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Housewares Training & Information Group (HTI) will launch an annual One Voice Conference in March at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago. In announcing the event HTI President, Robert Coviello, said the company has committed to co-locating this educational forum at the Housewares Show for the next five years in order to “facilitate a space for vendors and retailers to create a working dialog.”
The March 5 event will bring retailers and vendors together in a daylong forum focused on education and networking. According to HTI, retail roundtables will enable specialty retailers to share information, successful strategies and tools for growth with one another. Vendors will be invited to discuss product lines, issues of concern and build relationships with retailers one-to-one in a relaxed atmosphere.
“We really believe this conference fulfills a need for not only our HTI retail and vendor members, but the industry as a whole,” said Dave Lengyel, vice president at HTI. “For years, retailers and vendors have called on Bob [Coviello] to expand his educational opportunities and vendor-retailer experiences to a large-scale format. We truly believe One Voice fills that demand. The IH+HS timeframe and the International Housewares Association’s own mission made Chicago the only logical place to hold this event.”
One Voice Steering Committee members who developed the program over the past year include: Karen Skalicky of Creative Kitchen, Fargo, ND; Mike Fear of Now Your Cooking, Bath, ME; Karl and Marie Benson, Cooks of Crocus Hill, St. Paul, MN.; Dean Eaton of Your Kitchen, Keene, NH; and Coviello. The main purpose of the steering committee was to determine when and where HTI should hold its annual meeting and to develop its content. The committee has decided to have the meeting every year prior to the IH+HS.