePage News, the authoritative B2B news platform for the home + housewares business.

View Full Bio
Peter Giannetti joined IHA in March 2021 as Director, Editorial, Content and Education. In his new role with IHA, Giannetti directed the development and launch of HomePage News, the authoritative B2B news platform for the home + housewares business. He has reported on the home + housewares business since 1990. Before joining IHA, Giannetti served for 14 years as Editor-in-Chief and 14 years before that as Editor of HomeWorld Business, a leading B2B print and digital publication.

John LeBaron

Chief Revenue Officer Pattern

John LeBaron oversees go-to-market activities for the company and its partners. Prior to joining Pattern, LeBaron ran marketing for the Google Cloud business at Rackspace and has held a variety of global marketing roles with leading tech companies including Apple, Cisco, and Ciena.

View Full Bio
John LeBaron oversees go-to-market activities for the company and its partners. Prior to joining Pattern, LeBaron ran marketing for the Google Cloud business at Rackspace and has held a variety of global marketing roles with leading tech companies including Apple, Cisco, and Ciena.

Kris Malkoski

Newell Brands Business Unit CEO, Home Solutions
Newell Brands

Kris Malkoski joined Newell Brands in February 2020 as CEO, Home Solutions, managing the global Food business for brands including Rubbermaid, Calphalon, Sistema, Ball Canning and Food Saver; and overseeing the global Home Fragrance business, including Yankee Candle, WoodWick …

View Full Bio
Kris Malkoski joined Newell Brands in February 2020 as CEO, Home Solutions, managing the global Food business for brands including Rubbermaid, Calphalon, Sistema, Ball Canning and Food Saver; and overseeing the global Home Fragrance business, including Yankee Candle, WoodWick and Chesapeake Bay. Prior to joining Newell, Malkoski was CEO, Americas for glassware manufacturer Arc International. Malkoski previously also served as president, Global Business, and chief commercial officer for World Kitchen, which markets such houseware brands as Pyrex, Corelle, CorningWare and Chicago Cutlery. Prior to World Kitchen, Malkoski was vice president and general manager of the Craftsman brand for Sears Holding Company.

David N. Michael

Gould + Ratner Partner
Gould + Ratner

As chair of Gould & Ratner’s Human Resources and Employment Practice, David Michael helps employers solve their complex employee problems, the ones that often leave companies wondering, “What should we do now?”

View Full Bio

As chair of Gould & Ratner’s Human Resources and Employment Practice, David Michael helps employers solve their complex employee problems, the ones that often leave companies wondering, “What should we do now?” His proactive advice on matters such as best practices for accommodating disabled employees, navigating the complexities of the Family and Medical Leave Act and investigating complaints of sexual harassment have allowed many employers to solve tricky HR issues without having to face the prospect of litigation.

When litigation is unavoidable, David transitions from counselor to combatant. In the past 28 years, David has handled and won countless cases for companies involving all aspects of employment law, including race, national origin, age and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, restrictive covenants, workers’ compensation retaliation, trade secret misappropriation and breach of fiduciary duty, among others. Clients recognize and appreciate the value of David’s cunning and drive: as one VP of HR commented, “When I’m in a foxhole, I want David alongside me.”

David writes and speaks frequently on current topics in human resources and employment law, and he is the editor and a frequent contributor to Gould & Ratner’s HR Law Blog. He has served in a similar capacity for the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation and authored articles for numerous magazines and newsletters on a wide variety of employment-related topics.

David is an avid runner, family man, dog lover, soccer supporter, gardener, designer and budding guitarist. He also generously donates his time as a volunteer to a wide variety of organizations, including his latest role as a member of the Legal Committee for the City of Lake Forest.

Rafe Morrissey

Founder Morrissey Strategic Partners, LLC

Rafe Morrissey has more than 20 years of public policy experience. Before starting Morrissey Strategic Partners, LLC, Morrissey managed legislative and public policy issues on behalf of clients for EnGage, LLC, primarily in the areas of postal affairs, consumer privacy and regulatory matters.

View Full Bio

Rafe Morrissey has more than 20 years of public policy experience. Before starting Morrissey Strategic Partners, LLC, Morrissey managed legislative and public policy issues on behalf of clients for EnGage, LLC, primarily in the areas of postal affairs, consumer privacy and regulatory matters. In 2012, he was promoted to vice president, public affairs for the Greeting Card Association. Before launching MSP, Morrissey served as senior vice president, government relations for Evans Capitol Group, a public policy firm specializing in corporate, non-profit and trade association representation. He managed a wide range of issues including labor and employment policy, tax, trade, telecommunications and Internet privacy issues.

Mike Otterman

President & CEO Lodge Cast Iron

Otterman joined Lodge Cast Iron, the 125-year-old U.S.-based manufacturer of cast iron cookware and cooking accessories, in 2016 as senior vice president, sales & marketing. He was named president & COO in September 2018 and then president & CEO in January 2019.

View Full Bio

Otterman joined Lodge Cast Iron, the 125-year-old U.S.-based manufacturer of cast iron cookware and cooking accessories, in 2016 as senior vice president, sales & marketing. He was named president & COO in September 2018 and then president & CEO in January 2019. Having more than 23 years of experience in the housewares industry, Otterman has worked for several supplier companies beginning with Applica Consumer Products’ Black & Decker Corporation from 1997-2004. Before joining Lodge, he served as vice president, global marketing & merchandising, for The Coleman Co., a division of Jarden Corp., from 2014-2016; vice president, product development, for Dick’s Sporting Goods from 2011-2013; and president of Focus Products Group from 2008-2011.

Arjun Sen

CEO ZenMango

Arjun Sen is a former Fortune 500 executive, an acclaimed “Brand Zen” and one of the top growth drivers in the brand and customer experience space. As vice president, marketing and operations at Papa John’s. …

View Full Bio

Arjun Sen is a former Fortune 500 executive, an acclaimed “Brand Zen” and one of the top growth drivers in the brand and customer experience space. As vice president, marketing and operations at Papa John’s, he led the 3,000-restaurant chain to four years of record growth. As CEO of ZenMango, he has had big impacts on brands including Aspen Academy, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, DaVita, DISH Network, Nationwide, Paytronix, Pepsi, Smashburger and Walgreens.
Sen’s real-world marketing, operations, and leadership experience with Fortune 500 firms, start-ups and emerging companies offers a broad, unique and action-oriented perspective.
Sen authored the book “Customer Karma,” and his upcoming book, “Feeling Business,” is set to be released in 2021. His podcast series “Secrets to Win Big” has a rapidly growing global following.

Don Unser

Chief Retail Strategist The NPD Group

Don Unser leads The NPD Group’s practice areas for thought leadership, financial services and the public sector. Unser’s expertise in consumer and retail trends spans a wide range of general merchandise categories, making him a trusted advisor to some of today’s most successful brands.

View Full Bio
Don Unser leads The NPD Group’s practice areas for thought leadership, financial services and the public sector. Unser’s expertise in consumer and retail trends spans a wide range of general merchandise categories, making him a trusted advisor to some of today’s most successful brands. He is a frequent guest in the C-suites of companies such as Target, LG, adidas, Wolverine and many others, who rely on him for insight into industry and category performance, the state of retail and winning strategies of best-in-class companies.

Prior to joining The NPD Group, Unser was a 20-year veteran at Hewlett-Packard and held a variety of positions with the company.

Michael Zakkour

Founder & Chief Strategist 5 New Digital

Michael Zakkour is founder and chief strategist of 5 New Digital, a global digital commerce and new retail ecosystem company. The company’s products and services cater to the needs of brands, retailers, service providers and technology companies to reset, rethink and rebuild …

View Full Bio
Michael Zakkour is founder and chief strategist of 5 New Digital, a global digital commerce and new retail ecosystem company. The company’s products and services cater to the needs of brands, retailers, service providers and technology companies to reset, rethink and rebuild their businesses according to the demands of the new retail, new consumption, new technology, new logistics and new finance ecosystems.