We turn the spotlight back to the upcoming talent in the business today, profiling the candidates in the running for the Rising Star – Licensor & Agent category.
Show your support for them by joining us at Sway Bar, Holborn on Thursday April 30th.
Katie Ball – Nickelodeon
Katie Ball is the retail sales coordinator within the Nickelodeon UK Consumer Products team and has been instrumental in delivering a multitude of cross-category campaigns. To date she has delivered two successful cross-category pallets at ASDA. She also delivered the Argos ‘Everyone’s a Winner Campaign’ which involved liaising with touch points across every part of the Argos business.
Said her colleagues: “As the first one in the office and the last one to leave, Katie has displayed a tenacious attitude to the licensing business, encompassing everything there is to know about the industry as she works closely to develop new and existing key retail accounts within the Nickelodeon UK Consumer Products team. It is her self-motivated attitude towards the development of her own retail relationships that has strengthened her position within the team as a whole. Always with a smile on her face, she is ready and prepared to face the next challenge.”
Lee Edwards – BBC
Clearly a popular figure in the UK licensing industry, given the number of nominations he received, Edwards is licensing manager for Consumer Products at the BBC. He joined the company just last year, having previously enjoyed stints at Stanley Black & Decker as brand licensing manager and CPLG where he was a brand manager.
Jon Spalding – Disney
Jon Spalding is a senior commercial manager at The Walt Disney Company UK, responsible for managing the MVG & Toys business with Tesco. Spalding joined the licensing industry in the summer of 2013 when he moved onto the Tesco business, managing the toys category and has worked on a number of licensing campaigns with Tesco including ‘Every Little Hero Helps’ (Spider-Man 2) and ‘Frozen Winter Wonderland’ (Frozen), as well as managing licensee accounts across Disney’s Toy categories including IMC & Ravensburger.
Prior to Toys & Licensing, Jon’s background is within the Home Entertainment category, having also worked for Universal Pictures.
Vicky Hill – Bulldog
Vicky Hill joined Bulldog around 18 months ago and has had a significant impact both on the business and on the wider licensing industry. Starting her licensing career on an internship with Mattel, she developed strong commercial opportunities for the Barbie brand, especially within the publishing category in emerging markets.
Since joining the Bulldog team, she has continued to grow the publishing category, delivering programmes for high profile brands including DreamWorks Animation, Electronic Arts and Shopkins, whilst working on a much-expanded remit across stationery, bags, gift, food, board games and puzzles. She was recently promoted to licensing manager, taking over brand management responsibilities for a number of Bulldog's properties.
Hill has also recently taken on a new role with LIMA on the panel of young professionals seeking to provide new opportunities for networking amongst the newer entrants to the industry and in this role, she continues to provide a valuable service to the wider licensing industry.
Alexandra Painter – eOne Licensing
Since joining the marketing department of Entertainment One in 2013, Painter has played a key role in the international expansion of Peppa Pig. This was reflected in her promotion to international marketing executive in 2014, making her the first employee in the licensing team solely responsible for international marketing.
In this role, Painter has excelled at forging strong relationships with the licensor’s numerous agents across the globe to initiate and execute key marketing campaigns in all major territories. These have included a huge shopping mall experiential event in Hong Kong’s New Town Plaza, a dedicated PR programme in Benelux for the Sinterklas season and an interactive branded space at the new flagship Hamleys in Russia.
Said her colleagues: “Her enthusiastic and can-do approach to marketing has energized the licensor’s international partners to undertake impactful activity that has raised the profile of the brand in territories where it is beginning to gain traction.”
Stacy Scimia – CPLG
Since joining CPLG in 2002, Scimia has worked her 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.
Heidi Ticehurst – Disney
Heidi Tricehurst is the product development associate at The Walt Disney Company, having joined the firm two years ago after studying at the University of the West of England. But during her Creative Product Design Degree she worked for Disney as a freelance junior designer, demonstrating her commitment to getting solid work experience whilst studying.
She received some very complimentary comments from licensees, with one offering: Heidi has a very professional approach and we feel she is an invaluable member of the Disney product approvals team. She has great enthusiasm for [our] brand and has been instrumental in bringing [it] to market.”
George Birtchnell – TLC
George Birtchnell joined TLC as an intern just three years ago and has since demonstrated his commitment to the firm, as well as his abilities, rising through the ranks to become brand and product approvals executive.
Another popular member of the industry, considering the nominations he received, he has also received a number of plaudits from his peers.
“His defining feature is that nothing is a problem and he will always go the extra mile,” said one colleague. “Most people say it but rarely to people do.
“He's shown himself to be adaptable, a fast learner, eager, committed, calm under pressure, fast paced and extremely capable. He's still young but displays maturity and I'd love our more experienced people in our business to sit up and take note.”
The Licensing.biz People Awards take place on Thursday April 29th at Sway Bar, London.
Tickets are priced at just £79 and can be purchased by clicking here.