Creative Arts Industry Leaders & Innovators to be Honored at CHA MEGA Show

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Craft & Hobby Association Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

CHA MEGA Show

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is pleased to announce that four creative arts pioneers and innovators will be honored at its 3rd Annual CHA Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 10, 2016 during the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show (CHA MEGA Show). These distinguished individuals will be inducted into the CHA Hall of Fame as recognition for their business success and significant contributions to the creative products industry.

The 2016 CHA Hall of Fame inductees are Larry Fine, Michaels, A.C.Moore & Horizon; David Ladd, Walnut Hollow; Ron LaRosa, Delta Technical Coatings; and Randy Putnam, Randy Putnam & Associates, Inc. (RPA).

“We are very grateful for all of those who have served our industry before us and whose passion, dedication and hard work had a hand in shaping our great industry. The Hall of Fame lets us all take time to honor, remember and thank these individuals for their tireless contributions to our member-driven association,” said Mark Lee, CHA Hall of Fame Committee Chair.

The CHA Hall of Fame inductees for 2016:

Larry Fine is a retail veteran who started his career at Jamesway, a discounted department store. In the 1990s he went to Michaels Stores where he brought his successful business acumen and professionalism to this growing retail landscape.

Recognized by his peers as a leader and teacher, he was passionate about his work and supportive of his employees, helping them succeed. He pulled his people along with him making them better. Mr. Fine was also appreciative of the vendors’ contribution to Michaels Stores growth and was willing to sacrifice margin to protect the vendor community’s profit. He believed that cutting off vendor commodity product would hinder their ability to bring creative product to retail. Mr. Fine is an exemplary industry leader whose legacy includes tremendous contributions to the developing craft industry, supporting the vendor base, and creating merchants that respected their vendor partners.

David Ladd founded his company, Walnut Hollow®, in 1972 out of an interest his family had in nature and woodland conservation practices with planting, pruning, and watching trees grow on the family tree farm. The company began with a single product line, Walnut Country Rounds®, and now is widely recognized for its full line of exceptional fine wood surfaces, tools and accessories for the craft and hobby industry. Mr. Ladd has also made many valuable contributions to the growth of the creative products industry. He was instrumental in establishing the Association of Crafts & Creative Industries (ACCI) to serve the needs of craft suppliers and retailers who wanted to sell those products. While at ACCI, he concentrated on education and was instrumental in the creation of the ACCI Create-A-Craft Grant Program for the public school systems. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Hobby Industry of America (HIA) prior to the merge of these two associations. Throughout the years, Mr. Ladd and Walnut Hollow have won numerous business, industry, and conservation awards. Known for his strong dedication and perseverance despite personal and professional tragedies, Mr. Ladd is retired from the family owned business. He is enjoying time with his grandkids and is active in continuing his philanthropy and conservation activities.

Ronald LaRosa has been President and CEO of Delta Technical Coatings for more than 12 years. During this time he has strengthened Delta and the craft industry in many critical areas that are still influential today. He motivates and inspires his team to always honor and focus with an unwavering dedication on key industry cornerstones, including decorative painter consumers, designers, retailers and distribution partners, industry organizations, and always encourages innovative new product developments. Mr. LaRosa’s industry accomplishments include exceptional business results, industry leadership, strong designers and influencers’ relationships, and new product innovations. He is respected and admired for his outstanding sense of integrity, fairness, amazing work ethic and remarkable leadership abilities. Throughout his business career and personal life, Mr. LaRosa has nurtured and maintained excellent relationships with his key competitors, his retail partners, the designer community, industry leaders and his internal team.

Randy Putnam has enjoyed a successful and exciting career in the wonderful arts and crafts industry for over forty years. His early career was spent as a stock puller in the distribution center, later a store manager, a district manager and then merchandise manager for the American Handicrafts Company, a division of Tandy Craft Corporation. In 1982, Mr. Putnam founded the sales organization, Randy Putnam & Associates, Inc. (RPA), focusing on the southwestern United States with a strong presence in Michaels Stores, Hobby Lobby, Winn’s Stores, Pier One, Walmart and many other accounts in the region. His mission was to grow the sales and profits of manufacturers and retailers by building relationships and providing the highest level of sales, merchandising, marketing, consulting, product development, and customer services. RPA has represented many of the industry’s largest companies, such as, American Oak, Advantus, ACI, DecoArt, General Pencil, Loew Cornell, Silver Creek Leather, and Walnut Hollow just to name a few. Mr. Putnam built his company on his belief in a faithful God and hiring great employees that studied the processes of the retailer and the manufacturer. Now successfully retired, Mr. Putnam is admired and recognized for his high standards of professionalism and excellent customer service.

The inductees were chosen by the CHA Hall of Fame Committee, which is comprised of CHA Board Members and member volunteers. The 2016 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during an awards ceremony at the CHA Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 10th from 6:00pm – 10:00pm, during the 75th Annual CHA MEGA Show, taking place January 7-12, 2016 in Anaheim, California. The CHA MEGA Show is the leading creative products marketplace and includes education, exhibits, networking and celebrating the industry’s innovations and advancements.

To purchase tickets for the CHA Foundation Gala and for more information on the CHA MEGA Show, visit http://www.chamegashow.org.

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ABOUT THE CRAFT & HOBBY ASSOCIATION
The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is an international non-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of products worldwide in the craft and hobby industry. For more information about CHA, membership or its award-winning CHA Conference and Trade Show, visit http://www.craftandhobby.org or http://www.chamegashow.org.

Editor’s Note: Qualified members of the media are invited to register for the CHA MEGA Show. For press registration and more information on Media Monday, taking place January 11, at the CHA MEGA Show, visit:
http://www.chamegashow.org/media

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Annie Scully
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