Licensing International welcomes seven new members to its Board of Directors

A raft of seven industry executives has been welcomed to the Licensing International Board of Directors, bringing with them diverse experiences that ‘will help foster the growth and expansion’ of the global licensing industry.

Mad Engine Apparel’s Dean Allen, ViacomCBS Consumer Products’ Veronica Hart, and The Brand Liaison’s Steven Heller join Spirit Halloween and Spencer Gifts’ Holly Rawlinson, Isaac Morris’ Milin Shah, OneTeam Partners’ Malaika Underwood, and WildBrain CPLG’s Maarten Weck to take up their positions on the Board of Directors from July 1st this year.

“I’m pleased to welcome the seven new members of our Board, whose invaluable and diverse experiences will help Licensing International foster the growth and expansion of brand licensing around the world,” said Licensing International president, Maura Regan.

“I’d also like to thank the outgoing members of our Board for their time and dedication – Liza Abrams, Naz Amarchi-Cuevas, Sam Ferguson, Bill Patterson, and Jason Sutton.”

Mad Engine Apparel’s Allen is an industry veteran with more than 20 years in the apparel industry. Having been the company’s chief merchandising officer since 2018, Dean served as executive vice president for the company from 2014 to 2018 overseeing and leading the sales, licensing, production and product development teams. 

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS Consumer Products’ EVP global franchise planning, Veronica Hart leads CP strategic planning, brand positioning and trade marketing executions across key markets for ViacomCBS Consumer Products. Veronica came from CBS, where she built the franchise planning team for Star Trek while running the company’s licensing and consumer products division. Previously, Hart handled licensing at a variety of entertainment companies such as HIT Entertainment, Sesame Workshop, and The Jim Henson Company.

Founder of The Brand Liaison, Steven Heller is a trademark and licensing attorney. Throughout his 30-year career, Heller has been active in all aspects of licensing from launching new brands to representing both brand owners and manufacturers in licensing deals with some of the world’s largest brands. Heller is nicknamed “The Professor,” as he is a renowned public speaker and professor of business and law.

Rawlinson – GM business development, Spirit Halloween & Spencer Gifts, has held executive licensing positions at DreamWorks, Paramount Studios, Mattel, and Pokémon. Winner of “Wonder Woman” and “Licensing Executive of the Year” awards from the Women in Toys association, Rawlinson, in her previous leadership position, oversaw the launch of FanShop, the ecommerce site of NBC-Universal’s movie ticketing division, Fandango.

Milin Shah currently serves as senior vice president and general counsel for Isaac Morris and Culture Fly leading sales, licensing, and new business. Prior to IML and CultureFly, he worked for Earthbound Brands and Bradford License India. In 2015, Milin was awarded by Licensing International as a Rising Star. Milin graduated from Seton Hall Law School with a concentration in IP and Entertainment, and is currently admitted to both New York and New Jersey Bar Associations.

Malaika Underwood – SVP Licensing, OneTeam Partners was recently named one of Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Underwood is Senior Vice President of Licensing at OneTeam Partners where she is tasked with providing oversight for the company’s growing licensing business and positioning the company to deliver value to college athletes as the NCAA landscape changes. Prior to joining OneTeam Partners, Malaika worked for The Brandr Group (TBG), IMG Licensing, and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC).

Finally, Maarten Weck, EVP and managing director, WildBrain CPLG brings more than 20 years of licensing industry experience to his role overseeing global operations for WildBrain CPLG. Formerly WildBrain CPLG’s managing director for Northern Europe, the UK, Nordic, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Benelux territories, Weck has been with the agency for over 13 years.

Rebecca Morris makes return to licensing as client service director with WildBrain CPLG

Rebecca Morris is making her return to WildBrain CPLG, taking up the newly created role of client service director, heading up the rebranded client services unit, previously the business development team, based at the company’s head office in London.

The Client Services team is focused on managing licensor relations, centralising sales and marketing information and streamlining processes between licensors and WildBrain CPLG’s 14 regional offices.

Morris will report to Steve Manners, VP business development at WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Spark. She previously held the position of director of product development and brand assurance at WildBrain CPLG for three years, before stepping away from the industry.

In her new position, Morris will lead a team which includes Gaby Dior, senior client services manager (previously senior business development manager); May Chiem, client services executive (previously business development executive), and the recently appointed Ellie-Rose Cousins who joined earlier this month as client services executive.

Additionally, WildBrain CPLG has promoted Sophie Bloomfield to head of creative services. Previously design manager, Bloomfield has been with WildBrain CPLG for three years and will now lead the creative services team which is responsible for all aspects of the WildBrain CPLG branding, style guide direction and development, trend reports, trade marketing, creative strategy and look books in addition to creative pitches to licensees and retailers.

Bloomfield reports to WildBrain CPLG’s EVP and managing director, Maarten Weck, and works with designers, Yana Maslova, who is based in the company’s Russian office, and Marika Colombo, who is based in the company’s Italian office.

Weck said: “With these latest developments, it’s already shaping up to be a significant 2020 for us as we take important steps to ensure we’re delivering the best possible service for all our partners. We’re delighted to welcome back Rebecca to head up the Client Services team, which has a new name to better reflect its activity, and to promote Sophie to spearhead the invaluable offering of our Creative Services department.”

Morris added: “I’m delighted to return to WildBrain CPLG and I’m very much looking forward to working closely with my fantastic team to ensure we’re identifying and maximising growth opportunities for our partners, while ensuring efficient and streamlined processes for our internal teams across all local territories.”

Bloomfield said: “As we continue to support both our licensors and internal sales and retail teams with creative pitches, style guide direction and trends, I’m very much looking forward to expanding our work across the portfolio and delivering both creative and commercially competitive projects for our partners.

“We’ve got some exciting creative projects in development and I look forward to seeing these come to life over the coming months.”