The next event will take place in March next year, and Parker’s role is to serve as a contact point for Australian or Kiwi companies seeking to visit or exhibit at the show.
The IHA’s vice president for global marketing, Derek Miller, said the IHA had known Parker since his Tasmanian store Your Habitat was chosen in 2002 as a ‘Global Honoree’ in the association’s Global Innovator Awards.
“Robert has been involved in the homewares industry in Australia for over 40 years and is widely respected through the success of Your Habitat and later The Homewares Group and his roles within the Australian Retailers Association,” Miller says. “We trust that his extensive contacts with both product suppliers and retail buyers as well as his own experiences visiting the show as a retailer and importer will help us attract new visitors and exhibitors to the show.”
Parker says he is very excited about his new role, and is looking forward to working with both retailers and wholesalers at the show, as well as working with American suppliers. He will assist in managing the upcoming IHA Trade Mission to Australia and New Zealand in November.
Parker’s predecessor, Ian Smith, is leaving the role to focus on his new start-up, CargoHound. Miller praised his initiative: “We are very excited for Ian who has recently secured seed funding for his start-up company and will become CEO of the new venture.”
CargoHound is an online marketplace for international freight. With it, Smith and his cofounders aim to connect exporters and importers with reliable freight forwarders and carriers, allowing users to compare quotes. The site is currently in beta mode, but is set to launch later this month.