Gift for Life Adds Four Members to Board of Directors

The charitable organization for AIDS announced that industry veterans Doug Self, Russ Jones, Deb Swisher, and Chad Howard have joined its board of directors
July 12, 2017Alyson Cohen

Gift For LifeNEW YORK— Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home decor industries’ charitable organization for AIDS announced that industry veterans Doug Self, Russ Jones, Deb Swisher, and Chad Howard have joined its board of directors.

"These new board members are true industry leaders with a wealth of talent," said George Kacic, chair of the Gift for Life Board. "We are honored to welcome them and to put them to work at industry events across the U.S., spreading the word and raising funds in support of Gift for Life’s critical mission."

Gift for Life unifies the gift and home industries against AIDS raising more than $5 million since its inception in 1992. In 2008, Gift for Life selected Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA), one of the largest founders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S., as its sole charity partner. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide more than $42 million to hundreds of AIDS organizations nationwide. Click here for more information about Gift for Life and DIFFA.

Doug Self is Founder and President of JDouglas. He currently serves on the AmericasMart Advisory Board and is a member of Accessories Resource Team (ART). In 2016, he was awarded the GHTA/Gift for Life Honor of Excellence at ICON Honors.

Russ Jones is Luxe Home & Hospitality Representative for Ivystone. Jones had a successful career in showbiz as a singer/dancer on Broadway before he opened and ran a gift store called Flights of Fancy for 10 years on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Russ has worked with Ivystone for the last 12 years as a home & hospitality sales representative.

Deb Swisher serves Creative Co-op as National Sales Manager of the Bloomingville brand, one of the top decorative accessory brands in the European market now expanding into the U.S. market. In 2012, she became director of sales at Langley Empire Candle pioneering the Boulevard Brand and starting the Hallmark Exclusive brand Crafter’s and CO.

Chad Howard is vice president of strategic partnerships for Sanger & Eby. He spent seven years leading business development and public relations for luxury online and catalog retailer Frontgate where he built partnerships with brands like Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Lexus, Net Jets, FIJI Water & Hearst Publications. Howard says, "It’s truly an honor to be included among such a dynamic board of talented and passionate leaders in our industry. I’m very excited to roll my sleeves up and start work hard to raise awareness around our cause."

Alyson CohenaAlyson Cohen | Contributing Editor

Alyson Cohen is a senior honors student at Rutgers University who has joined HFN this summer as an editorial intern.

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