Jeff Murphy, VP, international, at the International Housewares Association (IHA), died Wednesday, June 7, during a hiking trip to Yellowstone National Park. The 53-year-old’s death was the result of a fall near Turkey Pen Peak in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, according to National Park Service officials. He went missing on Wednesday and a search began Thursday when his wife notified authorities that he had not checked in. His body was found Friday afternoon, according to reports.
“All of us at Yellowstone extend our sympathy to the Murphy family for their tragic loss,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk in a statement.
IHA President & CEO Phil Brandl said, “On behalf of IHA and the housewares industry, our collective heart goes out to Jeff’s family. Jeff will be missed greatly here at IHA…he was a very intelligent professional, team player and a warm-hearted, kind person. He was a great friend to all, and IHA staff and his many colleagues around the world are struggling with this tragic news.”
Murphy joined IHA on Feb. 1. Although his tenure as an official IHA staff member was short, Murphy was a long-time member of the association through his work in international sales for more than 20 years, and a familiar face to the global housewares industry, according to Brandl.
Before joining IHA, Murphy served as VP of international sales at Wilton Brands for more than 13 years, where he presided over a significant global growth for the company. Before that, he was an international sales consultant, working with clients like Nordic Ware, Progressive International, Home Products International (Homz), Pfaltzgraff, Anchor Hocking Glass and Wilton Brands.
Murphy, who lived in Batavia, Illinois, is survived by his wife Erica and children Collin and Megan. A celebration of life gathering will be held from 6-11 p.m. July 8 at the Westwood Tavern in Schaumburg. A GoFundMe account has been established in Murphy’s name.