Joana McKenna, Walker Edison

Walker Edison 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.

Joana McKenna, Walker Edison, President

CREDENTIALS: Walker Edison recently named Joana McKenna president. She reports directly to Brad Bonham, the company’s co-founder and CEO and will work with him and the company’s other co-founder, Matt Davis, COO, to enhance and drive the company’s growth initiatives.

McKenna was most recently vp/growth at Walmart, where she led marketplace business growth strategy, fueled development of its e-commerce business and spearheaded successful advanced initiatives. She also held senior positions at Amazon and Johnson & Johnson, not to mention running her own e-commerce layette and juvenile furniture business. At Amazon, McKenna participated in the strategic development of its marketplace as well as global brands registry and protection.

WHAT TO WATCH: Walker Edison hired McKenna to help usher in the company’s next decade and generation of growth, which includes building human capital and technology as well as expanding growth channels. She will help the company build private brands, boost international growth, explore a distinct direct-to-consumer element and develop new sourcing. In addition, she will aid in tackling issues such as sustainability and diversity in the context of Walker Edison operations.

PERSPECTIVE: “Walker Edison designs furniture for everyone, at every stage of life, no matter where you live,” McKenna said. “As we look to the second half of fiscal year ‘20 and fiscal year ‘21, our number one focus is our employees and meeting our team wherever they are. From working remote to flexible schedules, benefits that support their health and wellbeing, to the tools and technology they need to be productive and drive innovation. Walker Edison is poised to become the market leader in RTA, and we are focused on driving innovation with new categories and product assortment, exploring direct-to-consumer, and optimizing our supply chain to proactively support our year-over-year growth. This is only possible by building upon an organization that sets the pace for best-in-class employee benefits, career development, and diversity and inclusion. Walker Edison will continue to innovate our designs and produce furniture that meets the trends and demands of our partners and consumers.” —Mike Duff

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