About Us


Gift for Life was founded in 1992 by a small group of gift industry professionals responding to the tragic loss of friends and colleagues as a result of AIDS. Since then, Gift for Life has raised more than $5M for AIDS research and education, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. In 2008, Gift for Life selected DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S., as its sole charity partner.


Proceeds from Gift for Life fundraising go directly to DIFFA and donations are tax deductible. Gift for Life takes a three-pronged approach to raising funds:

  • Party for Life annual fundraiser, which features industry awards and silent auction.
  • Industry events held in connection with trade shows across the U.S.
  • Cause Marketing, which allows manufacturers to become involved with product or line donations.
Gift For Life is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors who donate time, energy and resources to help unite the gift and home industries against AIDS. Photo: Gift for Life’s Board of Directors at the 2016 Party for Life.
Proceeds from Gift for Life fundraising go directly to DIFFA and donations are tax deductible. In 2016, DIFFA National granted more than $333,000 to 26 organizations providing treatment, education, prevention and advocacy.

Board of Directors


George Kacic

(Chair) AmericasMart
(Vice Chair)

Matt Katzenson

(Vice Chair)   Fine Lines Company


Jump To Letter:

Ari Lowenstein

Emergent Workshop

Cathy Steel

Steel Associates

Cole Daugherty

Dallas Market Center

Deb Swisher


Doug Self


Esther Ossei-Anto

Las Vegas Market

Frank Joens

L.A. Mart

George Kacic


Jessica Barile


Jill Sands

The Trend Forecaster

John Stuttard

Emerald Expositions

Julie McCallum

Gift Shop magazine

Kim Wahlberg

Kimberly Wahlberg Company

Kimberly Baker

Webmaster, Great American Media Services

Lenise Willis

Gifts & Decorative Accessories

Matt Katzenson

Fine Lines

Matt McCallum

Great American Media Services

Michael Turnbull

AMC Inc.

Michelle Manningham

Texi Boots LLC

Monica Loving


Nancy Michael

International Housewares Association

Peter Schauben

Appelman Schauben

Russ Jones


Sheila Charton

International Council of Shopping Centers

Teddy Pekalski


Terence Morris

International Market Center