Our Management Team

John Dammermann

Executive Chair

John joined DG through the acquisition of Impact Innovations, Inc. in August of 2018. John is responsible for the strategic direction of Design Group Americas, identifying areas of potential revenue growth, investment spending in management, manufacturing and sales through acquisition and organic growth. John currently resides with his wife Tracy in Fort Myers, FL.

Gideon Schlessinger

CEO

Gideon is the Chief Executive Officer of Design Group Americas and joined DG in 2015. Gideon is responsible for leading the commercial division which includes design, product development, sales, and ecommerce. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago as well as a BA in Political Philosophy from the University of Illinois in Champaign. Originally from Chicago, Gideon currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife Cindy and has three grown daughters that live across the globe.

Tas Papasolomontos

CFO

Tas is the CFO of Design Group and joined the team in 2016 prior to which he spent most of his career in financial consulting. Tas earned his B.S. in International Business and French from Aston University. Tas, his wife Jane, and their three children currently reside in Atlanta, GA.

Jack White

COO

Jack is the Chief Operating Officer of Design Group Americas and joined DG in 2020 as part of the acquisition of CSS Industries. Jack joined CSS Industries in 2017 after a 30-year career with DuPont. Jack is responsible for the functions of manufacturing, distribution, logistics, supply chain, customer service, Asia sourcing, procurement, and Information Technology. He holds an MBA from University of Delaware as well as a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. Originally from Houston, Texas, Jack currently resides near Philadelphia, PA with his wife Laurie and has two grown sons.

Denise Andahazy

CHRO

Denise is the Chief Human Resources Officer, joining Design Group from the 2020 acquisition of CSS Industries (which she joined in 2004). Denise leads HR for the entire Americas territory as well as other major corporate projects and initiatives. Denise received a BA in Psychology from Purdue University, and a MS in Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology from University of Baltimore. She is SPHR certified. Denise and her husband William, and daughter Sophia reside in Mountain Top, PA.

Lois Watson-Clapp

SVP Creative – Seasonal Division

Lois drives the trend creative, product and strategic vision for the seasonal team. With over 20 years of experience in gift wrap and greeting card design, Lois holds international recognition as a trend-setting leader of the gift packaging industry. Lois graduated with honors from De Montfort University, England and also attended the College of Arts and Technology in Newcastle. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Charles and two sons.

Joe Fahy

EVP and General Manager – Upscale Specialty Division

Joe leads the upscale & specialty sales unit which caters to the needs of smaller specialty accounts and not-for-resale accounts. He joined the group in 2018, after holding several senior management positions in the wholesale gift, home and housewares industry. Joe has a BA in History from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He currently resides in Winnetka, IL.

Erica Zubriski

EVP– Sales and Channel Development

Erica joined DG in 2019 and is responsible for managing sales and customer relationships to achieve company wide revenue and profitability. She is accountable for the overall sales organization performance, the profitable achievement of sales goals and for aligning sales objectives with the company business and channel strategies. She received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Business Administration from McMaster University. Erica and her husband Chad reside in Atlanta, GA with their two children.

Leon Summers

CEO – Anker Play Products

Leon Summers is the Chief Executive Officer of Anker Play Products, a division of IG Design Group Americas, founded in 2016. Originally from the UK, Leon began his career in importing and exporting, and has worked in the toy and creative play business for over a decade. Leon currently resides in Miami, FL with his dogs Maxwell & Murdoch.

Abbie Small

EVP and General Manager – Craft Division

Abbie is the of Design Group Americas, she joined DG in October of 2020. Abbie is responsible for design, product development, leading the pattern business with brands Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity and Vogue, ribbon & trim, buttons, stitchery kits, and Perler beads. She holds a BS degree from the University of Delaware in Fashion Design. She spent 34 years at Simplicity and returned to the business recently. Abbie lives in New Jersey, with her husband Bob, and has three grown children.

Christy Kaprosy

EVP Ecommerce

Christy joined Design Group Americas in March 2021 as Executive Vice President over Ecommerce and Greeting Cards. Prior to joining DG, Christy held several commercial leadership roles at American Greetings leading ecommerce, greeting cards, and gift packaging as well as the marketing, business intelligence, creative and sales functions. Christy holds an MBA from Cleveland State University and a BSBA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Christy and her husband Dale reside in Cleveland, Ohio, along with their daughter and twin boys.