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Blackhawk Down Ranger to Give Keynote at Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession
Jun 29, 2012
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Keni Thomas, U.S. Army Ranger veteran of the "Blackhawk Down" mission and an award-winning country music artist, will give a motivational keynote address, titled "Train as You Fight, Fight as You Train," at the 2012 Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession (CHESS) Oct. 16-17 in Rosemont, IL. The two-day event for industry leaders will be held at The InterContinental Chicago O'Hare in Rosemont. It is designed for chief officers of all IHA member companies and their top decision-makers.

A member of the Army's elite Ranger Task Force that participated in the mission that resulted in the feature film "Blackhawk Down," Thomas will share stories of his experiences and the courage he saw demonstrated under the most dire of circumstances, illustrating how to develop leadership in any situation, especially in business.

On day 2, a blue-ribbon panel of industry leaders will keynote the day's program in "Housewares Hot-Seat: Tough Questions for the Industry's Top Influential Decision-Makers." The panel will be moderated by Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business, and include Jeff Siegel, president & CEO, Lifetime Brands Inc., and Peter Cameron, CEO, Lenox Brands. Among the topics they will discuss: how to be developmentally assertive while staying fiscally conservative; how to finance growth in today's market - organic growth vs. acquisitions; optimizing sourcing challenges and opportunities; and balancing brick-and-mortar and online strategies.

Closing CHESS 2012 will be Ken Harris, CEO at Kantar Retail Americas Consulting, who will explore digital marketing in the housewares industry, in his presentation, "Digital Marketing: Time to Hit the Easy Button or the Panic Button?"

Speakers and topics include:

* "Business Climate Forecast: How Will Changes in the Global Economy & Washington Affect U.S. Business & Consumers?" by Bill Norris, managing director and chief investment officer, The PrivateBank.
* "Critical Dot Com Strategies."
* "The Uncertain Future of Healthcare Reform" by Kevin Kuhlman, manager, legislative affairs, National Federation of Independent Business.
* "MAPs, Clicks & Bricks: How to Navigate Antitrust Laws & Protect Your Brand" by Wendelynne J. Newton, partner, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

Two breakout sessions will be:
* "Partner With Export Now to Drive Sales to China" by Frank Lavin, former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore and founder of Export Now
* "Brand Protection & Product Pricing: The Antitrust Devil's in the Details" by Wendelynne J. Newton

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