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CHESS Sessions Feature HomeWorld Moderated Blue Ribbon Executive Panel

A blue-ribbon panel of industry leaders moderated by HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®  will keynote day two of the 2012 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession. CHESS, set for October 16-17 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare, is the annual two-day strategic and networking event for chief officers of International Housewares Association member companies and their top decision-makers.

Peter Giannetti, editor in chief of HomeWorld Business, will moderate the October 17 morning keynote panel: “Housewares Hot-Seat: Tough Questions for the Industry’s Top Influential Decision-Makers.”

The panelists are Jeff Siegel, president and CEO, Lifetime Brands Inc., Peter Cameron, CEO, Lenox Brands, Linda Graebner, executive chairman of Chef’n Corp., and Shae Hong, president and CEO of Sensio Inc. Among the topics they will discuss: how to be developmentally assertive while staying fiscally conservative; how to finance growth in today’s market— organic growth vs. acquisitions; optimizing sourcing challenges and opportunities; and balancing brick-and-mortar and online strategies.

On day one of CHESS, Keni Thomas, United States Army Ranger veteran of the “Blackhawk Down” mission and award-winning country music artist, will give a motivational keynote address: “Train as You Fight, Fight as You Train.” A member of the Army’s elite Ranger Task Force that participated in the mission that resulted in the feature film “Blackhawk Down,” Thomas will share stories of his experiences and the courage he saw demonstrated under the most dire of circumstances, illustrating how to develop leadership in any situation, especially in business.

Closing CHESS 2012 will be Ken Harris, CEO at Kantar Retail Americas Consulting, who will explore digital marketing in the housewares industry, in his presentation, “Digital Marketing: Time to Hit the Easy Button or the Panic Button?”

The two-day program also features sessions on critical business issues including: an overview of global markets and trends, critical dot-com strategies, MAP pricing, a business climate forecast and updates on the 2012 election and industry issues.

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.

Speakers and topics include:

“Business Climate Forecast: How Will Changes in the Global Economy & Washington Affect U.S. Business & Consumers?” by Bill Norris, managing director and chief investment officer, The PrivateBank.

“Critical Dot Com Strategies.”

“The Uncertain Future of Healthcare Reform” by Kevin Kuhlman, manager, legislative affairs, National Federation of Independent Business.

“MAPs, Clicks & Bricks: How to Navigate Antitrust Laws & Protect Your Brand” by Wendelynne J. Newton, partner, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

Two breakout sessions: “Partner With Export Now to Drive Sales to China” by Frank Lavin, former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore and founder of Export Now, and “Brand Protection & Product Pricing: The Antitrust Devil’s in the Details” by Wendelynne J. Newton.