2017-2018 GHTA Board & 2017 Conference Wrap-Up

In case you were unable to join us at the 2017 GHTA Annual Conference, below is a recent press release announcing the new Board of Directors that was inducted onsite, along with a conference wrap-up. Thanks to all involved. We look forward to the upcoming year! You can learn more about this year's conference - and see photos - right here on the GHTA website.

GHTA Confirms 2017-2018 Board at 2017 Gift & Home Bridgeway Collaborative Conference
The successful, two-day conference was held in Washington, D.C.

Grand Rapids, Mich. (November 2017) - The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA), whose mission is to create a national forum connecting industry leaders in their pursuit of ideas, innovations and best practices to advance business programs, confirmed its 2017-2018 Board of Directors during the 15th Annual GHTA Conference, also known as the 4th Annual Gift & Home Bridgeway Collaborative Conference, held November 12-14, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The Gift & Home Bridgeway Collaborative includes the following industry partners: GHTA, Young Gift Executives (YGE), and Gift For Life.

The GHTA’s 2017-2018 Executive Board is as follows: Allison Barrows of GANZ, chairman of the board; George Kacic of AmericasMart Atlanta, president; Lance Hart, DEMDACO, vice president; Jackie Moon of Next Step Reps, secretary; and Michael Nieves of Paladone, treasurer.

Additionally, the GHTA has added four new members to its board: Terence Morris of Las Vegas Market/International Market Centers; Meg Gilmore of Anne McGilvray and Company; Angela Schmook of Road Runners, LLC; and Julia Higgins of Corkcicle. Continuing their board terms are: Nicholas Vafakas of and!Sales; John Toler of Evergreen Enterprises; Robin Kert of Southeast Marketing; and Kelly Shiley of Mary Square. Andy Bjork of Ivystone Group will continue as parliamentarian.  

All GHTA board members are chosen using a nomination and interview process. The members of the GHTA then vote to confirm each member at the annual GHTA conference.  

“I have been involved in the gift industry for more than 40 years and involved in the Gift and Home Trade Association for more than 10, and am looking forward to working with my peers on this year’s Board of Directors,” said George Kacic, newly elected president of the GHTA. “In building upon the groundwork that has been laid, we will be focused on offering members the best possible benefits to enhance their businesses, successes, and personal development. That will also play hand-in-hand with our efforts to bring in new members. Our goal is to bring our members together and consistently provided resources that will build the stability and strength of those in our industry.”

GHTA is also celebrating another successful conference, which was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

2017 GHTA Conference Highlights

Keynote & General Assembly Presentations: This year’s conference was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. Throughout the two-day conference, individuals learned from three outstanding keynote presentations:

Tom Mirabile, vice president of Global Trend and Design for Lifetime Brands, Inc., as well as consumer trend forecaster for the International Housewares Association and a contributing editor for Pantone, delivered a deeper understanding of the desires and expectations motivating today's consumer.

Dave Mitchell, communication and leadership expert from the Leadership Difference, provided attendees with the tools to understand each participant's own unique communication style and develop the competencies necessary to build stronger and more effective relationships with others.

Ryan Craver, with the Lamour Group and Founder and Chairman of Commerce Canal, explored the intersection of technology and retail and the understanding of why creating intrigue and delivering immediacy in a frictionless way will define your future success.

In addition, the general assembly learned from the National Retail Federation’s Susan Reda, who discussed the highs and lows of retail over the past 12 months, and made some predictions about how things are likely to take shape in the year ahead.

Breakout Workshops: More than 10 breakout sessions were offered throughout the duration of the conference. Topics included: online marketplaces – what they are, why you should utilize them, and how to manage them; philanthropic and cause-related marketing; sales growth; financial health and fitness of your company; leadership; branding/marketing for sales; technology resources for businesses; supply chain management; and the changing B2B buyer.

Entertainment: Individuals were also treated to evening networking and entertainment events. A welcome reception was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center’s [indoor] rooftop space, POSE Lounge, giving attendees an exceptional panoramic view of National Harbor and the Potomac. The main celebration on Monday evening featured a cocktail reception, strolling dinner, and silent and live auctions.

A 2018 GHTA Conference announcement will be made soon. 

About the Gift and Home Trade Association: GHTA is the gift and home industry’s professional trade association formed to help vendors, sales agencies, retailers and industry affiliates who are involved in an industry that is fast changing, with the expectation of making it better together. GHTA's mission is to create a national forum connecting industry leaders in their pursuit of ideas, innovations, and best practices to advance business progress. GHTA can be reached by email at info@giftandhome.org. For more information on the Gift and Home Trade Association visit www.giftandhome.org.