“This move was really part of a succession plan at Dard,” Shevin-Sandy said, in an interview with Counselor. “My parents are almost 80 years old and for Dard to continue on and be strong and be in the family, I knew I had to have a key role.”
In taking on her new position with Dard, Shevin-Sandy has ended DDI’s one-year partnership with Top 40 distributor HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000). In August of 2013, Shevin-Sandy left Dard as DDI teamed with HALO on some special accounts, effectively turning DDI into a distributor operation. “The partnership ended on good terms and I have the utmost respect for HALO,” Shevin-Sandy said. “HALO is a Dard client and I look forward to working with them.”
Besides being appointed president, Shevin-Sandy – the 2009 Counselor International Person of the Year – has gained a 51% stake in Dard, making the company a certified woman-owned business. As she takes over at the supplier, Shevin-Sandy is promising to strengthen the firm’s importing department and to introduce several new product categories at the upcoming ASI Show in Orlando. To boost efforts, Dard has hired Sam Shapiro as national sales manager to handle large accounts. “Going forward, we’ll be focusing less on lower priced items and more on premium products,” Shevin-Sandy said.
Dard Products ranks as the 40th-largest supplier in the industry, after reporting 2013 North American ad specialty sales of $36.2 million, a 2.7% decrease from the prior year.