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Trend Tracking – Key executives from Disney, LF USA, Hasbro, Mattel and Toys“R”Us will give their perspective on “The Future of Entertainment Licensing”

licensing 2010LIMA Announces Heavyweight Lineup for Keynote Panel at Licensing International Expo 2010
April 7, 2010 | Prepared by: LIMA

(New York, NY) April 7, 2010 – Key executives from Disney, LF USA, Hasbro, Mattel and Toys“R”Us will give their perspective on “The Future of Entertainment Licensing” in a keynote panel that will kick off the Licensing International Expo 2010, June 8 -10 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The panel will be held 9 – 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 8 and is free for all show attendees.

The discussion, moderated by Marty Brochstein, LIMA’s Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and Information, will cover current challenges and examine how ongoing changes in the entertainment and retail marketplaces will affect the licensing industry going forward. The panelists will also share their thoughts on what licensees and licensors need to do to adapt in today’s fast-paced business environment.

The following executives will take part in “The Future of Entertainment Licensing” keynote panel:

Rick Darling, President, LF USA – Darling also serves as executive director of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Limited, the world’s leading consumer goods supply-chain management company. He is credited with establishing Li & Fung’s merchandising, marketing and supply chain management services in the U.S. as well as its Supply Chain Management (SCM) program. Prior to Li & Fung, Darling founded Millwork Trading Company, which was in joint venture with Li & Fung for 16 years until Li & Fung acquired it in 1998. Today, Darling drives Li & Fung’s rapidly expanding on-shore model, LF USA, which has become increasingly involved in the licensing business through its ownership of such companies as Kids Headquarters and Briefly Stated. LF USA’s strong design, merchandising and marketing front end combine with Li & Fung’s global sourcing platform to provide proprietary brands, licensed product and private label to major retailers in the U.S. Darling also serves on the board of Fashion Delivers and is Vice Chairman of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

Karen Dodge, Senior VP, Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc. – Dodge oversees all aspects of merchandising U.S. operations, including all Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores and the legendary FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York City, and leads a team of merchants in identifying worldwide product trends and innovations to maintain and strengthen the company’s position as the toy and baby products authority. She is also instrumental in building manufacturer relationships to ensure the best in-stock positions on hot products and negotiate first-to-market opportunities. A distinguished retail veteran, Dodge came to Toys“R”Us in 2007 from Marshall Fields, where she held several senior VP-level merchandising positions over a 30-year period. She is credited with spearheading the initiative to establish Marshall Fields as a fashion destination.

John Frascotti, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hasbro, Inc. – Frascotti is responsible for leading Hasbro’s global marketing and merchandising efforts and growing its deep portfolio of brands, including Transformers, Nerf, Monopoly, Littlest Pet Shop and hundreds of other brands. Before joining Hasbro in 2008, he was Senior Vice President of the Sport Division at Reebok International Ltd. where he managed the company’s largest global business segment. Frascotti began his career at Reebok in 1989 as an attorney and switched over to the product and marketing side of business in 1990. Between 1999 and 2002 he served as President and COO of Myteam.com, a direct marketing company, before returning to Reebok in 2002. Frascotti held several senior executive positions during his tenure at Reebok, including Senior Vice President of the Fitness Division, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Licensing, and Vice President of Global Sports and Entertainment Marketing.

Neil Friedman, President, Mattel Brands – A toy industry icon who helped popularize the pairing of technology and toys more than a decade ago under the Fisher-Price brand, Friedman oversees Mattel Brands, which includes Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price, as well as toys licensed by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and Cars, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Thomas & Friends, Dora the Explorer and many other popular kids’ properties. Under his leadership, Fisher-Price introduced Tickle Me Elmo, one of the most successful launches in toy industry history. Friedman joined Mattel in 1997, following its merger with Tyco Toys and had previously served as President of MCA/Universal Merchandising. He is a former Chairman of LIMA’s board of directors and was inducted into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2004, Friedman was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame by the Toy Industry Association (TIA).

Andy Mooney, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products – Mooney oversees worldwide day-to-day operations of the business unit, which extends the Disney brand into a broad range of merchandise categories, including toys, apparel, home décor, interactive games, food and beverages, electronics, and books and magazines. He and his team have been credited with encouraging product innovation and bolstering the Disney brand by developing strong relationships with many of the world’s largest and most trusted retailers. Mooney was named Chairman in 2003 after having served as President since 1999. Before Disney, he spent 20 years with Nike, ultimately becoming Chief Marketing Officer.

To register for “The Future of Entertainment Licensing” keynote panel, go to www.licensingexpo.com and click on the University tab at the top of the page or call (888) 644-2022.

In addition to the keynote session, LIMA has organized more than 30 seminars for Licensing International Expo 2010. The complete lineup is available at licensingexpo.com.