29 September 2011

Gift for Life Honors Hammons, Kacick & the Litzmans

Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home decor industries' leading charitable organization, will honor three industry leaders during Gift for Life’s 20th Annual Party for Life, on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 in New York City.

Jenny Hammons will receive the Bert Tonkin Gift of Giving Award, which recognizes sustained philanthropic endeavors benefitting the industry. The Award is named for industry benefactor Bert Tonkin, president of Western Exhibitors. Hammons is a gift industry veteran and owner of Jenny Hammons/Company, which consists of West Coast-based sales organizations servicing the gift and home-décor markets in Northern California and the U.S. Pacific Northwest. She is a former chair of the board of Gift for Life.

George Kacic will receive the Chuck Yancy Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to a special recipient who has had an abiding impact on the industry through leadership and generosity. Kacic’s career within the gift and home-décor industry spans thirty-five years. Currently, he serves as Vice President of GANZ USA, LLC. Over the past nineteen years, he has helped make GANZ one of the top “go-to” gift companies in the world. He is involved in every aspect of sales and marketing. Prior to GANZ, Kacic spent seven years with Russ Berrie, becoming District Sales Manager and later Regional Sales Manager. He also served five years as President of an independent rep firm. As Vice President of Takara USA, Kacic was instrumental in establishing the Japanese-based company within the United States. His industry activities are as deep-rooted as his corporate leadership. Kacic is serving as the Advisory Board Chairman for AmericasMart; he is a member of the Gift for Life Board; he served six years on the Gift & Home Trade Association’s (GHTA) Board, acting as President, Chairman Emeritus and, most recently, an ICON HONORS founding partner; and he is the current co-chair for the GHTA Annual Conference.

Brandwise and its founders Todd and Jannetta Litzman will receive the Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an industry pioneer for outstanding achievement and significant contributions, as well as creative products and ideas with lasting impact. For more than 14 years, Brandwise has been driving the innovation of technology in the gift and home industry by listening to its needs and consistently creating and providing solutions and tools to help suppliers and sales reps sell more, increase efficiencies and, in effect, enhancing the retailer’s buying experience. The company continues to provide new technology to help automate each step in the sales channel—from showroom floor to the road, from back office functions to executive business intelligence and online where the company’s revolutionary bwconnect™ service allows retailers, reps and suppliers to collaborate online to do business.

“Strong leadership, decades of hard work, and passionate support for the industry are the shared values of our honorees,” said Leslie Nathan-Street, chair of the Gift for Life board. “We recognize their tireless energy and their generosity.”

The 20th Annual Party for Life, benefiting DIFFA, will be held at The Boathouse at Central Park. Individual tickets are $125, and sponsorships ranging from $500 through $25,000 are available. For details, contact Steven Williams at swilliams@diffa.org, (212) 727-3100. Each year, Gift for Life hosts events throughout the U.S. benefitting DIFFA. The primary mission of Gift for Life and DIFFA is to eradicate the AIDS pandemic in the U.S. Working together, Gift for Life and DIFFA will continue to raise funds for HIV/AIDS service and education programs. For additional information please visit www.giftforlife.org.

Follow Gift for Life’s efforts via their free e-newsletter, available at http://www.giftforlife.org/about_gfl/press-releases-and-newsletters/.

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