The August 19 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 14th 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.
Mike Otterman, Lodge Cast Iron, President & CEO
CREDENTIALS: Mike Otterman came to Lodge with more than 25 years of housewares and retail experience. He previously served as a category manager for Kraft Foods Group; sales and product manager for Black + Decker; and director of marketing for Black + Decker’s Applica Consumer Products. In 2004, he joined Newell where he was the director of marketing and also served as director of marketing for the company’s Asia Pacific territory. He joined Focus Products Group as the president of the retail division in 2008 where he managed marketing, product development, sales, finance and global sourcing. He took a vp/product development position with Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2011, managing the company’s hardlines and then joined The Coleman Group in 2014 as the company’s vp/global marketing and merchandising.
He joined Lodge in 2016 as svp/sales and marketing, and he was promoted to president and chief operating officer in late 2017. In February 2019, Otterman was named the company’s president and CEO, the first non-family member to be named president and CEO of Lodge since the company’s inception.
WHAT TO WATCH: While Otterman was well vetted by the Lodge/Kellerman family to lead the cast iron giant, the balance between pushing the company into the future while minding its legacy will be something to watch moving forward. The commitment to this has already been demonstrated with the introduction of the company’s new Blacklock line. “The collection drew from our heritage and we are introducing something revolutionary to the marketplace while resurrecting the historic Blacklock foundry,” he said.
Additionally, Lodge Cast Iron has been known for its company culture, ensuring that all employees feel as if they are part of the company’s success.
PERSPECTIVE: According to Henry Lodge, while Otterman’s skill set is stacked with the tools necessary to bring the company into the future through sales, marketing and innovation, he also embodies the feel of the family business.
“His vision, leadership skills, knowledge and experience will help drive the company’s continuing success in the very competitive cookware market,” said Lodge.
2020 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):