Bob Kellermann & Henry Lodge, Lodge Manufacturing

homeworld players lodge The August 15 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 11th Annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Bob Kellermann, Lodge Manufacturing, Chairman and CEO Emeritus (top)

Henry Lodge, Lodge Manufacturing, CEO (bottom)

PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Founded in 1896, Lodge Manufacturing is the largest domestic manufacturer of cast iron cookware in the U.S., according to the company. However, it’s not just about cast iron. Lodge is also the oldest family-owned cookware company in the country, with five generations taking part in its storied success. With Bob Kellermann, chairman, handing over the reins to Henry Lodge as CEO, the executive team is positioning the company for continued market growth while building on its established heritage.

Kellermann has been with the company for 47 years and Lodge, 44 years. Together, over the years the duo pushed Lodge to exhibit at the International Home + Housewares Show to take the brand to the national level, developed the first foundry seasoned cast iron cookware assortments and oversaw two foundry expansions as they capitalized on growing demand for U.S.-made cast iron cookware.

WHAT TO WATCH: With the cast iron cookware segment continuing to be a mainstay with home chefs, Lodge continues to craft a brand marketing message resting on its domestic manufacturing while tapping into new culinary consumers such as Millennials. The company, which just celebrated its 120th anniversary this year, just finished an extensive foundry expansion last year to meet demand. With business growing, Lodge is expanding its foundry yet again and adding new technology to focus on more cast iron cookware introductions, quality control and product development. Lodge also recently developed a new line of rust-resistant cast iron cookware.

“I have an incredible amount of pride in the people who work here. Their ability to make things happen, do the right thing and drive us to the place where we need a new foundry to keep up with demand is exciting,” Lodge said.

PERSPECTIVE: “Being the market leader in cast iron cookware and celebrating our 120th anniversary, we expect continued category growth with Lodge quality being as relevant with foodies as with the Millennial generation. Our company continues to reinvest in the finest production equipment and technology to ensure the best quality on the market at the best cost,” Kellermann said.

2017 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):