DALLAS–Jokari has appointed Jim McKinnis as its CEO, effective last month. With a background in marketing and product development, he was most recently managing director of the West Coast office for Omnicom’s RAPP, a global consumer marketing network. Prior to that, he served as Chief Creative Officer for RAPP and for Tracy Locke, also a part of Omnicom. He succeeds Doug Taeckens, who is leaving at the end of the month.
While this is his first foray into the housewares industry, McKinnis has spent the majority of his career at advertising and marketing agencies, where he had experience developing and executing marketing plans for housewares and related categories, he said. His background includes global marketing and branding for clients like PepsiCo, Best Buy, 7-Eleven, Bank of America and Harrah’s, and he has helped develop and launch new products for Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut and Hasbro.
“I was attracted to Jokari because of its legacy of innovation, creating unique and useful products,” McKinnis told HFN. “I understand consumers and their buying habits, and I understand what it takes to make a brand compelling….As [Jokari is] a small privately owned business, I also find the ability to be nimble, and move quickly in response to opportunity and changing consumer trends, to be very exciting.”
Already the company has developed new packaging, launched 20 products at the recent International Home + Housewares Show and is implementing a “90 new product launch cycle,” he added, and every quarter the company will introduce five to seven new products. “We are ramping up our idea generation internally, as well as building new partnerships focusing on our key categories of gadgets, storage and kitchen tools, as well as expanding into other categories like pets and décor.”