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CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM 2013


The 2013 CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM took place on April 10th at the International Centre Conference Facility in Mississauga, Ontario.

Feedback on the conference was overwhelmingly positive with high marks given to the line-up of speakers.

Conference Presentations:

Continuing the tradition, the opening keynote speaker - Craig Alexander, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist at the TD Bank, left the audience with a thorough economic understanding of what has been happening across the globe and also here at home during his Economic & Financial Review.
He left the audience with projections for the next 12 months and the risks to look out for going forward.

Brands and Brand Strategy was the topic covered at two sessions both morning and afternoon by Professor Richard Ettenson, from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona.

His very interactive presentation left everyone with a greater understanding of what a brand truly is, the importance of strong branding and how you go about developing a strong brand.
He also touched on the impact of social media on branding and company marketing strategies.

Four members, Stephen Ceolin, Paul Crawford, Mark Gagliardi & Kim Whitehouse did an outstanding job of discussing, as a panel, the pros and cons of using agency reps versus in-house company reps.

A comment from Wendy Hanson in the audience, "wish it had been longer, but other than that I got a lot out of it"!

Thanks to the panel who put a great deal of work into this discussion and to Chad Murray who moderated the panel.

Each year we look at current legal issues facing our members and with the help of Ernst & Young have been able to bring relevant information to you our members.

This year Christine Rhodes reviewed disclosure requirements for public companies in the U.S. and Canada in regard to environmental reporting.
She also discussed the potential benefits to companies in undertaking environmental sustainability and the steps and processes involved including the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Christine is pictured left with David Williams from Hamilton Beach who presented her with a small gift of appreciation for her presentation.

Monique Macarico from ecommerce Business Solutions did an amazing job in an all too short time frame on providing information on LinkedIn for Business, it's benefits and how it compares to other social media.

She showed the audience how LinkedIn can be utilized in marketing plans to increase brand awareness and sales.

Several people in the audience expressed an interest in a more in depth training session on this topic!

Tony Chapman, CEO of the award-winning advertising agency Capital C, was the  last presenter of the day and kept the audience in their seats with a very interesting presentation showcasing the impact and importance of social media on business today.

His message was that social media is not going away and companies need to embrace it if they want to fully capitalize on sales opportunities in today's marketplace.

But content is key so "stop advertising and start socializing"!


Prize Draws:

Paul Mann of Aaxel Insurance Brokers was on hand during the conference to speak to those members interested in receiving a no obligation quote for home, auto and commercial insurance.

Remember that the home & auto insurance is a member benefit that you can offer to all of your employees at no risk to the ember company! Great savings have been received by many of our member companies. If you want
more information e-mail

Aaxel donated a new Samsung tablet to a draw which Peter Stojanov from Onward Sales & Marketing was pleased to walk away with!

Paul Publow, President, Logistics Solutions & Services provides CHHMA members with freight/distribution logistics consulting, 3PL warehousing etc, in order to reduce cost, improve service and educe transit times! As a CHHMA remember you are eligible to receive a quote from Paul at no charge!

This is your opportunity to reduce your costs! Contact Paul at

David Williams, Hamilton Beach, winner of the Logistics draw was pleased to receive a couple of Blue Jays tickets!

Annual General Meeting:

CHHMA Chairman David Simmons discusses issues facing the association.  Treasurer Kris Ovstaas reviews  the         financials.           Candidates stand for election.

During the Annual General Meeting, two new Directors were elected to the Board of the CHHMA for a two-year term:

Jeff McLauchlin, Wilton Industries Canada Limited
Dan Tasson, WD-40 Company (Canada) Ltd.

Also, five current Directors standing for another two-year term were elected:

Steve Barker (New 1st Vice Chairman), IPEX HomeRite Products
André Daigle, RCR International Inc.
Eric Daignault, Richelieu Hardware
Dave Evans, Melnor Inc.
Val Jedras (New 2nd Vice Chairman), World Kitchen Canada (EHI) Inc.

Returning on the Board are:

Mike Wilson (New Chairman), Recochem Inc.
Kris Ovstaas (Treasuer), Philips Lighting
David Simmons (Past Chairman), Jarden Consumer Solutions
Steve Burgess, Master Lock Company
John Collins, Neatfreak Group Inc.
Alan Moyer, Panasonic Canada Ltd.
Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing 

The meeting also acknowledged two gentlemen who will be leaving the board: Craig Emmerson, Bissell Canada Corporation, and Peter Thomson, Taymor Industries Ltd., who have both served on the board for three consecutive two year terms. We sincerely thank them for their time and dedication given to our association. Below they receive their coveted red jackets from outgoing Chairman David Simmons:


Chairman David Simmons presents Craig Emmerson
with the coveted red jacket.
 Peter Thomson receives his red jacket from David Simmons.

Hall of Fame Luncheon:

           The Hall of Fame Luncheon.     CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford  opens the luncheon with some remarks.  Newly elected CHHMA Chairman Mike Wilson addresses the luncheon crowd.

 During the Conference & AGM Luncheon, two worthy candidates were inducted into the Hardware and Housewares Industry Hall of Fame: Mr. Louis-Marie Garant and Mr. Jerry Cayne.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1984 to honour outstanding Canadians from our industry, who through their leadership and entrepreneurial ways, have either founded or built successful business enterprises.

CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford presents
Louis-Marie with his Hall of Fame plaque.

Louis-Marie is pictured with Christine Papineau and Gerry Lubansky from Garant/Ames.

Louis-Marie Garant is a member of the family that founded Garant, the lawn, garden tools and snow tools manufacturer.

The company was founded in 1895 by his great grandfather and in 1918, his grandfather took over the company. He made his own tooling to turn the first axe handles at Garant. His uncle Oscar Garant became president in 1944 and held that position until 1986 when Louis-Marie took over the presidency.

Louis-Marie studied at Laval University and got his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration in 1974. He began his working career with Sears in Ottawa as a management trainee. He then returned to the family business working as a salesperson in Eastern and Northern Ontario and later in Northern
Quebec for two years.

Moving back to the head office he worked in customer service and then switched to the accounting department where he became controller of the company.

In 1986, Louis-Marie and his two cousins purchased the company and he became President. As President he remained very involved in the relationship with their customers.

From his first day of presidency to his departure in 1996, his team under his leadership grew the sales of Garant by 345%. These years were critical for establishing a new vision for the company and long-lasting relationships with their customers and distributors. Louis-Marie changed the way things were
done and believed in building win-win relationships with his customers.

After Garant, he became a consultant for 10 years and retired in 2006. Today, he sits on several boards of directors, one of which is Familiprix, a dealer owned distributor in the pharmaceutical industry. At Familiprix, he is president of the governance and human resources committee. He is also an instructor at the college of corporate directors of Laval University instructing on the challenges of governance for family businesses. He is also very active in many non-profit organizations in his area.

CHHMA Chairman David Simmons
presents Jerry with his Hall of Fame plaque.

Jerry is pictured with members of his family.

Like many successful entrepreneurs Jerry Cayne was introduced to the business early in his life. During his junior year of university he worked as a summer student in the buying office of Pascal Hardware which operated 18 stores in Montreal.

He learned the art of buying and merchandising from the Pascal family. Coincidently or not, Arthur Pascal was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985, so Jerry must have received some good mentoring.

In 1978, Jerry joined Miracle Mart, a division of Steinberg’s with 34 stores, as a housewares buyer and hard goods senior buyer. In 1982, he left the corporate world to learn the life of a single store operator joining a Pro Hardware franchise.

Finally in 1985, Jerry decided to move to Toronto and start Cayne’s The Super Houseware Store. The store opened in October, 1986 with three employees occupying 6,000 sq. ft. Over the next 26 years the store moved once, expanded three times growing to 25,000 sq. ft. Needing a bit more room Jerry added two supporting warehouses and a buying office.

In 1998, Cayne’s started an e-commerce division shipping worldwide. In 2011, Cayne’s opened their internet fulfilment division. Building on the adage that one’s word is his bond, Jerry’s long-term relationships with suppliers has set him apart from the less personal environment of his larger competitors.

Presently, Cayne’s has 35 employees and for the past 15 years has consecutively won the annual consumers choice award voted on by GTA consumers. Jerry is very supportive of local charities, schools, churches and synagogues.
Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: