Lionel Quality Electric Trains
Lionel Names Jerry Calabrese Chief Executive Officer
10/07/2004

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COMPANY CONTACT:

Mark Erickson

(586) 949 4100 x1467

Lionel LLC

 

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Hollis Rafkin-Sax

Financial Dynamics

(212) 850-5789

 

 

Lionel Names Jerry Calabrese Chief Executive Officer

 

Chesterfield, MichiganOctober 7, 2004 -- Lionel LLC, the leading marketer of model trains and accessories, today announced that Gerard Calabrese, 56, has been named chief executive officer. 

 

“We’re happy that someone with Jerry’s talent and experience has agreed to join Lionel,” said Greg Feldman, Managing Partner, Wellspring Capital Management LLC.  “Jerry is a dynamic leader with a history of innovative thinking that has helped companies develop new and exciting products and markets.  We believe that his fresh perspectives and operational expertise will propel the venerable Lionel brand to new growth, ensuring that Lionel trains continue to bring happiness to hobbyists for generations to come.”

 

“I’m very excited about coming to Lionel at such an important time in its 100-plus year history,” said Calabrese.  “Lionel is one of the world’s most respected and recognized brands and the unquestioned leader in its core business of model trains.  For more than a century, Lionel has been defined by its ability to create the best and most innovative products, and it’s a tradition I’m very serious about continuing.  I have the greatest respect for hobby based businesses because they depend on the trust and loyalty of the fans that support them.  Anyone who knows me knows that I will take nothing more seriously than the trust our fans have invested in Lionel over the years.”

 

Calabrese is a widely respected marketing innovator in consumer brand development, publishing and entertainment, and sports programming, having worked closely with NASCAR in creating and selling its highly successful 50th Anniversary program, as well as establishing NASCAR’s first marketing effort directed at kids with NASCAR Racers, an animated show on Fox Kids Network. 

 

From 1990 through 1996, Calabrese worked for Marvel Entertainment, serving as head of Marvel’s consumer products division, foreign publishing and licensing and as President of Marvel Comics Group.  During his tenure at Marvel, he oversaw the exploitation of a half dozen popular network and syndicated kids television shows, including the #1 rated  X-Men and Spider-Man, which became the top promotional and licensing properties of their time, solidifying Marvel’s position as one of the world’s premier kids marketing companies. 

 

Lionel LLC is one of the world’s leading marketers of model trains and accessories. Established in 1900, the Lionel name is the most widely recognized brand in the toy train industry and one of the most recognized brands in America. Lionel has been at the center of every major innovation in toy train manufacturing and marketing since its inception.

 

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