As we countdown to the People Awards on Thursday April 30th, we profile the finalists in the running for these prestigious accolades.

LICENSING.BIZ PEOPLE AWARDS: Outstanding Contribution Category

As we countdown to the People Awards on Thursday April 30th, we’re highlighting the finalists in the running for these prestigious accolades.

First up, we take a look at the individuals who are in the running to pick up the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Drum roll, please…

Ian Downes, Start Licensing

According to just one of the people who nominated Downes: “Ian is a true mentor in licensing. His knowledge of the industry is second to none and is always on hand to help individuals in the industry by passing on his knowledge. When working on a licensed property, he will dedicate 100 per cent of his attention to developing a successful brand. Ian offers an all-round support – with retailers, product development and marketing. As an agent he supports the licensee whilst continuing to honour the brand owners requirements.”

Anne Wood, Ragdoll

Anne Wood CBE, of course, is the genius behind commercially-successful and award-winning pre-school programmes such as Teletubbies and In The Night Garden. Those brands have subsequently translated to a huge number of licensed properties, covering toys, homeware, DVDs, apps and much more. As one industry exec put it: “[We need to honour Anne] for creating such memorable and inspirational characters that have resonated so much with pre-schoolers for the last few decades – and generated a lot of success for licensees and retailers.”

Ian Hyder, Max Publishing

The MD and co-founder of Max Publishing, Hyder is one of the most respected figures within the licensing industry. He also organises and owns six sets of industry awards himself. Meanwhile, Hyder demonstrates his commitment to the licensing industry through his position as a board member of the licensing industry charity The Light Fund. “It is here behind the scenes that you begin to truly comprehend just how much time and effort Ian puts into the industry as a whole,” pointed out one of his peers. Since 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £600,000 for numerous charities, helping children, women and men.

Rob Corney, Bulldog Licensing

A very popular member of the UK licensing business, Corney has gained much respect through his work at ITV, 4Kids and now having founded Bulldog Licensing. In his relatively short time in the industry, he has worked on such licences as Thunderbirds, Bullseye, Pokemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Crazy Bones. In his ‘spare time’ he also speaks for LIMA and is a strong supporter of The Light Fund. Said one peer: “Overall Rob is incredibly passionate about brands and licensing, and has given so much to the industry for far longer than just the past 12 months.” Another added: “He is such an inspiration and he truly lives for Bulldog. I don’t think I know someone as passionate as him in the industry! He is a great leader, but an even greater person.”

Trudi Hayward, ITV

Trudi Hayward is a well-known and respected licensing industry veteran with over 21 years experience and having worked on some of the most successful licensed brands in the UK and worldwide. She had a pivotal role in launching Dora the Explorer in the UK during her time at Nickelodeon and the property won the converted position of pre-school property of the year in 2008. In 2011, Trudi moved to ITV where she has built the merchandising and licensing department up from scratch, managing ITV owned properties, such as Thunderbirds, as well as sourcing and developing third party properties. “Her knowledge and understanding of the business is huge, bringing enthusiasm, common sense, integrity and great commercial skills across brand strategies marketing, broadcast, creative, sales and retail,” offered one colleague.

Andrew Carley, eOne

Andrew Carley’s vision and unwavering commitment to Peppa Pig have seen the brand rapidly evolve from a UK phenomenon into a global entertainment powerhouse now worth $1billion in retail sales per year. In the last 12 months he has led an ever expanding licensing team that has taken the brand to new heights and nurtured the development of consumer products programmes in Australia, Spain, Italy and Brazil where Peppa now ranks as one the leading pre-school licences. He has also established offices for eOne Licensing in Hong Kong, Melbourne and New York to strengthen the licensor’s on-the-ground activities with its partners. In line with his successful UK strategy of carefully managed growth, Carley has been steadily building the US licensing programme and this will be a key territory for Peppa Pig in 2015.

Lisa Shapiro, TLC

A seasoned personality in the Licensing world, Shapiro has driven retail licensing and brand extension for some of the best brands in the world. She has strengthened her knowledge in the retail world in 2014 by building a strong and sustainable UK business with everyone from Browns to Sainsbury’s. “She runs an engaged team at TLC and is always full of energy,” offered one of her peers. “Her contribution to the industry is a natural.”

The People Awards take place on Thursday April 30th at Sway Bar, London.

Tickets are priced at just £79 and can be purchased by clicking here.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jodie Holdway via, Carole Eagles via or call 01992 535647 to find out more.

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