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Toy safety hearing to be held today

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON The U.S. Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee is meeting today to discuss ways of improving toy safety standards.

Jerry Storch, chairman and ceo of Toys “R” Us, is among the retailers and toy manufacturers expected to testify before the Subcommittee on the issue of toy safety. According to Toys “R” Us, Storch will reaffirm his company’s support of proposed federal legislation to build a more effective Consumer Product Safety Commission, strengthen third-party testing requirements for products, and introduce production code stamping.

 

“We recognize that the issue of toy safety goes well beyond business and directly to the well-being of the families we serve. We have reiterated that simple, single fact to our employees, suppliers and business partners. We will not tolerate products that do not meet our rigorous safety standards,” said Storch.

 

In conjunction with the Subcommittee’s hearings, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced their plans for reforming the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and uniting manufacturers and retailers in improving toy safety.

 

Klobuchar said she will introduce a bill in the coming weeks that will focus on reforming and streamlining the recall process and giving parents tools to identify recalled toys in their own homes.

 

Durbin, as well, has been active on legislation dealing with product safety. Last month, he introduced the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act, and he is the cosponsor of the Children’s Product Safety Act, introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), which will require all children’s products to be certified as having met rigorous product safety standards by independent laboratories.

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Houseware vets join IHA board

BY CSA STAFF

ROSEMONT, Ill. The International Housewares Association has named four new directors to its board of directors. Sheldon Goodman, president of Spectrum Diversified Designs; Keith Jaffee, ceo of Focus Products Groups; Mary Ann Knaus, senior vp of strategic development and global marketing for Jarden Consumer Solutions; and Gavin Lam, ceo and president of Lynn Concepts have each been elected to three-year terms that begin on Oct. 1 and expire Sept. 30, 2010.

Goodman has more than 28 years experience in the housewares industry, having founded Spectrum Diversified Designs, a manufacturer of storage and organization products, in 1985. Prior to that, he was vp of finance/operations, for another housewares supplier from 1979-1984. 

Jaffee started Focus Products Group in 2001. The company owns several housewares companies, including Amco Housewares, Chicago Metallic, West Bend Housewares and Back to Basics Products, with the last two companies comprising the Focus Electrics Group. Prior to founding Focus Products, Jaffee served as president of the Store Fixture and Store Products Group at Leggett & Platt from 1997-2001. Before that, he served as president of Amco Corp., a manufacturer of commercial storage systems and upscale housewares from 1982-97.

Knaus joined Jarden Consumer Solutions in 1998 as product manager for Mr. Coffee brand filters and accessories. Over the years she was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of new product development, marketing and general management of the global appliance business, where she was responsible for the Mr. Coffee, Sunbeam and Oster brands. In 2003, Knaus was promoted to her current position of senior vp of strategic and global marketing. Prior to joining Jarden, Knaus held various marketing and new product development positions with housewares manufacturers including Anchor Hocking Plastics, then a division of Newell Rubbermaid, from 1997-98, and Mr. Coffee Inc. from 1992-94. From 1994-97 she served as product manager for County Line Limited/CPR Prompt, an entrepreneurial new product development company.

Lam created Lynns Concepts Inc. in 1991. The company manufactures and markets ceramic dinnerware and stainless steel cookware. Before starting Lynns Concepts, Lam was evp of C.C.A. International Inc., a supplier of ceramic dinnerware, from 1983-91 and served as marketing manager for Chinese Ceramic Arts I/E Co., Ltd. in Hong Kong from 1979-83. Lam also serves as chairman of several other companies: Tuxton China Inc., a marketer of vitrified chinaware for the food service industry, since 2000; Axa International Inc., a manufacturer of stainless steel cookware, since 1997; and Pinewave Development Group Inc., a real estate development company, since 1989.

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Morrow joins Blockbuster as cio

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS Blockbuster Inc. today announced that Keith Morrow has been named chief information officer for the company.

Morrow joins Blockbuster from 7-Eleven, where he most recently served as cio and senior vp of information systems, in charge of the company’s North American information technology activities.

Prior to his tenure with 7-Eleven, Morrow held senior management positions with Associates First Capital Corp. (now CitiFinancial) and ADP, one of the nation’s largest human resources and payroll services companies.

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