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GMDC partners with KOTRA on bringing Korean products to U.S. shelves

BY Michael Johnsen
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Global Market Development Center on Thursday partnered with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, a leading Asian trade group, to assist Korean companies and brands with market entry into the United States while leveraging U.S. retail channel opportunities.
 
As part of the partnership, GMDC will share next practices and shopper insights about supply chain growth, retail trends and strategies for connecting these brands with new consumers in the U.S. at KOTRA’s annual business partnership conference April 1 in Los Angeles.
 
“Our industry is rapidly evolving, and GMDC is driving opportunities for members and their customers across the globe by helping them navigate, or as we say, ‘connect, collaborate and create commerce,’" stated Patrick Spear, GMDC president and CEO. "GMDC specializes in helping companies forge a path to retail and successful entry into the marketplace,” he said. “Through this new KOTRA relationship, we are advancing the opportunity for Korean manufacturers to enter into the U.S. space and be strongly competitive.”
 
The conference brings U.S. companies together with nearly 50 Korean companies to showcase exports, investments and technology cooperation. The event will offer a front row seat to the latest Korean products and services through pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, or “corporate speed dates,” a practice that GMDC has long advanced as a key industry differentiator in the marketplace.
 
“We are excited to join with GMDC in exploring retail opportunities and cultivating market growth for Korean companies, especially leveraging the association membership’s success with innovative supply chain distribution methods and the latest trends driving the marketplace,” said Derek Lee, senior executive entertainment and procurement specialist for KOTRA.
 
The partnership was cemented in part by longtime GMDC HBW board member Bruce Worley, president and COO Better Sales and Brand Management Group, who has worked extensively with KOTRA and its membership, and has been instrumental in connecting the GMDC membership with growth, thought leadership and innovative marketplace opportunities.
 
“GMDC is the perfect resource for companies across the globe to discover new frontiers and explore new markets, and this partnership will continue to cultivate growth opportunities in the U.S. and worldwide,” Worley said. “GMDC has been a critical partner for Better Sales and Brand Management Group and our clients. Since first participating more than a decade ago what has always stood out is the dedication to achieve success together – it’s a true retail ecosystem. This is critical not only to my business but the business of our clients.”
 
 
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G.Augustine says:
Apr-01-2016 10:15 am

How can I find out more about the 50 companies (& their products) KOTRA has on this list to showcase? I am interested in the health and cruelty-free aspects of any/ all of these companies & products being brought to consumers.

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Massage Envy adds second Walgreens executive to its team

BY Michael Johnsen
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Massage Envy Wednesday afternoon announced the appointment of former Walgreens veteran Beth Stiller as its new chief commercial officer. Stiller will be responsible for leading Massage Envy's services, retail, innovation and operations teams. 
 
Stiller joins the company from Walgreens where she was the group VP global brands and sourcing.
 
"Beth and I have worked together in our previous roles and I'm excited to have her join the Massage Envy leadership team," stated Joe Magnacca, CEO Massage Envy. "Her proven ability to deliver on strategic initiatives, as well as her vast retail and franchise experience, will be a tremendous asset and complement to the team as we continue to innovate and drive business growth."
 
Stiller has more than 20 years of domestic and international experience in both franchise and corporate environments, with a proven track record in innovating the customer experience, developing product and services, along with strong operational skills. Previously Stiller spent six years at Walgreens/Duane Reade where she led product development, brand management and sourcing activities for a $4.7 billion multi-brand portfolio. She also repositioned five brands via a consumer-led and validated brand development exercise and delivered an integrated strategic plan to drive top line growth and enhanced brand equity.
 
"What a great opportunity to join such an incredible brand that has not only pioneered the convenient and affordable massage and skincare membership space but is now looking to innovate and transform the category once again," Stiller said. "I'm excited to join such a strong and experienced leadership team to help the brand and the franchise network on its next phase of continued growth."
 
Along with Magnacca, Stiller joins Massage Envy's leadership team comprised of Debbie Gonzalez, chief brand officer; George Hines, chief information officer; Melanie Hansen, general counsel; Lee Knowlton, SVP global franchise sales and international; and Greg Esgar, chief financial officer. 
 
Massage Envy believes total body care is an integral part of everyone's well-being journey. Through its innovative membership model, the Massage Envy franchise system enables customers to utilize massage and skincare services as a regular part of their lives rather than as a luxury or only on special occasions. The Massage Envy franchise system has grown to more than 1,100 locations in the United States, and recently surpassed the milestone of delivering more than 100 million massages and facials to its members and guests. 
 
 
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FDA approves Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Defitelio

BY David Salazar
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Defitelio (defibrotide sodium), a first-in-class treatment for a rare, life-threatening liver condition in patients who’ve received a stem cell transplant from blood or bone marrow.  
 
Defitelio is indicated to treat hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD in patients with additional kidney or lung abnormalities that develops after a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCST). The condition causes some veins in the liver to be blocked, reducing blood flow in the liver. The most severe form of hepatic VOD can cause kidney and lung failure. Though only about 2% of HCST patients develop VOD, the mortality rate among those who do is 80%. 
 
“The approval of Defitelio fills a significant need in the transplantation community to treat this rare but frequently fatal complication in patients who receive chemotherapy and HSCT,” said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.  
 
The FDA granted priority review status to Defitelio and it received an orphan drug designation. The injectable drug’s distribution is expected to being within a week. 
 
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