As Licensing Expo Virtual kicks off, Licensing International has unveiled the recipients of 2020′s International Rising Stars Award. These six young professionals were selected for their leadership potential and proven innovation in their area of expertise.
The Rising Stars will participate in a panel and be recognized at the digital Licensing Excellence Awards. The panel will be moderated by Ivonne Feliciano, director of business development and marketing at Beanstalk (and a previous Rising Star), and will take place at 5 p.m. EDT tomorrow.
This year’s Rising Stars recipients include:
Krystyna Braxton (pictured, bottom middle), apparel licensing manager for NFL Players Inc., who is based in Washington, D.C. and manages all relationships and business objectives for more than 20 apparel licensees for the NFL Players Association’s for-profit licensing and marketing arm.
RockLove CEO and designer Allison Cimino (pictured, top left) started her accessories line in 2017. New York-based Cimino partnered with CBS in 2014 to create a range of Star Trek jewellery and has since expanded to work with multiple franchises.
Carolina Garcia Souza (pictured, top middle) is the senior category manager for stationery, home and FHBP for Cinecolor Colombia, representative of The Walt Disney Company. Based in Colombia, she joined Cinecolor in June 2020 and was selected as a 2020 Rising Star under her previous role as senior account manager of Universal Studios for Tycoon Colombia.
Tencent’s video commercialization center licensing director Gao Qiang (pictured, top right) handles IP licensing management for animation, variety shows, TV dramas and documentaries. Based in Beijing, Qiang has worked for several years to develop China’s licensing industry through talent training, serving as a guest speaker and juror at industry events and participating in the Super IP ecological conference Lemon Awards.
Hannah Stevens (pictured, bottom right), senior commercial manager and head of retail for The Point.1888, joined the licensing industry straight out of university. Based in the UK, Stevens is also involved in recruiting and inspiring new talent into the industry.
Crunchyroll’s San Francisco-based licensing manager Louis Yenik (pictured, bottom left) leads a team overseeing merchandise approvals and manages more than 2,500 product submissions each year. Since joining Crunchyroll, Yenik has streamlined the approvals process in an effort to better serve partners and the anime community.
This year’s Rising Stars were selected by a committee of industry professionals from five different countries led by Licensing International’s Sharon Weisman. They will receive a year of mentoring with a licensing professional, access to Licensing International events throughout the year as well as access to its Coursework in Licensing Studies program.
The virtual Licensing Excellence Awards will be held at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday. In addition to the Rising Stars Award, the Licensing Excellence Awards feature 175 nominees across 23 categories. Nominees were selected from more than 600 submissions from 20 countries, and were judged by a global panel of 150 licensing experts.
Licensing Expo Virtual takes place this week, and will include online keynotes, seminars, matchmaking, networking and an exhibition.