Licensing International welcomes 2020 Young Professionals Network Committee

Licensing International welcomed its newest members of the 2020 Young Professionals Network Committee at its UK Winter Warmer event at the Ivy Club in London last week.

The event unveiled its four new members, while honouring its outgoing members of the 2019 committee with a party sponsored by HKTDC and Flowhaven.

The Young Professionals Networking committee is responsible for organising events and opportunities throughout the year specifically designed for professionals at the early stages of their licensing career.

The new 2020 YPN committee will be chaired by Licensing International UK’s marketing and operations manager, Ryan Beaird and include Samuel Byard,  product development manager at SEGA Europe, Karina Rhoden, junior category manager at Smiley Company, Laura Lane, founder of My Icon Story and Licensing International’s 2019 UK Rising Star, and Abbie Burrows, licensing coordinator at NBCUniversal.

The 2019 committee organised a series of successful events throughout the year, including a Retail Speed Networking event in the summer at Coca Cola’s London office and later in the year a Heritage Licensing Presentation at the V&A museum which included a VIP Christian Dior Exhibition viewing for the young professionals. 

Samuel Byard, SEGA
Laura Lane, My Icon Story
Abbie Burrows, NBCUniversal
Karina Rhoden, Smiley

Outgoing committee members Tasmyn Knight, Alexandra Salisbury, and Louisa Skevington took a moment to offer insights into their individual involvement in this year’s committee and what they got out of it.

Knight, said: “Being part of the first Young Professionals committee has been a marvellous experience. Our goal from the off was to launch events which we believed would benefit the youth of the industry, provide valuable insights people could take lessons from and integrate into their daily work lives, which I believe we have achieved.

“The opportunity to hear from the ‘Licensing Legends’ was a particular highlight as to how the industry has changed over the years, which as someone relatively new to the industry, you can absorb immense insights from (and also how much people love this industry). Additionally, as the industry is increasingly looking toward engaging the digital age and influencers, the opportunity to organise and host an event with SuperAwesome, was something that was first for me and I won’t forget.”

Rocket Licensing’s Louisa Skevington, added: “Being part of the YPN Committee this year has been a wonderful opportunity. We have been able to put on varied events at some fantastic venues and heard from some real experts in the industry, while getting to know a lovely group of young professionals. It was particularly special to be able to hold our heritage & lifestyle-focused summer event at the V&A where we heard about the museum’s retail and licensing programs and even got the chance to enjoy the sold-out Christian Dior exhibition. I look forward to seeing what the new committee will plan for 2020.”

Alexandra Salisbury, from Viacom, noted: “It has been a fantastic opportunity being part of the YPN committee – I’ve made new friends and connections from across the industry and have loved working alongside Tas, Louisa and Ryan.

“I’m particularly proud of the retail speedy mentoring event, which gave young professionals the chance to chat to and gain vital insights from experienced buyers that they might not otherwise have access to – the feedback was incredibly positive and I’d love to see this repeated in 2020! Best of luck to the new committee, I have no doubts that they’ll do a fabulous job.”

Licensing International’s Beaird, concluded: “I would like to say thanks to the outgoing committee for all their hard work and am looking forward to growing the program further in 2020 with Sam, Karina, Abbie and Laura. We intend on putting on more events and building on this year’s programme.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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