DALLAS — Two industry technology pioneers have been named the 2023 Industry Achievement Award winners by Gift for Life.
Todd and Jannetta Litzman were recognized as this year’s winners of the award at the 72nd annual Retailer Excellence Awards on June 21 in Dallas. Gift for Life’s Industry Achievement Award, which has been presented at Gifts & Decorative Accessories’ REA event since 2009, recognizes overall excellence and contribution to the gift and home industry as a thought leader, standard-bearer, or overall industry influencer.
“Jannetta and Todd Litzman have served our industries for more than 25 years and pioneered much of the technological innovations that form the foundation of our wholesale ecosystem today,” said Ari Lowenstein, Gift for Life board chair, who presented the award to the Litzmans along with Gift for Life founder, Peter Schauben. “Sales agencies, reps, brands, buyers, and service providers alike have benefited from their continuous and dedicated engagement. Gift for Life is proud to honor them with this prestigious award.”
Retailer Excellence Awards fundraising celebrating the Litzmans as Gift for Life’s 2023 honoree has topped $15,500 for World Central Kitchen, a crisis-related hunger relief agency. Contributors include Blue Q, Creative Co-Op, Darrah & Co., Eller Enterprises, Fieldstone Marketing, Fine Lines J. Douglas, J Grob Associates, Main Street Reps, MarketTime, Next Step Reps, Sales Producers, Sugar B, Taylors, Terry Moore & Associates, Schauben & Co., and many others. Donations in Warren’s honor will be accepted through July 10 at https://donate.wck.org/REA2023.
The 2023 Retailer Excellence Awards recognized winners in seven retail categories, as well as special distinctions for Sales Representative of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year. Details and a full listing of winners are available at https://www.retailerexcellenceawards.com/.
Gift for Life was founded in 1992 by a small group of gift industry professionals responding to the tragic loss of friends and colleagues because of AIDS. Since then, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6M for AIDS research and education, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment with charity partners AmfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) (1992-2007) and DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (2008-2020). In 2021, with COVID-19 temporarily causing cancelation of in-person events at industry markets, Gift for Life pivoted towards online digital events with a specific emphasis on COVID-related hunger relief. In 2023, the all-volunteer organization will continue to support programs that address hunger relief. More information is available at www.facebook.com/giftforlife.
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 has disbursed more than $135 million dollars directly to restaurants owners in 400 cities across 35 states. For information, visit www.wck.org.