ROSEMONT, ILL. (Sept. 14, 2023)—William C. McHenry, president and CEO of Widgeteer, Inc., been elected to the board of directors of the International Housewares Association (IHA), the full-service trade association for the housewares industry. His three-year term begins Oct. 1, 2023 and ends Sept. 30, 2026.
Also elected were new board officers:
Chairman – Neal Asbury, president & CEO, The Legacy Companies
Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect – Paul Cosaro, CEO, Picnic Time Family of Brands
Treasurer – Michael Otterman, president & CEO, Lodge Cast Iron
All officers serve one-year terms from Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2024.
Retiring from the board is Thomas Nichols, president, Pretika Corporation. Re-appointed for a second three-year term were: Kim Cole, CEO, Gleener, Inc.; Tom McMahon, president, JURA Inc.; Robert Michelson, president & CCO, Bradshaw Home; Keith Mirchandani, founder & CEO, Trend Makers, LLC; Michael Otterman; Luke Peters, president & CEO, NewAir LLC;.and Dan Siegel, president, Lifetime Brands.
McHenry founded Widgeteer in 2007. Widgeteer is a family owned, Chicago-area based manufacturer and importer of kitchen and home products with an emphasis on stylish and cutting-edge design. Prior to starting Widgeteer, McHenry worked for 20 years in sales, marketing and business development with Nestle, 3M and Philips, holding many senior level sales and marketing positions.
Asbury is president & CEO of The Legacy Companies, founded in 1999. The company manufactures and markets a portfolio of iconic brands that have morphed over time to strengthen their energy and relevance. Products range from kitchen appliances and cold refrigeration to wine essentials, kitchen tools and utensils. Housewares brands include Avanti, Brama, Chef’sChoice, Excalibur, MaxxIce, Omega, Sapphire, VinoTemp, Vinturi, West Bend, Yonanas and Zeroll. Asbury is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship and free enterprise, having written over 400 articles on global trade issues. In 2008, he received the coveted United States National Champion Exporter of the Year Award. He is the host of the Radio America talk show “Neal Asbury’s Made in America,” which is nationally syndicated and broadcast by more than 300 affiliates from coast to coast. His latest book, “Mapping America,” recently released was reviewed and recognized by The New York Times as one of the best visual books of 2021. His upcoming book “Mapping the Holy Land” will be published early 2024.
Cosaro joined Picnic Time in 2011. As CEO/Captain Picnic, Cosaro says his number one responsibility is to “relentlessly strive to achieve our mission of giving people the opportunity to make lasting memories by spending time with loved ones.” The company, which started in 1982 offering European-styled picnic baskets, has evolved to design and develop an array of picnic, outdoor leisure, indoor entertaining and barware concepts under the brands ONIVA, LEGACY, TOSCANA and PICNIC TIME. Prior to joining Picnic Time, Cosaro worked at Lionsgate Entertainment where he managed partnerships with retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Target, and at Capgemini Consulting, where he was a strategic and transformation consultant for major media and entertainment corporations.
Otterman joined Lodge Cast Iron, the 128-year-old U.S.-based manufacturer of cast iron cookware and cooking accessories, in 2016 as SVP, sales & marketing. He was named as the first non-family CEO in January 2019. Having more than 25 years of experience in the housewares industry, Otterman has worked for several supplier companies beginning with Applica Consumer Products’ Black & Decker Corporation from 1997-2004. Before joining Lodge, he served as vice president, global marketing & merchandising, for The Coleman Co., a division of Jarden Corp., from 2014-2016; vice president, product development, for Dick’s Sporting Goods from 2011-2013; and president of Focus Products Group from 2008-2011.
Also serving on the IHA Board are Glenn DeStefano, president, StoreBound; Scott Felsenthal, CEO, Whitmor, Inc.; Sal Gabbay, CEO, Gibson Homewares; Steve Greenspon, CEO, Honey-Can-Do International LLC and immediate past IHA chairman; Michael Hayes, chief customer officer, Newell Brands; Lisa Knierim, chief development officer, Creative Tops Inc.; Yvette Laugier, IHA chairman emeritus; and Jacob Maurer, CEO, Americas, The Cookware Company.
Serving on the executive committee of the board are Neal Asbury, Paul Cosaro, Scott Felsenthal, Steve Greenspon, Yvette Laugier, Tom McMahon and Mike Otterman.
The International Housewares Association is the 85-year-old voice of the housewares industry. The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world’s premier exposition of products for the home, The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market (TheInspiredHomeShow.com), and offers members a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy; export assistance; industry and consumer trends through the IHA Market Watch Report; executive management peer groups; group buying discounts on business solutions services; direct-to-consumer engagement through TheInspiredHome.com; and an independent news and information platform through HomePageNews.com.