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2014 CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM

The 2014 CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM took place on April 23 at the International Centre Conference Facility in Mississauga, Ontario.  It was a value-packed day of information and education to help members better manage their businesses and improve personal and corporate performance.

We would like to thank CHEP Canada for sponsoring the breakfast.

Feedback from the conference was overwhelmingly positive.  Here is what a few attendees had to say:

      CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford welcomes
                everyone to the Spring Conference.

"Wonderful day today and great presenters! Congrats on organizing a super "sales day"!" (Carol Heller, Kidde Canada)

"This was the best Spring Conference line-up of speakers I have heard in a very long time." (Chad Murray, Quest Brands)

“The CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM is an opportunity for members to take some time away from their day-to-day work to meet with peers from the industry and get some perspective from experts on big picture issues as well as new trends and ideas on managing our businesses.”  (André Daigle RCR International)

"For any CHHMA members that have not attended this annual conference I would encourage them to do so. It is a very relevant, enlightening, and beneficial event, and also provides and excellent networking opportunity in a relaxed atmosphere."  (Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing)

"I was very impressed by all of the presenters at the CHHMA SC & AGM 2014. They were all well prepared, made great visual presentations, knowledgeable about our industry and focused on helping us do a better job. I highly recommend attending next year." (Bryan Gilbart, Envirogard/Rainfresh Water Filters)

Geoff Kidder from TD Wealth and a financial
adviser to the association's investment portfolio, introduces Mr. Alexander.


Continuing the tradition, Craig Alexander, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist at the TD Bank, was the opening keynote speaker.  One of Canada's top economist provided the audience with key insights on the factors impacting the Canadian, U.S. and Global economies over the past year as well as the expectations and risk factors going forward.

"Once again enjoyed and learned from Craig Alexander, TD Bank. His information is insightful and his delivery is exceptional."  (Wendy Hanson, Neatfreak Group Inc.)

“I always look forward to hearing Craig Alexander’s Economic Review. It keeps you on top of what is happening in the world.”  (André Daigle RCR International)

"Craig Alexander always manages to deliver a wealth of information, whether it be historical data or forecasting for the future, and he was no different at this years’ conference. He presents his numbers with a style that is easy to listen to and follow along with, not to mention doing it with a good sense of humour...i.e. his mother asking him to do something about the exchange rate. (Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing)


        Beverly Whaley from RDTS (one of the day's
introduces Mr. Foster.



The second speaker of the day, Frank Foster (CSP) from Frank Foster & Associates, spoke about the usefulness of Goal Setting and how to go about it. 

With over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in North America, Mr. Foster consults with colleges and universities, associations, manufacturers and service companies to develop and deliver performance improvement programs.

"Frank Foster’s presentation on the importance of setting goals and the 9 step plan to help reach those goals, was also enlightening. His point about keeping your goals flexible was a key one."  (Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing)


    Paul Crawford, President of King Marketing (one
       of the conference's sponsors)
, introduces Mr.


Michael Sloopka's, The Negotiating Coach®,
 presentation on Improving Negotiating Effectiveness was outstanding and incorporated specific issues impacting our members.

"The morning presentation by Michael Sloopka was an eye opener and a reminder that there are always other and/or better ways to look at our challenges in everyday business." (Wendy Hanson, Neatfreak Group Inc.)

Michael Sloopka’s session on negotiation was very beneficial and served as a good reminder/checklist of all the things that good negotiators need to remember. (Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing)

“Michael Sloopka’s Negotiation presentation was excellent and showed us that we can always be better equipped to deal with our customers. It was a good reminder that our customers should be kept aware of all the things we do and provide them. I would be interested in sending members of my sales team to a future Michael Sloopka negotiation workshop put on by the Association.” (André Daigle RCR International)

"Michael Sloopka's talking about negotiating changed the way our company will be presenting programs to our largest customers. If you missed this one speaker you missed out on the most important information that you could have learned. We are already committed to sending four people to the negotiating workshop." (Chad Murray, Quest Brands)




The final keynote speaker of the conference was Donald Cooper of The Donald Cooper Corporation.  Drawing from his real-life experience as a world-class manufacturer (18 years at Cooper Canada, the family business), retailer and business coach, he now helps companies rethink and reinvent themselves to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.  

His energetic and inspiring presentation "Vision Critical ... How to define our future, grow our business and improve our bottom line!" stressed the importance of developing clarity, commitment and accountability in your business in order to achieve optimum results.

"The highlight of the presenters had to be Donald Cooper (so what ever happened to those Cooperalls?). One of his interesting points was that “making a commitment to a clear purpose” was more important than aiming/intending/striving to reach your target/goal. One other take home thought from Mr. Cooper was “People don’t resist change. They resist loss.”" (Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing)

“Donald Cooper is a very energetic and dynamic speaker. His presentation reminds us that we can be more efficient at our jobs and need to take the time to reflect, plan and show commitment. His point about having balance in our lives was important too.” (André Daigle RCR International)


  CHHMA Chairman Mike Wilson discusses issues
     facing the association.

CHHMA Treasurer Kris Ovstaas reviews some
of the financials.

                    Candidates stand for election.

CHHMA Annual General Meeting

During the Annual General Meeting, four new directors were elected to the board:

John Banjac (3M Canada)
Jason Hutton (Salton Canada)
Peter Laing (Recochem) 
Dave Stojni (Southwire Canada).

Three current directors were re-elected for another term:

John Collins (Neatfreak Group)
Alan Moyer (Panasonic Canada)
Peter Stojanov (Onward Sales & Marketing)

Retiring directors:

David Simmons (Past Chairman) (Jarden Consumer Solutions) &
Kris Ovstass (Treasurer) (Philips Lighting)  have served on the board for their allotted terms and therefore are not eligible for re-election.

Steve Burgess has taken a new position at Master Lock International and therefore is resigning from the board.
Val Jedras, who is no longer with World Kitchen, is starting his own
executive search firm.

We thank these gentlemen for their time and service to the Association

Returning to the board:

Steve Barker (New Chairman) (IPEX)
André Daigle (New First Vice Chairman) (RCR International) 
Dave Evans (New Second Vice Chairman) (Melnor)
Dan Tasson (New Treasurer) (WD-40 Canada)
Mike Wilson (Past Chairman) (Recochem)
Eric Daignault (Richelieu Hardware)
Jeff McLauchlin (Wilton Industries)

(Top Left) Outgoing CHHMA Chairman Mike Wilson welcomes everyone to the Hall of Fame Luncheon.

(Right) Newly elected CHHMA Chairman Steve Barker addresses the luncheon audience.

(Bottom Left) Steve Barker presents Mike Wilson with the traditional Past Chairman watch.

CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford presents    Leonard Lee with his Hall of Fame plaque.

 Mr. Lee is pictured with his wife Lorraine and son Robin who is also involved in the business.

Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

During the CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM, a luncheon (co-sponsored by Aaxel Insurance Brokers Limited) was held to honour the two latest inductees into the Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame.

Mr. Leonard Lee
An avid woodworker, Leonard Lee found it difficult to acquire the quality speciality tools he required to fulfill his hobby and founded Lee Valley Tools in 1978. The business flourished both nationally and internationally leading him to opening 15 stores across Canada. In 1985, he expanded into manufacturing by opening Veritas Tools Inc. in Ottawa making products for his customers. The plant still operates in Ottawa employing over 140 people manufacturing tools here in Canada and bringing the total number of
full time employees to almost 850.

In 1991, Leonard entered the publishing business specializing in woodworking and gardening titles through Algrove Publishing Ltd. and in 1998 he founded Canica Design Inc., a company designing and developing medical tools and systems.

Born in Wadena Saskatchewan, Leonard obtained a Civil Engineering Diploma from Royal Roads Military College in B.C. and a B.A. in Economics from Queens University in Ontario before launching a 15 year career holding several positions within the Government of Canada. Much of his career was spent in the Canadian Foreign Service.

Mr. Lee has received numerous awards and Honorary Doctorates over the years including the Order of Canada and remains active in his various businesses to this day.

CHHMA Chairman Mike Wilson presents Richard
Paulin with his Hall of Fame plaque.

Mr. Paulin is pictured with his wife Ellen and sons
David and Adam.


Mr. Richard Paulin
H. Paulin & Company started from humble beginnings in 1920 by Harry Paulin as a small hardware store in downtown Toronto specializing in fasteners. The Company produced the first retail fastener catalogue in 1925 and began manufacturing fasteners in the 1930’s. Innovation has always been a mainstay of the company and in 1955 the company was first to market with a line of pre-bagged fasteners focused on the end consumer. After the war ended, Harry’s eldest son Arthur lead the Company as President for over 30 years expanding the business with new manufacturing capabilities, revolutionary new fastening products and patented merchandising systems.

In 1977, Richard Paulin began his fulltime career in the family business, taking on the role of President in 1990. Since that time sales have climbed significantly and the Paulin brand has become well known in Canada as the professional quality solution to all fastening problems. When Big Box stores began entering Canada in the mid 1990’s, Paulin successfully developed a DIY and Professional merchandising strategy that used innovative tools like the “touch screen fastener finder” and succeeded in growing its retail hardware presence. Today, Paulin products are sold under many trade names including Paulin, Pro-Tip, Work-Savers and Precision Fasteners.

The Company has won numerous awards over the years, including hardware vendor of the year at both Home Depot and Reno Depot on multiple occasions. The Company’s success and growth can be attributed to the creativity, loyalty and hard work that the over 650 employees have provided every day. Richard Paulin has always nurtured a family culture resulting in over 60 associates having worked 30 or more years with the Company.

Today, the Company has 4 manufacturing facilities in Milton, Mississauga and Scarborough, 10 distribution facilities across Canada and 2 in the United States. The Company was acquired by The Hillman Group in 2013 and as a result has become the largest supplier of fasteners and keys to the retail market in North America.


"I am always honoured to be part of an organization that supports and recognizes the key players / influencers in our industry and once again this year it was a pleasure to meet both Leonard Lee and Richard Paulin as this year’s recipients." (Wendy Hanson, (Neatfreak Group Inc.)

"The Industry Hall of Fame Lunch inductions of Leonard Lee and Richard Paulin were first class. It was also nice to see a number of other major retailers attend the luncheon and afternoon session with Mr. Cooper." (Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing)

Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: