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Department 56 names a new president

Enesco, LLC, a leading global designer, producer and marketer of branded giftware, plush toys and home and garden décor, has appointed Molly C. Kinney as president of Department 56, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enesco.

Kinney replaces Susan Azar, who recently resigned her position after 10 years with Department 56. 

“We are very sad that Sue has decided to leave the business but understand and appreciate her desire to spend more time with her family. We thank Sue for the legacy she is leaving us and for all that she has done for Department 56 and Enesco,” said Tom Bowles, CEO. “We are delighted to have Molly join our Enesco team to head Department 56. She brings a very strong and unique skill set including business management, creative design and development, global sourcing, customer relationships and leadership. She has tremendous respect for the heritage of the Department 56 brand, its loyal customers, and the company’s prominent position in the marketplace.”

“Department 56 is a great company led by an incredibly passionate team. I look forward to working with all of our talented artists, merchants and marketers to serve the interests of our outstanding customers and to define and cultivate our continued growth,” added Kinney.

Kinney has more than 20 years of experience in the home and giftware space. She spent a decade at Cole River Co. as the founder and president of a boutique wholesale brand. After successfully exiting Cole River in 2010, she did significant product work for Midwest-CBK, Target and most recently Blu Dot Design and Manufacturing. Prior to establishing Cole River, Kinney served as director of Asia-Pacific Marketing for Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, and for Kamsky Associates in New York, worked in U.S.-China business consulting.

She has a B.A. from Santa Clara University, a master’s in international business and China studies from Columbia University in New York, and completed Chinese language studies at Cheng Kong University in Taiwan.

Enesco’s portfolio of brands includes Department 56 Villages, the Grinch, Peanuts, Disney, Dr. Seuss, Snowbabies, Possible Dreams, Gund Teddy Bears, Sesame Street, Boyd’s Bears and Jim Shore’s Disney Traditions. Enesco distributes its products to a wide variety of specialty card and gift retailers, home décor boutiques, department stores as well as large national chains and direct mail retailers. 

Department 56 is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., and its products can be found in more than 4,000 retail outlets, including gift, specialty, floral, toy, book and department stores. 

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