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CEO Forum Marks 10-Year Anniversary With Visit From Annalee Dolls CEO

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
November 21, 2007

The CEO Forum at UNH marks its 10-year anniversary when it welcomes Annalee Dolls CEO Dave Pelletier Thursday, Nov. 29, to discuss “Survival Mode: Resurrecting a Brand.”

The program begins at 9 a.m. at the New England Center. Coffee and networking begins at 8 a.m. and a full buffet breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m.

Pelletier, CEO of Annalee Dolls, will review the turnaround journey taken by the company over the past six years. Starting in 2001 with the company on the brink of bankruptcy, the company implemented a strategy combining the traditional venue of turnaround tactics, aggressive long-term strategic moves, and short-term innovative sales and marketing programs.

The 50-year-old company based in Meredith, NH, designs, markets, and distributes soft-sculptured felt dolls for the multi-billion dollar gift and home décor industry. At the height of collectability, the company enjoyed significant growth and profitability, but the decline of this market segment in the mid-90s started a downturn that resulted in the company having one profitable year between 1995 and 2005. Today the company is recognized as one of the stronger brands in a struggling industry.

Pelletier came to Annalee Dolls in 2001 as a turnaround consultant and became the first nonfamily CEO in October 2002. He received a bachelor’s in marketing from Cornell and a MBA in organizational development from the University of Colorado. Prior to returning to the Granite State in 2000, he worked for 26 years with Fortune 500 companies and start-up ventures.

To register or become a member of the CEO Forum, call Barbara Draper at 2-1107, or e-mail her at barbara.draper@unh.edu. The event is free to members and $49 for nonmembers.

Initiated in 1997, the CEO Forum is an outreach program of WSBE and the Graduate School serving CEOs, presidents, and senior managers of companies in northern New England. The forum provides its members with opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with their peers in business and industry in an informal setting. The UNH CEO Forum is sponsored by the law firm of Pierce Atwood, Ocean Bank and Snowden Associates. For more information about the CEO Forum, visit http://www.unh-ceoforum.org/.

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