January 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM EST
Senior Executives Join 2015 Special Olympics World Games to Lead Sales and Development Activities
Shifting into a higher gear on its sales and fundraising activities, LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, announced today the appointments of Brian Erickson as Senior Vice President – Sales and Susan Pollack as Senior Vice President – Development.
Mr. Erickson, a loaned executive from Mattel, Inc. (one of the World Games' Founding Champions), will lead LA2015's efforts to secure corporate partnerships and sponsorships. Ms. Pollack will direct the Games' development and fundraising activities geared to Foundations and individuals. Currently, LA2015 has corporate commitments from such organizations as AEG, Mattel, Kaiser Permanente, Coca-Cola, The Walt Disney Company, Davis Elen Advertising and Deloitte. Additionally, several Los Angeles-area philanthropic Foundations have committed support, as well as such prominent individual donors as David Geffen, and Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw.
Both executives bring years of experience and a long list of achievements to their respective roles:
Mr. Erickson, as Vice President of Sales for Mattel, Inc., was responsible for US toy sales of Mattel and Fisher-Price branded products to both Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, as well as playing an integral role in advertising, promotions, supply chain, P&L management and global strategic planning. His retail teams have been awarded Vendor of the Year seven times by retail giants including WalMart, Toys“R”Us and Sears Holdings. With 23 years in the consumer products industry, Mr. Erickson held executive sales and marketing positions for several companies before joining Mattel in 1996. In addition to Mattel's significant corporate sponsorship of the 2015 World Games and the global Special Olympics movement, Mr. Erickson has had a personal 20-year passionate commitment to Special Olympics as a volunteer, financial supporter and board member. He has been an active volunteer at the Summer and Winter Games for Special Olympics Southern California, and also attended the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece and the 2013 World Games in PyongChang, Korea as part of Team Mattel.
Ms. Pollack brings more than 25 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors developing fundraising strategies for large institutions, local, national and international non-profits and national political figures. Most recently, she was Chief External Relations Officer for the College Success Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing post-secondary education scholarships to high-potential, low-income students. In this role, she directed the Foundation's marketing, communications and government affairs activities, and played an active role in the organization's fundraising program. Ms. Pollack also has served in senior development and fundraising capacities for such organizations as Columbia University's Barnard College, The Ross Institute, Estate of Penny and David McCall and the Peter Pan Children's Fund. Her political experience includes working with U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Texas Governor Ann Richards and Geraldine Ferraro. In the private sector, she held positions with Creative Artists Agency and Esprit de Corp.
Patrick McClenahan, LA2015 President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We made significant strides in 2013 to secure the funding necessary to stage what will be the single largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games, and a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime experience for our Special Olympics athletes, coaches and families. Both Brian and Susan bring a wealth of experience, talent and passion to our team and will be key players as we move even closer to our sponsorship and fundraising goals in 2014. In particular, as it relates to Brian joining LA2015, we want to thank Mattel for yet another demonstration of its commitment to Special Olympics.”
About the 2015 Special Olympics World Games
With 7,000 athletes from 170 countries competing in 25 Olympic-style events, and an Opening Ceremony in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with an anticipated 80,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games (July 25 – August 2, 2015) will be the largest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games and the biggest sports-and-humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015. Honorary Chairs for the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts. LA2015, the Games Organizing Committee, is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more information, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, visit the Games' website at www.LA2015.org.
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