Guiding Stars Expands Team to Support Growth in Business Development, Operations and Information & Systems
Guiding Stars Licensing Co. (GSLC), is pleased to announce the hiring of Betts FitzGerald as Managing Director.
A licensing industry veteran, FitzGerald brings over 30 years of experience to Guiding Stars. Most recently, FitzGerald served as Vice President, Licensing and Marketing at 4 Kids Entertainment, where she worked on several national brands. Previously, she served as Vice President, Licensing at American Greetings handling new business development as well as Senior Vice President, Brand Management responsible for the licensing, marketing and brand development for Lisa Marks Associates. FitzGerald spent over 25 years at The Jim Henson Company, where she was involved in the licensing of the iconic Muppets, Fraggle Rock and Bear in the Big Blue House. FitzGerald holds a BA in Sociology from Denison University.
“Guiding Stars is a ground-breaking nutrition navigation program with tremendous potential to impact and resonate with consumers of all ages in their ongoing quest for healthy living. Additionally, it has the opportunity to make an even broader public impact,” said FitzGerald. “I am thrilled to work with the team to continue the momentum and strengthen the market position of this exciting new branded program.”
In addition to FitzGerald, the following executives round out GSLC’s senior leadership team: John Eldredge, Director of Brand & Business Development, Chip LeBlanc, Director of Operations, and Jim McBride, Director of Information & Systems for GSLC.
John Eldredge came to Guiding Stars Licensing Company in August 2008 with over 25 years of experience in consumer products marketing and management. Prior to Guiding Stars, he served in principal or ownership roles in several early stage companies including Global Health Alternatives and Concordia Partners. He previously worked at Tom’s of Maine where he served as General Manager and Vice President of Marketing, and started his career at General Mills where he worked on national brands such as Betty Crocker and Big G cereals. He holds an AB degree in psychology from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.
Chip LeBlanc leads the operations team as it meets the needs of the Guiding Stars client base. He started at Hannaford Supermarkets 18 years ago in the Accounting Department and has since held several roles before joining the Strategic Information Project in June, 1997. In 2005 he joined Center Store Merchandising leadership as a Category Manager. His categories consistently outpaced the market and achieved all internal budgets and targets. LeBlanc holds a BS in Business Management from Merrimack College.
Jim McBride is one of the founding members of the Guiding Stars program. He has 24 years of experience at Hannaford Supermarkets in areas of investment analysis, sales budgeting/forecasting, site location research, and business information. In his position as Director of Information & Systems for GSLC, McBride designed the proprietary database that maintains the nutritional data for over 60,000 products and works with the Scientific Advisory Panel to analyze results. McBride holds a BS in Forestry/Wildlife and an MBA, both from University of Maine.
About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.
Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious choices by pioneering the first-ever storewide nutrition navigation system. The Guiding Stars program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutritional choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars Licensing Co., based in Scarborough, Maine, creates opportunities for supermarkets, manufacturers, food service providers and other organizations to license the program and make nutritious shopping simple throughout the United States. Guiding Stars is currently in more than 1,400 supermarkets up and down the East Coast including 1,177 Food Lion Stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, 167 Hannaford locations in the Northeast and 108 Sweetbay stores in central and western Florida. Guiding Stars is supported by a 15-person team with significant licensing, marketing, food retail, IT and customer service experience.