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Breaking: Andrej Suskavcevic Out At Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association announced today that it has parted ways with CEO & President Andrej Suskavcevic.

Suskavcevic had been CEO & President of CHA since January 2012. During his tenure, the Association launched affiliates in both the U.K. and Canada, and launched the Cre8time initiative to encourage crafting. The Association also launched a pavilion at Messe Frankfurt’s annual Creativeworld show in Frankfurt, Germany under his leadership.

Andrej Suskavcevic at Creativeworld

It hasn’t been all roses, however, as Suskavcevic’s time at Craft & Hobby Association also saw the traditional Chicago summer show moved to Las Vegas in 2013 before being replaced with the smaller hotel-based CHA PaperArts show in 2014. The industry has also continued to bleed small stores as traditional retail models have have been impacted by online commerce and the recession, as well as by changing craft trends.

According to the announcement, Suskavcevic “has decided with the Board of Directors to resign his position effective immediately.”

The Craft & Hobby Association Board of Directors has appointed Mark Hill interim CEO. Hill is well-known to most CHA members, having served on the CHA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014. Hill’s industry resumé includes executive positions at Plaid Enterprises, Creativity Inc., New Image Group and The Thomas Kinkade Company.

“I accept the position of interim CEO and President with the clear goal to move CHA forward in executing our strategic plan and positioning our industry and members for continued growth,” stated Hill. “I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and the CHA team to deliver a phenomenal MEGA Show in Anaheim, CA, January 7th through 12th, 2016.”

“CHA has a talented, dedicated and focused staff,” stated David Murray, Chairman of the CHA Board of Directors. “We are extremely confident in our interim CEO and President, and commit our full support as we move forward. I fully expect that the association and its Annual Conference and Trade Show will continue to be successful in the future.”

5 Responses to Breaking: Andrej Suskavcevic Out At Craft & Hobby Association

  1. Gela August 19, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Not sure what it all means. The CHA summer seemed a lot smaller than the Mix Media show you attended.

    • Kate August 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      I attended both shows this summer. Although CHA PaperArts+ was much smaller, it was a better show in attendance and participation from stores. Plus, CHA creates great networking events and held the Open Market, where stores can purchase products and take them back to their stores right away. SPC Mixed Media had hardly anyone walking the floor and the schedule was setup that there were classes the entire first day the booths were open. Both were fun shows, but I see SPC vendor attendance declining next year with so few buyers showing up. Granted, there were larger chains at SPC, but 3 full days of manning a booth to talk with a couple people is hard to justify time and costs for exhibitors.

  2. Marilyn E August 19, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    Wow! Thank you for the update!

  3. gabmcann August 19, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    I wonder what will happen next ….

  4. Cindy deRosier August 19, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    This seems oddly abrupt…

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