MEMORIAL FOR CAROL SEDESTROM ROSS
GLM Hosts Celebration Planned for Saturday, August 14, at NYC's Javits Center During NYIGF
WHITE PLAINS, NY, June 16, 2010... GLM is hosting a "Celebration of Carol Sedestrom Ross" at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Saturday, August 14, at 6:15pm. Ross, one of the pivotal figures behind the phenomenal growth that has occurred in the American Craft movement during the past 35 years and GLM's emeritus director of craft marketing, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Monday, June 14, in Houston, TX.
The memorial service, which will celebrate her life and her contributions to the American craft movement, will be held at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the opening day of the summer 2010 New York International Gift Fair. In working with GLM to develop the memorial service, her husband, Adrian, said, "Carol's daughters and I agree that Javits would be the best place to have the service. Carol logged so many hours and so many miles there that it seems fitting."
Ross joined GLM as director of craft marketing in 1992, and for 15 years developed its Handmade division at the New York International Gift Fair, as well as at numerous GLM-managed gift shows across North America. Prior to that, she was founder and chief executive officer of American Craft Enterprises (A.C.E.) and senior vice president of A.C.E.'s parent organization, the American Craft Council (ACC).
In 2006, she stepped into "semi-retirement," becoming a consultant to GLM and moving to San Miguel Allende, Mexico, with her husband, Adrian. In the few years since, Ross remained involved in the crafts industry, while also becoming actively engaged in philanthropic organizations, such as Centro Infantil San Pablo, Feed the Hungry and Hospice, in her local community.
Ross was born in Warren, Ohio. She is survived by her husband, Adrian, two daughters Kirsten Sedestrom and Amy Love, and three grandchildren, Madison, Gus and Gordon.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Centro Infantil San Pablo, a pre-school for underprivileged 3, 4 and 5 year-old Mexican children with which Ross was actively involved. Donations, which are tax deductible, should be payable to Centro Infantil San Pablo, Inc., and mailed to Centro Infantil San Pablo, Inc. PMB 141A, 220 N. Zapata Hwy Ste 11, Laredo, Texas 78043.
Carol Sedestrom Ross - Biography
Carol Sedestrom Ross was one of the pivotal figures behind the phenomenal growth that has occurred in the American Craft movement during the past 35 years. As founder and chief executive officer of American Craft Enterprises (A.C.E.) and as senior vice president of A.C.E.'s parent organization, the American Craft Council (ACC), Ross did more than any other individual in the country to bring contemporary crafts into the mainstream of American merchandising.
Ross began American Craft Enterprises in 1975 to provide a professional management organization for a regional ACC Craft Fair which had outgrown its volunteer system. Her vision, however, went considerably beyond that single event. She was among the first to recognize that a vast potential market existed for fine American crafts and she methodically set out to create an environment wherein that potential could be realized.
Even before starting A.C.E., when she was working with the volunteer management organization of the Northeast Craft Fair in 1972, she was responsible for one of the most momentous events in the history of American craft marketing - the decision to move the fair from its location in Bennington, VT, to a larger facility in Rhinebeck, NY, which she chose specifically because of its proximity to the New York metropolitan market. The Rhinebeck Fair grew rapidly and within a few years it had become synonymous in the mind of the public with fine American craft.
With the Rhinebeck Fair, Ross created the paradigm upon which most craft fairs are modeled and against which all are judged. But her development of the Winter Market of American Crafts in Baltimore in 1977 was an even more significant accomplishment. Until that time, crafts had been available only during summertime outdoor craft fairs in rural areas, and as a result, many retailers were reluctant to commit themselves to merchandise that was only available to them on a seasonal basis. Once the Baltimore Fair, which was held in the winter in an easily accessible trade show facility in a major city, had become a proven market, crafts were firmly established as a year-round resource.
Following the reorganization at the American Craft Council in 1990, Ms. Ross was named senior vice president in charge of membership, development, public relations and ACC's special project, The Year of American Craft.
In September 1992, Ms. Ross left the ACC and joined the staff of George Little Management, a New York-based tradeshow management firm. In her role as Director of Craft Marketing, she was responsible for the expansion of Handmade, a division of GLM's New York International Gift Fair. It began as a small show of 150 exhibitors held once a year; now celebrating its 25th year, Handmade presents nearly 600 national and international makers twice a year to more than 35,000 buyers attending NYIGF. Following this success, Ross initiated Handmade sections in GLM gift shows in San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Washington, Seattle, Los Angeles and Atlanta. For many years, Ross managed the jury process for all of GLM's Handmade sections, and most recently advised GLM on its reorganization of Handmade into two distinct categories: Designer Maker and Global Design.
In 2001, GLM initiated a new trade show specifically for international companies called SOURCES and appointed Ross assistant sales manager. In this capacity, she visited gift shows in the UK, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Canada, Germany and Mexico, broadening her knowledge of gift products from all over the world.
In addition to her work in the marketing of crafts, Ross frequently served as a craft consultant to organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the State Department, the White House and the Corporate Council on Africa. She was frequently invited to act as a juror and prize judge for other craft events. She lectured regularly on both the history of the current craft movement as well as more specific topics such as booth design, how to prepare applications and presentation materials, and how to decide which segment of the market to approach. She also was an author and a regular contributor to several craft publications.
As a board member of Aid to Artisans, an international non-profit craft organization, Ross traveled to Moscow, the Fiji Islands, Peru and South Africa to help in the development of craft markets. She also traveled to Australia, the UK, Italy, Thailand, the Philippines and India to talk about how the American craft movement developed. She serves on numerous other boards and as an advisor to several public craft events.
In 1998, Ross, in conjunction with the Craft Organization Directors Association, spearheaded a movement to conduct the first ever survey to determine the economic impact of crafts on the national economy. Managed by Handmade in America and funded in part by the Philip Morris Companies, the survey was completed and released in early 2001 during the year. Ross was the chairman of CODA.
In 2004, Ross received the Artisan Advocate Award from Aid to Artisans and in the late 1980's, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at The National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Prior to becoming involved in the development of the craft movement, Ross taught art in grades K-12. She also was a partner in a firm called Little Jo Designs which designed, manufactured and marketed women's leisure wear made from handmade fabrics.
Ross was born in Warren, Ohio, attended Denison University and the University of Michigan where she graduated cum laude and received degrees in design and art education. In 2008, Ross and her husband, Adrian, relocated to San Miguel Allende, Mexico, where she became active in several community organizations, including Centro Infantil San Pablo, Feed the Hungry and Hospice.
Ross is survived by her husband, Adrian, two daughters Kirsten Sedestrom and Amy Love, and three grandchildren, Madison, Gus and Gordon.
Press Release by George Little Management, LLC, New York International Gift Fair