Annual Dinner

THA 113th Annual Dinner

On April 27, 2022, 140 guests gathered on the Cloud 9 Yacht for the 113th Annual Headwear Association Dinner.

The evening was a spectacular evening of camaraderie, accompanied by stunning city views as we sailed around Manhattan.

During the cruise, The Headwear Association honored our 2022 Award Winners.

2022 Retailer of the Year

Boot Barn

2022 Rosenthal Award

Don Rongione, Bollman Hat Company

2023 FIT Scholarship Recipient

Genia Charles


Retailer of the Year Hatman Jack’s

The Headwear Association Names Hatman Jacks 2022 Retailer of the Year 

After a nearly three year hiatus, The Headwear Association was able to host the 112th Annual Headwear Association Dinner. it was a beautiful Spring Evening at the Central Park Boathouse. Each year we honor an outstanding retailer in the headwear industry, and this year the honors went to Hatman Jack’s. Congratulations to our 2022 Retailer of the Year, Jack Kellogg and Hatman Jack’s.

Founded in 1976, Hatman Jack’s is one of the largest hat stores in the nation, and a cornerstone of the Historic Delano District in Wichita, Kansas. Founder and Wichita native Jack Kellogg has been making hats for nearly a half-century, and is well known for his expertise, craftsmanship, and customer service. Jack and his staff are devoted to continuing the traditional hatters’ craft. They use vintage blocks, flanges and tools that date back to the 1890’s to properly form and fit hats to each customers’ unique face and head shape.

While many brick & mortar stores have shuttered recently, Hatman Jack’s continues to thrive and grow their business.

The store stocks a huge selection of hats from nearly 100 brands in almost every style for men, women and children. Nearly the entire inventory changes with the seasons.

Jack and his staff are true hatters, and this is what truly sets Hatman Jack’s apart from most modern hat shops. “We can turn a rough fur felt hood into a fully custom hat; we can customize off-the-rack hats to your specifications; we can add hat bands, ribbon bands and bindings, stampede strings, feathers,” said owner Jack Kellogg. “We can take a plain hat and add enough glamour to take it to the Kentucky Derby and we can make a brand new hat to look like it’s been worn hard on the trail for years. We also offer hat shaping, cleaning, repair, and restoration services for hats you already own.”

Hatman Jack’s has worked with a number of celebrities including B.B. King, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Marty Stewart, William Elliott Whitmore, Buck Taylor, Mickey Mantle, and Luciano Pavarotti. Their hats have also been showcased in movies and television shows such as The Quick and the Dead, The Secret Life of Bees, The Road to Valhalla, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and more.

“Educating our customers is our forté, and no one walks out of our shop without a proper fit,” said Kellogg. “Everyone on our staff is trained on the principles of hat fitting. Stellar customer service is the hallmark of Hatman Jack’s– and with 257 reviews and a 4.8 star rating on Google alone we are extremely proud of our satisfaction rate.”

Congratulations to our 2022 Retailer of the Year, Jack Kellogg and Hatman Jack’s.

Retailer of the Year

2023 Headwear Association Retailer of the Year

Boot Barn

Congratulations to Boot Barn, the 2023 Headwear Association Retailer of the Year. Boot Barn began with one store in 1978, and has since become the largest western and work wear retailer in the U.S. operating 348 stores across 44 states.

Curtis Mortensen accepts the 2023 Retailer of the Year Award at the 113th Annual Headwear Association Dinner.

With an uncompromising desire to support the local communities they serve, Boot Barn proudly offers the broadest selection of cowboy hats, boots, western wear, workwear, western-inspired fashion, and outdoor gear. Their vision is simple: to offer a piece of the American spirit and Western lifestyle, one handshake at a time.


Boot Barn is the largest lifestyle retail chain devoted to western and work-related hats, footwear, clothing and accessories in the U.S. Their broad geographic footprint comprises more than three times as many stores as their nearest direct competitor that sells primarily western and work wear.


  • Founded in 1978
  • Boot Barn went public in October 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker: BOOT)
  • 348 stores across 44 states
  • As of April 1, 2023 they had 8,753 company-wide employees.
  • Strong new unit growth – 45 new stores opened (15% growth in FY23)
  • Portfolio of 10 exclusive brands generating over $500M revenue
  • Chain Store Age Breakout Retailer 2023

FIT Scholarship

FIT Scholarship

2023 FIT Scholarship Recipient

Genia Charles

S.H. Baik of Young An Hat company generously donated $100,000 on behalf of The Headwear Association towards a scholarship for aspiring designers in the millinery field. This money has funded a scholarship at the famed Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The scholarship has been established as an endowed scholarship award fund with a pledge of $100,000 it will be awarded in perpetuity using the interest earned on the gift. The 2023 recipient of The Headwear Association FIT scholarship is Genia Charles.

Genia Charles was born in New Jersey and raised in Florida. At an early age she developed artistic talents where she took art classes and became an art student throughout her elementary to high school years. During middle school, she found out about the Accessories Design industry when she drew a human foot with a shoe on it and loved the outcome. From then she began learning about and designing handbags and footwear. She has a whimsical style with a focus on abstract wavy lines and colors. She now attends the Fashion Institute of Technology with a AA in Footwear & Accessories Design and is now pursuing her BFA.

Ben Rosenthal Award

Ben Rosenthal Award

2023 Recipient

Don Rongione

Bollman Hat Company

Don Rongione spent the last 41+ years at Bollman Hat Company and has been the President & CEO of America’s oldest hat manufacturer for 21 years. Don has been a headwear industry visionary and a champion of American Manufacturing throughout his career. On July 4, 2009, Don founded American Made Matters, an organization with a mission to educate consumers on the importance of buying American made products to strengthen the American Dream.

Don Rongione accepts the Headwear Association’s 2022 Ben Rosenthal Award at the 113th Annual Headwear Association Dinner..

Don has served on the Bollman Hat Company Executive Committee since the age of 26 and has always remained focused on American-made products. “Bollman Hat Company is built on the strength of American Manufacturing, and focusing on domestic production is one of the main reasons we have survived for 155 years,” said Rongione. Bollman was founded in 1868 and began as a woolfelt hat manufacturer with a private label focus. Since then, Bollman has evolved into a global, brand-focused company leading the industry with brands including Bailey, Kangol and Helen Kaminski.  Bollman was recently named the 19th oldest continuously operating consumer product company in the United States.

Don has placed a priority on employee ownership and the benefits of acting like an owner which is a core value of Bollman Hat Company.  Don proposed and Bollman adopted its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1985 to provide a succession plan for the company.  At the end of 2021, Bollman became 100% ESOP owned and is now the oldest 100% ESOP owned company in Pennsylvania. “As owners who share in our profits, Bollman employees pride themselves on a ‘never say die’ spirit,” said Rongione. “Their ability to pivot and navigate the changing cycles of the headwear industry is inspirational, and as owners their commitment is unwavering. Some of our employees are the fourth generation of their family to work at Bollman.”

Heritage is an important part of Bollman’s history, but Don has always encouraged his teams to also focus on innovation, and “create trends, as well as grasping them.” During Don’s tenure, the company has innovated materials and finishes including LiteFelt® (Bollman’s packable, water repellent woolfelt), Raindura® (Bailey’s shape retentive straw), Kangol Woollux (made from super fine Merino wool raised in the Catskills of New York), and Elite Velour (Bailey’s luxurious woolfelt that feels like a furfelt).  

Don and his wife, Maryellen Kueny, have been married since 1976. They have four sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter due in a week.

Don’s advice for a lengthy career? “Surround yourself with great people, empower them to create and innovate, and never waver from a strong foundation of core values.”

Congratulations Don Rongione, our 2023 Rosenthal Award Winner.

113th Annual THA Dinner

A dinner cruise around Manhattan aboard the Cloud 9 Yacht on April 27, 2023

We are nearly at capacity for the 2023 THA Dinner so please RSVP!

Exciting news for headwear aficionados! The Headwear Association has a phenomenal new venue for our annual gala: The Cloud 9 Yacht.

This year, the 2023 Annual THA Dinner will be held aboard the Cloud 9 Yacht and will include a tour around Manhattan with beautiful views of the city from the water. This three-level yacht has two outdoor decks and the dining area is surrounded by windows with stunning Manhattan views.

The 113th Annual Headwear Association Dinner is Thursday, April 27th, 2023 from 6 to 10pm. We hope you can join us this year!

We will depart from the Skyport Marina, located on the east side of Manhattan, 2430 FDR Dr, New York, NY 10010.

Cocktails, dinner and our awards ceremony will be held aboard the Cloud 9 Yacht.

More details to come! If you need additional information contact us at thaheadwear@gmail.com. We will be posting nearby hotel recommendations shortly but please reach out with any questions.

Hope to see you in NYC this April.

Presenting Kangol Woollux

The USA Woollux 504 is a limited edition, website exclusive cap hand-crafted in America from start to finish. This new take on an old classic, made from luxe fibers of the finest merino wool will certainly impress.

Our 100% sourced and made in the USA merino wool is a sustainable, harm free fiber harvested in New York. The wool for the USA Woollux 504 Cap comes from purebred Merino Sheep lovingly cared for at the Catskill Merino Sheep Farm for decades. The wool is scoured & washed in Texas, and spun into yarn in Vermont.  

This wool is then felted, dyed, blocked, sewed, embroidered and crafted into hats in Adamstown, Pennsylvania by Employee-Owners. The purebred merino wool we use is super fine and the resulting hat is incredibly soft.

The USA Woollux 504 Cap features an embroidered Kangol logo and Kangaroo on the back of the cap, along with a comfort stretch sweatband. The Woollux 504 ships in a novelty Kangol hat box made from recycled materials and includes a hat brush to keep your hat looking clean and fresh.

Shop the Kangol Woolux 504 here:


100th Anniversary of the Straw Hat Riots

September 13, 2022 is the 100th Anniversary of The Straw Hat Riots. Yes, you read that right.

In 1922, New York City came to a standstill over the straw boater hat.

The Straw Hat Riots occurred throughout New York City’s streets and lasted for three days as thousands of boys attacked men wearing straw hats. What? Why?

Well, in 1922, most men wore straw hats during the summer months. But similar to the “Don’t wear white pants after Labor Day” rule, men had to put away their straw hats by September 15th. If they continued to wear their summer hats afterward, others felt free to knock their hats off and stomp on them. Savage, right? But somehow, this was a common and accepted practice.

In New York City, things got out on September 13, 1922. Mobs of boys traveled the city wielding nail studded clubs, grabbing straw hats off the heads of men and leaving the gutters filled with thousands of smashed Boater Hats. Police tried to curb the violence, but nothing helped and it took 3 days for the riots to calm down.

Fun Fact — The Headwear Association was founded fourteen years prior to the Straw Hat Riots. Wonder if any of our founding members had their hats stomped on this fateful day?

Snoop Dogg & Steve Martin in THA Platinum Sponsor Hats

We LOVE Snoop Dogg in a cowboy hat. Dayshift just dropped on Netflix and Snoop Dogg is wearing the OPLIN 3X WOOL FELT COWBOY HAT by Larry Mahan Hats from Dorfman Milano.

If you haven’t seen Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building it’s time for a binge. Mysteries, twist and turns that you will never expect.

And Steve Martin wears a trilby from THA Platinum Sponsor, Broner Hats. It turns out Steve Martin is a long-time fan of Broner Hats.

Fall Favorite: American Hat Makers Hudson – Pencil Rim Felt Fedora

From the rolled pencil curl brim to the decadent silhouette this hat portrays. The Hudson Pencil Rim Felt Fedora Hat is a hat that impresses at any event. Wear it with whatever you like from a down coat to a hoodie. This hat is an iconic masterpiece from American Hat Makers.

Brim 4 1/2″; Crown 4″; Wool Felt; Rolled Brim; Leather Hat Band 

Available in two colorways — Bark & Black.

Tap here to shop: https://americanhatmakers.com/products/hudson-womens-pencil-rim-felt-fedora-hat-1