Chris McDonough, Corkcicle

corkcicle people to watch 2021

The August 17 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 15th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents 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 “People To Watch” 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.

Chris McDonough, Corkcicle, CEO

CREDENTIALS: Corkcicle appointed Chris McDonough as its new CEO in late June. He succeeds Ben Hewitt, Corkcicle’s co-founder, who will remain on the company’s board of directors. Before joining Corkcicle, McDonough spent the last four years at L.L. Bean as chief sales and brand officer. McDonough helped develop a comprehensive brand relaunch and channel transformation model that led to profit, margin and new customer growth. He also led and mapped out an end-to-end business planning process that Corkcicle said yielded strong business efficiencies and cost savings.

WHAT TO WATCH: As McDonough succeeds Hewitt, he is faced with the challenge to not only continue the brand’s momentum, growth and goals, but also to put his own unique mark on the company as it moves towards the future.

Corkcicle has differentiated itself in the marketplace not only with the quality of its double walled stainless steel lidded tumblers, canteens and other hydration vessels, but also with its approach to design-focused colors and styles that speak to the modern consumer.

This momentum has helped the company expand its reach as well as its product line, as it recently introduced barware, various totes and backpacks, as well as food storage, in an effort to position itself as a one-stop-shop for a consumer’s busy, on-the-go lifestyle. It has also dabbled in mixed mediums, adding tumblers crafted of glass and stainless steel in an effort to bring new technology and innovation to the category and appeal to consumers that prefer glass-based hydration products.

In addition, the company has launched licensed collections such as the Rifle Paper Co. line, and with Vineyard Vines, both strategic partnerships to reach the loyal consumers of those brands.

As the hydration category has turned with more of a focus to capture the attention of outdoor enthusiasts and urban jungle dwellers alike, it will be worthwhile to observe what McDonough can add to Corkcicle from experience at L.L. Bean.

PERSPECTIVE: “Sustainability is a key pillar that makes up Corkcicle’s brand ethos and DNA,” McDonough said. “As a growing part of our ongoing strategy, we’ll look to continue amplifying brand awareness through strategic partnerships that reach our core consumer audience, along with large scale events and digital extensions that create an everlasting impact from now and into the future.” —Lauren DeBellis

2021 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Janet Hayes, Crate & Barrel Holdings

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Samantha Rose, GIR (Get It Right)

Jay Zilinskas, Legacy Companies

Ed Vlacich, Lasko Holdings

Ben Gadbois, Corelle Brands

Joana McKenna, Walker Edison

Andreas Hansen, Plum

Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s

Chris McDonough, Corkcicle

Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond

Mike Evans, Bestar-Bush

Greg Cairo, Le Creuset of America

Pamela Stafford, Hestan Culinary

Bob Maricich, International Market Centers

Mark Rosenzweig and Mark Barrocas, SharkNinja