SOURCE: Vector Marketing

February 08, 2010 12:00 ET

Cutco Cutlery's James E. Stitt Named Chairman of the Board of the Direct Selling Education Foundation

OLEAN, NY--(Marketwire - February 8, 2010) - James E. Stitt, chairman, CEO and president of Cutco Corporation, has been named the 2009 - 2010 chairman of the board of the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF). His term became effective as of June 2009. Stitt's appointment continues more than 30 years of Cutco's active participation and leadership within the DSEF.

The DSEF was created in 1973 by visionary leaders of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) to educate the public about direct selling and serve as the industry's goodwill ambassador. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the international non-profit organization offers unique and comprehensive programs on contemporary issues of importance to business executives, consumer advocates, academics, students, public policy officials, and members of the small business and entrepreneurship community in the United States and abroad.

Stitt's appointment makes him the third Cutco executive to concurrently serve on the board of the DSEF. Sarah Baker Andrus, director of external relations and academic programs for Vector Marketing and Albert DiLeonardo, president and CEO of Vector East, also hold positions as board members. Andrus has been actively involved in leadership roles within the DSEF for 11 years. She currently serves as a vice chair of the DSEF's board and is a member of the executive board. She also chaired the organization's academic programs committee for the past 6 years and currently chairs its women's initiative committee. DiLeonardo has served on the DSEF board of directors for the past two years.

Cutco's legacy of service within the DSEF began with Erick Laine, the company's past CEO and chairman. Laine, who is currently Chairman Emeritus of Cutco, served as DSEF chairman of the board in the early 1990s. In 1999 Laine received the Circle of Honor award, the DSEF's highest award. The DSEF created the Circle of Honor in 1988 to recognize those who have made extraordinary contributions to the foundation through their personal efforts, involvement, and commitment.

"Cutco Corporation is the perfect company to align with the DSEF because they have a giving, caring, thoughtful way of approaching everything," said Charles Orr, executive director of the Direct Selling Education Foundation. "Jim Stitt is one of the most insightful people I have ever met. We are very fortunate to have him guiding and leading our organization.

"I have known Erick Laine since the early 1990s," said Orr. "Erick was an exemplary leader, and his legacy in the DSEF proudly continues through the commitment and dedication of Jim Stitt, Sarah Baker Andrus and Al DiLeonardo."


Cutco Cutlery is the largest manufacturer and marketer of high-quality kitchen cutlery and accessories in the United States and Canada. Vector Marketing is the exclusive marketer of Cutco products, which are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada by authorized sales representatives. Both Cutco Cutlery and Vector Marketing are subsidiaries of Cutco Corporation.

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