Licensing.biz Women of the Year: Part five revealed

Produced in association with Kilogrammedia, the list recognises women from all areas of the business, as nominated by our readers.
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This week, we have been unveiling our list of the top 100 women in the UK licensing industry.

Produced in association with Kilogrammedia, the list recognises women from all areas of the business, as nominated by our readers.

The list highlights the work of women working at licensor and licensee level, as well as in retail, media, marketing, PR and other roles which bring them into contact with the licensing industry.

The final part of the list can be found below:

Annabel Rochfort,
Head of Themed Entertainment & Attractions, Cartoon Network

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A popular choice, receiving a number of nominations, Rochfort is described as “a joy to work with and clearly a very valuable asset to Turner Broadcasting”. She has a deep knowledge and a firm grasp of all the brands she represents, and is a very savvy businesswoman, applying this flair to contracts and licensing agreements. “Her real entrepreneurial spirit recognises that any agreement needs to be beneficial for both parties, and it’s no wonder her agreements tend to stick and turn into long-term relationships,” said one nomination. “All licensors are targeting tie-ins in the leisure industry and Annabel is by far the most successful lady in this category,” said another.

Stacy Scimia,
Category Manager, CPLG

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Since joining CPLG in 2002, Scimia has worked up way up through the ranks – firstly via the product development department (where her abilities were soon recognised and she was appointed manager), before moving into the role of category manager for apparel at the beginning of 2014. This solid grounding has provided Scimia with a wealth of experience which, along with her dedicated and trusted approach, has been recognised and respected by both her own team and industry colleagues, and reflected in the fact that the CPLG brand portfolio has flourished during her tenure.

Lisa Shand,
Managing Director, Blueprint

Shand has been involved in licensing for nearly 30 years and has led Blueprint form strength to strength since its inception in 1999. She is a firm believer that licensed product can offer both retailer and consumer something exciting and is passionate about compelling product and design, working with retailers and licensors to deliver something really unique. Under her leadership the firm has won no less than five Licensing Awards for its product, and has become a preferred supplier to countless retailers for stationery and bags.

Lisa Shapiro,
UK MD, The Licensing Company

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Shapiro has been in the industry for 23 years and has been with TLC since its inception 19 years ago. She has been the managing director of the UK division since 2003 and has been a key part of the changing licensing landscape. She has been instrumental in building groundbreaking retail campaigns for key projects over the years, from South Park to Bratz and Star Wars. “Lisa is a driven individual with a great understanding of the industry and retail. Her energy, knowledge and relationships have been the key to many of TLC’s successes in the UK,” commented a colleague.

Claire Shaw,
VP Licensing, Zodiak Kids

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Shaw is possibly unique in the industry, having worked in roles as a retail buyer, licensor and licensee. Her CV includes roles at Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Mothercare, Disney, Carlton International (ITV), Entertainment Rights/Classic Media and, most recently, Gemma International. Shaw stepped into the VP Licensing role at Zodiak Kids in August 2014, initially on a fixed term contract, working on properties including Mister Maker, Mumfie and Lolirock among others.

Liz Shortreed,
Director of Softlines UK & Ireland, The Walt Disney Company

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Shortreed has been part of the Disney family since 2008, covering a number of roles. She joined as apparel category manager, before being promoted to senior category manager for apparel and footwear UK and Ireland in January 2012. She was promoted again in September 2013 to lead for the Fashion DTR business, and stepped into her current role in February 2014. “She has most certainly risen to the challenge,” said her nominator. Prior to joining Disney, Shortreed spent 12 years as buyer for kids essentials at Marks & Spencer.

Serena Sibbald,
AVP, Brand Development, Beanstalk

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Sibbald first joined Beanstalk in 1994. Starting as a category manager, managing the Coca-Cola as well as the Andy Warhol Foundation programmes, she’s advanced to the role of associate vice president of brand development. She has particular responsibility for the Paris Hilton programme and is the global lead on the Matthew Williamson account. Earlier this year, Sibbald was appointed to also oversee the agency’s food and beverage business, working with her team on growing the programmes of clients such as The Hummingbird Bakery, La Tasca, TGI Friday’s and Chewits.

Gabrielle Sims,
Licensing Director, IMG

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During her time in the industry, Sims has viewed it from both a licensee and an agency perspective. She started her career at Half Moon Bay as product development and design manager, before moving to The Licensing Company in 2007. Over the five years plus she spent there, Sims worked in various roles including licensing executive, senior licensing manager and brand licensing director. She moved to Fluid World as senior brand manager in 2012, working her way up to head of brand and retail in 2013, before making the move to IMG in June 2014.

Lauren Sizeland,
Director of Business Development & Licensing, V&A

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Sizeland is responsible for developing the international licensing programme for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her remit includes international rights management of the brand and archive, including commercial negotiation, sales and marketing, research, design, approvals, brand and trademark protection. Sizeland has been with the V&A since 2005, and prior to this worked as head of retail and licensing for NMSI Trading.

Nicky Stanton,
Senior Commercial Acquisition Manager, The FA

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Stanton has worked at The FA since 2009 – she originally joined as business development executive and was promoted to business development manager in 2011, managing the global licensing business across all FA assets. She took on her current role in August 2014. Prior to The FA, Stanton worked as a project executive at Wine Intelligence.

Sarah Swindell,
MD & Partner, Watermelon Creative

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Swindell founded Watermelon Creative Studio with Jonathan Sieff and has been responsible for working with a wide range of licensors, licensees and retailers on creative solutions for a huge selection of properties. These include the likes of Hello Kitty, Peanuts, Octonauts, Monkey, Rocky and Casper the Friendly Ghost. Said one nominator: “She offers her opinions on the creative potential of a property in a straightforward, honest manner and understands the needs of the rights owner, on one hand, balanced against the needs to be commercial on the other.”


Paula Taylor,
Commercial Director, Dot Dash Design

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Taylor is commercial director of creative licensing agency Dot Dash Design. Since she co-founded the company in 2009, she has been a key driver in helping it achieve consecutive and unbroken year on year growth through the acquisition of a strong client base. Taylor’s founding strategy was to foster and maintain a very open company culture which encourages creativity and innovation. This recently resulted in the launch of sister company, Dot Dash Studio, at Surtex 2015, focusing on print and pattern design for sale and licence. Taylor has great proven management and sales skills and this has helped raise her profile within the industry. Together with her passion for creative development and original ideas, she continues to push the company forward in new and exciting directions.

Jo Thomas,
Licensing Manager, Cooneen by Design

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Thomas is described as “a great lady to work with – her funny stories keep us all highly entertained in the office”. Well respected in the business, Thomas is a great team player, very bubbly and always positive – she eats, sleeps and breathes licensing and Cooneen, according to her nominator. Her achievements stretch over many areas of the business, from building great relationships with retailers and licensors to securing new licences.

Sara Tossell,
Senior Licensing Manager, Mattel UK

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Tossell has had a varied career in licensing, mixing sports with character brands. She kicked things off as consumer products director at the National Football League in 1997, before moving to Mattel for the first time as licensing manager in 2009. She then dived back into the world of sports, joining Manchester United Merchandising as licensing manager in 2010, then the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2011. She returned to Mattel in June 2012, taking on more responsibility as senior licensing manager.

Sandra Vanstan,
Head of Licensing, William Lamb Footwear

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Vanstan began her licensing career at William Lamb Footwear as an assistant management accountant in 2002. She became licensing manager in 2008, a position she held for over three years before making the move to Amscan International in 2011. Vanstan was promoted to director of licensing EMEA in 2014, but returned to William Lamb to step into the head of licensing role earlier this year.

Sandra Vauthier-Cellier,
SVP EMEA, 20th Century Fox Consumer Products

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Vauthier-Cellier has enjoyed a strong career in the licensing space. She joined Fox earlier this year after nearly 20 years of experience in the consumer products industry for brands including Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson and Crayola. She also enjoyed successful stints at 4Kids and more recently Studio 100. In her new role, she will oversee the Fox Consumer Products’ London office.



Rachel Wakley,
Head of Licensing & Category Trade Planning, Tesco

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Now the go-to lady for all things licensing at Tesco, Wakley has had a varied career. Before moving to the retailer, she enjoyed spells as channel manager at Paramount Pictures, consultant for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, channel controller High Street & Ireland at Activision and commercial director, UK and Ireland for Upper Deck International. She joined Tesco in 2010 as commercial manager, trade planning for toys, nursery and sport, and was promoted to her current role in March 2014.

Janet Woodward,
Joint MD, JELC

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Nearly 30 years of successfully developing art and design and brand licensing as well as running character merchandise programmes have guaranteed Janet Woodward almost legendary status in the industry. In 2003 she co-founded Coolebah, known today as Coolabi, and worked with such household name brands as Purple Ronnie, Hammer Films, Bagpuss and The Clangers before, in 2010, taking on a new challenge as director of JELC Limited alongside fellow industry legend Jane Evans. Together they built a successful, independent licensing agency representing a diverse portfolio of clients — from Silentnight to Hinchcliffe & Barber and from Wisdom of Kids to the National Gallery — on a global basis.

Rachel Wyatt,
Marketing Director, Kinnerton

Before joining confectionery specialist Kinnerton, Wyatt spent seven years at Woolworths as a senior buyer. She moved to Kinnerton in 2000, with her remit including licensing, category management, product development, budgeting, marketing, website management and range planning.


Lucy Wynn Jones,

Head of Licensing, Worlds Apart

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Wynn Jones has been responsible for developing and growing Worlds Apart’s UK and international licensing programme over the past 15 years. Her success is attributed to both the strong relationships she has built with all the key licensors, together with an enviable knowledge of both marketing and manufacture in the toy industry. She also chairs a licensing syndicate formed of key personnel in the licensing industry.

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