Nov 9, 2021
Gift for Life welcomes two new board members

Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home decor industries’ sole national charitable organization, announced that Emalee Hoffman of Studio Oh! and Meg Estevez of Emerald Expositions/NY NOW, have joined its board of directors.

Emalee Hoffman
Emalee Hoffman

Emalee 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 Studio Oh! in 2014. Emalee worked her way from a role in customer service to Vice President of Sales.

“We are excited to welcome Emalee to the team,” said Cole Daugherty, chair of the Gift for Life Board. “Her industry experience, can-do attitude and passion for helping others will be a great asset to the board and our fundraising efforts.”

“As I’ve learned about Gift for Life, I’m proud that they are a part of our industry,” said, Emalee. “Living in downtown L.A. and then Venice, CA, and personally witnessing the homeless crisis, I feel now more than ever, that there is a need for Gift for Life and their fundraising for World Central Kitchen. I look forward to doing my part.”

Meg Estevez
Meg Estevez

Meg Estevez is a marketing professional with over two decades of experience in multi-channel marketing strategy management and serves as Vice President of Marketing at Emerald Expositions. Her previous work experience includes serving as VP/Corporate Director of Marketing at NewBay Media.

Estevez rejoins the board following the departure of Tim Hart, Senior Vice President of the Retail Group at Emerald Expositions/ NY NOW.

“NY NOW has been a long-time supporter of Gift for Life, and we are delighted to have Meg’s return to the board, said Cole Daugherty. “Her knowledge and past experience with Gift for Life will further our fundraising efforts for World Central Kitchen and other important initiatives.”

“It’s a privilege to be partnering again with this exceptional group of industry leaders on the Gift for Life Board,” said Meg. “I look forward to supporting the efforts of this incredible charity organization.”

Gift for Life is run by a volunteer board comprised of industry leaders representing market centers, media, sales agencies, manufacturers and suppliers of other industry services. Current Gift for Life board members are: Ari Lowenstein of Brandwise (Vice Chair); Cathy Steel of Steel Associates; Cole Daugherty of Dallas Market Center Chair); Doug Self of JDouglas; Emalee Hoffman of Studio Oh!; Frank Joens; Jessica Barile of Paddywax; Julie McCallum of Great American Media/Gift Shop Plus; Kim Wahlberg of Kimberly Wahlberg Company; Kristi Forbes of 41 Madison; Lenise Willis of Gifts & Decorative Accessories; Matt Katzenson of Fine Lines; Meg Estevez of Emerald Expositions/NY NOW; Monica Loving of Ivystone; Nancy Michael of International Housewares Association; Peter Schauben of Appelman Schauben; Russ Jones of Ivystone; Sarah Mount of Juniper by IMC; and Sheila Charton of Springboard Futures.

With COVID-19 temporarily causing cancelation of in-person events at industry markets, Gift for Life has pivoted towards online digital events, with a specific emphasis on COVID-related hunger relief. With industry support, Gift for Life has raised nearly $100,000 for crisis-related hunger relief in 2021.  Gift for Life fundraising will continue to support World Central Kitchen through 2022.

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond. In 2020, with COVID-19 straining traditional food security safety nets like school feeding programs, city services and food banks, WCK pivoted to safely distribute individually packaged, fresh meals in communities that need support and launched the Restaurants for the People program to scale nationwide. This program meets critical needs on two fronts: buying meals directly from restaurants and delivering them to Americans who need help. To date, the program has worked with 2,500 restaurants to serve over 12 million restaurant meals and have disbursed more than $135 million dollars directly to restaurants owners in 400 cities across 35 states. For information, visit

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