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Goldstar Names New Global Leader Amid Restructuring

10 Jun 2024 9:49 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

Goldstar (PPAI 114031, Platinum) – the No. 16 supplier in the 2024 PPAI 100 – has announced that Heather Smartt has taken over as global leader of the San Diego-based firm.

Howard Cubberly, who joined Goldstar a decade ago and has served as global general manager since 2019, is departing the company. PPAI Media has learned that Goldstar is going through a corporate restructuring.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to continue with the amazing work Howard did in his time here at Goldstar,” Smartt says. “We have a great foundation, and I’m looking forward to enhancing our services and bringing more social and environmental awareness across the company as we continue global expansion, commitments to Simplicity and our line of products ‘Made Better.’”

Cubberly’s Impact

Cubberly tells PPAI Media that it was a great 10 years growing Goldstar with an amazing team.

“It’s a good time to pass the reins as we’ve recently reached a point in scaling the business quickly, where it will take a next level of investment in people, service levels and digital transformation,” he says. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Goldstar will continue to expand its supplier position in the industry under the new leadership.”

Under his leadership, Goldstar developed new product categories, expanded throughout North America and Europe, received multiple awards and launched its Simplicity campaign, which signifies the company's commitment to simple pricing and an easy-to-work-with business culture.

“We’re deeply grateful for Howard's vision and leadership, which was foundational to our success over the past decade. His commitment to fostering a great team environment, vibrant brand and entrepreneurial spirit is engrained into our legacy. He’ll be deeply missed but wish him nothing but the very best in his future endeavors,” Goldstar’s management team said in a joint statement.

"Thank you, Howard, for your time with Goldstar," says Charles Duggan, MAS, Goldstar's vice president of sales, North America. "As we grow to the next level, we're excited to have Heather leading us into the future and driving the mission of Global Simplicity."

Smartt’s Background

Joining Goldstar in October as global director of merchandising, product development and sustainability, Smartt’s talent for bridging the North American and European markets has been a key driver in the company’s global product expansion, Goldstar said.

An 18-year veteran of the promotional products industry, Smartt rose through the ranks of Polyconcept, eventually becoming director of category management at PCNA – the No. 3 supplier in the PPAI 100

  • Before joining Goldstar in 2023, she previously served as global director of product development at National Pen.

Sustainability Efforts

A supplier of writing instruments, drinkware and bags, Goldstar has been enhancing its green focus. 

  • In 2023, the company continued its efforts toward FSC, RCS and GRS certifications, with plans to fully achieve those designations this year.
  • It’s also working on testing to provide Scope 3 emissions on all products and digital passports for its premium goods.

Product-wise, Goldstar and its newly formed Green Team introduced 57 new “Made Better” items last year, created with recycled and thoughtfully sourced materials. That included a Coastal Collection made from recycled ocean-bound plastic, released in North America in November and across Europe in February 2024.

More eco-friendly products are ahead, with Goldstar announcing earlier this year a partnership with Ocean Bottle. The company also plans to launch 70 new products in 2024, including 30 “Made Better” designs.

Written by John Corrigan

Published with Permission from PPAI

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