Produced in association with Kilogrammedia, the list recognises 100 women from all areas of the licensing business. Women of the Year list revealed

This week, is 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.

All sectors are covered, from character, entertainment and toys, through to apparel, gifting, food, publishing and art.

We’ll be unveiling 20 women in alphabetical order each day this week, starting with the below today:

Francesca Ash,
Co-founder, Total Licensing

Ash became involved in the licensing industry in 1978, when she co-organised the first ever character merchandising conference. In the 80s, she became the first non-American officer of LIMA. Acknowledged widely as an expert in licensing on a worldwide basis, she co-founded Total Licensing in 2003, which began with the flagship magazine and has now grown to include country-specific titles, an art licensing magazine and, recently launched, Total Brand Licensing. The magazines are read by over 80,000 people in 104 countries. Ash regularly speaks at global seminars and conferences including Licensing Expo, Hong Kong Licensing Show, MIP, Brazilian Licensing Show, Surtex and many others.

Kirsty Barr,
MD, miPR

With over 20 years experience in broadcast, entertainment and licensing, Barr is a champion for the industry, supporting her agency’s clients in multiple sectors with B2B and B2C PR, trade marketing and social media. Barr – who founded miPR eight years ago – has a client base including Centum Books, Studio 100 International, Carte Blanche Group, The Entertainer and Clementoni among others. With a passion for trade and consumer PR, Barr leads a diverse and ambitious team who support their clients as an extension to any in-house team.

Louise Becker,
Global Buying Manager, Younger Girls, F&F Clothing (Tesco)

Becker has held various roles at Tesco since joining as a trainee buyer for kids accessories and swimwear back in 2006. She now manages a team of seven, looking after multi clothing product for younger girls (three months to six years). She handles buying for the UK, Central Europe, online and franchise markets. During her career at Tesco, Becker has also enjoyed stints as assistant buyer for toddler boys and girlswear, boys five to 14 buyer, girls five to 14 buyer and global buying manager for older girls.

Melanie Beer,
Commercial & Licensing Director, Watermelon

A popular face in the industry, Beer currently works solely with M&S across apparel, accessories and home products. She began her licensing career at BBC Worldwide, where she spent ten years working on rights, acquisitions and licensing before moving to Warner Bros. Consumer Products as senior category manager for toys, gifts and stationery. A stint as head of licensing at Amscan followed, before Beer moved to Granada/ITV Global as global licensing director. Most recently, prior to Watermelon, she was group licensing director at Hallmark Cards.

Trudi Bishop,
Head of Marketing & Licensing, Cartamundi

In her second year at Cartamundi, Bishop has further developed its retail product offering. This includes the Carta Magic line, Pitch Black playing cards, continuing tie-ins with entertainment brands and the expansion of the Shuffle range. She works across the full product range and sales channels, bringing extensive experience in product marketing in the UK, EMEA and Australasian markets from previous roles.

Angeles Blanco,

Associate Director, International Agents, 20th Century Fox Consumer Products

Blanco took up her new role at Fox in December 2014, moving from Outfit7 where she was senior director of licensing and merchandising EMEA. During her time at the firm, she helped to build the roster of licensees and identify new agents and partners to grow the Talking Tom & Friends brand in all territories. Blanco has vast experience in the licensing industry – her previous roles also include director of licensing at DHX Media, head of international licensing at Zodiak Rights, international licensing manager for Granada Ventures and European brand manager at CPLG. During the course of her career, Blanco has worked on brands including Star Wars, Shrek, Pocoyo, The Simpsons and Rastamouse among others.

Sarah Bohner,
Manager Consumer Products, NFL

Currently handling the consumer products programme for the National Football League, Bohner has a solid pedigree in the industry. It all started at Gaffney International Licensing in Australia in 1999, where she managed properties including Sesame Street, Star Wars, Teletubbies, Pokémon and a number of sports brands. Bohner then moved to one of Australia’s biggest sporting organisations – the AFL – helping to run its consumer products programme. In more recent years, she returned to the UK to establish Velocity Brand Management before joining the NFL.

Susan Bolsover,
Head of Licensing & Consumer Products, Penguin UK

Bolsover began her licensing career back in 1999 when she freelanced as a brand executive at BBC Worldwide for five months. She obviously caught the industry bug, joining DeAgostini in January 2000 as senior product manager before moving to CPLG as publishing category manager in September 2003. Bolsover was promoted to European publishing director in 2009, working with brands including WWE, Star Trek and the DreamWorks’ stable. She joined Penguin in February 2013 to set up the new Penguin Ventures team. She has been instrumental in creating an entirely new and profitable business within a publisher. Some of the highlights include the growth of classic Peter Rabbit in John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. This year was also the Ladybird centenary which has seen an increase in licensees and activity.

Anne Bradford,
Head of Sales, TVM Fashion Lab

Bradford is currently head of sales for TVM Fashion Lab at Global Brands Group (a member of the Fung Group), a role she has held for over two and a half years. Prior to this, Bradford enjoyed stints as commercial manager at A&J Carter, senior sales manager at TV Mania, account manager at The Fielding Group and assistant buyer at BHS.

Johanne Broadfield
VP, Cartoon Network Enterprises

Broadfield is leading the team which is taking Adventure Time from underground cult property to mass market brand, with more than 100 licensees now signed up across EMEA. She will also be a driving force in the 2016 relaunches of The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10. Under her direction, the revitalised CNE has firmly established itself as a leading force in comedy, with properties that are original and irreverently funny. This is a massive consumer trend and there is a huge demand for such content and products, however there are few companies doing it as well as CNE at the moment.

Jakki Brown,
Joint MD, Max Publishing

Brown is the joint managing director of Max Publishing and Max Exhibitions, which owns Licensing Sourcebook and Progressive Greetings (among many other publications) and organises The Licensing Awards, PG Live Exhibition and a number of awards events in other industries. She is also the co-founder of the licensing industry charity, The Light Fund. Now an officially recognised charity, it has raised over £800,000 for numerous charities, helping to change the lives of a lot of people. Brown is incredibly driven by helping people in the industry to develop and grow, nurturing and supporting many businesses, yet never asking for anything in return. Massively well liked and well respected.

Katherine Buckland,
UK & Nordic Licensing Director, Hasbro

Buckland has been with Hasbro for just over four years, currently in the role of UK and Nordic licensing director. She made the move into toys and licensing in November 2005, joining The Walt Disney Company as UK category manager for toys with responsibility for the girls, games and puzzle business. She was promoted to senior category manager in August 2007, with responsibility for the management and planning of the product range and brand strategy on girls’ toys and plush. Prior to this, Buckland held numerous roles at Worldcom including global account manager.

Tor Bushell,
VP Global Brand Management, DHX Brands

Bushell has helped to turn the dedicated consumer products division of DHX Media into a notable success in the 12 months since its inception. The potential of its stable of brands has been maximised under Bushell’s stewardship, which has included her overseeing the launch of brand new Teletubbies into the licensing space (which now boasts over 50 licensees), nurturing and expanding activity on family favourites like In the Night Garden (ranked top five pre-school licence 2014 in the UK with 93 per cent growth) and introducing new pre-school property, Twirlywoos.

Emma Cairns-Smith,
Director of Global Licensing Acquisitions, Egmont Publishing

Cairns-Smith is passionate about inspiring children to read. With 20 years’ experience in children’s publishing, she has seen the power of great storytelling turn first time authors into household names, turn TV characters into global brands and entice the growing band of children’s digital brands into the world of print publishing. As director of global licensing acquisitions, Cairns-Smith is always on the look out for new partnerships for Egmont in the UK and around the world, and was responsible for the acquisition of Minecraft.

Anna Cartwright,
Owner/Director, Boom Licensing

Former Beanstalk exec Cartwright now runs her own boutique licensing agency, Boom Licensing. She specialises in working with design-led lifestyle brands, helping them to grow in the homewares and fashion categories. Current properties in Cartwright’s portfolio include Emma Gardner, Florence Broadhurst, Lotta Jansdotter and Blume.

Naz Cuevas,
EVP Consumer Products Licensing, Rovio

Cuevas is an integral part of the team aiding Rovio’s transition from games developer into fully fledged entertainment studio with gaming firmly at its heart. She is driving the international consumer products programme supporting the first Angry Birds movie – which is set for release in May 2016 – influencing major deals with the likes of LEGO and Spin Master.

Alicia Davenport,
Licensing Director, DRi Licensing

Davenport has been an integral part of the licensing world for over 25 years. The figurehead of DRi Licensing, she has successfully led and steered the business for over 15 years. During this time, she has managed high profile brands including Miffy, the Roald Dahl Estate, UK Greetings’ Boofle, Madeleine Floyd and Pets Rock. Davenport is also a prominent and long-standing member of the Light Fund Charity Committee. She is an active organiser of events for the charity and was pivotal in putting together the Miffy & Friends 300-mile Charity Cycle Challenge to Utrecht in June. Prior to DRi, Davenport worked with brands including Forever Friends, Land Rover and MG Mini, as well as sports and entertainment brands with NFL Properties and Alltime Entertainment, where she was brand marketing manager for Watership Down.

Coralina Dashwood (nee Andrews),
Manager, Business Development, Beanstalk

Dashwood joined Beanstalk in November 2009 and is an integral part of the agency’s London office. In her role as manager, business development, she works with Louise French on unlocking new business opportunities and growing the roster of clients across Europe and international. Simultaneously, she is mastering the role of office manager, running day to day operations and spearheading all HR-related duties. Dashwood has also contributed to several consulting projects under the agency’s newly launched consulting division, Blueprint – Powered by Beanstalk, conducting in-depth market research and developing brand strategies.

Lauren Delord,
Head of Marketing, Mind Candy

Described as a ‘true rock star in the industry’, Delord oversees and drives Mind Candy’s consumer products and brand marketing campaigns, along with supporting the firm’s retail activations. Most recently, she has implemented and executed the launch marketing campaign for Mind Candy’s latest franchise World of Warriors, making sure activity has hit all key media touch points and significantly raising the awareness of the property with consumers. Prior to Mind Candy, Delord held roles at Turner and Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

Lisa Dower,
Marketing Manager, Rainbow Designs

Dower is the marketing manager at Rainbow Designs and is responsible for all the marketing activities of the business. This year alone, she has been fundamental in the development and launch of several new collections including Peter Rabbit nursery, Paddington Bear movie range and Rainbow’s new acquisition, Air Puppy, as well as the brand new Peppa Pig nursery collection that will launch in November. Dower has in-depth knowledge of the licensing industry from both a retail and supplier perspective, from roles that include group brand manager at Posh Paws and as a retail buyer spanning many licensed categories with both Tesco and Woolworths.

Check here again tomorrow for the next 20 in our list of the top women in the UK licensing industry, in association with Kilogrammedia.

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