Gift for Life Welcomes Seven New Board Members

May 7, 2024 – Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ longest-running, volunteer-led national charitable organization, today welcomed seven new members to its board of directors: Taylor Brunson of Softies, Lindsay Duncan of Patrick and Company, Carolyn Geremia of Beekman 1802, Colleen Hall of C&F Enterprises, Carlos Llanso of Legacy Publishing, Brittany Rigg of Dallas Market Center and Michelle Sherrier of MC Design Collaboration. 

In addition to welcoming newcomers, Gift for Life also bid a fond farewell to Cole Daugherty of Dallas Market Center who steps down after 18 years as a Board member. Daugherty served as Chair from 2021-2023.

“We are delighted to welcome these new board members to the Gift for Life team,” said chair Sarah Mount. “Each of them brings unique backgrounds, skills and contacts to Gift for Life and I am excited to partner with them to accomplish bigger and better things this year.”

Taylor Brunson

National Sales Manager of Softies

Taylor Brunson began her career as a Fashion Buyer before transitioning to the other side of the house and becoming a B2B Sales Manager. Over the past decade, she has worked with the sales teams at leading manufacturers like Bella Tunno, Alleyoop and Archipelago. Currently, Brunson is leading the Wholesale Department at Softies, a luxury line of sleep and loungewear.

“It’s an honor to join the Gift for Life board and be a part of the incredible impact the team has and continues to make,” said Brunson. “I can’t wait to jump in and help make a difference!”

Lindsay Duncan

Owner & President of Patrick & Company

Since January 2022, Lindsay Duncan has held the position of Owner and President at Patrick & Company, a well-established Dallas Market Center gift showroom. Prior to this role, she created and operated a women’s apparel and accessories brand, and owned a retail store in Dallas, TX. Duncan lives in Dallas with her twin daughters, son and husband, Dusty.

“I am passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” said Duncan. “I believe in the mission and values of Gift for Life and am honored and eager to collaborate with like-minded individuals to drive positive change.”

Carolyn Geremia

Senior Sales Director of Beekman 1802

Carolyn Geremia’s extensive 20+ year tenure in the gift and home industry began as the National Sales Manager with Crabtree & Evelyn, and most recently has found a home as the Senior Sales Director for Beekman 1802. Throughout her career, she has consistently championed her brands within the industry, leveraging her expertise and passion to elevate their presence and impact.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with such an incredibly talented and committed group of industry friends,” said Geremia. “I look forward to working together to support the many Gift for Life activities that make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Colleen Hall

Vice President, Marketing of C&F Enterprises

Colleen Hall is currently serving as the Vice President of Marketing for C&F Enterprises, where she brings a wealth of expertise in both traditional and digital marketing strategies as well as program management. She has been recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 by Gift Shop and Inside Business. Beyond her professional endeavors, Hall is deeply engaged in philanthropy and community service with a passion for animal welfare and nurturing young professionals.

“I’ve been interested in Gift for Life since attending one of the fundraising events years ago,” said Hall. “I set a personal goal to become more involved in the gift and home industry in general, and what better way than to join a group of standout professionals banding together to do good in the world. I look forward to working with and learning from this talented group and know we will accomplish some amazing things in support of the worthy causes supported by Gift for Life.”

Carlos E. Llanso 

CEO of Legacy Publishing

As CEO of Legacy Publishing, Carlos Llanso has grown the Clinton, MA, company into one of the major wall calendar, stationery and greeting card publishers in the United States. Before helping start the family business, he served as an Armor Officer and Imagery Analyst in the US Army. Llanos is currently on the Greeting Card Association Board of Directors. He is married and has three young adult children who he recognizes as his ‘best work to date.’ 

“I am excited to work with fellow gift industry professionals on the amazing work all the GFL volunteers started doing in 1992,” said Llanso. “Continuing the mission to unite every member of our community and focus our collective efforts to love and protect those affected by HIV/AIDS and hunger is a challenge I look forward to rolling my sleeves up for!”

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Brittany Rigg

Director of Leasing for Dallas Market Center

Brittany Rigg joined the Dallas Market Center in 2023 and is currently the Director of Leasing for Gift, Housewares, and Tabletop. With a unique and diverse background that encompasses technology, education and athletics she is equipped with a strong foundation in sales, communications and business development. Rigg is driven by a commitment to supporting others and thrives in a collaborative environment. She has always been drawn to the home and gift industry and as a Texas native, she has found her home at the DMC.

“I’m so excited and humbled to join the Gift for Life board!” exclaimed Rigg. “I am eager to contribute to the impactful work this team has done and to collaborate with such talented and tenured individuals. My heart truly lies in helping others, and I’m thrilled to bring that passion into this role”.

Michelle Sherrier

Owner of MC Design Collaboration & Host of The Retail Whore Podcast

Michelle Sherrier is the owner of MC Design Collaboration, and a retail consultant specializing in visual merchandising. She is also the host of The Retail WhorePodcast, which began as Instagram live interviews with retailers during the pandemic, and now highlights stories and lessons from her 40+ years in the retail industry. From owning three stores at the iconic Fred Segal Santa Monica to heading up visuals in the Santa Monica Anthropologie, she has done just about every job that retail has to offer. Sherrier is a wife, a dog mom to three puggles and is an avid lover of all things visual.

“I am beyond honored to be on the Gift for Life board,” said Sherrier. “My belief is that giving back is the biggest gift you can bestow to another in need. It is our human duty to care for others, even on the smallest level. To be included in this incredible group of humans making a difference is an honor.”

The Gift for Life Board is comprised of 25 recognized leaders in the gift, home and stationery industries. Current members include: Jessica Barile of Design Works Collective; Kelly Bristol of Just Got 2 Have It; Taylor Brunson of Softies; Sheila Charton; Randa Crisler of The Portico Collection, Inc.; Kate Duff of Claxton Consulting; Lindsay Duncan of Patrick & Company; Carolyn Geremia of Beekman 1802; Colleen Hall of C&F Enterprises; Emalee Hoffman of CMA Gifts; Angela Jacobson of AMJ Consulting; Russ Jones of Ivystone; Carlos E. Llanso of Legacy Publishing; Amy Loewenberg of NY NOW at  Emerald X; Ari Lowenstein of Emergent Workshop/Ari’s Pantry; Julie McCallum of Gift Shop Plus; Kim Mancuso-Telford of NY NOW; Landon Metts of MarketTime; Sarah Mount of ANDMORE; Brittany Rigg of Dallas Market Center; Peter Schauben of  Schauben & Co.; Angela Schmook of Road Runners; Michelle Sherrier of MC Design Collaboration and host of The Retail Whore Podcast; Cathy Steel of Steel Associates; and Lenise Willis of Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS. The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers, and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal. Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. In 2021, Gift for Life pivoted towards online digital events with a specific emphasis on supporting World Central Kitchen’s COVID-related hunger relief. Since that time, Gift for Life has led gift and home industry efforts to fund provision of nearly 100,000 hot, nutritious meals to communities impacted by crisis and conflict worldwide. Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ longest-running, volunteer-led, national charitable organization, continues to support year-round programs that address hunger relief, as well as annual support for AIDS Walk NY which benefits GMHC’s HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and advocacy programs. More information is available at

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a nonprofit organization that is first to the frontlines providing fresh meals in response to crises, while working to build resilient food systems with locally led solutions. Applying a model of quick action, leveraging local resources, and adapting in real time, WCK has served more than 300 million nourishing meals around the world. When disaster strikes, WCK’s Relief Team mobilizes with the urgency of now to start cooking and serving meals to people in need. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of local restaurants, food trucks, or emergency kitchens, WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. To support regional economies, WCK prioritizes purchasing local ingredients to cook with or distribute directly to families in need. WCK knows that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope, especially in times of crisis. Learn more at

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