IWLA Board of Directors Appoints New President & CEO

Chairman Paul Verst and appointed IWLA President & CEO Steve DeHaan sign the employment agreement at Verst Group Logistics headquarters in Walton, Ky.

Chairman Paul Verst and newly appointed IWLA President & CEO Steve DeHaan signing the employment agreement at Verst Group Logistics headquarters in Walton, Ky.

Doing the right things, the right way, often.

As the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) bids farewell to retiring President & CEO Joel D. Anderson, a new leader takes the top IWLA staff position. DeHaan brings a long history of successful advocacy campaigns and association leadership focused on the residential retail, building and real estate industries.

The IWLA Search Committee spent months interviewing candidates and DeHaan’s unique qualities stood out during the process. “We were seeking someone who had unique qualities and attributes; extensive industry or association experience; a strong passion for advocacy; a proven track record of success running other organizations; a strategic thinker; and excellent leadership skills,” says IWLA Chairman Paul Verst, CWLP, President & CEO of Verst Group Logistics.

DeHaan’s first steps in office will include traveling to various groups within IWLA membership to introduce himself, and most importantly, to learn about warehouse operations and member businesses.

“It’s important that I talk to members about their businesses to understand what type of education is needed to match the intended goals and to accurately represent/answer questions about our membership to congressional leaders and staff,” Steve DeHaan says.

Government Affairs

Most recently, DeHaan served as CEO of the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), based in High Point, N.C. During his more than 14 years at NHFA, he drove two major advocacy initiatives including Consumer Bankruptcy Reform and Consumer Product Safety Commission Upholstery Flammability Standards.

With experience as executive vice president of the Michigan Association of Home Builders and lobbyist and vice president of member services for the Michigan Association of Realtors, DeHaan knows firsthand how to run a successful political action campaign as both groups are well-known for their legislative activities.

His strategy always starts with a proper approach: Be credible. Be honest.  And be upfront with members of Congress. “The key is to educate Congress and staff on the rightness of issues and the rightness of getting things done,” DeHaan says.

For now, DeHaan plans to continue pursuing issues outlined in IWLA’s Legislative Agenda and re-evaluating the issues for the upcoming U.S. election and as new regulations coming through the pipeline.


With a love of pursuing knowledge, education has been an important contributor to DeHaan’s professional success. He has passed testing in 16 areas of association management to earn a Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He has also served on boards for many ASAE chapters.

This value carries into IWLA educational programs and how they assist members in building the expertise needed to grow warehouse-based third-party logistics businesses.

According to DeHaan, the IWLA Rail, Food and Chemical Councils are a great example of peer-to-peer learning that will continue in the future. “Members benefit from gathering together and learning from each other by asking their own questions,” DeHaan says.

Strategic Planning and Leadership Style

DeHaan brings with him significant experience in strategic planning, leading previous boards and staff through three strategic plans.

“As past president of the National Home Furnishings Associations and the Michigan Association of Home Builders, Steve was able to substantially grow membership, increase financial resources and produce very positive results while representing his constituents on regulatory issues affecting them locally, regionally and nationally,” Verst says.

DeHaan credits clarity of goals and effective strategic planning as large factors to his success. “I try not to be all things to all people, but pursue things that have high acceptance by members because those are most meaningful in making a difference,” he says.

Contact IWLA President & CEO, Steve DeHaan at (847) 813-0113 or sdehaan@IWLA.com.

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