CHA Organizes First Chapter in Canada

The Craft & Hobby Association Logo

ORANGEVILLE, Ontario, Feb. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In December 2012 the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) staff, members of the CHA Canadian Section, and members of the Canadian Craft and Hobby Association met in Orangeville, Ontario to officially organize and launch CHA's first Canadian Chapter. The change in status from Section to Chapter was necessary to create uniformity among member groups as CHA expands its international presence. During the course of the meeting officers were elected, a Steering Committee was established and five industry focus areas were identified. CHA Canadian Chapter officers elected for one-year terms include:

  • John Arbour, Coats & Clark Canada Inc. – Chapter President
  • Brenda Greenwood-Vernem, Westcott/Acme – Chapter Vice President
  • Mario Panacci, Kelly Panacci Inc. – Chapter Secretary
  • Jim Thielen, CCHA Board Member – CHA Canadian Chapter Executive Advisor

The CHA Canadian Chapter Steering Committee consists of an additional 19 Canadian industry influencers including:

  • Retailers: Denise Wild – Love Sewing, Catherine Goetz – Distinctive Sewing, Sharon Ramsay – Country Concessions, Cynthia Ramsay – Country Concessions
  • Media: John De Fusco – A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, Carla De Fusco – A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, Wendy Russell – She's Crafty HGTV, Catherine Tachdjian – Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine, Katharina Doyle – Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine
  • Suppliers: Paul Laplante – ASI Kool Tak, Norm Bagley – Westminster Fibers, Joanne Cockerton – Brother Sewing Machines, Lori Tarantini – Coats & Clark Canada Inc., Sherrill Mair - N Jefferson, Debbie Bates – Janome Canada, Doug Earle – HA Kidd, Patti Cary – Northcott, Jennifer Brennan – Northcott
  • Event Owners: Susan Irwin – Croptopia, Rita Gramsch – CreativFestival, Lisa Furtney – Scrapfest, Audrey De Jong – Coast 2 Coast Events
  • Service providers: Richard Brown – Brown Bag Management

Paula Jones, CHA Representative in Canada will continue to work with the Chapter leadership and be the primary staff contact in Canada. Over the next month, the new officers will meet to develop the chapter vision, mission and operating focus.

"I'm very excited about this opportunity to serve with the CHA Canadian Chapter and to help expand the Canadian craft and hobby industry," explained John Arbour, CHA Canadian Chapter President and Vice President and General Manager of Coats & Clark Canada Inc. "Over the next few weeks it will be critical to define and develop a strategic approach to addressing the industry's top priorities."

"This is an exciting time for the Canadian craft and hobby industry," explained Andrej Suskavcevic, President & CEO, CHA, "with over 230 CHA Members in Canada, new chapter officers, a solid steering committee of industry influencers, a defined industry agenda and the support of CHA staff we are poised for success in 2013 and beyond."

About the Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is an international not-for-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of products worldwide craft and hobby industry. For more about the CHA Canadian Chapter events and member information please visit

The Craft & Hobby Association logo is available at

CONTACT: CHA Contact - Canada Paula Jones 519.940.5969 CHA Contact - US: Keri Cunningham 201.835.1229

Source:The Craft & Hobby Association