March 21, 2023
Gift for Life welcomes new board leadership
Gift for Life, a national charitable organization in the gift, stationery and home décor industries, named new leadership for its board of directors, with Ari Lowenstein of Emergent Workshop serving as chair through 2025.
Along with the election of a new chair, Gift for Life also instituted a change to its vice chair role, splitting the current duties into two positions. Board member Sarah Mount of International Market Centers (IMC) was elected as first vice chair, and Emalee Hoffman of Orange Circle Studio/Studio Oh! was elected as second vice chair.
After serving as the Gift For Life Chair for the past two years, Cole Daugherty of Dallas Market Center steps into the role of immediate past chair.
Lowenstein has been involved in the gift industry internationally since 1997. After owning a gift company in Italy for 12 years, he moved back to the U.S. and worked as business development manager for Clear Solutions and The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. In 2014, Lowenstein co-founded Canopy, one of the first seller-account-management companies guiding the presence of many businesses on Amazon. In 2016, he founded Emergent Workshop, a consulting company advising manufacturers and service providers. In 2019, Lowenstein joined Brandwise, serving as chief strategy officer and then as SVP of corporate development at MarketTime. He has served on the executive board of the Museum Store Association and as president of the Gift Sales Managers Association. While staying engaged with the gift industry, earlier this year Lowenstein opened Ari’s Pantry, a catering company in Dallas, to fulfill his passion for cooking. Lowenstein joined the Gift for Life board in 2017, becoming vice chair in 2021 and chair in 2023.
“I am honored to serve as the chair of Gift for Life and to be surrounded by an extraordinary board of directors,” Lowenstein said. “Each of them is a leader in their organizations and represents that which is truly special about our industry. I welcome the opportunity to work alongside Sarah and Emalee and the other board members to continue finding new ways to help others. The history of Gift for Life over the past 31 years is remarkable. So much work has been done by so many. Continuing that tradition, while preparing for the future, is our goal.”
As vice president of content and digital marketing at IMC, Mount leads a creative and digital team focused on engaging buyers and sellers across its physical markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas and High Point, North Carolina. Prior to this role, she led the marketing team for Juniper by IMC. Mount’s gift and home industry experience spans 15-plus years, including six years as vice president of marketing at AmericasMart Atlanta, leading all marketing communications strategy, branding and events for its markets and daily business. She was named as one of Gift Shop´® Plus’ 40 under 40 Class of 2019. Mount joined the Gift For Life board in 2021 and was elected first vice chair in 2023.
“I am honored to assume this role in 2023 with the goal of uniting our industry to support the good work of World Central Kitchen across the globe,” Mount said. “My involvement to date with Gift for Life has shown me how empathetic and generous our industry is, and I’m looking forward to doing great things together this year.”
Hoffman has been a part of the gift and home industry for more than a decade. She began her career as a buyer in 2009, joining Orange Circle Studio/Studio Oh! in 2014, ultimately working her way from a role in customer service to vice president of sales. She’s also a member of Gift & Home Trade Association and is working on the 2023 content committee. Hoffman joined the Gift For Life board in 2021 and was elected second vice chair in 2023.
“Being part of Gift for Life, this past year has truly been a highlight, and I look forward to being 2nd Vice Chair,” said, Emalee. “The work World Central Kitchen does is incredible! I am honored to be part of the GFL team to help fundraise for such a great organization.”