The Board of Directors of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association 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, which will take place during Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.
“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,” says Charles Riotto, president, LIMA. “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.”
Joester, the company’s president and chief executive officer, and Loria, its executive vice president and chief operating officer, have continually broken new ground in the licensing business.
The agency’s achievements include LIMA awards for Jeep as Corporate Brand of the Year in 2004, 2006 and 2008; American Greetings’ Care Bears, which won four LIMA awards, including Best Character Brand of the Year in 2004; Animal Planet as LIMA Corporate Brand of the Year in 2010; and Eric Carle’s Very Hungary Caterpillar, named 2012 Art Brand of the Year.
Joester was the chief architect behind the building of the Jeep brand into a consumer products powerhouse, growing the brand via a diverse quality collection of apparel and accessories, bicycles, juvenile products and luggage. She also is credited with establishing more than 600 dedicated Jeep shops and free-standing stores in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as 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 the digital property, Annoying Orange.
Prior to forming JLG, Joester was president of Hamilton Projects, a Viacom company. She has served on the LIMA Board of Directors and as an officer. A passionate children’s advocate, she serves on the board of Kids in Distressed Situations and founded the 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 groundbreaking retail licensing programs for Parents magazine and South Park, and was instrumental in crafting the re-launch strategy for Hanna Barbera’s classic cartoon archive. 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 JLG, she 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 the Doe Fund and other cancer research foundations.
“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.”