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New CEO for Ellison

Premier global manufacturer of DIY crafts and education products announces new CEO to lead next phase of global growth

Ellison Educational Equipment, Inc., parent company of crafts brand Sizzix and education brand Ellison Education has announced Richard Birse as its new Chief Executive Officer, and the elevation of current Chief Executive Officer Kristin Highberg to the Company’s Global Board of Directors.

Founded by LaDorna and Robert Eichenberg in 1977, Ellison Educational Equipment has grown into a vertically integrated global business with a footprint in more than 100 countries and has its European Headquarters in the UK. The company also owns its manufacturing and logistic operations in China. Ellison has developed multiple global brands and supply chain networks that position its operations to be a leading omni-channel provider across the world.

To allow the company to fully leverage its global footprint and assets, the family and its shareholders have realised the need to transition to executive leadership that has experience in navigating, supporting and growing a global business. After a thorough review, Ellison’s current Managing Director for Europe and Global Markets, Richard Birse, was clearly identified as the natural successor to be the company’s next CEO for his proven skillset, market knowledge and experience to lead the company into its new phase of focused, global growth.

“For more than 27 years, I’ve had the greatest opportunity working for the company that my grandmother started, having held numerous positions from customer service to sales to my current role of CEO,” said Kristin Highberg, outgoing CEO of Ellison. “During my tenure as CEO of the Company, I’ve worked alongside Richard for 11 years to successfully develop global infrastructure and growth opportunities. As we enter the next phase of Ellison’s global growth, it was clear to me and my family that Richard was the obvious choice to take the CEO leadership role and allow me to continue to focus on supporting strategy with him at the Board Level.”

“I know that I speak for everyone at Ellison in thanking Kristin for her leadership during her time within the company,” said Birse. “I’m eager to assume this new role and lead such a passionate and focused company in further developing our global platform. We’ve exceptionally talented teams across three continents at Ellison/Sizzix who are all committed to evolving our business, continuing to innovate our product in new and diverse ways and developing a global supply chain infrastructure that supports our localised trading partners future global growth opportunities in both B2B and B2C channels.”

For more information on Sizzix and its line of craft-inspiring products, please visit and for more on  Ellison Educational
Equipment, visit

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