Board Of Directors

Allison Barrows.jpg

Allison Barrows (Chairman)

GANZ

Allison Barrows is the National Director of Sales and Marketing with the Ganz Gift Company, established by Samuel Ganz and sons Jack and Sam in 1950. This privately-held, family company is now headed by the founder's grandson, Howard Ganz, at the corporate headquarters, located in Woodbridge, ON, Canada. Allison has worked for Ganz for the last 14 years and has served on the GHTA Board of Directors for the last two years. Prior to Ganz, Allison worked for The Limited Corporation, as a Store Director and Regional Trainer for five years, after graduating from Appalachian State University, where she was an All-American soccer player.

George Kacic.png

George Kacic (President)

AmericasMart Atlanta

George Kacic, the gift and home furnishings industry leader widely acknowledged as a visionary force in the U.S. wholesale and retail communities, is Executive Vice President of Retail Services at AmericasMart Atlanta. 

Kacic previously served as the President of U.S. operations for Giftcraft, Ltd, the Toronto-based lifestyle home decor and giftware industry leader serving a diverse network of specialty retailers around the world. In his new role, Kacic directs AmericasMart's large and growing retail services operations with a major focus on sustaining and expanding domestic and international retailer and designer presence and enhancing their experience while attending AmericasMart's 14 annual markets and shows.

Kacic's career spans more than 36 years within the home and gift community, including senior sales and business development roles at GANZ and Russ Berrie. His career also reflects long service to the industry through leadership of the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and other prominent trade organizations. Prior to his Giftcraft presidency, Kacic enjoyed a long tenure at GANZ USA, where he served as Vice President for 20 years. Previous positions also include a seven-year engagement with Russ Berrie; five years as President of an independent sales representative firm; and a Vice Presidency with Takara USA, during which he helped establish the Japan-based firm within the U.S. market. 

His industry activities are as deep-rooted as his corporate leadership. He is vice-chairman of the Gift for Life Board, on which he has served since 2011, and has served for nine years on the GHTA Board, during which time he has held the offices of President, Chairman Emeritus and ICON HONORS founding partner. Kacic has received numerous awards from GHTA, including the prestigious Luminary Scholarship Award, which is devoted to the enhancement of leadership and business development skills in young students. His most recent industry honor was conferred in January 2012, when he received Gift for Life's highly respected Chuck Yancy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kacic's extensive knowledge of the retail industry gained through his year of experience will be invaluable to his achieving success as he assumes his responsibilities within AmericasMart.

Lance Hart.jpg

Lance Hart (Vice President)

 DEMDACO

Lance Hart is the president of DEMDACO, a wholesale gift company. DEMDACO’s headquarters are in Leawood, Kansas and their distribution center is in Edgerton, KS. The company has corporate showrooms in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas and a sourcing office in Hong Kong.

Prior to coming to DEMDACO, Lance worked for 18 years in the commercial banking industry at Commerce Bank, including five years as Community Bank President. Lance is a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization). He currently serves on the board of Heartland Business Capitol.

 Lance has a MBA from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.

Lance and his wife Diane have two children and live in Lenexa, KS.

Jackie Moon.jpg

Jackie Moon (Secretary)

Next Step Reps

Jackie has been in the gift industry for more than three decades and is the co-owner of Next Step Reps with her daughter, Kelsey Moon. Opening nearly five years ago, Jackie's was one of the first multi-line showrooms at the World Market Center - Las Vegas, where Next Step Reps focuses on the 3 G's - Garden, Gourmet Entertaining, and General Gift, with fashion/jewelry mixed in for on-trend looks. Jackie believes in the motto "dedicated to your success," and her sales team of 22 spans six western states [CA/NV/AZ/NM/HI/UT]. As a member of the GHTA Board, Jackie hopes to contribute to the ongoing success, achievements, and partnering of vendors, reps and retailers in our industry. 

Michael+Nieves.jpg

Michael Nieves (Treasurer)

Paladone

Michael Nieves is vice president of Paladone USA.  He joined the London-based company in 2014 to establish a U.S. division. In this short time period, Paladone has developed a strong U.S. presence as a result of his leadership.  Paladone Products is the UK’s leading gift supply company with established licensor partnerships and exclusive brands.  Michael’s career in the gift industry began in 2006 and he was formerly the director of sales at DCI.  Prior to entering the gift industry, he worked in advertising sales at radio stations in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.  He has been a GHTA member since 2011.  Michael received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from St. Bonaventure University.

Nicholas Vafakas

and!Sales

Nicholas is the Director of Marketing & Sales with AND! Sales Inc. in Chicago, IL.  He grew up in the Gift & Home industry, but after obtaining a degree in Marketing Management & Business Entrepreneurship from Northwood University in Michigan, he started in sales with Pacific Rim.

His business experiences include advertising, recruiting, management and B2B sales, allowing him to have a unique perspective of business and operations and team development.

 He is an advocate for streamlining process and modernization and above all strategic service.  He is advocate of developing the industry beyond his business and is always searching for open lines of honest communications as we all gear up for another level of growth and success.

John Toler

Evergreen Enterprises

John started his career in the gift industry,  by working for his family’s Midwest based sales agency – Toler Marketing - in 1996. Early on in his career, John moved to the vendor side of the business, working with New Creative Enterprises & Cape Craftsmen, before becoming the Vice President of Sales at Evergreen Enterprises in 2005.  In addition to running the sales efforts at Evergreen, John also ran the operations for the company (2010 – 2015) before assuming the presidency in 2015. John has a Bachelor of Science from St. Norbert College and an MBA from St. Louis University.

Angela Schmook Headshot.png

Angela Schmook

Road Runners, LLC

Angela Schmook has over 25 years of experience in management, sales, and marketing.  Her gift industry career began as an independent territory sales rep in Central Florida.  In 2010, she joined Road Runners as a Regional Sales Manager. Currently, Angela serves as Road Runners’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing. 

Terence Morris.jpg

Terence Morris

Las Vegas Market/IMC

Terence Morris is a 20+ year veteran of  the GIFT Industry. His start in the business came in the mid 80’s as a Key Accounts Executive for California Marketing Associates in Los Angeles.

Terence was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn. And studied at The University of Memphis.

His tenure in the Industry has included positions with the California Gift Show as GM/VP and Senior Vice President of the Atlanta Gift Mart.

Terence currently holds the position of Senior Vice President of GIFT Leasing and Tradeshows for International Market Centers- IMC Las Vegas.

His mission with this board as well as in the Industry is to find ways to introduce and create more diversity.

Julia-1.jpg

Julia Higgins

Corkcicle

Julia is the Director of US Sales for Corkcicle and has been working with reps and retailers in the gift industry for more than 15 years. Corkcicle creates award winning and innovative hydration and barware products. Prior to joining Corkcicle in the summer of 2016, she spent four years as the Sales Manager of the tween line Iscream and seven years with accessories and apparel company Bamboo Trading. Julia also serves on the board of the Gift Sales Managers Associate (GSMA). She developed her passion for the gift industry doing merchandising and sales in the 225 Unlimited Atlanta showroom while working on her undergraduate degrees and a Masters in Management at the University of Florida.

Robin Kert

Southeast Marketing

Robin Kert is President of Southeast Marketing, a 32-year-old rep agency, with a 14,000 sq. ft. showroom in Atlanta and an administrative office in southern Florida.  Born in Toronto, Robin graduated with an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University, Ontario Canada. Recruited by General Foods Canada as a product manager in the coffee division [she managed Sanka ground coffee and Brim. Remember the advertising campaign“fill it to the brim”? If any of this makes sense we know how old you are!]  After several years in the corporate world, the entrepreneurial spirit took over. In 1983, through a friend of a friend, she was offered a major line in the Southeast of the US. She jumped at the opportunity to manage her own business, relocated, and blindly entered the wonderful world of repping and the gift industry.

In her spare time, Robin is an outdoor athlete. Cycling is her current passion, with skiing and hiking filling in the gaps. She has two sons, a lovely husband and a high strung, golden doodle that is an outdoor athlete like her mom. 

Meg Gilmore Anne McGilvray Headshot Photography 2015-086.jpg

Meg Gilmore

Anne McGilvray & Co.

Meg is Vice President of Sales & Marketing for the privately-held and family owned Anne McGilvray & Company Dallas, TX.  Initially hired as a territory sales representative in 1998, Meg has enjoyed a career at AMCI that has spanned nearly 20 years.  Prior to AMCI, Gilmore grew-up working in her family owned gift store located in Long Grove, Illinois where she gained a passion for the industry.

AMCI currently has over 100 sales representatives managing 29 states with six showrooms (Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Seattle) and they represent 125 vendors.

Meg has been married for 25 years to her husband Ron and together they have two children (Kaley & Korey).

Kelly Shiley.jpeg

Kelly Shiley

Mary Square

Kelly Shiley is the CEO of Mary Square. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and three children. She started Mary Square in her kitchen, while battling severe post-partum depression. In just five short years, she has grown the company into a multi-million dollar business. Kelly’s favorite hobbies are running, yoga, and watching movies with her family.