Friday, March 18, 2011

Getting to Know the GHTA

As a retailer, getting involved in the industry is a vital tactic for keeping up to date and promoting your store. We spoke with Diane Carnevale Jones, executive director of the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA), to learn a little more about getting involved with other retailers.

Giftware News: What's the mission of GHTA, and why should retailers get involved?
Diane Carnevale Jones: The mission of the GHTA is to lead and transform the gift and home industry, ensuring its long-term health and viability. The Association helps and encourages vendors, sales agencies, industry affiliates and retailers to work together, improving relationships and making business better by providing members with the opportunity to exchange ideas, develop content and effect positive change in our industry.

GWN: Tell us about the yearly GHTA conference. 
DCJ: The GHTA conference provides all GHTA members with an opportunity to connect, learn and contribute. This year, our conference will be held in Las Vegas at the Red Rock Casino and Resort. The theme is "Playing to Win: Strategies for Success." All of our speakers and breakouts will speak to this theme, highlighting how vendors, sales agencies, retailers and industry service providers can build upon this year's upbeat markets.

GWN: You recently announced a health insurance program. What does this mean to GHTA members?
DCJ: GHTA members now have the opportunity to identify the best possible health insurance provider through our insurance partner. This is a real breakthrough for our industry — an opportunity for individuals to secure affordable healthcare. Members are encouraged to contact our insurance partner and to follow the process outlined. Our health insurance partner works with nearly 250 other trade associations, so we are happy to be able to provide this same opportunity for our own members!

GWN: How can retailers get involved with the GHTA? 
DCJ: There are several ways in which retailers can get involved in our Association:
1. Network: Take advantage of each of the networking receptions the GHTA hosts at market centers throughout the year.
2. Conference: Attend our annual conference and learn from speakers, from peers and from all members of the Association.
3. First Fridays: Join a GHTA member-only webinar and hear industry veterans discuss relevant topics to our industry.
4. Participate in the Members-Only Industry Forum, located on our website (
5. Take advantage of the many member discounts and free legal counsel, as outlined under Member Benefits.
6. Volunteer time on one of the many Action Groups, which address industry issues and opportunities.

GWN: What do you have planned for the future of GHTA?
DCJ: Our Association and its leaders continually work to offer tangible benefits to our members — benefits that impact the bottom line. Over the next few months, several new member benefits will be announced, all of which will help the retailer and our other members immensely.

GWN: How can retailers learn more about GHTA membership?
DCJ: Visit the GHTA website, review the member benefits and sign up online or via fax or mail. We encourage all retailers in good standing to join our growing network of industry partners to work together to make improvements within the industry!

To learn more about the GHTA, visit

Image courtesy GHTA.

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