Business Events

MEMBERS GET SOME KEY TIPS ON DEALING WITH MENTAL HEALTH

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with that in mind, CHPTA and COPA held a free webinar on May 18, 2021 for members via Zoom that dealt with mental health in the workplace.

Mary Anne Oribhabor, a former front-line and resource nurse, and now corporate clinical educator at the William Osler Health System as well as professor at Humber and Sheridan Colleges, was the presenter and discussed the challenges that working from home during the pandemic has had on the mental health of employees as well as approaches that leaders / managers can undertake to best deal with these struggles.  

The importance of identifying mental health problems as well as creating an atmosphere of trust for employees in order that they can comfortably reach out for help was stressed.  The importance of self-care was also reviewed and the many ways that employees can improve their physical and mental well-being on their own in order to achieve that healthy balance between work and family life.  

Some helpful resources were also provided including the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Mind Beacon.

We thank Mary Anne once again for her time and insights that she passed onto our members.

DONALD COOPER DISCUSSES HOW TO SUCCEED THROUGH ‘OPERATIONAL VISION’

On April 22, 2021, members of the CHPTA (formerly CHHMA) and the Canadian Office Products Association (COPA) had the opportunity to hear from Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame member Donald Cooper during the Associations’ latest speaker event via Zoom.

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF, has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer.  Donald earned an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, followed by 18 years at Cooper Canada, the family business, which became the world’s leading maker of hockey equipment and a Canadian brand icon.  Donald later reinvented himself as a visionary fashion retailer. He fundamentally redefined the customer experience, achieved sales three times the national average and attracted customers from up to three hours away. For this achievement, Donald received seven Awards of Excellence for service, marketing and business innovation, including being voted Canada’s Outstanding Innovative Retailer.

Donald now works with businesses in over 40 industries around the world to create clarity of purpose, compelling customer value and experiences, management effectiveness and long-term profitability. He knows exactly what it is to be “in the trenches” and is respected by clients as a thought-leader and passionate visionary who clarifies complex challenges.

Mr. Cooper’s presentation focused on the need for businesses to establish an ‘Operational Vision’. A clear, specific and measurable statement of what the business will commit to become to be a more profitable and responsible market leader in 3 to 5 years.  Six specific things to this vision are to be developed on one piece of paper.  

To help you with this process, Donald has developed, over his many years of experience, a ‘Vision Critical Guide’ that provides insights, tools and templates that you can use.  This can be purchased for $24 from Donald’s website at www.donaldcooper.com.   You can also find other free business tools and information on the site and feel free to send any questions to his email at donald@donaldcooper.com.

Donald has spoken twice before to CHHMA members in-person during past Spring Conferences and we thank him once again for taking the time to pass on his unique and valuable insights to our members this time virtually.

CHHMA Members Approve New Name Change at AGM

The 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association took place on April 7, 2021 via Zoom meeting.  

Financials

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Treasurer Steve Barker reported that the Association achieved positive financial results for the year 2020, recording a profit of $36,240.  The results were aided by the Association making use of some of the COVID-19 support programs available from the Federal Government as well as a quick pivot towards conducting meetings and speaker events virtually.  The Association maintains a strong balance sheet and remains a financially healthy organization.  

By-law Changes including New Association Name Change

Members voted to approve several by-law changes including a proposed name change which has been in the works for some time now.  The new name of the Association will be the  Canadian Home Products Trade Association (CHPTA) and its French translation L’Association Canadienne du Commerce des Produits de Maison (ACCPM).      

 

 

 

 

 

The rebranding of the Association will be phased in over the coming months and is being done as the Association looks to grow its membership by appealing to a larger audience with more focus on the “complete trade” including not only vendors but retailers, dealers, builders, tradespeople, suppliers and end consumers as well as other industries/product markets.

The Association’s mission will be to provide value to members by increasing their growth and profitability, expanding their sales reach, accessing industry intelligence and supporting professional development.  

The Association is proud of the role it has played in the Canadian Hardware & Housewares Industry over the past fifty-three years and commits to continuing to serve and represent its existing members in the years to come.

Other by-law amendments approved during the meeting established no limit on the number of two-year terms that a member of the Board may be elected and the inclusion of “re-selling of goods or services” terminology into the definition of Affiliate Members.  This will allow the option of retailers or dealers possibly joining the Association under this category in the future. 

Board of Directors

The following two candidates were elected to the Board for the first time:

Patricia Ieraci, The Oneida Group
Daniel Zrubak, DeLonghi Canada

The following slate of candidates were elected for another two-year term: 

Steve Barker, IPEX HomeRite Products
Joe Comitale, M-D Canada
Jeff Crews, Richelieu Hardware
Gerry Lubanszky, Garant GP
Adam Malolepszy, Signify Canada
Scott Ride, The Hillman Group Canada

Other Directors that remain on the Board include:

Stacey Brown, Henkel Canada
Denise Deacon, Face2Face Sales
Dave Evans, Melnor
Krista Hamilton, McDonald Sales
Patricia Noronha, Techtronics Industries Canada
Mark Travers, King Marketing

During a Board Meeting after the AGM, Peter Laing, Director, National Sales Canada from Recochem stepped down from the Chairman position after serving in that capacity since 2017.  We would like to thank Peter for his time, dedication and leadership over these past four years as Chairman and look forward to his continuing support as he now moves into the Past Chairman role.

Taking over as the new Chairman of the CHHMA (CHPTA) is Joe Comitale, President of M-D Canada.  Joe has been on the Board for several years most recently as First Vice Chairman.  Moving up to First Vice Chairman from Second Vice Chairman is Denise Deacon who heads up her own sales agency Face2Face Sales.  The new Second Vice Chairman is Gerry Lubanszky, Vice President of Sales at Garant GP.  Steve Barker, Senior Account Manager, IPEX HomeRite Products continues as Treasurer.

The Board looks forward to working with all members & staff and leading the Association into these exciting new times.

 

CHHMA MEMBERS GAIN INSIGHTS ON STRATEGIC PLANNING

On February 25, 2021, the CHHMA, in partnership with the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University, held a webinar via Zoom for members of the CHHMA and Canadian Office Products Association (COPA) on the topic “Using Strategy Maps to Drive Strategic and Business Planning Decisions.”   

The presenter was Alan Kennedy, an author, lawyer and facilitator at SEEC and a Fellow and Honour Roll Member of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.  The topic matter of the presentation is based on information contained in Alan’s book “The Alpha Strategies: Understanding Strategy, Risk and Values in Any Organization,” which you can get a copy of at www.thealphastrategies.com.    

During the discussion, Mr. Kennedy discussed the eight strategies that are common to all organizations whether private sector, non-profit or public sector, and which can be further divided into three main categories: Alpha (the dominant or leading strategy), Influencers and Enablers.  It is important to note that the strategies are dynamic and can pivot over time.  Mr. Kennedy talked about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted certain organizations forcing them to re-examine their business strategies.  He then finished the webinar by answering some questions from the audience.

We would like to thank Mr. Kennedy for his interesting insights into how organizations can go about developing their strategic plans as well as the SEEC for their continuing partnership.  We look forward to conducting more educational webinars throughout the year.

HOME DEPOT CANADA'S PAMELA O'ROURKE TALKS TO CHHMA MEMBERS

On January 28, 2021, close to 200 CHHMA members, industry vendors and Home Depot personnel listened via Zoom to Pamela O’Rourke, Vice President of Merchandising at The Home Depot Canada, during the CHHMA’s latest Retailer Speaker Event.

Pam’s discussion touched upon three major themes which included the company’s current operations; sales trends; and plans for 2021 and beyond.  She touched upon key focus areas for Home Depot Canada, change in pricing strategy, growth of their online business and other trends taking place during the pandemic as well as the need to have seamless shopping experience for their customers.

The last half of the session was a Q&A period where Pam answered more specific questions from CHHMA President Sam Moncada which were provided from members prior to the event as well as a couple on the day.  During this time, Pam dove into some of their future growth focus, more specifics on categories seeing upticks during COVID and others that have been negatively impacted, investments in e-commerce and serving pro customers as well as the benefits of their POS analytics program. She also addressed the opportunities for new vendors and new product categories.  

We would like to thank Pam once again for taking the time to speak to our members and vendor community and the insights that she provided.

"Making Waves" Online Educational Conference

CHHMA and COPA’s second annual “Making Waves” educational conference wrapped up on November 26, 2020 after 10 insightful speaker presentations took place during the month of November.  This year’s event was conducted virtually via Zoom with online sessions every Tuesday and Thursday covering pertinent topics for businesses and providing ready-to-use information for managers.  Feedback from participants on the format and content has been very positive.

“We are so pleased with the caliber of speakers we were able to deliver to our members this year,” commented Nicole Gamble, CHHMA’s event manager. “Every single speaker provided incredibly useful information that can make a difference to participants right now.”

“I am so proud of my team for coordinating this highly valuable event,” stated CHHMA & COPA president Sam Moncada. “Their efforts really paid off with very engaging speakers that delivered quality information for both Associations. Every single speaker brought knowledge and expertise that I believe will help contribute to more informed decision-making among our industry leaders.”

Registered participants were provided with access to slide presentations and video recordings of the each speaker immediately following the sessions.

Cybersecurity expert Danny Pehar kicked off day one with a practical look at online safety for individuals and businesses. It’s really not that complicated to stay safe online, but not knowing what to secure, how and why, makes it challenging. Danny successfully lifted the veil and showed participants how to get started.

Following Danny’s eye-opening talk in the morning, Douglas Kennedy, from the Centre for Global Enterprise, Schulich School of Business, York University, delivered an afternoon keynote presentation on what businesses can expect in the post-pandemic economy. This informative discussion provided data on the impact of covid-19 on the Canadian economy, the short-term and long-term factors that will influence the economy moving forward and also some general recommendations on how companies should be adjusting for the coming months.

To close out the first week, Matthew Stibbe dialled-in all the way from London, England to give managers some very practical ideas and tools to more effectively manage their work-from-home employees. Matthew’s humour and 20 years experience of operating an “office free” business made for a delightful and informative presentation.

The second week of the online conference started with an interesting presentation on marketing automation by Nadia Milani from TeraGo who highlighted the key steps to take when using this technology to engage your customers and personalize messaging to increase results.

Later in the week, Digital Communications Strategist Martin Waxman, provided attendees with a thought provoking look at how artificial intelligence is being used in our lives today and what applications and problem areas AI poses for our own businesses now and in the future.   

The third week started off with a look into the growing use of influencer marketing by Shannon Gallagher, who has over a decade of experience in TV & radio PR and marketing and is the founder of Influencer Logic, a marketing consultancy company.  Shannon explained exactly what an influencer is, what they do, how they should be best managed and how they can benefit your business.

Now eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic and with many of us working from home, the next presentation provided helpful tips on optimizing your work space both at the office and at home.  Kinesiologist Paula Hicknell and ergonomist Kelley Hogan from Sandalwood of Canada, an engineering & ergonomics consulting firm, highlighted problem areas of working from home and then recommended work habits and better set-ups for a healthier and more efficient work place.

The final week commenced with an important talk about diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace by Rianna Bissoondath, a human resources professional who leads D&I efforts for the North American team at Henkel.  Rianna showed how encompassing diversity and inclusion can be as well as the key benefits of incorporating D&I into your organization.

Later that day, Tammy Whelan, a mental health instructor at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Peel Dufferin branch, and Simone Walsh, a mental health advocate and founder of the Essence of Mind outreach program, took attendees through a very open discussion about overcoming the stigma of depression/mental illness, identifying and dealing with stress in the workplace and strategies to increase happiness in your life.

For the final presentation of the Making Waves event, Darcy Meier from Newell Brands, joined us from Seattle, Washington to share her experience both working on the vendor and retailer sides on how to grow your business at Amazon.  Darcy outlined key factors including structuring your organization with a dedicated e-commerce team, getting to know the Amazon system so you can utilize fully to your benefit and ‘owning’ your digital presence.    

We would like to thank all the speakers for taking the time to share their expertise with our members.

We would also like to extend a big thank you to the industry event planning committee who worked hard to help bring this event to fruition.

Finally, we would like to thank the fantastic sponsors for supporting this event: Purolator, Kidde Canada, and Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre at York University.

Lowe's Canada Communicates Positive Message to Vendors during Zoom Presentation

Approximately 400 vendors and Lowe’s Canada employees participated in a Zoom presentation by Lowe’s Canada on September 30, 2020 hosted by the CHHMA.  On hand live to present were members of Lowe’s Canada’s senior management team including President Tony Hurst, Senior Vice President of Merchandising Chris West, and Merchandising Vice Presidents Marc Gingras (Building Products), Oliver Horton (Hardlines & Seasonal) and Charles Valois (Home Décor).  Also, making some comments by video was Bill Boltz, EVP of Merchandising for Lowe’s.

Lowe’s Canada wanted to take this opportunity during the presentation to introduce their leadership and merchandising teams, share their vision of a Lowe’s Canada – Vendor partnership and finally thank the vendor community for their support during this challenging year and helping them achieve strong sales and increased market share.

The Lowe’s Canada team wanted to share that they have listened to the feedback that the CHHMA and suppliers have passed on, and they acknowledge that there are areas in which they can improve. There is a major focus to simplify their business and processes to become easier for suppliers to do business with.  Lowe’s Canada has the goal to be the #1 choice for home improvement in Canada and they understand that a strong, transparent vendor partnership is required to achieve that goal.    

During the presentation, the speakers discussed the investments that are being made in Lowe’s Canada’s operations to position the company for consistent growth. They explained how the merchandising teams have been realigned; the recently launched VIP Pro Loyalty Program; the set-up of a new Vendor Advisory Council; the importance of Canadian vendors and the growth opportunities for vendors. Lowe’s Canada wants vendors to share in their growth but they expect a lot from their suppliers too and those important criteria were reviewed.

Finally, after the presentations and remarks, Mr. Hurst and Mr. West answered a few questions from CHHMA President Sam Moncada that had been forwarded by CHHMA members.

We would very much like to thank Tony, Chris, Marc, Oliver and Charles for taking the time to speak to our members and vendor community and for their insights into where Lowe’s Canada is headed and what they are expecting from their suppliers.

WEBINAR: HARDLINES' MICHAEL MCLARNEY DISCUSSES HOME IMPROVEMENT INDUSTRY

On September 2, 2020, Michael McLarney, President of Hardlines Inc., spoke to CHPTA members and others from the industry via a CHHMA hosted Zoom presentation and provided some information on the retail home improvement industry in Canada. Much of the subject matter came from the 2020 Hardlines Retail Report which is available for purchase and includes in-depth data and analysis on the size and growth of the industry. *A special discount offer is available for CHHMA members.

During the presentation, Michael recapped some of the key type of information which is captured in the Hardlines Retail Report such as sales by retail segments and provincial market share as well as overall growth for the industry which has been slowing in recent years (only +0.3% in 2019).  Michael discussed the supply chain disruption that has occurred during the pandemic leading to changes in consumer purchasing and provided some samples of how retailers have been pivoting to survive and maximize sales opportunities.  He added that many retailers in the industry have been reporting strong Q2 results but forecasting for the future will be very difficult.  Full economic recovery from the pandemic is going to take some time.  Michael also touched upon some of the major retail players and buying groups in the industry making news and finished off taking a few questions from the audience.

We would like to thank Michael once again for his excellent presentation and for the special discount offer for CHHMA members on the 2020 Hardlines Retail Report.

Krunchbox POS Analytics Webinar

krunchbox on desktopOn July 8, 2020, CHHMA members had an opportunity to hear from one of the association’s most valuable service program partners – Krunchbox during a webinar put on for CHHMA and COPA members called “Stop Flying Blind – What Your POS Data Isn’t Telling You.”

Krunchbox is the exclusive partner for Point-of-Sale data analytics at the CHHMA and COPA and is actively working with a number of member companies. Krunchbox helps members best analyze their point-of-sale data to optimize inventory, increase internal and external collaboration, and drive incremental sales. From set up to troubleshooting and ongoing consultancy, Krunchbox provides the insights suppliers need to make the right sales and inventory decisions every time.

Handling the presentation was Doug Murless, Canadian Country Manager at Krunchbox as well as his colleague Ryan Smits, VP of Business Development, North America out of Dallas, Texas.  Before moving to Dallas in 2018, Ryan was responsible for launching Krunchbox to the retail supplier community in his native country of New Zealand.

Also participating in the webinar were a couple of employees from member companies of both associations who have been working with and benefiting from Krunchbox’s services – Mat Sargeant, National Account Manager, AGT DriCore and Justyna Toeppner, Marketing Manager, Zebra Pen.

Doug first provided a brief overview of the company and it’s foundation in Australia 14 years ago and the services that it provides.  He and Ryan then spoke a bit about their 2020 POS Analytics Benchmark Study and the key challenges which vendors identify – analyzing sales performance across different retailers being the most commonly mentioned and how Krunchbox can address those problems and benefit your company and your customers’ inventory and sales performance.

Justyna and Mat were able to talk about how Krunchbox brings value to their organizations with the ease and speed of obtaining valuable information from numerous customers which can then be provided to key people throughout their companies as well as to their retail customers.  What could take 2 ½ weeks in the past can now take 2 ½ minutes with more accuracy ensured as well.  This leads to better decision making, advertising effectiveness, inventory control and increased sales while helping their customers better manage their businesses. Field reps can even walk into individual stores with valuable information right on their phones to review with store managers!  Krunchbox’s tools have helped their companies understand better what is happening in the marketplace especially during this difficult time of COVID-19.

Doug finished the presentation with an exclusive offer for CHHMA & COPA members:

One free month of Krunchbox’s entire platform wich includes 50+ dashboards, 15+ reports (no set-up fee) – a $5,000 to $6,000 savings!!!

Limit of just 10 companies and expires July 31, 2020.

Check out the offer online at: https://go.krunchbox.com/CHHMA

To sign-up or get further information, please reach out to Doug Murless at 416-689-9139 or dmurless@krunchbox.com

Alan Arcand CM&E Economic Outlook Presentation (Virtual)

Alan ArcandAlan Arcand, Chief Economist at the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) & Canadian Manufacturing Coalition (CMC) – which the CHHMA is a part of, spoke to CHHMA members on  June 16, 2020 via Zoom and provided an economic review of the impact COVID-19 has had on the Canadian economy and manufacturing industry and the outlook moving forward. 

Mr. Arcand discussed how this pandemic-led recession is unique from any another economic downturn Canada or the World has seen before and pointed out how different parts of the economy have been impacted.  Alan touched upon the unprecedented government response measures which have helped to stabilize the economy and prevent the situation from even being worse.  

Alan reviewed some feedback from a survey that CM&E conducted with manufacturers recently on how COVID-19 has impacted their businesses and their views for recovery in the months ahead.  He then presented some key Canadian economic data showing the negative impact the pandemic and shutdown measures have had as well as economic forecasts looking ahead for some of the main global economies as well as Canada overall and provincially.  Risk factors for the forecasts were mentioned in addition to some thoughts on post-COVID impacts that might persist.  Finally, Mr. Arcand answered a number of questions on a variety of topics from the audience.

We would like to thank Alan once again for his insightful presentation and for taking the time to speak to our members.  We look forward to hearing from him again and our continuing co-operation with the CM&E/CMC.  

   

Doug Anderson Peavey Industries Presentation (Virtual)

On June 9, 2020, CHHMA members had an opportunity to hear from Doug Anderson, President & CEO of Peavey Industries LP as he gave an update on the company’s recent acquisitions and plans for the future from his office in Red Deer, Alberta via Zoom to a sold-out audience of over 100 registrants. 

Mr. Anderson provided a recap of the company’s history from its foundation in 1967 to its recent acquisition of the Ace Canada banner from Lowe’s Canada earlier this year.  He reviewed their network of 239 corporate and dealer stores that operate across the country under their 4 banners – Peavey Mart, TSC Stores, Main Street Hardware and now ACE as well as their buying group affiliations with MID-STATES and the Octo Group.      

Doug spoke about the new broad-based ownership structure that was introduced in 2016 that allowed employees to buy into ownership as well as the core values “fabric” that the organization operates under.  He also provided a recap of the TSC Stores acquisition-merger and the national pricing / product / merchandising / promotional/ e-commerce plans moving forward.  Doug next described how the Ace Canada acquisition came about and how it is a good fit for their organization and the value proposition they can offer dealers.   

Finally, Doug’s presentation touched upon opportunities for suppliers in doing business with Peavey and revealed some interesting insights from operating during COVID-19.  He then answered a few questions from the audience.  

We would like to thank Mr. Anderson for his excellent presentation and for taking the time to talk to our members and the vendor community and for providing some valuable insight into their plans for the near future and how the Ace Canada business will fit in.   

The New Normal: Returning to the Workplace After COVID-19 Webinar

A number of members participated in another HR webinar on June 7, 2020 put on by the CHHMA which provided valuable information and best practices for workplaces planning to reopen during this period of COVID-19.

The presenter was Darci Taylor, Principal & CEO of HR Compass (www.hrcompass.ca), an HR consulting firm.  Darci covered four main topics during the presentation which included:

  • Recalling employees back to work
  • Obligations with respect to providing a safe environment for employees
  • Guidelines for businesses as they reopen the economy
  • Human resources considerations for managing in a COVID-19 era

Darci discussed the CERB, CEWS federal programs as well as the Infectious Diseases Emergency Leave legislation in Ontario that can come into play when recalling employees back to the workplace.  She also reviewed key considerations to factor in when re-opening physical workplaces.

The important question of when to re-open a workplace was talked about and she outlined the policies that companies need to review and adjust for COVID including health & safety, vacation, employee benefits, work refusals, sick leave and work from home so they are prepared.

Darci touched upon the responsibilities employers need to take when re-opening during this time and addressed working from home issues and recommendations for how to keep remote workers productive.

Finally, Darci answered a number of questions from the audience on a number of topics.

We would like to thank Darci once again for her excellent presentation and helpful information.

She can be reached by email at darci@hrcompass.ca if you would like to follow-up with her further.

 

CHHMA Presents Future Name and Direction at 51st Annual General Meeting

The 51st CHHMA Annual General Meeting was held online for the first time ever on June 2, 2020 via Zoom.  Participating members first heard from CHHMA Chairman Peter Laing (Recochem) who welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order while then handling some of the AGM procedures and motion votes.  He indicated that the 2020 Nominating Committee felt in best to keep the Board of Directors in place as is, due to the COVID-19 situation, and not fill an open position at this time.  Next CHHMA Treasurer Steve Barker (IPEX) and Director/Finance Committee member André Hudon (Innovak Group) reviewed the 2019 financials, key objectives and challenges facing the Association.  Although, the CHHMA has experienced losses over the past several years, the association remains a very healthy organization with a solid balance sheet.  Nevertheless, the association wants to improve the annual financial results moving forward. 

Part of the plans to improve results and grow the association in the future involves a rebranding of the organization to be more inclusive and appealing to even more companies who provide household-related products and services in the Canadian marketplace.  Director/Chair of the Rebranding Committee Gerry Lubanszky (Garant) summarized the reasons for refocusing and the new direction that the association would like to take including a new proposed name/URL and tag line:  Canadian Household Products Trade Association (chpta.ca), Market Intelligence – Sales Reach – Professional Development. There is still be lots of work to be done before implementing the new strategy fully but the work is commencing and the association is looking for more members to participate in the process, so please reach out to CHHMA staff if you would like to join the Committee.      

CHHMA President Sam Moncada then discussed some of the newer programs that the association has in place to help members save money and/or grow their sales.  Sam also talked about some of the upcoming events such as the June 9 webinar presentation by Doug Anderson of Peavey, and the Economic Outlook by the CM&E’s Alan Arcand that will take place on June 16. Chairman Peter Laing then closed the AGM.  We would like to thank all the members who took the time to participate in the AGM and to those who serve on our board and various committees. 

Back to Business: Preparing to Re-Open in a COVID-19 World Webinar

CHHMA and COPA held our second webinar with HR company Peninsula on May 22, 2020 for members which addressed important aspects related to businesses reopening during this period of COVID-19.  

Once again, handling the main presentation was Ryan Wozniak, Senior Vice President of Operations & Legal for Peninsula Canada.  Prior to joining Peninsula in 2018, Ryan practiced employment law and commercial litigation for 12 years in Toronto. Ryan has acted in a wide variety of commercial and employment-related matters before all levels of court throughout Canada, including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Tax Court of Canada, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and private arbitrators.

During the webinar, Ryan first touched upon the need for companies to update their written policies and procedures for operating in the “new normal” before re-opening and re-calling employees.  Then he talked about key issues to consider if you plan to hire new employees when re-opening operations as well as the legalities involved with temporary layoffs in Ontario and the need to develop a plan and actual steps for recalling employees.  How do you go about reintroducing more workers to your offices, plant floors and warehouses while maintaining safe and healthy working conditions (what are the OHS considerations you need to have in place?) How do you deal with employees who continue to work remotely from home?  – good communication is key.  Ryan also addressed the difficult decisions of dismissal instead of recall as well as refusal to return to work possibilities and what is involved in dealing with those situations properly.  Finally, Ryan took a number of questions from attendees.  

We would like to thank Ryan and Peninsula for taking the time to talk to our members on these important issues as well as remind members that they will be provided with a 1 hour phone call to discuss any issues with Peninsula direct (no cost, no obligation). You can discuss their packages available at that time should you be interested in utilizing their services.  Please follow-up with Nicole Gamble at ngamble@chpta.ca or 416-282-0022 ext. 225.

About Peninsula
Peninsula’s team of expert advisors can help you reclaim your time, by focusing on the areas that pull away business owners’ attention, such as HR, health and safety and employee management. Their services include, but are not limited to:

  • Contract & documentation creation/revision
  • Unlimited 24-hour HR advice
  • Healthy & safety systems
  • And so much more!

Emergency Business Continuity Planning – Post COVID-19 Webinar

Never in our wildest dreams would we have believed that we would be affected by such a catastrophic event that has had such a significant impact on the global, national and local economies. Many of us believed that planning for things that “might” never happen was a difficult priority to set when other day-to-day challenges are increasingly demanding. 

As we resume business within the “new normal” model, we need to understand, as employers, the process for returning and integrating our workforce into this “new normal” environment; our legal obligations for supporting our workforce during this process; and what we need to do moving forward in support of this “new normal” environment.

On May 14, 2020,  the CHHMA held another free HR webinar for our members that helped participants gain a better understanding of the legislative framework that drives the “due diligence” obligations requiring organizations to have in place in support of employees as we re-open our businesses; the 4 phases of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) framework;  as well as resources that are required for the development of an effective workforce transition and transformation plan for our workplaces.

The excellent presentation by Viki Scott, President & Principal Consultant for Scott & Associates Inc. took the participants through the 4 phases of a BCP including – Prevention, Preparation, Response & Recovery and touched upon the pieces of legislation that are involved:

  • Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act (now extended to June 21)
  • Occupational Health & Safety Act
  • Workplace Safety & Insurance Act
  • Employment Standards Act
  • Labour Relations Act

Even though the presentation addressed Ontario legislation, the other provinces have similar types of requirements. Ms. Scott pointed out the fact that the COVID-19 situation is very much a mental health crisis.  Lots of people are scared and stressed and have concerns about returning to workplace settings.  In addition, health & safety is very much the #1 concern of governments right now so companies need to be on top of their requirements for employees and workplaces and keep compliant.  The situation is going to require a new type of leadership approach to help and support employees as they return to the workplace and make plans for a likely second COVID-19 wave later in the year.  

We would like to thank Viki for her presentation and taking the time to answer a number of questions afterwards.  We look forward to having Viki speak again to our members in the future.    

Contact Information:
Viki Scott
President and Principal Consultant
Scott & Associates Inc.
Email: viki.scott@scottandassociatesinc.com
Tel: (416)756-4785

COVID-19 Crisis Management in Your Workplace Webinar

The CHHMA held a webinar on May 1, 2020 for members with a presentation by the HR, health and safety and employee management company Peninsula Canada.  The webinar topic was “COVID-19 Crisis Management in Your Workplace” and it provided some guidance and food for thought for companies on managing the COVID-19 crisis in both the short-run and long-term.

Handling the main presentation was Ryan Wozniak, Senior Vice President of Operations & Legal for Peninsula Canada.  Prior to joining Peninsula in 2018, Ryan practiced employment law and commercial litigation for 12 years in Toronto. Ryan has acted in a wide variety of commercial and employment-related matters before all levels of court throughout Canada, including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Tax Court of Canada, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and private arbitrators. 

The 4 major topics covered during the 45 minute webinar were layoffs, remote working, government support programs (mainly CERB, CEWS & CEBA) and preparing for recovery-managing out of the crisis. If you would like a link to a recording of the webinar, please contact Nicole Gamble at the CHHMA (her contact info is at the end of the recap).

We would like to thank Ryan and Peninsula for their expertise and time in talking to our members.  

Peninsula’s team of expert advisors can help you reclaim your time, by focusing on the areas that pull away business owners’ attention, such as HR, health and safety and employee management. Their services include, but are not limited to:

  • Contract & documentation creation/revision
  • Unlimited 24-hour HR advice
  • Healthy & safety systems
  • And so much more!

If you are interested in Peninsula’s services, CHHMA members will be provided with a 1 hour phone call to discuss any issues with Peninsula direct (no cost, no obligation). You can discuss their packages available at that time should you be interested in utilizing their services.  Please follow-up with Nicole Gamble at ngamble@chpta.ca or 416-282-0022 ext. 225.

What You Need to Know About Today’s Distribution & the Amazon Effect Seminar

Close to 30 CHHMA & COPA members attended a thought-provoking and insightful seminar at the CHHMA office on March 3, 2020 to hear about how today’s supply chain and distribution industry is changing and what product suppliers can expect for the future.

The speaker was Paul Publow, President of Logistics Solutions & Services Inc. (LSS), who has over 45 years experience in the distribution and supply chain industry, and for the past 26 years, has been providing ongoing supply chain consulting services to members of both associations and others.   

During the seminar, attendees learned about the perfect storm of factors contributing to higher shipping costs including the economy, industry consolidation, new government regulations as well as the “Amazon Effect” of more direct to consumer shipping requirements.  Importantly, Mr. Publow provided some tips on how companies can try to minimize the impact of these rising costs and how they can compete and/or do business with Amazon.  

The main takeaway from the discussion is that companies should not become complacent and think that what might be working today is going to work in the future.  They should be reviewing their current distribution and supply chain approaches and exploring alternatives to ensure that they can maintain a profitable way of meeting today’s and tomorrow’s customers’ expectations or Amazon is going to eat your lunch!   

Marketing Seminar & Golf Day

Jane-Michèle ClarkCHHMA & COPA members attended a seminar on September 10, 2019 at the CHSI Corporate Event Centre in Mississauga.

“What is Customer Centricity and How Can it Drive Sales?” was presented by Jane-Michèle Clark, Professor & Program Director at the Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre.

Jane-Michèle first discussed how today’s consumer has changed from years past and the “Customer Service Quality Gap” that can exist. She explained how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be helpful within companies but most fail to put the customer at the center. The presentation also included discussion on ‘customer touch points’ and the different ways you can connect with customers/consumers.

Later in the afternoon several groups of CHHMA & COPA members enjoyed lunch and some team-building during a friendly round of golf on the scenic Royal Woodbine Golf Club near the airport.

Pam O'Rourke The Home Depot Breakfast Presentation

Pam O’RourkeThe latest CHHMA Breakfast Presentation was held on May 3, 2019 at the Corporate Event Centre at CHSI in Mississauga. Pam O’Rourke, Vice President, Merchandising, The Home Depot Canada was the presenter. A number of Pam’s management team also joined her on the day. Members were treated to an excellent presentation as Pam shared how the Home Depot continues to evolve and highlighted the retailer’s plan for a “One Home Depot” experience for today’s ever-demanding consumers.

Following the PowerPoint presentation, CHHMA Board Director Shelly Mlynarczyk from Henkel Canada, conducted a fireside chat with Pam asking her some questions based upon input from members prior to the event. This discussion addressed where Home Depot Canada sees their growth coming from over the next few years, their online/e-commerce plans, and how new vendors should approach doing business with the company. Pam also took additional questions from the audience.

Industry Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Hall of Fame displayThe Canadian Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame was established in 1984 to recognize the achievements of our industry’s leaders and pioneers.

In this, the 35th year, the CHHMA is honoured to continue to serve as the custodian of the Canadian Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame.

On April 2, 2019, during a luncheon held in conjunction with the CHPTA Spring Conference, three more worthy individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame:

  • Terry Davis, Retired President & CEO, Home Hardware Stores Limited
  • Solly Feldman, Founder & Chairman, Accent-Fairchild Group
  • Dennis Nykoliation, Retired President of Black & Decker Canada, Cambridge Towel Corporation ,CanWel Building Products & GSW Building Products
CHHMA Spring Conference 2019

2019 Spring ConferneceThe 2019 CHHMA Spring Conference was held on April 2nd at the Mississauga Convention Centre. The theme of the conference was”The Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Speakers included:

Brian DePratto – senior economist from the TD Bank. Brian discussed what is happening in the global economy as well as the TD’s key forecasts and risk factors moving forward.

Janice Stein, Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, provided an insightful look into the shifting power taking place globally and the new technological innovations that are coming and.

Joe Bowen, provided some comic relief and interesting insight into the world of sports broadcasting and what it takes for teams and organizations to be successful.

Julien Smith, a best selling author and CEO of Breather, an on-demand, flexible office space company, shared his views on what it takes for companies to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s business world.

Successful Product Development Seminar

Gerry Lubanszky SeminarAs part of the CHHMA partnership with the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC), CHHMA members attended a seminar on February 20, 2019 at a SEEC facility in downtown Toronto.

The speaker was Gerry Lubanszky, a SEEC instructor and President of GOTO Market Solutions Ltd. helping companies develop new product and new business strategies. He has over 30 years’ experience in sales & marketing in the consumer packaged and durable goods industry, most recently with Garant GP, Canada’s largest and most innovative manufacturer of lawn & garden, maintenance & construction tools, as vice-president of sales and business development. Gerry is recognized as an industry leader in business development and is a director at the CHHMA.

The seminar topic was “The Three Most Important Factors for Successful Product Development,” and it set out to highlight key factors that can mean the difference between prospering or failing when developing new products and services.

SEEC York Logo

 

Presentation on the Status of Ecommerce in Canada

Jack O’Leary presentingA CHHMA-COPA joint event held on February 12, 2019 at the Corporate Event Centre at CHSI in Mississauga.

The presenter was Jack O’Leary, a senior analyst out of Boston with Edge by Ascential (formerly PlanetRetail RNG). An organization that the association has partnered with to conduct a number of seminars/webinars and provide reports for our members on a number of retail, Ecommerce topics.

Mr. O’Leary spoke about the key drivers impacting Ecommerce in general and then focused in on Canada highlighting the unique dynamics and external factors in play in our country. The presentation also touched upon what stores in the future will be involved in, key risks and competitive threats for the Canadian marketplace that vendors/retailers should be on the look for, the cross-border online shopping issue and opportunity, insights on how do to business with Amazon and some winning Ecommerce strategies for vendors.

Lean Supply Chain Seminar

Mark ThomasCHHMA’s 2019 event program started off on January 14 with an excellent presentation on Supply Chain Logistics by Mark Thomas, preogram director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC)’s supply chain programs.

The event was held at the CHSI facility in Mississauga and is part of CHHMA’s continuing partnership with York University’s SEEC program to conduct seminar/webinar events for our members from SEEC instructors throughout the year.

Mr. Thomas’s presentation gave attendees a look into the “big-picture” mindset of leading practices that can be applied to your company to eliminate waste and grow profits. As the internet and other technologies continue to revolutionize supply chain operations, businesses need to harness a new technology-enabled, integrated supply chain operations plan or risk falling behind.

Data Security & Privacy Seminar

Data Security EventCHHMA and COPA held a seminar on November 5, 2018 which covered the topic of cybersecurity from the perspective of data security and privacy.

The presenter was Catherine Gill, a senior account manager within our industry who is also completing her Masters in Communications Management degree at McMaster/Syracuse University and is doing her Masters thesis on data security and privacy.

Topics included:

  • Recent major cyber breaches
  • The new federal legislation (PIEDA – the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act)
  • Trust and transparency/human rights privacy concerns

Social Events

CHPTA & COPA GOLF TOURNAMENT 2021

One hundred golfers enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on June 24, 2021 on the links of the Richmond Hill Golf & Country Club during the CHPTA-COPA Golf Tournament.

In addition to spending some fun time with colleagues and industry friends, participants were treated to breakfast, lunch, beverages and treats out on the course along with a chance to win prizes with their skillful or lucky golfing abilities.  

The event also helped raise money for the FOOD BANK so thank you to everyone who registered and came out.

We would like to especially thank our SPONSORS for their generous support and contribution to making the day such a success:

  • Renin Canada (Breakfast Sponsor)
  • Synnex Canada (Drink Sponsor)
  • Krunchbox (Golf Cart Sponsor + Starbucks Gift Card)
  • Insuranceland (Hole-in-One Sponsor)
  • NuTone-Densi (Lunch Sponsor)
  • Loxcreen Canada (M-D Canada) (Treat-on-the-Course Sponsor)

Competition Hole Sponsors:

  • ASL Distribution Services
  • CHPTA/COPA
  • Dahl Valve
  • Grant Brothers Sales
  • Henkel Canada
  • King Marketing
  • Loxcreen Canada (M-D Canada)
  • Precision Deliveries
  • SFA Saniflo
  • Spicers
  • Synnex Canada

Congratulations go out to the skilled Competition Winners from this year’s tournament:

Hole # 1 Longest Putt, Brian Watt, Domtar

Hole # 2 Closest to the Line, Brian Watt, Domtar

Hole # 3 Longest Drive – Men, Chris Amato, Hamilton Beach Brands Canada, Inc.

Hole # 4 Closest to the Pin, Adam Crisp, Grant Brothers Sales Ltd.

Hole # 6 Closest to the Keg, Tom Francuz, Zebra Pen Canada Corp.

Hole # 8 Closest to the Object, Sarah Decker, Henkel Canada Corporation

Hole # 9 Closest to the Pin – Men, Bill Stokes, Synnex Canada

Hole # 10 Longest Drive – Ladies, Jeannie Streets, Henkel Canada Corporation

Hole #11 Longest Putt, Stephanie Adams, M-D Canada

Hole # 12 Closest to the Pin 2nd Shot, Eric Bumstead, Hamilton Beach Brands Canada, Inc.

Hole # 13 Closest to the Pin – Men, Ian Gough, TFG Concepts Inc.

Hole # 15 Closest to the Rope, Jennifer Blake, Grand & Toy

Hole #16 Longest Putt, Tom Francuz, Zebra Pen Canada Corp.

Hole # 17 Closest to the Pin – Ladies, Lisa McPherson, Henkel Canada Corporation

Hole # 18 Closest to the Pin in 3 Shots, Doug Murless, Krunchbox

Two teams tied for the lowest scramble score of 61 (-9):

  • The group from Grant Brothers Sales consisting of Adam Crisp, Jason Gorringe, Scott MacKay and Lauren O’Brien; and
  • The group of Greg Cosper, Phil Emery and Francis Malboeuf from AGT Products and Doug Murless from Krunchbox.

Finally, we would like to thank Nicole Gamble (Operations & Events Manager) and Pam Winter (Events Coordinator) from CHPTA and the CHPTA-COPA golf committee for their hard work in organizing the event.  We look forward to seeing everyone next year in a non-COVID restricted format!

Here are some PHOTOS from the day:

 

CHHMA & COPA Golf Tournament 2020

The weather was overcast but still quite comfortable for a fun round of golf at the Richmond Hill Golf and Country Club on September 9, 2020  during the CHHMA-COPA Industry Golf Day.  Close to 80 golfers made it out to enjoy the “COVID-friendly” golf tournament format which received great reviews from participants, who relished the opportunity to see colleagues, customers and friends from the industry face-to-face for the first time in months!

“Considering that we weren’t sure that this event was even going to happen at all after we rescheduled from May due to COVID-19, we are extremely happy with the industry support and participation it received,” commented Sam Moncada, CHHMA President.

“I would like to personally thank Nicole Gamble, CHHMA-COPA’s event coordinator and our golf committee for working diligently to make this event happen. Thanks also to our sponsors and all the industry participants who ensured this event was a success.”

“The golf tournament is one of our most popular events because of the opportunity to network in a relaxing atmosphere. But, golfers seemed to enjoy this event even more than usual this year,” commented Gamble. “The cocktail reception and dinner were definitely missed, but participants made the most of their time on the course.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the success of our first in-person event since the pandemic started!

Many thanks go out to our Sponsors; we couldn’t have done it without you!”

  • 3M Canada *Lunch Sponsor
  • Crownhill Packaging
  • Dahl Valve
  • Domtar *Ice Cream Sponsor
  • Henkel Canada (LePage)
  • Kaz Canada (Helen of Troy)
  • Krunchbox *Golf Cart Sponsor
  • M-D Canada *Breakfast Sponsor
  • PPG
  • Recochem
  • Renin Canada
  • Spicers
  • Synnex Canada
  • Wolf Gugler Executive Search
  • Zebra Pen Canada

Congratulations also go out to the skilled Competition Winners from this year’s tournament:

Hole # 1 Longest Putt, Randy Bent, Spicers

Hole # 2 Opposite Hand Longest Drive, John Redegeld, Henkel Canada

Hole # 3 Longest Drive – Men, Francis Malboeuf, AGT Products

Hole # 4 Closest to the Pin, Mat Sargeant, AGT Products

Hole # 7 Closest to the Pin – Ladies, Jennifer Blake, Grand & Toy

Hole # 8 Closest to the Object, Trevor Morrison, Moen

Hole # 9 Closest to the Pin – Men, Francis Malboeuf, AGT Products

Hole # 10 Longest Drive – Ladies, Kim Delgado, Dixon Ticonderoga

Hole # 12 Closest to the Pin 2nd Shot, Cal Broderick, Dixon Ticonderoga

Hole # 13 Closest to the Pin – Men, Jim Lowe, Moen

Hole # 15 Closest to the Rope, Andrea Heffernan, Henkel Canada

Hole # 17 Closest to the Pin – Ladies, Kelly Baskin, Dixon Ticonderoga

Hole # 18 Closest to the Pin in 3 Shots, Ryan Mulholland, Positec Canada

The winning foursome was the group from AGT Products Inc. with a score of 59 (11 under) who included: Greg Cosper, Matthew Sargent, Phil Emery, and Francis Malboeuf.

All winners were emailed gift certificates.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and showed support! We are keeping our fingers crossed that next year we’ll be back to our usual tournament format and time in June… Stay tuned for info on the 2021 Industry Day!

Further photos from the day:

Industry Cocktail 2019 at the Casino de Montreal

On the evening of November 27, 2019, individuals from the hardware & housewares industry gathered at the CHHMA Industry Cocktail reception at the Dame de Coeur bar at the Casino de Montreal.

This traditional year-end event provides a fun and casual atmosphere for vendors and retailers alike to enjoy friendly conversation while enjoying tasty food and drinks.  Retailers in attendance this year included BMR, Kent Building Supplies, Lowe’s Canada – Rona and TIMBER MART. 

We would like to thank the following members of the CHHMA Quebec Committee for organizing this and other successful events throughout the year:

  • Christine Papineau, Chairman, (Garant GP),
  • Robert Begin (Intertape Polymer Inc.),
  • Alain Bourdages (Moen),
  • Mark Gagliardi (J.L. Gagliardi & Associates Ltd.),
  • Richard Guindon (EAB Tool Inc.),
  • Manon Lecomte (PPG Architectural Coatings),
  • Richard Lepine (LM2 Marketing Inc.),
  • David Mayhew (ABB Group) and
  • Richard Paradis (IPEX HomeRite Products).

We look forward to seeing you at the Industry Cocktail next year!

CHHMA COPA Night at the Races 2019

CHPTA COPA Night at the RacesA great time was had by CHHMA and COPA members and their invited guests at the latest “Night at the Races” event held on October 9, 2019 at Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Attendees gathered at “Favourites” Dining Room, which provides a great view of the track and a fun setting, for an evening of dining and thoroughbred horse racing from one of North America’s best racing facilities.

The event offers an ideal opportunity to spend some fun social time with your partner, work colleagues, customers and peers while getting to know some new people from the industry.

18th Annual Industry Memorial Golf Classic

18th Annual Industry Memorial Golf ClassicThe 18th Annual Industry Memorial Golf Classic took place on October 2, 2019 at the scenic Blue Springs Golf Club in Acton, Ontario.

Attendees enjoyed breakfast, dinner and a round of golf on this always enjoyable course with colleagues, peers, and customers, while remembering industry friends who are no longer with us.

The CHHMA runs this event on behalf of the Canadian Hardware & Housewares Industry as it honours people from the industry who have recently passed away. The 2019 honourees were George Bolton and Fred Sanders who both passed away earlier this year. And, as always, all previous honourees are acknowledged as well.

44th Annual CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic

CHPTA Quebec Golf Classic 2019The 44th Annual CHHMA Quebec Golf Classic was held on, June 12, 2019 at the Club de golf Rosemère in Blainville, Quebec.

Approximately, 70 CHHMA members, industry vendors and retailers were treated to a hot and cold breakfast before heading out for a round of golf with colleagues, industry friends and customers on this top-rated course.

CHHMA & COPA 2019 Industry Day/Golf Tournament

CHPTA & COPA Industry Day/Golf Tournament 2019The CHHMA & COPA Industry Day/Golf Tournament was held on May 29, 2019 at the Richmond Hill Golf & Country Club.

130 guests gathered for a hot breakfast at the clubhouse prior to heading out for a relaxing day at the spa or for fun on the course where golfers enjoyed a poker hand challenge, beer tasting by Triple Bogey, an ice cream station sponsored by Hamster, a number of hole competitions including hole-in-one prize opportunities from Special Supporter Golf Series and an excellent BBQ lunch.

Afterwards, everyone joined up again at the clubhouse for a mix & mingle cocktail reception to network and eat from a variety of food stations. During the Mix & Mingle, a silent auction was also held to raise money for each Association’s Scholarship Program. Revenue from the event will allow donations to be made to each Association’s charity – Habitat for Humanity Canada (CHHMA) and The Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada (COPA).

Industry Cocktail 2018 at Casino de Montreal

Industry Cocktail 2018It was another fun evening on November 28, 2018 at the Industry’s traditional year-end CHHMA cocktail reception held at the Dame de coeur bar at the Casino de Montreal.

Vendors and retailers from the industry enjoyed friendly conversation and a variety of tasty food and beverages during the festive mood.

70th Canada Night in Chicago

Canada Night in Chicago 2019It was another amazing turn-out of Canadian vendors and retailers at the 70th Canada Night Reception on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago. This long-running tradition brings the Canadian housewares industry, in town for the International Home + Housewares Show, all together for a few hours of friendly conversation, tasty appetizers, beverages and live music.

Representatives from the following retailers were on hand – Amazon Canada, Bed Bath & Beyond Canada, Best Buy Canada, C.A. Paradis, Canadian Tire, Cayne’s Super Housewares, Dollar Tree, Federated Co-operatives Limited, G.D”Aoust & Cie. (a 2019 gia winner!), Groupe CDREM, Home Hardware, HBC, Kitchen Stuff Plus, Linen Chest, Staples Canada, The North West Company & Win-Leader among others.

Maple Leaf Night Las Vegas 2019

Maple Leaf Night Las Vegas 2019Once again, CHHMA members in Las Vegas for the 2019 National Hardware Show and had an opportunity to get together on the evening of May 7th with Canadian retailers at the traditional Maple Leaf Night event.

Held at the Portofino room at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, this CHHMA event offers a unique chance for members to mix and mingle with colleagues, peers and customers in a relaxed social environment over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.