April 1, 2021
GHTA welcomes new executive director

The Gift and Home Trade Association (GHTA), the industry’s non-profit trade association, has hired Laurie Burns as its new executive director, effective Apr. 1, 2021, after a nationwide search.

John Toler, president of the GHTA is pleased to welcome Laurie to her new role. “GHTA is excited to welcome to Laurie to our organization. GHTA looks to help our members navigate the changing industry through educational events and our annual conference. Laurie brings new energy and ideas on how to help our members connect to all the resources available to them. We believe Laurie will help expand the reach and offerings of GHTA.”

Laurie brings 35 plus years of extensive gift and home industry sales, marketing, trade show management and leadership experience to the new GHTA Executive Director position. As founder of Burns Consulting, Laurie is a trusted omni-channel sales and marketing advisor to clients in a host of home industry sectors.

Prior to launching her consulting firm, she was senior vice president and director of Forty One Madison, host of The New York Tabletop Show. Previously, she co-founded the Asia Pacific Connection based in Bangkok, a multi-division company representing trade shows, handling luxury brand sales and product sourcing throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Laurie began her industry career at The Atlanta Market (formerly the Atlanta Market Center) where she rose to the post of executive director overseeing the company’s gift and home accent sector and development and leasing of Building 2 from inception.

“In the wake of the COVID Pandemic, the GHTA’s role is more important than ever. Having worked in virtually every sector of this business, I understand how valuable access to peers, mentors, best practices and relevant educational resources can be,” said Burns. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to work with the GHTA board to create even more ways for our industry members to connect and grow professionally. As we look to the accelerated changing future, our members will be best equipped to best serve their customers.”

For more information on the Gift and Home Trade Association visit

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