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2015 CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM

The 2015 CHHMA Spring Conference & 46th Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 8th at the International Centre Conference Facility in Mississauga, ON. 

CHHMA members had an opportunity to hear from some highly regarded experts in their fields.

For the 14th consecutive year, we have had the privilege to have TD Bank’s most senior economist on hand to provide their insight and economic outlook. 

Craig Alexander
, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, TD Bank Group, took the audience through a review of the key factors impacting the Global, U.S. and Canadian economies and the Bank’s forecasts (and risk factors) for the future.  Mr. Alexander was able to answer a number of questions from attendees as well.  We thank him once again for taking the time to speak to our members and a donation to the United Way was made from the CHHMA on his behalf.

Tony Chapman, an award winning marketing, sales and communication expert, media commentator and entrepreneur, shared his views and experience on consumers and product marketing and what companies and brands need to do to be successful in the marketplace.

Monique Macarico, a social media marketing consultant & strategist, discussed how the ‘Big 3’ in social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) can be utilized by manufacturers/brand owners, very cost effectively, to market their products, expand exposure, generate leads and ultimately increase sales.

Finally, Anthony Stokan, consumer, retail & shopping center expert, shared his insight as he talked about the profound period (shift) we are going through right now led by the internet and new technologies and the need for companies to re-think their business plans on how to connect with today consumers in the global marketplace.

During the Annual General Meeting portion of the Spring Conference, elections were held to update board positions for the next 12 months.

CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford starts the Annual General Meeting.
CHHMA Chairman Steve Barker discusses issues facing the association.
Treasurer Dan Tasson reviews the financials.

Here is the new line-up of CHHMA Board of Directors:

Dave Evans, Melnor Inc., re-elected and new Chairman

Eric Daignault, Richelieu Hardware Ltd., re-elected and new 1st Vice Chairman

Alan Moyer, Panasonic Canada Inc., returning director now new 2nd Vice Chairman

Dan Tasson, WD-40 Company (Canada) Ltd., re-elected, continues for a second term as Treasurer

Re-elected for another term:

Jeff McLauchlin, Wilton Industries Canada

Elected for first term:

Joe Comitale, Loxcreen Canada Ltd.

Paul Gallivan, Elmer's Products Canada, Corp.

Christian Ladouceur, RCR International Inc.

Returning Directors:

John Banjac, 3M Canada Company

John Collins, Neatfreak Group Inc.

Jason Hutton, Salton Canada

Peter Laing, Recochem Inc,

Peter Stojanov, Onward Sales & Marketing Ltd.

Steve Barker
, IPEX Inc., steps down as Chairman after serving his two terms on the Board, now Past Chairman.

We thank Steve for his leadership and dedication he has shown as a board member and especially over the past year as Chairman.

Steve is pictured receiving his engraved Past Chairman’s watch from CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford during the conference luncheon.

Bryan Gilbart and Paul Straus Inducted into Industry Hall of Fame

During the Spring Conference & AGM Luncheon, two worthy industry veterans were inducted into the Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame:

Mr. Bryan Gilbart
, Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Envirogard/Rainfresh Water Filters

Mr. Paul Straus
, President, Home Hardware Stores Limited.

The Hall of Fame plaques on display.
Paul Straus and Bryan Gilbart.
Paul and Bryan pictured with Vaughn Crofford.

The CHHMA is honoured to serve as the custodian of the Hall of Fame which was established in 1984 to recognize the achievements of our industry’s leaders and pioneers. Since that time 60 industry icons, inventors, business founders and builders from the retail and manufacturing sectors have received the honour.

Bryan Gilbart

Bryan during his Hall of Fame speech.
Bryan receives his Hall of Fame plaque from CHHMA Board Member Peter Stojanov. 
Bryan is pictured with members of his family.

Bryan began his career in 1969 in the marketing department at Aqualine Products and worked his way into sales and right up to President.  During this time, Aqualine became the largest plumbing parts supplier in Canada and was sold to Moen in 1985.Bryan, being a shrewd negotiator, parlayed the sale of the company into a position for himself at Moen Canada.In 1989, he went to Moen USA for a two year stretch.In 1991, he returned to Canada and joined Envirogard/Rainfresh as a partner.

A huge supporter of industry associations, Bryan served on the Board of the CHHMA on three separate occasions totalling 16 years, including Chairman in 1997/98.During that time, he also chaired or participated in many of our committees.

Bryan is also a member and actively involved with the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH).  Always ready to step up as a volunteer and a strong leader, Bryan never hesitates to give his time to any causes he deems worthy.

His charitable work involves fund raising for Sleeping Children Around the World, Habitat for Humanity and the Daily Bread Food Bank.Many of his fund raising activities include organizing golf tournaments.

During his time at Aqualine, Bryan was instrumental in starting an industry Christmas party raising money and collecting toys for the Children’s Aid Society, United Way and Foster Parents Plan.

In 2002, Bryan became one of only four people to be recognized by the CHHMA with the “Distinctive Service Award” for his time and dedication to the association.

Bryan was joined at the ceremony by several family members including his wife Vicki, and daughters Erin & Teil, as well as colleagues from Envirogard/Rainfresh.

Paul Straus

Paul speaks about his career and the people who
have helped him along the way.

Paul is presented his Hall of Fame plaque by CHHMA President Vaughn Crofford.

Paul has been with Home Hardware since its inception, working in the accounting department of Hollinger Hardware in 1963, prior to the emergence of the Home Brand.He was responsible for designing, installing and programming the company’s first computer system.

Over the course of his career, Paul advanced through the organization and held various executive level positions until 1989, when he assumed responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company from Walter Hachborn, as Executive Vice-President and General Manager.

From 2001-2009, Paul served on the CSA Board of Directors, The CSA Certification Board, and the CSA Group Audit Committee.

In May, 2014, Paul retired as CEO but remains the company’s President, a Member of the Board of Directors, and an important advisor to both the board and senior management team.

In his spare time, Paul and his wife Jo-Anne raise and show quarter horses.In 2013, he was inducted into the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Paul was accompanied to the ceremony by Jo-Anne, sons Brian and Adam, many family and friends, and of course, the Home Hardware team.

Congratulations once again to Bryan and Paul – two worthy recipients of our industry’s most prestigious award!

Finally, we would like to thank the following sponsors of the 2015 CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM:


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