The Board of Directors of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) has selected veteran licensing agents Debra Joester and Joanne Loria, co-founding partners of The Joester Loria Group, for induction into the LIMA Licensing Industry Hall of Fame. Joester and Loria will be honored at the annual LIMA Awards Ceremony on June 17, 2014 during the industry’s main event, Licensing Expo 2014, in Las Vegas.
“Only the most accomplished and respected industry professionals are recognized via induction into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame, and both Debra and Joanne are among the most deserving,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “Standout professionals and a powerful duo who together have built an influential and enterprising team, Debra and Joanne have a long and successful history of shaping winning licensing programs for renowned brands and consumer products companies. We are delighted to honor them with this well-deserved recognition.”
“We were excited to learn LIMA has selected us for induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Joester and Loria. “We have been fortunate to work in this dynamic, ever-changing industry that provides exceptional opportunities to work with great brands and talented, passionate individuals. We look forward to a very bright future.”
Joester, the company’s President and CEO, and Loria, its Executive Vice President and COO, are recognized as visionaries who have continually broken new ground in the licensing business, having presided over numerous highly successful, award-winning global brand extensions and breakthrough initiatives for some of the world’s most recognizable brands including Jeep, American Greetings’ Care Bears, Animal Planet and The World of Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Joester’s and Loria’s many accomplishments include strategic brand extensions for food, automotive and media brands, reigniting Care Bears as a multi-billion dollar property, and establishing successful programs for pop culture breakout hits.
Joester was the chief architect behind the building of the Jeep brand into a consumer products powerhouse. She also is credited with instituting a groundbreaking teen licensing program for Beverly Hills 90210. Other notable achievements include the brand extension of Animal Planet to a successful pet product brand and, most recently, merchandising for viral sensation, Annoying Orange. Previous to joining with Loria to form The Joester Loria Group, Joester was President of Hamilton Projects, a Viacom company, where she led various programs, including the licensing success of Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge as well as Dr. Scholl’s, Coppertone, Miller Brewing Company, Hershey’s, Campbell Soup, the United States Postal Service, and entertainment properties Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place and South Park.
Joester has served on the LIMA Board of Directors and as an Association officer. A passionate children’s advocate, she serves on the board of Kids in Distressed Situations and founded Shemesh Joester Foundation in 2007, which is dedicated to supporting children’s charities, and is a key contributor to Friends Without Borders, funding hospitals for children in Cambodia and Laos.
Loria is credited with creating breakthrough licensing programs for Parents magazine and South Park, and was instrumental in crafting the re-launch strategy for Hanna Barbera’s classic cartoon archive. Since co-founding the agency, Loria has led strategic planning and development for PepsiCo North America brands Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, AMP and SoBe; as well as Kellogg’s. She has also been instrumental in the growth of the agency’s food and beverage portfolio with brands such as Johnsonville Foods, Entenmann’s and SoBe. Prior to co-founding Joester Loria Group, Loria was Senior Vice President of Hamilton Projects.
Loria has served on the LIMA Board of Directors and is an active fundraiser for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, LIMA’s charity of choice. She also is a contributor and supporter of several other cancer research foundations and animal rights causes.
Candidates for the LIMA Licensing Hall of Fame are judged based on their impact within the industry as well as their overall integrity and legacy. Nominees must have been actively involved in the licensing business for a minimum of ten years, demonstrating continual and outstanding contributions.