Our Team

On hand to help

the giftware association

We are on hand for anything you may need from us with a combined experience of the industry we are sure to help you when in need.

Sarah Ward<br>CEO

Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward is the Chief Executive of The Giftware Association. Over the last couple of years, the Jewellery Distribution, British Travel goods & Leather Accessories Associations have also been brought under the GA’s umbrella and Sarah’s leadership. Coming originally from a blue-chip retail background, Sarah then worked at Penny Kennedy where she gained extensive knowledge within the card, wrap and stationery areas of business. Her role at the GA has seen her utilise these skills across a broader environment and we are delighted to now offer her help to everyone from established companies to startups, manufacturers and retailers.

Victoria-Louise<br>Head of Membership

Head of Membership

Vicky is our head of membership and will be your first port of call for anyone looking to join The GA or with any queries about membership. Vicky's background is in membership having previously worked for our sister association the NAJ.

Chris Workman<br>Marketing and PR Manager

Chris Workman
Marketing and PR Manager

Chris Workman heads up all the marketing activity as well being at the forefront of Gift of the Year. Encompassing all our members needs through Social, Blogs and website and more. Coming from a financial background in marketing and understanding the red tape and compliance involved in promotions, Chris then moved to work on the events industry promoting and understanding trade shows in more depth. Chris is skilled across the whole marketing skillset and can pass this knowledge on to our members as well as sharing the GA's acheivements

Current National Committee

Do you need help and support with shopping and logistics, eCommerce, packaging, retail innovations, social media, sustainability, global distribution? Our National Committee consists of a dynamic group of industry experts all of whom, as members of The GA themselves are committed to supporting The GA and its membership with business success and growth. Your access to them makes The GA a special place to be. Expertise and experience at your fingertips.

Louise Welsby<br>Chairman, Buy From

Louise Welsby
Chairman, Buy From

Louise is a creative, commercial marketer with a passion for communication and collaboration. She runs Buy-From®, a creative agency with a difference based in the beautiful county of Shropshire. 20 years of communication have resulted in her leadership of a dynamic team with an unparalleled passion for business communication and growth.

Gert Schyberg<br>Vice Chairman, Sebnini

Gert Schyberg
Vice Chairman, Sebnini

Gert Schyberg is the founder and MD of Sebnini Ltd, a supplier and manufacturer of luxury candles to the gift market, as well as volume private label productions to larger retailers. Gert has extensive experience in the sourcing of products and has gained invaluable knowledge from his many travels throughout Europe and the Far East. Serving on the National Committee is an honour and privilege, and where he hopes to be able to make good use of his many years of experience in the industry.

Mark Jones, Deputy Vice, Gisela Graham

Mark Jones, Deputy Vice, Gisela Graham

Mark is the commercial director as Gisela Graham, a homewares brand that has been around since 1983 and is sold across all 5 continents. Mark has been a member of the National Committee for a number of years offering his expertise across digital marketing, websites, and import and export as well as his knowledge of Trade Shows both in the UK and overseas.

Julie Driscoll, Hyve

Julie Driscoll, Hyve

Julie Driscoll was appointed as Divisional Managing Director for Retail, Manufacturing and Engineering at Hyve Group plc in 2021. Julie brings 20+ years of experience driving growth through building and leading multi-functional global teams within Hyve, Ascential, Emap, WVIP and Highbury House Communications plc. She has a keen eye for processes and operational excellence to achieve stellar international revenue growth across multiple sectors and various media including business intelligence, subscriptions, digital, sponsorship, awards, conferences and international, large-scale exhibitions. Passionate about delivering: shareholder value through uniting key stakeholders behind ambitious high growth omnichannel strategies informed by customer intelligence and delivering to customer needs.
Zoe Bonser, Clarion

Zoe Bonser, Clarion

Zoë has worked in the Events and Exhibition industry for over 18 years for leading publication and events companies such as; Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc, Haymarket Media, i2i Events, Ascential, ITE Group and most recently Clarion Events where she held roles as Show Director for the consumer Baby Shows and now Portfolio Director for the trade Retail division. Zoë has experience of managing UK and international shows in China, India and Europe and has managed teams remotely and travelled extensively with her job. Zoë specialises in sales strategy, brand development, launch and geo clone events, as well as, most recently creating, designing and implementing new digital products in both the consumer and B2B retail space. Zoë is passionate about supporting young talent, coaching and mentoring and in particular empowering women within the work place to fulfil their potential. Having studied Ecological Resource Management at Newcastle University, Zoë is also passionate about the environment and sustainability. Zoë has worked for environmental brands and launched new shows in this space such as The Carbon Show, at Haymarket Media Group.
Clive Briscoe, Apples to Pears

Clive Briscoe, Apples to Pears

Clive is Chairman and co-owner of Apples to Pears who he joined in 2016 after seeing the fabulous range of award-winning gift ideas at the Spring Fair that year. In addition to Apples to Pears and his work with The Giftware Association National Committee, he is the CEO of leading mobility provider Platinum Stairlifts. He is passionate about developing brands and products which are both innovative and inspirational. Clive has first-hand experience of the complexities of sourcing and manufacturing, and understands the challenges that many gift companies are now experiencing as the UK establishes new trading relationships internationally. The importance of effective communication and inspiring teams to work collaboratively is another passion of Clive’s, and he is a strong advocate of leadership programmes such as the Living Leader which have been used to great effect to develop people in companies that Clive has led.
Sangat Chandook, Newcom Distributors

Sangat Chandook, Newcom Distributors

Sangat is the managing Director from Newcom Distributors LTD and brings a wealth of knowledge from the jewellery sector as he has been incorporated into the Giftware Association National Committee from the Jewellery Distributors Association.
Gary Schaffer, Sock Academy

Gary Schaffer, Sock Academy

Gary graduated as a Landscape Architect but soon realised that the business world would offer more challenges, and soon developed a passion for customer service. After roles with American Express Platinum Card, Nortel Networks and management roles with other telecoms companies, Gary became an Executive Consultant for KPMG focussing on private and public sector customer management improvement programmes. Following this he became Head of Customer Service for easyJet PLC and then Vice President of Customer Service for DHL Express. Whilst at DHL, he started Sock Academy with his partner and now runs that business full time as MD. Gary is passionate about customer service, leadership and developing others.
Alex Ryan, Marketing 101

Alex Ryan, Marketing 101

Alex Ryan is a marketer, podcaster and entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in the gift industry. Following his 6-year-role as Head of Marketing at Paladone Alex launched his own marketing agency that would specialise in delivering the fundamentals of marketing strategy and support. He also provides strategy, business development and marketing consultancy and can be heard hosting the Marketing 101 podcast which can be found here. If you would like to engage Alex as a consultant, please visit alexryanuk.com. For Marketing support or access to the Marketing 101 podcast and blog, visit Marketing
Therese Oertenblad, Small Business Collaborative

Therese Oertenblad, Small Business Collaborative

Therese Oertenblad has a background in sales and has worked in the home and gift industry for over 12 years selling to both independent retailers and nationals on the high street as an introvert. Therese helps product-based business owners to grow their sales, increase their profit and develop a strategy for growing their businesses with confidence. She does this through business mentoring and courses. Therese has a real passion for the industry and encouraging small business owners to dare to think bigger to build the businesses they want. She is also the host of a small business podcast called Let’s Talk Shop
Tabi Marsh, Papillio at Heritage

Tabi Marsh, Papillio at Heritage

Tabi caught the retail bug as a Saturday girl. After 6 years in the charity sector she took the plunge and became co-owner of Papilio at Heritage; an award winning gift and coffee shop in Thornbury, nr Bristol. Tabi has been a Gift of the Year Judge since 2016. She has also started the Junior Retailer scheme at Papilio to give 7-11 year olds a taste of retail life. Tabi loves chatting strategy and dreaming up new ideas.

Past Chairman

The Past Chairman of The Giftware Association have been at the helm of change, and have guided the association through some tough waters. The experience from our Chairman within the industry have shaped us to who we are today.

(Fancy Goods Association)

1948-54 E Simons
1954-55 J Hunt
1955-56 B Vangelder
1956-57 F A Grant
1957-58 R A Wolstenholme
1958-59 H Lohnberg
1959-60 L J Hare
1960-61 R E White
1961-62 J L Ouston
1962-63 A Kennedy Wilson
1964-65 R Kaufman

(Gifts And Fancy Goods Association)

1965-66 J G Derricourt
1966-67 L J Benfield
1967-68 S L Davis
1968-70 F M Ball

(The Giftware Association)

1970-72 C H Wilkins
1972-74 L Saunders
1974-76 A J Murrison
1976-78 K M Pearson
1978-80 M Janis
1980-82 R Tresias
1982-84 M V Godfrey
1984-86 S Halstead
1986-88 D J M Simons
1988-90 S J Derricourt
1990-92 A N Leach
1992-94 B V Deacon
1994-96 R Jordan
1996-97 C Chislett
1997-98 D Metcalfe
1998 -00 A P Spiller
2000-02 P Allen
2002 -04 K Entwistle
2004-06 Kate Owen
2006-08 Michael B Grant
2008-10 Michael B Burgess
2010 -12 Michael Sweeney
2012-14 Andrew Illingworth
2014-16 Michael Pape
2016-18 Henri Davis
2018-20 Jeremy Corner
2020-22 – Gert Schyberg

2022 - Louise Welsby