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Todd Figi celebrated as ICON Honors Lifetime Achievement recipient

His widow will accept the award during the July market

Todd Figi, patriarch of a gift industry family and the founder of Figi Giftware, has been named recipient of the ICON Honors 2011 Lifetime Achievement Honor by unanimous action of the ICON executive committee, according to Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., president and chief operating officer of ICON founding sponsor AmericasMart Atlanta.

Figi's distinguished 40-year gift industry career and contributions will be celebrated posthumously at the second ICON Honors event on Thursday, July 14, in conjunction with the July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.

As defined in the ICON Honors Charter, the Lifetime Achievement Honor "recognizes a single individual demonstrating distinguished advancement and enduring industry impact over the course of a career." Conferring of the ICON 2011 Lifetime Achievement Honor will celebrate Figi's life following his untimely Jan. 9 death at age 66.

Figi first made his mark on the industry more than 40 years ago when he created namesake Figi Giftware, which quickly became one of the world's leading gift companies manufacturing everything from photo frames and wall décor to refrigerator magnets. Continuing the tradition established by his parents, with their 1945 creation of Figi's Gifts In Good Taste, Figi's 1969 startup with a line of candles set his prodigious career in motion.

From that founding grew a company that would eventually employ more than 200 sales representatives and operate factories in the United States, Mexico and China.

"Todd Figi and the gift industry are synonymous," said George Kacic, vice president of Ganz, GHTA board chairman emeritus and an ICON Honors founding partner. "The company he created, the products he conceived and produced and the sales organization he built literally laid the foundation for the industry as we know it. Todd's mark on who we are is indelible and enduring."

Figi's passion reached beyond the gift business and into a love for art. He was chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, president of the San Diego chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization and served as chairman of the California Gift Association. Figi was also active in many local and national charities, and was frequently recognized by the mayor of San Diego for his commitment to the city and its quality of life.

"Rarely do we encounter a creator, visionary leader, entrepreneur and brilliant salesman in a single presence," Portman said. "Todd Figi was that single essential professional, empowered with boundless energy and an unmistakable passion for life. His contagious fascination with all things new creates the legacy we celebrate."

The ICON 2011 Lifetime Achievement Honor will be presented to Figi's wife Norma Jean "Jake" Figi during the July 14 ceremonies, which together with the ICON 2011 honorees will feature Grammy-winning singer Kenny Loggins and a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker. Tickets for the July 14 dinner celebration and full ICON Honors details can be found at www.americasmarticonhonors.com.

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