The August 14 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 12th 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.
Liz Zadro, Zadro Products, Director
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Liz Zadro, director at Zadro Products, has worked her way up through the family-owned company to her current position, one she said she has been training for since she was young.
“I grew up with someone who came to the U.S. with nothing, pursuing that American Dream, and my culture growing up was ingrained with product development,” she told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®. “Since I was young, I was willing to help out any way I could, whether it was in assembly, quality assurance, invoicing, even filing and organization. I’ve done it all, and I never realized how much I would love it.”
WHAT TO WATCH: Zadro is next in the line of leadership succession at Zadro Products, but in her current position is overseeing major growth initiatives for the personal care company. One of the company’s top goals moving forward, she said, will be to broaden its consumer base with a wider and more diverse product range.
In order to support that product expansion, the company is working to incorporate new technologies within its product lines. Zadro noted that these advancements would be a path for continued company growth.
In addition, Zadro noted that a key to the company’s success in marketing and product development moving forward will be to continually progress and advance its U.S. manufacturing. The company has added an additional 25% to its skilled labor force, and invested in automation, robotics and computer animation in an effort to improve its processes throughout its warehousing facilities.
“We are moving forward with a lot of new advances in that arena. It’s very exciting,” she said.
PERSPECTIVE: “Personal care is a growing and exciting category. It’s been a consistent performer and category with all of our customers, but it has its challenges, especially recently,” said Zadro. “One is to keep the continual flow of innovation in such an ever-changing market. Another is controlling distribution within that. Both are top priorities for the company.”
2018 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Katrina Helmkamp, Lenox Corporation
- Terry Carlson, Lasko Products
- Gilles Gosselin, Atlantic Promotions/Starfrit
- Brendan Proctor, Lidl U.S.
- John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
- Arjen Linders, Philips North America
- Mike George, QVC
- Rob Kay, Filament Brands
- Marc Lore, Walmart
- Kurt Jovais, Midea America Corp.
- Liz Zadro, Zadro Products
- Bradley Smith, Cheyenne Products
- Larry Witt, Oxo
- Lori Gonzalez, Twin-Star
- Bobby Griggs, Hammer Stahl
- Tony Curtis-Wellings, Faraday’s
- Brett Bradshaw & Robert Michelson, Bradshaw
- Rick Carey, Metal Ware