Tom Durkin, President & CEO
Tom has been leading buying trips to Asia for more than 30 years and leads each Glenhaven Home & Holiday buying trip, personally ensuring each trip is comfortable, safe, enjoyable and productive for all buyers! Formerly the Vice President of Global Sourcing and Asian Operations of Midwest-CBK, as well as Managing Director of Kaemingk USA, Tom’s entire career, has been in the holiday, garden décor and home accents industry. He has extensive experience in international trade and conducting business in China and Southeast Asia. His areas of expertise include sourcing, new supplier identification, sales, supply chain management, product development and quality control. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Tom has developed and managed strong, trusted business relationships with hundreds of Chinese and Southeast Asian companies. He lived and worked in China and Taiwan for more than 10 years with his wife and three children, gaining extensive firsthand knowledge and appreciation for Chinese and other Asian cultures and business practices. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s degrees in International Affairs and East Asian Studies from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs in New York City.
I grew up in a large, loving family on a four-acre hobby farm in Madison, Wisconsin. My five siblings and I had to pull our own weight taking care of the property. We grew our own vegetables and froze or canned them for our winter meals. My dad planted the garden and my mom preserved the harvest. Granny, who lived with us, had large flower gardens throughout the property and an extensive rock wall beautifully planted with flowers and greenery. There were chores to be done year-round: weeding, planting, picking, lawn mowing, snow plowing, and helping in the kitchen. I did not necessarily enjoy it at the time, but my work ethic was definitely shaped by the discipline I developed working the land with my family. We were close knit, and I was fortunate to know all four of my grandparents who told us stories of our relatives from Ireland, Italy, and Germany. The old-world sensibilities they carried with them had a lasting effect on all of us.
Little did I know that many years later in my professional career as an international trade and sourcing professional, I would discover an entire industry that embraces the same work ethic and love of the land I experienced growing up. I admire and respect the principles and down-to-earth nature of the people who work in the independent garden center industry. They are people I am proud to serve and support. I have made it the mission of Glenhaven Home & Holiday to help the independent garden center thrive and grow in increasingly challenging market conditions.
Katy Chen, Director
Purchasing & Operations
Katy is the director of purchasing and operations for Glenhaven Home & Holiday. She has more than 25 years of experience in the gift and home décor industry, including management positions in Midwest-CBK’s Taiwan and Hong Kong buying offices. Katy has direct responsibility for logistics, purchase order processing, delivery tracking, shipping and quality control management.
Ci Ci Chu, Director
New Product Sourcing
Ci Ci travels on all Glenhaven Home & Holiday buying trips and manages the product sourcing process with our Asian suppliers. She is a seasoned industry veteran having worked for Midwest-CBK for 20 years before joining Glenhaven. Her experience and excellent supplier relationships help us maintain a diversified and qualified factory base. Ci Ci is kind, nurturing and attentive to ensure all traveler needs are met and cared for during our buying trips.