CHA’s President & CEO Shares His Crafting Journey


by Andrej Suskavcevic, president and CEO, Craft & Hobby Association

Crafting is cool. Period. End of sentence. When I came into this industry the extent of my crafting was helping my kids with school projects or being part of their experience on weekends. Having been part of this wonderful industry over the last year I have gotten to know many people and watch how the passion of crafting spreads. It’s infectious and well, I got the bug. Let’s be clear, I’m not doing this because it’s part of my job. I am doing this for the following reasons:

  • It’s fun!
  • It’s meditative
  • It builds bonds with family and friends
I am a very curious person by nature so I want to try it all. What better way to start than to make something with and for my family. I made a couple necklaces with my daughter using ice-resin, beads, ribbon, what have you. Fun stuff, and she proudly wears it. She even took it to school for share day.
Yes, I’m a proud Dad.
AndrejNecklaceforDaughter
Then I jumped into the deep end of the pool and decided to make my wife a necklace for our 16th wedding anniversary. She loved it. You can see it in the CRE8TIME.org CRE8TIONS Gallery: http://cre8time.org/cre8tions/anniversary-gift-necklace
I made this for my wife for Valentine's Day

I made this for my wife for Valentine’s Day

I will be doing more jewelry making of course but now I am fascinated by knitting and am starting to learn that. Funny reaction I get from guy friends when I tell them I am learning to knit. Love the fact that at 6’4” I am breaking down stereotypes about what a man does. Real men knit! I’m going to break out my knitting needles on my next business trip on the plane. Can’t wait for that conversation with my fellow passengers. Maybe one of them can help me cast on properly…
I will say that I prefer to do it with someone who can teach me versus watching online instruction video’s. There’s something to the bonds forged which I prefer to the loner approach. If in New Jersey and you want to come knit with me. Let me know.
Till next time. Happy Crafting.
- Andrej

STILL TIME TO NOMINATE CHA BOARD CANDIDATES


CHA Board of Directors Nominations

CHA Board of Directors Nominations

The CHA Nominating Committee call for 2012 Board of Directors Nominations will be closing on June 1, 2011.  There is still time to nominate a CHA member for the Board of Directors.  See the complete press release for details on how to nominate a CHA member for volunteer board service.

CHA CALLS FOR 2012 BOARD OF DIRECTOR NOMINATIONS

 

ELMWOOD PARK, NJ (March 02, 2011) The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is pleased to announce that the 2011 Nominating Committee is now accepting candidate nominations for the 2012 CHA Board of Directors. Nominations are being received through June 1, 2011.

CHA members can obtain the Board Director Nomination Form on the home page of the Association website www.craftandhobby.org or by requesting a copy by contacting the CHA Member Services Department at (201) 835-1206 or memberservices@craftandhobby.org. Any CHA member may nominate an Association member or self-nominate candidates to sit on the CHA Board of Directors, the Associations’ governing body for terms beginning January 2012.

The CHA Board of Directors consists of individuals representing the various sections of the CHA membership. Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve a three-year term in which they meet quarterly to address the needs of the industry from a strategic viewpoint, strengthen the ties between CHA members and the Association, and guide the focus of CHA to provide member value. Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve on a voluntary basis, through which they establish networking and business opportunities, advance their careers through industry leadership, and contribute their voice as advocates for CHA members.
“With technology accelerating the speed, method and reach of business, CHA needs savvy, industry professionals to help guide and direct the Association and the craft and hobby industry forward,” explained 2011 Nominating Committee Chair, Mark Peters (iLoveToCreate).  “If you or someone you know is qualified and an advocate for the industry and Association, then please submit a nomination.”

All nominations will be considered by the committee. Board nominations must be received by the June 1, 2011 deadline to facilitate the review process. Nominated individuals who wish to be considered will receive a Board Nominee Profile Form to complete and return by June 15th.  If a Nomination Form was submitted and the nominee does not receive the Board Nominee Profile Form to complete within a few days, please contact CHA Member Services at (201) 835-1206 before the June 15, 2011 deadline.

All Board Nomination Forms and Board Nominee Profile Forms (for those who have been nominated) must be submitted within the deadline period to the chair:

Mark Peters, 2011 Nominating Committee Chair
iLoveToCreate, a Duncan Enterprises Company

5673 E Shields Ave

Fresno, CA 93727-7819

Fax: (559) 294-4310

Email: mpeters@iLoveToCreate.com

The 2011 Nominating Committee will review nominations and submit a slate of candidates for the 2012 Board of Directors to the membership. The membership will be notified in advance of the Annual Business Meeting to submit their proxy ballot as outlined in the Association Bylaws.

Nominees should reserve time for an in-person interview by the Nominating Committee on Monday, July 18, 2011, one day before the opening of the CHA 2011 Summer Conference & Trade Show. The Summer Show will be held July 19-21, 2011 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.
In addition to the 2011Nominating Committee Chair Mark Peters, Board committee members are: Richard Brown (Brown Bag Management & Consulting) and Sara Davies (Crafter’s Companion Ltd) with Board alternates Chuck McGonigle (Colorbök, Inc.) and Paul Laplante (Stix2-KoolTak). To complete this committee, the CHA membership elected members-at-large Gail Czech (The Creative Network, Inc.), Jane Anne Davis (Blumenthal Lansing Co) and Jim Scatena (FloraCraft Corporation); member alternates are Ted Hesemann (Herrschner’s) and Julianna Hudgins (Julianna Hudgins LLC).

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YOUR ASSOCIATION. YOUR VOTE. PLEASE MAKE THEM COUNT.


 

Be Sure To Vote

Be Sure To Vote

As a member-driven organization CHA needs its members to participate in the democratic leadership process of the Association.  One way this is done is by electing member representatives to serve on the CHA nominating committee which handles the nominations for the CHA Board of Directors. Another way is by electing members of the CHA Board of Directors to serve you, your interests, the industry and the Association. On November 30, 2010 CHA sent each member company’s voting contact two ballots in advance of the 2011 Annual Business Meeting.  These ballots were for:  

  • Board of Director Proxy Ballot – vote for the 5 directors to the 2011 CHA Board of Directors
  • Members Representatives – vote for 3 members to serve on the 2011 Nominating Committee; these members will determine the directors to serve on the 2012 Board of Directors.
  • Make your voice heard by casting your ballot today. If your company has not received or returned these ballots, please go to the CHA website to do download your ballot and vote no later than January 21, 2011.

    Please note that voting and participation in the Association is limited to CHA members only. Each CHA member company only receives ONE VOTE for each membership type it holds. Multiple votes from different individuals from the same company will not be counted so be sure to coordinate your company’s voting efforts or contact memberservices@craftandhobby.org with questions on who your company’s voting contact is. 

    For an update on the nomination and selection process all CHA Members can attend the CHA Annual Business Meeting held on January 31, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. in Room 515 AB in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California.  For more about the CHA Annual Business Meeting please check out the website by clicking here.

    CHA Board on the Results of Member Survey


    Dear CHA Members:

    A big thanks to all members who took time out of their busy schedules to complete our recent member satisfaction survey. Your opinions are very import to your Board of Directors in setting future direction for our organization. Following are the key findings from the research along with more detailed survey data and the link to detailed information from the survey.

    The key findings from our members include:

    1. CHA Trade Shows are the most important member benefit. Members rated CHA’s performance related to trade shows very high.
    2. The next most important thing to members is stimulating growth in the craft industry through consumer trial, media coverage of crafts, awareness of the benefits of crafting, etc. 
    3. Members value and desire information and educational resources at a higher level than has been stated as a priority in recent years. Those who have participated in CHA’s educational programs found them to be very well done.
    4. Making CHA’s member network bigger, involvement in federal legislation, and sponsoring of consumer shows were among efforts rated lower in importance.
    5. Members like to have affinity/group discount buying programs, yet there was remarkably low awareness of many of CHA’s existing programs.
    6. Members are very pleased with customer service (timeliness and quality of response) when they contact headquarters staff. While awareness of benefits and affinity programs was surprisingly low, overall ratings of CHA’s communications vehicles (websites, e-mails, CHA Portfolio magazine) are very positive.

    CHA Board of Directors response to survey findings is summarized below:

    1. The Board is very pleased that CHA’s trade shows remain valued as the most important benefit and that they are a positive experience for attendees. Because trade shows overall are becoming more about relationship development and less about “writing orders,” the Board plans to do a more extensive assessment of the supplier/exhibitor segment of CHA’s membership to identify ways to enhance service and increase value to this member segment.
    2. The Board revised its “Priority Results” to segment four high-priority areas. The trade show and stimulating industry growth were previously the primary focus. Future emphasis will include expansion of educational benefits and clearer definition of benefits to include business resources that contribute to members’ success.
    3. Consumer shows are a key contradiction for our members. Based on three CHA Consumer Show trials in the past 16 months, these shows have some strong advocates within the membership, but those who are less supportive of the effort outnumber them. At the same time, the Board has observed that nearly all members place high value on the results these shows have been designed to produce (consumers trying new crafts, product inspiration, media coverage, etc.). Therefore the Board has committed to a course of action to pursue those results through a new structure of partnership(s), with the intent to engage an exponentially larger audience without the substantial commitment of CHA resources. Announcements on this will be forthcoming.

    This survey exemplified how important it is to hear from you. Your Board spent two days reviewing your responses and exploring with staff how we can enhance our service/value to you in light of what you have shared with us. As your elected Board, we are committed to continually assessing your needs and our organization’s performance in addressing those needs.

    We ask that when we reach out to you in the future, whether through online surveys, forums, membership meetings, etc., that you do connect to help us serve you better. 

    Click here to view the complete survey results.

    Best regards,

     

     

    Maureen Ruth, Chair CHA Member Connect Committee

    Maureen Ruth

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

    Maureen Ruth
    Member Connect Committee Chair

    CHA Announces New Board Officers


    The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Board of Directors today announced the elected CHA Board officers for the 2011 term. Named were: Larry Olliges, President of Dee’s Crafts, as CHA Board Chair; Mark Peters, Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer of iLoveToCreate, as CHA Board Vice-Chair; and Mike Birkholm, President of Darice Inc., as CHA Board Secretary. Mike McCooey, CHA Board Chair from 2008 – 2010, President and CEO of Plaid Enterprises, Inc., will remain on the CHA Board of Directors as Immediate Past Chair. The new CHA Board officers were elected during the October 2010 Board of Directors meeting. 

    “The new CHA Board officers are solid leaders in the industry and each has a solid track record of excellence and dedication to the craft and hobby industry.  I look forward to working with the new Board officers to further grow and expand the industry,” explained Steve Berger, CHA President and CEO.

    Larry Olliges, CHA Board Chair

    Larry Olliges, CHA Board Chair

    Larry Olliges was elected to serve as the new CHA Board Chair. A well-respected and successful independent craft retailer, he oversees Dee’s Crafts, which is celebrating its 40TH year in business in 2010. It remains a family-owned and operated business with more than 35 employees in the greater Louisville, Kentucky area. Olliges recently served as CHA Board Vice-Chair, as Chair of the CHA Membership and Dues Committee, and has been on the CHA Board of Directors since 2004. Olliges assumes the office of CHA Board Chair previously held by Mike McCooey.

    Mark Peters, CHA Board Vice-Chair

    Mark Peters, CHA Board Vice-Chair

    Mark Peters, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of iLoveToCreate was elected to serve his first term as CHA Board Vice-Chair. Peters is an industry veteran with almost 30 years of marketing, sales, and management experience.  Peters’ consumer packaged goods expertise includes The Clorox Company, Specialty Brands, and Contadina Foods.  Peters has worked for iLoveToCreate for the past 13 years and recently served as CHA Board Secretary and has been a member of the CHA Board of Directors since October 2007. Peters assumes the office of CHA Board Vice-Chair previously held by Larry Olliges.

    Mike Birkholm, CHA Board Secretary

    Mike Birkholm, CHA Board Secretary

    Mike Birkholm, President of Darice Inc., was elected to serve as CHA Board Secretary. Birkholm is a graduate of the University of Michigan with Executive Education from the University of Virginia.  Birkholm brings a wealth of knowledge and three decades of expertise from positions at Roadway Express, the Watervliet Paper Company, International Harvester, and American Greetings Corporation where he served in various roles in logistics, manufacturing, marketing and forecasting/inventory management and executive leadership. Birkholm joined Darice in 2002 and has served as the Chair of the CHA Audit Committee, a member of the CHA CEO Compensation Committee, and a member of the CHA Board of Directors since October 2007.  Birkholm assumes the office of CHA Board Secretary previously held by Mark Peters.

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    CHA NOMINATING COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES 2011 SLATE OF CHA BOARD CANDIDATES


    Elmwood Park, NJ, —The Nominating Committee of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is pleased to announce the 2011 slate of candidates recommended for election by the general CHA membership. The nominees for their first term include: Jan Kahn, Caron International, VP Sales & Marketing; Riddi Kline, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., Senior VP, Marketing; and David Murray, ACTIVA Products, VP Sales & Marketing. Nominees for their second term include: Mike Birkholm, Darice Inc., President; and Mark Peters, iLoveToCreate.com a Duncan Enterprises Company, Executive VP, COO. The nominees will be running for a three-year term on the CHA Board of Directors.

    “The slate of nominees for the 2011 CHA Board of Directors provides a nice cross-section of the craft and hobby industry as well a breadth of expertise that if elected will be tapped to help the Association move forward,” explained Nominating Committee Chair John Laurie (Coats & Clark). “We encourage each member of CHA to participate in the voting process, by casting your ballot before the January deadline.”

    The Nominating Committee is comprised of three members of the CHA Board of Directors and three members-at-large elected by the general CHA membership. In addition to John Laurie, Rob Bostick (JudiKins Inc.) and Emma Gebo (Crafts Inc./SIERRA’S) served as the board representatives. The members-at-large were Jessica Goursolas (The Creative Network, Inc.), Mark Lee (FlowerSoft Inc.) and Jim Scatena (FloraCraft Corporation).

    The nominated Board candidates will be officially elected by a proxy ballot which will be mailed to each member company’s voting contact by Nov. 29, 2010 as outlined in the Association bylaws. The confirmation of the Board directors’ election will be confirmed at the CHA Annual Business Meeting which will take place during the 70th Annual Winter Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles, California, January 29-February 1, 2011.

    LOOKING FOR CHA BOARD NOMINEES


    The 2010 CHA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2011 CHA Board of Directors. Feel free to nominate yourself or others willing to serve in this volunteer capacity. See below for more about the process and deadlines.

    CHA 2011 Board of Director Nominations Now Open

    ELMWOOD PARK, NJ (March 15, 2010) The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is pleased to announce that the 2010 Nominating Committee is now accepting candidate nominations for the 2011 CHA Board of Directors. Nominations are being received through June 1, 2010.

    CHA Members can download the Board Nomination Form by visiting the “Members Only” section of www.craftandhobby.org or they can request a copy by email or fax by contacting the CHA Member Services Department at (201) 835-1206 or emailing memberservices@craftandhobby.org. Any CHA member may nominate the name of an Association member or submit themselves as a candidate to sit on CHA’s governing body beginning January 2011.

    Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve a three-year term in which they meet quarterly to address the needs of the industry from a strategic viewpoint, strengthen the ties between CHA members and the Association, and guide the focus of CHA to provide member value. Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve on a voluntary basis, through which they establish networking and business opportunities, advance their careers through industry leadership, and contribute their voice as advocates for CHA members.

    “With a slowly recovering economy and reduced consumer spending, CHA now more than ever needs its members to step-up and provide insight, direction and guidance to the craft and hobby industry,” explained 2010 Nominating Committee Chair, John Laurie (Coats & Clark). “If you or someone you know is ready to work as an advocate for change, then please submit a nomination.”

    All nominations will be considered by the committee. Board nominations must be received by June 1, 2010 to facilitate the review process. Nominated individuals who wish to be considered will receive a Board Nominee Profile Form to complete and return by June 15, 2010. If a Nomination Form was submitted and the nominee does not receive the Board Nominee Profile Form to complete within a few days, please contact CHA Member Services at (201) 835-1206 before the June 15, 2010 deadline.

    Nominees should plan to have available time for an in-person interview by the Nominating Committee on July 26, 2010, one day before the opening of the CHA 2010 Summer Show. The Summer Show will be held July 27-29 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

    To submit either a Board Nomination Form or the Board Nominee Profile Form (if you have been nominated), all nominations should be sent by mail to the chair:

    John Laurie, 2010 Nominating Committee Chair
    Coats & Clark
    3430 Toringdon Way Ste 301
    Charlotte, NC
    Fax: (704) 329-5279
    Email: john.laurie@coats.com

    If fax or email methods are used, please set the fax machine or the email program preferences for a “delivery receipt” to ensure delivery.

    The CHA Board of Directors consists of individuals representing the various sections of the CHA membership. This committee will review nominations and submit a slate of candidates for the 2011 Board of Directors to the membership. The membership will be notified in advance of the Annual Business Meeting to submit their proxy ballot as outlined in the Association Bylaws.

    In addition to the 2010 Nominating Committee Chair, John Laurie, Board committee members are: Emma Gebo (SIERRA’S) and Rob Bostick (Judikins/Stamp, Stamp, Stamp) with Board alternates Julie Stephani (HomeArts Magazine/North American Media Group), and Mark Hill (Creativity Inc.). To complete this committee, the CHA membership elected Jim Scatena (FloraCraft Corporation), Mark Lee (Flower Soft Inc.), and Jessica Goursolas (The Creative Network, Inc.); member alternates are Carol Niemyski (Bazzill Basics Paper) and Megan Darrow (TENseconds Studio).