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Richard Dracass Ultra Pro
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Ultra Pro Welcomes Tabletop Games Industry Veteran Richard Dracass as New Director of Entertainment

Ultra PRO International LLC (“Ultra PRO”), a leading designer and manufacturer of top-quality products since 1952, is proud to welcome gaming industry veteran Richard Dracass to the team as its new Director of Entertainment. With over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry spanning all levels of the supply chain, Dracass brings a wealth of expertise in brand leadership, innovative marketing strategies and community engagement. In his new role, Dracass will drive business development and growth strategies for Ultra PRO’s entertainment division.

Nex logo growth
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Nex Expands Leadership Team and Advisory Board to Focus on Retail Growth and Brand Partnerships

Nex, the motion technology company behind the award-winning active play system, Nex Playground, announced the growth of its leadership team and advisory board, appointing Tom Kang as President and Stephen Saiz as Vice President of Publishing. Tom joins Nex after leading Immersive Commerce at Walmart as Vice President, General Manager and Officer. Prior to that, Tom held senior leadership positions at Amazon Games, Amazon Web Services and Disney Interactive, as well as multiple startups as CEO. At Nex, Tom will oversee strategy, finance, corporate and business development, and international expansion. As the former Head of Publishing at Walmart and the Head of Growth and Partnerships at Amazon Games, Stephen will oversee all of Nex’s publishing and go-to-market (GTM) efforts.

hidden pigeon company Tori Cook Paula Allen
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Hidden Pigeon Company Adds Tori Cook as SVP, Franchise Management, & Paula Allen as Publishing Consultant

Hidden Pigeon Company (HPC), the dynamic new multiplatform kids and family content company that is extending the reach of award-winning author/illustrator Mo Willems’s beloved character brands, has appointed Tori Cook as Senior Vice President, Franchise Management. Cook, who joins an expanding team of seasoned professionals at HPC, is a strategic, multidimensional leader with deep expertise in franchise and brand management, consumer products, retail development, and marketing. In addition, HPC has brought on Paula Allen as Publishing Consultant. Allen, president of Screenland Literary Associates, is well-regarded in the publishing business and has played a pivotal role in crafting book deals for authors and facilitating foreign rights licensing for their literary works. Both Cook and Allen report directly to HPC CEO Karen K. Miller.

global merchandising services Lisa Streff
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Global Merchandising Appoints Former Bravado Executive Lisa Streff to Head Up North American Licensing

Global Merchandising Services, an independently owned and operated award-winning music, celebrity, and lifestyle merchandising company with offices in London and Los Angeles, is expanding its team with the appointment of former Universal Music Group’s Epic Rights/Bravado executive Lisa Streff as SVP of Licensing & Brand Development for North America.

Greg Ahearn Toy Association
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The Toy Association Names Industry Veteran Greg Ahearn as New President & CEO

The Toy Association Inc, the business trade association representing a wide array of manufacturers, retailers, licensors, and others involved in the youth entertainment industry, announced that Greg Ahearn will join as President & CEO on June 1. Ahearn will be responsible for leading the next chapter of the Association as it continues to evolve and best serve its close to 900 members, as well as the needs of the entire industry. He will have oversight of the key objectives, which include industry trade shows and events, regulatory affairs and representation, toy safety and ethics initiatives, member education, as well as consumer outreach to champion the importance of play. The role also extends to partnership with The Toy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the organization.

Julie Gwaltney TOMY
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TOMY International Announces Julie Gwaltney Appointed Vice President Toys

TOMY International announced that Julie Gwaltney has been appointed Vice President of the Toy Division. Julie has over 30 years’ experience in the toy industry, most recently holding the position of TOMY International’s Senior Director of Toys. “We are happy to have Julie assume this role and bring her expertise across additional categories,” said Greg Kilrea, President of TOMY International. “Julie works very well with her team, the designers, our licensors, and our industry partners to help find great opportunities for TOMY and make lasting contributions to childhood play.”

Séverine LeRoux superights sales
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Superights Shuffles Sales Team

Superights, international distribution division of Superpod Group just announced a sales team reorganization welcoming Séverine LeRoux, StudioCanal alum as Sales Manager. She will report to Nathalie Pinguet, Superights’ Deputy Managing Director Sales and Acquisitions. Based in Paris, Séverine will oversee sales in Eastern Europe territories, Africa and Inflight zones.

Chandler Wilkins zipstring
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ZipString Names Chandler Wilkins as Director of Sales

In an expansion move, ZipString has named Chandler Wilkins to the new post of Director of Sales, it was announced by Co-Founders Austin Hillam and Stephen Fazio. Chandler Wilkins joins the company after most recently serving in sales management positions in the software industry. Prior to that, he earned a degree in Supply Chain Management from Brigham Young University. According to Hillam, who served with Wilkins as Latter-day Saint missionaries in Brazil and, subsequently, as students together at BYU, “no one resembles the phrase – ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’ – better than Chandler, making him a perfect fit for a company on the way up.”

Dallas Market Center Amy Harper
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Dallas Market Center – Amy Harper Promoted to SVP, Retail Development and Market Services

Dallas Market Center veteran Amy Harper has been promoted to senior vice president of retail development and market services, the company has announced. Harper is responsible for the strategic buyer delivery initiatives for Dallas Market Center including retail development, major stores and private buys. She is also responsible for market services including registration and Market Travel. She reports to chief operating officer Karen Ryder. Harper has been with the company since 2001, managing an increasing number of responsibilities to drive buyer traffic to Dallas Market Center beginning with apparel and accessories, international, and then assuming leadership for all industries.