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The REPorter


									                                                                                                                       August 2005

                   The REPorter                                                                              ®


            Corner                                               The Subject is Taxing

            Time flies . . . when                  The new bankruptcy law — how it may
            you’re having fun!                    impact you
            by Steve Grossman, CPMR
            Former IHRA President                 by Stanton B. Herzog, IHRA CPA & Accounting Consultant,
            and Chairman                          principal in the firm of Applebaum, Herzog & Associates

                     B                            T
                               oy, this month            he new bankruptcy law (The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention
                               has flown by.              and Consumer Protection Act of 2005) takes effect in October.
                               I am not really           It is a result of an intense lobbying campaign by credit card
                       sure why, but I won’t      companies and banks. As you might guess, this law highly favors
                                                  creditors – primarily credit card companies and banks, but all other
                       complain, since at my
                                                  creditors as well. It will change the way people think and act with
                       office we have hit the
                                                  regard to credit. Business creditors are provided huge advantages,
 Steve Grossman, CPMR
                       dog days of summer.
                                                  and, on the other hand, many businesses entering into bankruptcy
                       Christmas presenta-
                                                  will be negatively affected. Small businesses, in particular, will no
tions are over and first quarter is slowly
                                                  longer regard bankruptcy as much of a way out of financial difficul-
moving along and half the world seems
to be on vacation. Besides the few things            In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius implores his son to “Neither a
I can nudge along, I am cleaning out our          borrower nor a lender be.” If you have to be one, be a lender, since
files in our “paperless society.” As you can       creditors have new-found power. The first instance, in a business
probably guess, I am not sure if I have a         situation, is that inventory shipped by the creditor within 20 days prior
lot to say this month but here goes.              to bankruptcy has a preferred creditor status. These bills must be
   I got a letter from a New York law firm         paid in full before any reorganization plan takes place. Also, the pe-
at the beginning of the month asking for a        riod available to a creditor to reclaim inventory has been expanded to
nice chunk of change to be returned to the        cover goods shipped within 45 days of the bankruptcy, rather than 10
bankruptcy court on commissions paid us           days as in prior law. Note that this may cause creditors to be more
by one of our principals, within 90 days of       willing to ship goods to troubled companies.
closing their doors. For those of you that           Creditors have gained important rights in bankruptcy proceedings
have not received one of these letters, it        as well. After 18 months, they can file their own reorganization plan
is a blow to ones profession and check-           thus forcing debtors to submit their plan much sooner than in the
book. Simply, in a bankruptcy, if the court       past. It is interesting to note that this might encourage a new back-
believes you were “preferably” paid within        door way to acquire a company – purchase the company’s liabilities
the 90 days before closing the doors, the         from the creditors, then quickly step in with a take-over proposal; this
creditors can ask to have it returned. I am       could get nasty! In addition, a provision allows courts to add small
gently arguing that a commission is just          businesses to the creditors’ committee that make many of the deci-
like a salary, that is paid after the company     sions in a business bankruptcy if their receivables from the debtor
                                                                                                                       continued on page 2
is paid and therefore nor preferential, plus
they do not ask for employees to return                                           In this issue
wages. I’ll let you know what happens.               Two (2) Lines Available in this issue ..............................Page 3
   I started the book “Blink,” by Malcolm            Member Ads ...................................................................Page 4
Gladwell, and I find it most interesting.             Trade Show Calendar ................................................... Page 5
It deals with the phenomenon of having               Keystone Conference Information .................................Page 6
                            continued on page 2

                                                                                    IHRA REPorter® August 2005
The Subject is Taxing (from page 1)
represents a “large” percentage of their gross annual         $6,000 in five years ($100 per month) cannot escape
income; while there is no guarantee of repayment, at          bankruptcy free of debt and will land in Chapter 13 (pay
least their voice will be heard for the first time in these    the greater of the above) rather than Chapter 7 (pay
committees.                                                   what assets are available and leave completely free).
   Small business debtors, on the other hand, have a          They must also attend classes before bankruptcy filing
lot of new problems. Small businesses are defined for          is even permitted in order to understand the alterna-
this purpose as those owing less than $2,000,000 (ex-         tives. After filing, they must attend classes about finan-
cluding debts to affiliates or insiders) as of the date of     cial management. They must also pay all taxes on time
filing. They have only 300 days to file a reorganization        apparently whether or not they have the money.
plan out of Chapter 11 or they will lose their bankruptcy        All taxes, both business and personal, that are filed
exemption. The Trustee in bankruptcy will then review         within three years of a petition in bankruptcy cannot
the plan, and if the Trustee decides it won’t work, the       be discharged. Compromise with the IRS is possible,
Trustee can throw the company into Chapter 7 liquida-         however.
tion, anyway.                                                    One good provision for individuals is that qualified re-
   Further, small businesses must file many reports with       tirement accounts are excluded from creditors for up to
the court and the IRS to protect bankruptcy status,           $1,000,000.
including but not limited to all taxes, cash flow state-          In a clear slam at Florida bankruptcy laws that have
ments, financial statements, projections, status reports,      completely protected an individual’s home from credi-
and payments of all administrative expenses on time.          tors, the new law limits equity protection for homes
The sum of these requirements along with the pay-             bought within 40 months of bankruptcy to only $125,000.
ments to merchandise creditors explained above are            And if there are crimes involved including securities
likely to drive modest cash flow into a tailspin, making       fraud, the limit of $125,000 applies no matter how long
escape from Chapter 11 very difficult for a small firm.         the house has been held.
Small businesses will therefore probably try to avoid            The law is 500 pages long, so I’ve only touched the
bankruptcy or close. One way to avoid bankruptcy is           subject. Hopefully, it’s a start for you. We are not at-
to make arrangements with creditors outside of court if       torneys and do not specialize in bankruptcy law. If you
at all possible.                                              have any questions, we’ll try to help or refer you else-
   Turning to individuals, consumers who don’t usually        where.
have much influence on Congress will find provisions                  Stanton B. Herzog, CPA, principal in the firm of
of this new law distressing. The philosophy behind            Applebaum, Herzog & Associates, Deerfield, Ill., serves
                                                              as IHRA’s accountant and is a regular contributor to
changes in the bankruptcy laws for individuals seems
                                                              The REPorter®. He participates in Expert Access, the
to have been to deter them from escaping their own fol-       program that offers telephone consultations to IHRA
ly at the expense of their creditors. Any individual who      members.
can earn enough to pay 25% of their debt or at least                     Call him at: (847) 405-0400

Grossman (from page 1)
to make a correct gut decision in a       belong to MANA, (www.manaonline.         September (see page 6). I hope to
blink and being right more times than     org/). Their monthly magazine, Agen-     see you there.
wrong. I can’t wait to get to that part   cy Sales, is rep (and manufacturers        Lastly, those who responded to
to improve this skill.                    that use reps) specific. They are an-     going to the ASD Show in Vegas in
  I must say I was disappointed that      other resource in this big challenging   August, you will get an email late next
no one responded to a possible            world. In this month’s newsletter they   week to see if there is a time for us to
IHRA trip to China in 2006. Of our        list 25 other rep associations and       have breakfast or a drink together.
240 member firms I thought there           IHRA is one of them. They encour-          Thanks for being an IHRA member
would be at least 10 that would, in       age MANA members to support their        and supporting the industry you make
my opinion, see the importance of at      industry-specific rep association(s)      a living in.
least going once.                         with dual memberships. MANA is             Steve Grossman
  As I have mentioned before, I am        also one of the sponsors of The  
not only an IHRA member, but I also       Keystone Conference coming up in

                     Manufacturers Seeking IHRA Field Sales Professionals
Products: Solara Silicone Bakeware                              Products: Ladies Cosmetics, Brushes, Cosmetic Bags

JAMAK FABRICATION                                               e.l.f COSMETICS
1401 N. Bowie                                                   1350 Broadway, Suite 1715
Weatherford TX 76086                                            New York, NY 10018
Phone: 817/598-5205 Fax: 817/594-8324                           (800) 231-4732 - or - (212) 239-1530 x125                                                   Fax: (212) 868-0823
Contact: Jeff Jasuta, Sales Manager                                         Contact: Alan Menaged, Sales Manager
Territories: AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, E.PA, FL, GA, HI, IA,
IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ,         Territories: CA, FL, CHICAGOLAND, OH,
NM, NY, OK, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV                               OK, LA, AR, CO, AZ

Commission Rate: 10%               Nat’l Sales: $55,000,000     Commission Rate: 5% Nat’l Sales: $3,000,000

Products: Stainless Steel Food & Beverageware Products:          Products: Kavalier Corporation is the exclusive distributor of
Thermal Mugs, Vacuum Food Jars, Manufacturers:
                                  Vacuum Bottle, Canisters,                                         Manufacturers:
                                                                 products made by Simax® heat-resistant glass used for cook-
          information about us for Well-Qualified,
etc. More Are You Lookingat                      Are You Looking for Well-Qualified,
                                                                 ing, baking, coffee and tea services, including the Whistling
                                                                 Tea Kettle and The Glass Percolator, among other houseware
                                                                        Performance-Committed, Field Sales
                                An IHRA
      Performance-Committed, Field Sales
TIMOLINO LTD                  Mfr. Member
                        Professionals?                                                               Professionals?
                                                                 KAVALIER CORPORATION
5 Argonaut                                                       1301 Brummel Ave
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656                   Instant HOT Lines                                          Instant HOT Lines
                                                                 Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 onetime eMail or fax that
                               A onetime eMail or fax that
(949) 595-0880 Fax: (949) 595-0887                     
                                                                                        provides immediate information
                         provides immediate information
Contact: David Mesa, Sales Director only, to reps in
                              on your line,                                                on your line, only, to reps in
                                                                 Contact: Zareen Ali, Marketing Manager
               specific territories or throughout the world
                                                specific territories or throughout the world

Territories: AL, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA,    Territories: Southeast: MS, AL, TN, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL
MI, MN, MO, Call IHRA at (800) 315-7430 TN, VT,
              MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD,                            Call IN, IL, at IA, MO
                                                                Midwest: KY, OH, IHRA MI, (800) 315-7430
WI                                                              Great Plains: Southern NE, KS, MT
       eMail: •                             eMail: •
Commission Rate: Starts @ 10% Nat’l Sales: $3MM+                 Commission Rate: 10%              Nat’l Sales: $2,300,000

Products: Acrylic / Stainless Steel: Travel Mug • Shaker •
Products: Sori Yanagi (Japanese Designer) designed kitch-       Products: Sori Yanagi (Japanese Designer) designed kitch-
Shot Glass • Ashtray • Can Holder Manufacturers:
                                  • Stir Mug • Coffee Mug
enware, including: cookware, utensils, flatware, bone china                                       Manufacturers:
                                                                enware, including: cookware, utensils, flatware, bone china
         Are glass bowls,
tea/coffee set,You Looking for Well-Qualified,
All Products Double-Walled glassware.                                    Are glass bowls, glassware.
                                                                tea/coffee set,You Looking for Well-Qualified,
       Performance-Committed, Field Sales                              Performance-Committed, Field Sales
SATO SHOJI CORP.                     Professionals?             SATO SHOJI CORP.
101 N. Virginia St #225                                         101 N. Virginia St #225
Crystal Lake - 60014
245 E. 93rd StIL #12A                                           Crystal Lake IL 60014
New York NY 10128                     Instant HOT Lines                                               Instant HOT Lines
(815) 479-0637 • (815) 479-0645                                 (815) 479-0637 • (815) 479-0645
                             A onetime eMail or fax that
(212) 996-5346 Fax: (646) 672-2843                                                           A onetime eMail or fax that         
                       provides immediate information                                  provides immediate information
                            on your line, only, to reps in                                  on your line, only, to reps in
Contact: Mark Niemann                                           Contact: Mark Niemann
             specific territories or throughout the world
Contact: Henry Wang, President                                               specific territories or throughout the world
Vice President                                                  Vice President
eMail:                                    eMail:
                       (800) 315-7430
Territories: Call IHRA at
Territories: All U.S.A.
             All U.S.A.                                                                (800) 315-7430
                                                                Territories: Call IHRA at
                                                                             All U.S.A.
      eMail: •                             eMail: •
Commission Rate: 10% 15%
Commission Rate: 10 -               Nat’l Sales: $1,500,000
                                    Nat’l Sales: $600,000,000   Commission Rate: 10 - 15%           Nat’l Sales: $600,000,000
This is an IHRA service to keep members advised of lines available. The listing of a manufacturer should in no way be con-
strued as an endorsement of that line by IHRA, it being the obligation of each member to make their own evaluation of the line.

                                                                          IHRA Representative
 IHRA Members: Here is an opportunity to give your                           Member Ads
 company visibility with the people that select their
 company’s out-sourced, field sales professionals.                                  MAVERICK
                                                                        International Trading & Consulting, Inc.
Advertise in The REPorter® Monthly Newsletter!                                     P. O. Box 360513
                                                                           Melbourne, Florida 32936-0513, USA
                                                                                 Phone: (917) 592-5498
The REPorter® is sent to more than 2,000 manufacturers                         Phone/Fax: (321) 242-7573

each month. In addition, the REPorter® is posted on IHRA’s          
website and receives hundreds of “hits” each week. What                 Since 1986 specializing in Home [bath &
better place to get the exposure you need with the audience             kitchen furniture, accessories, faucets]
                                                                        & Housewares [cookware, small electric
you want to reach?                                                      appliances].
                                                                        Assisting foreign manufacturers in
Here are the details and costs:                                         establishing themselves in the United
                                                                        States and Canada
Each IHRA member firm may place one ad, like the ones on page 5,         Fluency in English, Italian, French
in a monthly edition of the IHRA REPorter®. All ads are the same        Italian liaison office:
                                                                        Alessandro Fusi, Maverick, Inc.
size: 2 1/8” wide x 3” deep. Please send original artwork or use the    Via del Pontormo 45
space below to plan your ad (ads with color are acceptable):If you      I-50023 Impruneta, Firenze/Florence
                                                                        Phone: ++39-348-510-6136
want us to produce your ad, please indicate copy:                       Phone/Fax: ++39-055-232-6063

           Size of ad                      Ad copy

Costs for Member advertising in The REPorter®:                           ������������
$25 per ad (same size as smallest ad in Locator). Contracts for a              Representing gourmet
6-issue run ($150) receive a free ad in a 7th issue; contracts for 10      housewares to leading retailers
                                                                              in the Pacific Northwest
issues ($250) receive free ads in the 11th and 12th issues.
                                                                               for over three decades.
We want to contract for ___ ads in The REPorter®                               We know the territory.
     The first ad should run in the ____________ issue.                           Permanent showroom:
                                                                              Suite 453 Seattle Gift Center
     Total cost $_________ is enclosed - or - charge to:                            6100 4th Ave., S.
                                                                                   Seattle, WA 98108
       ❑ Amex ❑Visa ❑ MC           Exp Date ________                                 206-767-6970

#_____________________________________________________                          www.bang-knudsen
Name on Card _________________________________________                                Contact:
                Please fax to: 312-240-1005

                                                                      IHRA REPorter® August 2005
                           2005 INDUSTRY CALENDAR OF EVENTS
August                                                Sep 17 - 19
Aug 6 -10                                             NATIONAL GOURMET FOOD SHOW
SAN FRANCISCO INT’L GIFT FAIR                         Dallas, TX
San Francisco, California
                                                      Sep 17 - 19
Aug 7 - 11                                            DALLAS INT’L GIFT & HOME ACCESSORIES MARKET
Toronto, ON, Canada
                                                      Sep 24 - 26
Aug 13 - 18                                           LOS ANGELES GIFT & HOME MARKET
NEW YORK INT’L GIFT FAIR                              Los Angeles, California
New York, New York
Aug 15 - 19                                           Oct 15 - 17
ASD/AMD TRADE SHOW                                    ART & FRAMING SHOWCASE
Las Vegas, Nevada                                     New York, NY
Aug 27 - 31                                           Oct 15 - 17
THE SEATTLE GIFT SHOW                                 COFFEE FEST SEATTLE
Seattle, Washington                                   Seattle, WA
September                                             Oct 16 - 19
Sep 10 - 13                                           NEW YORK HOME TEXTILES SHOW
                                                      New York, NY
Boston, MA                                            Oct 16 - 19
                                                      NEW YORK GOURMET HOUSEWARES SHOW
Sep 10 - 13                                           New York, NY
KET                                                   Oct 29 - Nov 3
                                                      NEW YORK TABLETOP SHOWS
& ATLANTA GOURMET MARKET                              New York, NY
Atlanta, GA
Sep 15 - 18
Washington, DC

 Register at:

  For a complete list of ECRM-EPPS Conferences, see their website at:
           Field Sales Professionals Serving the Home • Housewares • Hardware Industries
Tuesday, September 20                                11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. - Closing Luncheon
General Arrival                                              Closing Presentation - Legislative Update
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception                                John Satagaj
Wednesday, September 21                                 Mr. Satagaj is the President and General Counsel
                                                        for the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC)
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m - Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - Opening Presentation
    Globalization and the Changing Marketplace
                  Patrick J. Cleary                           REGISTRATION INFORMATION
9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Networking Coffee Break     Association Members: $495 per person
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - General Session            Non-Association Registrants: $595 per person
How Will the Changing Marketplace Affect the Role       To register online, go to:
               of the Representative?
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Networking Luncheon
                                                     Or you can fax or mail your registration form to:
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Breakout Sessions
                                                                         Keystone 2005
          Globalization - A Focused View                                   c/o NEMRA
        for Manufacturers’ Representatives                       660 White Plains Road, Suite 600
                   John Cower                                         Tarrytown, NY 10591
             Strategic Selling Alliances                               Fax: 914-524-8655
                 Steve Waterhouse
                                                                      HOTEL INFORMATION
               Internal Team Selling                    Marriott Louisville Downtown Hotel
        All Representative Panel Discussion             Jefferson Street at Third Street
                                                        Louisville, KY 40202
2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. - Breakout Sessions               800-533-0127 / Reservations: 800-228-9290
      Keeping Your Representatives Informed:        Room Rates: $119 per night single/double
            One Manufacturer’s Story                (plus state/local taxes)
                Charles H. Ingram
                                                    On-site parking fee: $16 daily
                   Selling Value                    Valet parking fee: $20 daily
                  Robert Nadeau
                                                    To make your hotel room reservation, call 1-800-
                Practical Technology                228-9290; reference the group name “Keystone”
        All Representative Panel Discussion         to receive the program’s special rate. You can also
6:00 p.m. - Dine-Arounds                            register online at
Thursday, September 22                              Participants are responsible for making their own
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. - Breakfast                   hotel reservations. Room reservations must be
                                                    made by Friday, August 19, 2005. We cannot guar-
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. - Breakout Sessions           antee rate and room availability after this date.
        Selling Value (Repeated from Wed)
                   Robert Nadeau                                        TRANSPORTATION
 Strategic Selling Alliances (Repeated from Wed)        Louisville Airport (SDF) - 8 miles from the hotel
                 Steve Waterhouse                       Estimated taxi fare: $12 (one way)
       Preparing for the Sale or Succession             Cincinnati Airport (CVG) - 96 miles from the hotel
                  of Your Agency                        Indianapolis Airport (IND) - 115 miles from the
       All Representative Panel Discussion              hotel
9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Networking Coffee Break
                                                        Louisville Union Railroad Station - .4 miles
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Open Discussion About
                             Current Issues

IHRA REPorter® August 2005
                                                                           The REPorter®
                                                                                is published
  Want to know more about group insurance
  available through RepCare?                                                     monthly for

  Just find your business home state and call Pat Brown or             INTERNATIONAL HOUSEWARES
  John Doyle.
                                                                     REPRESENTATIVES ASSOCIATION
  Call PAT BROWN at 800-854-4636
   if your business is in:
        Arizona          Minnesota       Oregon                            175 N. Harbor Drive
        Arkansas         Missouri        South Dakota
        California       Montana         Texas                                  Suite 3807
        Idaho            Nevada          Utah                               Chicago, IL 60601
        Illinois         New Mexico      Washington
        Iowa             North Dakota    Wisconsin                           (312) 240-0774
        Kansas           Oklahoma        Wyoming                           Fax: (312) 240-1005
  Call JOHN DOYLE at 888-243-0174                                          eMail:
   if your business is in:
        Alabama          Maine           North Carolina
        Connecticut Maryland             South Carolina
        Colorado         Massachusetts   Tennessee
                                                                     Statements of fact and/or opinion
        Delaware         Michigan        Virginia
        Florida          Missouri        Vermont                        are the responsibility of the
        Georgia          New Hampshire   W.Virginia
                                                                     authors alone and do not imply an
        Indiana          New Jersey
        Kentucky         New York                               opinion of the officers or members of IHRA.

2005 IHRA Officers, Directors & Staff
                                                                Home • Housewares • Hardware
                                                                Multiple-Line, Field Sales Professional:
Chairman:        Jim Adams
President:       James Ayotte
President-Elect: David Silberstein
                                                                If you’re not a member of IHRA, you
                                                                owe it to yourself to join the organization
Senior Vice Presidents                                          that is your voice in the industry and the
  Industry & Membership: David Friedman
                                                                manufacturers’ resource for finding
  Legal & Education:     Kent Kulovitz
                                                                Well-Qualified, Performance-Committed,
  Fiscal:                Mark Glotter
                                                                Field Sales Professionals.
  Delegate to MRERF & AMRA: Steve Grossman, CPMR
  Executive Director:    William M. Weiner
                                                                For complete information about “first-timer”
Directors                                                       membership and an application, contact:
          Jeanmarie Bettencourt
          Burt Karlin
          Bob Kroll
          Mark Levy
Past Chairs
          John M. Clampitt                                               INTERNATIONAL HOUSEWARES
          Steve Grossman, CPMR
          Jay L. Cohen                                                  REPRESENTATIVES ASSOCIATION
          Tom Rooney
          Peter Bang-Knudsen                                          175 N. Harbor Drive • Suite 3807
          Donna Peake                                                      Chicago, Illinois 60601
Staff                                                                         (800) 315-7430
Administrative Assistant: Stephanie Baron                                   Fax (312) 240-1005
Financial Director:       Myra Weiner                         •


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