The Housewares Charity Foundation (HCF) will honor Shelley Salomon, VP of home, pets and toys at Amazon; Bill Dillard III, SVP of Dillard’s; and Georg J. Riedel, owner of Riedel, for their philanthropic endeavors during its 21st annual gala on March 12 during the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago.
Salomon will receive the Lifetime Humanitarian Award; Dillard will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award; and Reidel will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The gala, which will be held at Navy Pier, will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the HCF’s legacy charity. Since the first gala in 1998, HCF has raised more than $49 million and has been credited with donating more than $28 million to BCRF.
Co-chairs for the 2018 event are Phil Brandl, president and CEO of the International Housewares Association, and Herb Landsman, SVP of merchandising at TJX Cos. The event’s theme, “Unite, Celebrate, Support,” is intended to reflect the philosophy and mission of the HCF, says the organization, which aims to bring the housewares industry together to unite and promote its philanthropic image, raise funds for charities and celebrate the honorees who are selected for their humanitarian support and exceptional leadership.
The evening will include auctions and entertainment, along with the honoree tributes. The gala will begin with a cocktail reception featuring eight tasting stations hosted by James Beard Foundation chefs, including Jimmy Bannos Jr., Rick Bayless, Abraham Conlon, Gale Gand, Sarah Grueneberg, Beverly Kim, Johnny Clark, Bruce Sherman and Lee Wolen. Dinner will feature a three-course meal created by Tony Mantuano, chef and partner at Spiaggia Restaurant.
Shelley Salomon leads Amazon’s home businesses, including home, kitchen and furniture, as well as the pets and toys categories and Amazon’s Fabric.com subsidiary. Her Amazon career began in finance in 2003, when she led the global financial planning and analysis team and then the softlines finance team. Salomon’s first retail role was in softlines, leading the shoes and accessories business on Amazon and Endless.com. She also led the IT and office business until assuming her current role in 2014. In her current position, Salomon is responsible for the P&L for the previously mentioned categories as well as for creating a “world-class” shopping experience through technologies that incorporate augmented reality, machine learning and programs such as the Amazon Wedding Registry. She also has spent the past four years working closely with Amazon’s supply chain teams to drive operational excellence and innovation and lower its operations.
Bill Dillard III is entering his 24th year in the retail and fashion industry. In his role as SVP at Dillard’s Inc., based in Little Rock, Arkansas, he is responsible for the beauty, home and accessories areas. Since joining the family business in 1994, Dillard has served in several areas of the company, including selling, management, buying, product development and merchandising. He also lived and worked in Hong Kong, working directly with overseas manufacturers as an agent for fashion retailers. Dillard serves on the boards of several organizations in Little Rock, including eStem Public Charter Schools, Arkansans for Education Reform Foundation, St. Vincent Health Systems, Young Life, Search Ministries, Our House and Restore Hope Inc.
Georg J. Riedel is the 10th-generation owner of Riedel, an Austrian maker of fine crystal glassware established in 1756. He joined the company as an accountant in 1973 and served as CEO from 1987 until 2013. Through its proprietary sales companies in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, the family business has a market presence in 125 countries. From 1987, Riedel served as co-CEO alongside his father, Claus, before taking over as sole CEO in 1994. Working with his father and a team of experts, he expanded the company’s wine-friendly and varietal-specific glass collections. In 1986, he introduced the Vinum glassware series, the first machine-made varietal-specific fine crystal glasses. In 2013, Riedel began applying his knowledge to non-alcoholic beverages, beginning a new era of product development for the brand.