January 25, 2022 – Manhattan Beach, CA-based De Forest Search recently recruited Vienna Downes as the new senior director of licensing and sales at Dr. Suess Enterprises, a children’s entertainment company committed to caretaking Theodor Seuss Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) legacy. As a global entertainment leader, Ms. Downes brings a progressive career in the toy and entertainment space to Dr. Seuss including Warner Bros., Hasbro and MGA. She is regarded as an inspirational charismatic thought leader with a track record of cultivating high-performing teams and orchestrating winning innovative programs, client relationships and compelling strategies to drive sustainable growth.
Ms. Downes’ most recent role was director, toys at WarnerMedia. In this position, she developed and implemented what have been lauded as visionary and strategic category plans, driving long-term growth, revenue, retail presence, consumer engagement and market share. Ms. Downes also launched the award-winning global Harry Potter LEGO program and turned around the global DC Action Figure business after consecutive years of decline. In addition, she integrated omnichannel retail into category planning increasing consumer engagement and retention.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises is a leading children’s entertainment company committed to caretaking Theodor Seuss Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) legacy. Established in 1993 and based in San Diego, CA, the company’s global portfolio complements the roster of iconic Dr. Seuss books, and includes films, TV shows, stage productions, exhibitions, digital media, licensed merchandise, and other strategic partnerships.
De Forest Search is dedicated to recruiting top professionals for positions ranging from manager through the executive vice president level. While the firm is widely known in the toy and entertainment sectors for filling marketing, licensing, branding, sales and design positions, it has grown to include many other industries and types of positions. The recruitment team has served clients ranging from small privately held companies to Fortune 200 companies.
De Forest Search recruited Ron Johnson as the global head of consumer products at Riot Games. Executive recruiters Cheryl Wright and Suzan Rude led the assignment. “Ron brings outstanding expertise and passion for building franchises and we are thrilled to welcome him to Riot,” Jarred Kennedy, global head, IP Businesses at Riot Games, told License Global. “Players and fans are asking for more ways to engage with the characters and worlds of the League of Legends Universe, and Ron is the perfect leader to help us identify and deliver product experiences that will delight fans worldwide.”
Jill De Forest founded De Forest Search over 25 years ago. Under her leadership, the firm has grown into a nationally recognized recruitment firm and has been successful placing thousands of mid-management through senior executive roles in almost every major city in the U.S. The firm serves a variety of industries including lifestyle consumer products and experiences, web and app-based SaaS direct to consumer products and services, and industrial manufacturing.
De Forest Search recently placed Cory Brunwasser as head of marketing at Confidence Drink. Maureen Christiansen led the assignment. “While Cory was not in the market for a new role, he could not pass up an opportunity to make his mark leading the marketing team in the functional beverage space,” De Forest Search said. “It seemed like the perfect next move in his career. Cory’s enthusiasm is infectious, and we can’t wait to see what he does with Confidence Drink. “As a creative leader, storyteller, idea machine, Cory seemed like the ideal match to lead marketing of Confidence Drink as our client had requested Maureen at De Forest Search, to deliver a hyper-creative energetic marketing leader,” the search firm said. Mr. Brunwasser has spent the last nine years creating the brand voice for many CPG companies in the healthy living food space. Previously, he served as senior manager, brand voice and creative strategy at GT’s Living Foods. Before that, he served as copywriter with Quest Nutrition.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media