CHESS Conference Focuses On Building For The Future

As housewares suppliers continue to grapple with disruption in the retail market and the ever-changing housewares consumer, they also must plan for the future, including attracting younger employees and exploring new markets to pursue. These issues and more will be explored during “Building for the Future… New Leaders, New Markets,” the 2019 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS), September 24-25 in Oak Brook, IL.

This year’s event moves to The Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus in Oak Brook, located next to Hamburger University.

Opening the program on September 24 will be the annual Housewares Hot Seat panel, focusing on “Recruiting the Next Generation of Housewares Leaders” and examining how to attract, inspire and engage young professionals equipped with perspectives, passion and skills to set the stage for future success. Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business magazine, will moderate the panel of Scott Felsenthal, evp/Whitmor; Lauren Greenwood, president and co-founder, YouCopia; and Daniel Seehoff, CEO and co-founder, Sophistiplate. These new generation housewares executives will explain how to make the industry appealing for the next generation of business talent.

Following this session will be the day one keynote, “The Art of Business Influence” by Mark Jeffries. A former Merrill Lynch stockbroker, Jeffries is now a trusted advisor and communications consultant whose message is a simple, yet vital one— communication excellence leads to increased connections, trust and success.

Other first day sessions include: “Driving Through the Retail Collision,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, retail, at The NPD Group; and “Retail’s Seismic Shift: Understanding the Forces Changing Housewares Consumers,” Michael Dart, a partner in the consumer/retail practice at A.T. Kearney.

Dana Telsey and Joe Feldman, principals of the Telsey Advisory Group (TAG), lead off day two of CHESS with their annual exploration of the retail landscape. With the consumers’ need for speed and the growth of the “gig” economy, in their session, “Reinvention for Relevancy: The Changing Consumer and Retail Landscape,” the pair will explore key retail trends including the use of technology and branding to drive top-line and bottom-line performance.

Other sessions include: “Influencer Marketing: How to Find, Use and Measure Effectiveness,” Anne Sage, talent relations strategist, and Laiza Cors, co-founder and CEO, at Embello; “Closing the ‘Skills Gap:’ Innovative Talent Management Solutions for a Changing Workforce,” David DeLong, president of David DeLong & Associates and Smart Workforce Strategies; “Regulatory Update: The Latest on U.S. International Trade Policy,” David French, svp/government relations, and executive director of the National Retail Federation.

Closing CHESS 2019 will be “Connections: How Kroger Uses Housewares to Inspire Customers” with Greg Parsons, senior director, home and home product development at Kroger.