Michael Karyo - President
With over 25 years of experience in the Housewares and CPG Industry, Michael Karyo has been building brands by successfully navigating the dynamic and ever-changing retail landscape with an entrepreneurial approach. As an industry leader, Michael was a former member of the IHA Board of Directors and currently sits on the Trade Show Advisory Committee.
From his start in his family business Catamount Glass, an artisan borosilicate glass company based in Bennington, Vermont, he learned all aspects and challenges of small housewares manufacturers. Growing Catamount Glass to a significant player in specialty retail, he began to build his relationships with major retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table and Container Store. Just as importantly, Michael began his relationship with the independent specialty retailer community including the independent reps and has remained very active in this retail channel.
After almost 10 years at Catamount Glass, Highway 87 was born. The name taken from the NY State highway Michael drove every weekend from Vermont to NYC when he began dating his future wife and partner Jessica.
Through Highway 87, Michael began working with small and midsize entrepreneurial companies using his own entrepreneurial experience to guide his clients through various aspects of the CPG landscape. Working with a client in Wisconsin, Michael developed the first mass introduction of Silicone Kitchen Products in the US, Silicone Spatulas developed for Williams-Sonoma. After his business plan for a full line of silicone kitchenware was turned down by his client, he decided to do it himself.
The Birth of SiliconeZone
With his combined manufacturing, sourcing and industry knowledge Michael designed, branded and manufactured a full line of Silicone Housewares and created the industry pioneering brand SiliconeZone. For 10 Years Michael lead SiliconeZone creating an industry leading brand and spawning an industry based on SiliconeZone's success. Michael Karyo was named one of the top housewares inventors by the Chicago Tribune, has been the subject of a feature article in Entrepreneur Magazine, and Siliconezone has been named one of the Top 20 Housewares Brands by HFN Magazine and a Top 100 Design Influences by Modern Design Magazine.
After overseeing the acquisition and transition of SiliconeZone to Casabella, and spending time as their VP of Sales & Marketing, Michael moved on to continue his consulting work with brands through Highway 87, including: Bombas Socks, Poppin, Prepara, Hillflint and Charles Viancin.
Jessica Stopek Karyo - Co-President
Jessica Stopek Karyo joined Highway 87 after practicing law for a over a decade. Practicing in areas of real estate law and mortgage litigation, Jessica was a strong advocate for clients and understands the need to listen and offer clear solutions and a pathway to a successful outcome. As Michael developed SiliconeZone, Jessica became an active adviser in business development. She brings with her a boundless drive and relentless perseverance to achieve the very best results.
In addition, Jessica's background benefits our clients with her strong knowledge in developing strategic and organizational processes. Most recently, as Highway 87's Director of Communications, she managed all aspects of sales rep communications, trade communication and PR as well as acting as a liaison to the international main offices of our clients. In addition, she was integral in managing and coordinating trade shows, working with vendors, showrooms and clients to maximize their investment in trade show development.