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Gift for Life Announces Changes to Board of Directors

Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ longest-running, volunteer-led national charitable organization, announced new leadership of its Board of Directors.

DALLAS -- Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ longest-running, volunteer-led national charitable organization, today announced new leadership of its Board of Directors with Sarah Mount of ANDMORE and Emalee Hoffman of CMA Gifts transitioning to Chair and First Vice Chair respectively and Amy Loewenberg of NY NOW at Emerald X elected to Second Vice Chair. Ari Lowenstein, GFL’s chair since 2022, steps into the role of Immediate Past Chair.

In addition to welcoming new Board leadership, Gift for Life also bid a fond farewell to four retiring Board members: Maureen Carpenter of The Queen’s Jewels, Wes Hardin of Diverse Companies, Andrea Padilla of Transpac and Crystal Vilkaitis of Crystal Media. New, incoming Board members will be announced in the coming weeks.

As SVP, Integrated Marketing for ANDMORE, Sarah Mount leads all marketing communications – including digital, creative, events, programming, and content strategy – across its markets in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas. Mount’s gift and home industry experience spans 17+ years, including 6 years as VP of Marketing at AmericasMart Atlanta, leading all strategy, branding and events for its markets and daily business. She was named as one of Gift Shop’s 40 under 40, Class of 2019. Mount joined the GFL Board in 2021 and was elected 1st Vice Chair in 2023.

“Participating in Gift for Life initiatives over the last few years has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career,” said Mount. “As Chair, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve our communities through incredible industry partnership and strength.”

Emalee Hoffman brings 15 years of experience to the gift and home industry. Starting as a buyer in 2009, she spent almost a decade at Orange Circle Studio, , the last three of which were as VP of Sales. In January 2024, she took on the role of VP of Sales for CMA Gifts. Emalee is a member of GHTA and was recognized as its Chad Corzine Young Executive of the Year in 2023. She joined the GFL Board in 2021 and was elected 2nd Vice Chair in 2023.

“My experience with Gift for Life the last three years has truly stood out,” said Hoffman. “I find the impactful work of World Central Kitchen commendable, and it’s a privilege to support GFL’s fundraising endeavors.”

merald X, a leading Gift, Home, and Lifestyle B2B Market. Her 25+ years of experience in the industry ranges from leading successful teams and business development, to retail in the early 2000’s as a buyer for Kate’s Paperie, Blue Tulip and Housing Works. Now she is a leading partner in growing the retailer presence at NY NOW through establishing and developing partnerships with key national and regional industry organizations. Additionally, she is driving engagement by producing and participating in valuable content and conversations through podcasts, webinars, newsletters, social media, advisory boards and speaking engagements.

“I am filled with gratitude as I step into the role of 2nd Vice Chair for the GFL Board,” said Loewenberg. “I'm eager to continue pushing the boundaries, amplifying our causes, building our communities and making a difference. The journey ahead is an exciting one, and I couldn’t be happier to work on it with such a talented and dedicated team of industry professionals.”

The Gift for Life Board is comprised of recognized leaders in the gift, home and stationery industries. Members include: Jessica Barile of Design Works Collective; Kelly Bristol of Just Got 2 Have It; Sheila Charton of Zafferano America; Randa Crisler of The Portico Collection, Inc.; Cole Daugherty of Dallas Market Center; Kate Duff of Claxton Consulting, Emalee Hoffman of CMA Gifts; Angela Jacobson; Russ Jones of Ivystone; Amy Loewenberg of NY NOW at Emerald X; Ari Lowenstein of Emergent Workshop/Ari’s Pantry; Julie McCallum of Gift Shop Plus; Kim Mancuso-Telford of NY NOW; Landon Metts of MarketTime; Sarah Mount of ANDMORE; Peter Schauben of Schauben & Co.; Angela Schmook of Road Runners; Cathy Steel of Steel Associates; and Lenise Willis of Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS. The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers, and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal. Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. In 2021, Gift for Life pivoted towards online digital events with a specific emphasis on supporting World Central Kitchen’s COVID-related hunger relief. Since that time, Gift for Life has led gift and home industry efforts to fund provision of nearly 100,000 hot, nutritious meals to communities impacted by crisis and conflict worldwide. The all-volunteer organization continues to support year-round programs that address hunger relief, as well as annual support for GMHC’s HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and advocacy programs. More information is available at www.giftforlife.org.

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