albertmaslia

The late Albert David Maslia will be named the GHTA/Gift for Life Honor of Excellence recipient at the fifth annual ICON Honors celebration on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Maslia, who at his April 9, 2014 passing was Managing Director of Retail Services for AmericasMart® Atlanta, was a veteran retailer having begun his long career at Rich’s department store, and later going on to found the highly successful Linen Loft and Social Expressions specialty-store chains. The GHTA/ Gift for Life Honor of Excellence is named by independent action of the judges, at their sole discretion and initiation, from the field of Achievement nominees.

“Albert was, and is, an absolutely irreplaceable presence of vitality, energy and optimism,” notes Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of AmericasMart Atlanta, the founder and primary sponsor of ICON. “His imprint on who we are, and what we do as an industry, is unmistakable and indelible.  His life and legacy touches all of us in many, many ways,” Portman adds.

An Atlanta native, Maslia worked at the venerated Rich’s Department Store from 1952 to 1978. He began in the training program as a shoe salesman in the basement and worked through the ranks to become a senior vice president and member of the Board of Directors.

After 26 years at Rich’s, he left to create two well-known and successful local retail chains – Social Expressions and The Linen Loft. After 22 years at Social Expressions growing the business to 14 stores in the metro-Atlanta area and selling the chain to American Greetings.

Maslia moved on to his next venture becoming the Managing Director of Retail Services for AmericasMart, a retail instructor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a consultant for a variety of organizations including American Greetings and the Small Business Administration.

Always committed to assisting and empowering the Atlanta community, Maslia was involved with a variety of associations, boards and committees such as: Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Lenox Square Merchants’ Association, Underground Merchants’ Association, Emory University Business School Alumni Board, Marine Toys for Tots, Congregation Or VeShalom Synagogue, Buckhead Business Association, City of Atlanta Board of Zoning Adjustment, Fulton County Board of Assessors, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Cornerstone Bank of Atlanta.

Part of his legacy to his wife of 60 years, Lucy, his four children Dianne, Elise, Stephanie and Darryl, his 12 grandchildren and great-grandson, was his fervent belief that people are more important than things. Throughout this life and career, Maslia stuck by his ideals and mentored countless friends and colleagues to do the same.

The ICON Honors 2014 celebration is scheduled for Thursday, July 10 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis (please click here for details).  Tickets and tables are on sale here.

 

Gift For Life National Stationery Show AIDS Walk NY 2014

Color us proud.

The Gift For Life/National Stationery Show team raised more than $24,000 for men, women, and families who are living with HIV/AIDS. The team was just shy of its $25,000 goal, but hey…we’re talking big numbers here, folks.

These funds, along with a generous matching grant of $5,000 from DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) will bring the team’s total funds raised for AIDS Walk NY to more than $30,000. At the start of the walk, the Gift For Life/National Stationery Show was ranked 16th among the event’s overall top fundraising teams.

“It was an honor to be tapped as this year’s team leader,” said Su Hilty, team captain. “Living in the city gave me great access to the entire AIDS Walk staff and the GMHC team as well as events leading up to the walk. Those connections helped with this year’s increased fund-raising! Kudos to all!”

More than $10,000 of the team’s total was raised by Gift for Life board member, Matt Katzenson owner of Fine Lines; and the team boasted an additional five “Star Walkers” who each raised more than $1,000 for the event: Marci Bracken of Gift Shop Magazine; Jenny Hammons, Gift for Life board member and owner of Jenny Hammons/Company; Su Hilty, team captain and gift and home industry ambassador; Christophe Rammant of BOLON; and Stu Teller, Gift for Life Chair and co-owner of Right Angle Strategies.

Some 25 team members completed the 10K walk through Central Park and New York’s Upper West Side, and another 5 team members conducted a “virtual” walk through the aisles of the National Stationery Show on Sunday, May 18.

To download the official press release, click here.

 

ParkAve_poster_2011

Remember the big holiday fundraiser in Seattle? Wondering how the numbers shook out? Well, buckle your seatbelts—the news is that good.

The 17th Holiday Sample Sale raised more than $23,000 on behalf of Gift for Life in December and January, featuring products from the Pacific Market Center in Seattle. Since 1992, the sale has raised more than $300,000 for GFL.

Park Avenue Agents of the Pacific Market Center managed the sale of donated gifts, toys, books, home accessories and more, which were available to the public at wholesale prices – with all proceeds going to Gift For Life. Merchandise was donated from many Pacific Market Center wholesale showrooms, independent retailers and manufacturers across the country. Unsold merchandise was donated to local AIDS-related charities such as the Lifelong AIDS Alliance and Seattle Children’s Thrift Shops.

“Thank you to everyone who helped create another wildly successful Seattle Sample Sale,” said Stu Teller, chairman of the Gift for Life Board. “Your generosity and dedication to the cause has generated tremendous financial support.”

To download the official press release, click here.

Vegas

It’s that time again—join us for a fan-tab-u-lous party in glittering Las Vegas!

Monday, July 28, 2014
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Building C, 10th Floor, Space 1052

Las Vegas Market proudly presents its annual Gift for Life charity event during summer market. Join us on 10th floor of Building C, Las Vegas Market’s newest destination for gift and lifestyle products, as we enjoy cocktails, light bites, entertainment, a silent auction, and great friends. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Gift for Life.

Click here to purchase tickets.

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Team GFL/NSS is lacing up their shoes, preparing for their third year in the NY AIDS Walk–the largest AIDS-related fundraising walk in the U.S. To those of you who are pulling on shoes with them, hooray! 

Not everyone can jump in, though—sometimes, real life and work get in the way. That doesn’t mean you can’t help out; we’re still accepting pledges and donations on the GFL/NSS team page. C’mon…flip over there, chip in, and be part of the change.

Who knew it could be so easy to do so much good?

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For the third year in a row, Gift for Life is partnering with the National Stationery Show to participate in the country’s largest AIDS fundraising walk—NY AIDS Walk 2014—to be held May 18, 2014. That doesn’t mean you have to be a member of GFL or attending NSS; virtual walkers are all the rage, allowing those of us who can’t be in Central Park to support the cause from afar.

It’s not too late to sign up (walking or as a virtual walker). Visit the GFL/NSS Team page to get started! As you garner donations, our numbers increase and the impact grows. After all, even a small donation can have a major impact on lives. Lots of lives. Just check out the graphic above.

So….what are you waiting for? Get cracking, folks! We want to make last year’s numbers look like the warm up act.

PrintFor those of you who haven’t yet signed up as part of the GFL/NSS Team raising funds during the NY AIDS Walk:

Q: Where does the money go?
A: The funds raised at AIDS Walk New York 2014 support the services provided by GMHC and more than 40 other AIDS service organizations in the tri-state area.

Q: Is there a minimum I should raise for AIDS Walk New York?
A: AIDS Walk New York does not require walkers to raise a minimum amount of money. However, we encourage everyone to set a fundraising goal and do their best to achieve it. Additionally, fundraising walkers for AIDS Walk New York are eligible for several Fundraising Awards.

Q: What is a Team?
A: Teams are comprised of walkers representing a variety of companies, schools, religious institutions, or organizations in the tri-state area. There are also many friends and family teams that participate, some of whom walk in memory of those they have lost, or to support friends and family living with HIV/AIDS. Teams can range in size from two to more than 500 walkers.

Q: What is a Virtual Walker?
A: A Virtual Walker is someone that is unable to physically be at the event, but would still like to register and fundraise with us – we welcome everyone! On the day of the event, you may choose to wear a red ribbon to show that you stand with the AIDS Walk New York community.

Now…whadaya say we pull together to beat last year’s numbers?

PrintHave you signed up for the NY AIDS Walk yet? Gift for Life and the National Stationery Show have teamed up to make a big splash again, hoping to top last year’s cheer-worthy success.

Here’s the skinny:

Date:
Sunday, May 18, 2014

Time:
8:30 a.m. Sign-In
9:15 a.m. Opening Ceremony Begins
10 a.m. AIDS Walk New York Begins

The Walk usually takes about 2.5 hours to complete.

Sign up for the GFL/NSS Team:
Click here

Location:
The Walk begins and ends in Central Park. Entrance to General Sign-In is located at 59th Street and 5th Avenue.

Length:
10 kilometers/6.2 miles

Maps & Directions:
Click the map to see a full-screen image (printable)

 

Train it:
The N/Q/R 5th Avenue/59th Street stop will bring you closest to the Walk.You can also take the 1/A/C/D to 59thStreet/Columbus Circle and walk east.

Bus it:
Take the M57 or the M5.

If you’re coming from New Jersey, take the PATH to 33rd Street, transfer to the N/Q/R, and take that to 5th Avenue/59th Street.

See you there!

 

rea_2011_logoThat’s right. More good news to share.

We’re tickled pink to announce home accessories manufacturer HomArt will be honored with the Gift For Life Industry Achievement Award during Gifts & Decorative Accessories’ 63rd Annual Retailer Excellence Awards (Sunday, August 17, 2014, in New York). The award recognizes overall excellence and contribution to the gift and home industry.

In 1994, inspired by California living and architecture, Dave Thomas and Kevin Mundt launched HomArt to design hand-finished home accessories that forged a contemporary link with California’s romantic past. With a continued commitment to that original mandate, HomArt has added two other core values: to promote green living and the sustainability of our planet; and to utilize technology to better serve its customers and the Earth.

Today, HomArt’s stylish home product line ranges from candles, lanterns, hurricane lamps, and designer matches to a full assortment of decorative mirrors, vases, and bookends, bottle openers, corkscrews and much more. This exclusive collection of refined yet affordable home accessories is created for everyday use from all-natural, recycled, and new materials, simple and tastefully designed to comfortably mix with any décor. Showcasing the handwork of skilled craftsmen, the HomArt collection evokes the warmth and serenity of a less-hurried era.

“On behalf of Kevin and the entire HomArt family, we are honored to accept this award,” said Dave Thomas, partner. “We are a company focused not only on forward-thinking design and global responsibility, but also inclusiveness and generosity. We humbly thank Gift for Life and Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine.”

“HomArt has successfully balanced sustainability, savvy design, and functionality and has raised the industry bar,” said Stuart Teller, chair of the Gift for Life board. “We are proud to present the 2014 Gift for Life Industry Achievement Award to such an innovative company and its generous founders.”

Hooray for HomArt—we’re happy to cheer your accomplishments!

For info about the REAs, click here.

AIDS-ribbonPlease join us in extended a warm, heartfelt welcome to the newest members of the Gift for Life Board of Directors:

And a fond, very grateful farewell to two women who served GFL well during their tenure, as GFL Board Chairs:

  • Tabitha Bowling
  • Leslie Nathan-Street

If you know the new folks, thank them for stepping up. It’s that kind of commitment that keeps GFL rolling strong.