GHTA annual conference

Keynote and featured speakers to discuss buying trends, other topics at November event

Registration is open for the 2017 Gift & Home Trade Association’s (GHTA) Bridgeway Collaborative Conference November 12-14 in Washington, D.C.

Attendees will experience a multitude of networking opportunities and workshops on important topics, such as: veteran and new/young company growth, e-commerce, sales generation, must-have technologies, fulfillment operations, cause marketing, leadership, and more.

In addition, attendees will learn from three exceptional keynote speakers.

Consumer trends authority 0005626, with Lifetime Brands, will discuss the top trends in 2017 and beyond. He’ll share important, new knowledge, providing a deeper understanding of the desires and expectations motivating today’s consumer. Attendees will leave with a new understanding of what engages them, and how to survive and thrive in this dynamic and competitive marketplace.

Mirabile is currently Senior Vice President of Global Trend and Design for Lifetime Brands, Inc., as well as Consumer Trend Forecaster for the International Housewares Association and a Contributing Editor for Pantone.

For the last two decades, Mirabile has held senior merchant and product development positions with such corporations as Neiman Marcus Group, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s, and has co-designed home collections for such icons as Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, and Kenneth Cole. In addition, Tom travels globally to gather information on Color, Style, and Lifestyle trends for major retailers worldwide. He was recently awarded the 2015 Industry Achievement Award by the Retail Excellence Awards, which recognizes overall excellence and contribution to the Gift and Home Industry.

Leadership and communication expert Dave Mitchell will detail the power of understanding people – the key to more success and happiness.

Since founding the Leadership Difference in 1995, over 350,000 people have attended Mitchell’s “enter-TRAIN-ment” seminars on topics that include leadership, customer service, selling skills, and personal performance enhancement. He has a M.Ed. in Global Human Resources Development and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois. In 2013, he was named Best Speaker of the Year at the Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress in Las Vegas. In 2015, Meetings and Conventions Magazine named Mitchell one of the Best Speakers of the Year.

Dave is the author of two books. Live and Learn or Die Stupid! focuses on personal contentment and performance excellence. His second book, The Power of Understanding People, was released in December 2013 and was immediately named Editor’s Choice Best Business Book of the Month by Amazon.

Ryan Craver, founder of Commerce Canal, will be discussing today’s retail environment, and the importance of focusing on the basics for success. Today’s consumer is the most empowered and connected ever. In a world where each customer has the potential to create “the next big thing” and disrupt business and industry, business leaders need to understand why creating intrigue and delivering immediacy in a frictionless way will define future success.

Craver’s natural fascination with the intersection of retail and technology has led to a career of inspiring and leading brands to be on the forefront of the evolving “connected retail” environment. Craver currently leads Digital Sales & Operations for licensed brands including New Balance, Skechers, and Joe Fresh.

Additionally, he is the Founder and Chairman of Commerce Canal, a retail advisory firm driving $100 million in annual retail sales for some of the world’s largest brands in apparel, footwear, jewelry, and industrial equipment. Prior to his current roles, Craver was in charge of the core department store strategy at Lord & Taylor / Hudson’s Bay Company and was a senior leader at Accenture, driving growth and profit improvement across multiple clients, including Virgin Media, FedEx and Best Buy.

These speakers, and the greater conference, assure that the GHTA is focused on making business better by creating a comfortable environment for members to come together – outside of showrooms and other meetings – to network with peers and industry leaders, learn from world-class keynote speakers and expert-led workshops, and gain best practices from one another.

The conference will also offer more than a dozen breakout workshops led by industry experts. The workshops will cover topics such as: creating sales growth, fulfillment operations, must-have technologies, incorporating products/lines with philanthropic partnerships, leadership, and more.

For new/young companies in the industry, there will be an “Ask The Expert” roundtable session, where individuals can ask questions about and discuss how to grow their new business. A similar session, “Been There, Done That,” will address veteran companies and ways to take growth in all areas to the next level.

Those interested in registering for this year’s conference, or for simply additional information on the association can visit