SOURCE: The Brandmarket

The Brandmarket

March 01, 2011 18:57 ET

Kathleen Watts Smith Named 2011 WPO Breakthrough Business Leader

President of The Brandmarket, Inc. Accepted Award at Orange County Smart Leaders Luncheon on February 24

COSTA MESA, CA--(Marketwire - March 1, 2011) -  Kathleen Watts Smith, president and founder of The Brandmarket, Inc., an Orange County-based creative promotional products and design firm, is the first recipient of the Women's Presidents Organization (WPO) Breakthrough Business Leader Award, by Smart Business magazine and the WPO of Orange County. Smith was honored at the Orange County Smart Leaders Awards Luncheon on February 24 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa, Calif.

"Our clients count on us to craft innovative strategies that propel their corporate brand identity," said Smith, a recognized industry trend-spotter. "I like to think of The Brandmarket as an agency of 'brand curators,' who can expertly sift through hundreds of thousands of out-of-this-world products and pluck the best of the best ideas to match client needs. It's an honor to be acknowledged for our innovative paradigm-shifting approach to providing maximum ROI for clients."

In its inaugural year, the WPO Breakthrough Business Leader Award recognized Smith as an up-and-coming "rising star." The award was presented by the Women's President Organization of Orange County, a non-profit membership organization made up of women who lead multimillion-dollar companies and are dedicated to improving business conditions for women entrepreneurs, in conjunction with Smart Business magazine.

The program recognizes the brightest and most innovative corporate leaders of the community, and spotlights the strategies they used to be successful. This year's honorees included leaders of companies of all sizes, who guide the Orange County business community, and ultimately make it a better place to work and live.

Smith's company, The Brandmarket, Inc., is a diversified promotional products firm that has designed branded products for some of the nation's most recognizable brands, including ESPN, ABC, Mattel, Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline and Sony Music. Since opening in 2001, The Brandmarket has set itself apart by offering innovative designs for a variety of products and brands, including custom-branded tennis racquets for Wimbledon and corporate merchandise for Good Morning America.

This year, Smith was also named an Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine and was recognized by Counselor Magazine as part of its annual "Hot 25" list; a major industry honor.

Smith also finds time to mentor students at California State University, Fullerton and Chapman University, and supports local charitable organizations including Step-Up Women's Network, Smarty OC, Share Our Selves and Samaritans Purse. Through kiva.org, Smith also provides microloans to female entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries.

About The Brandmarket: Founded by Kathleen Watts Smith in 2001 and headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., The Brandmarket is a trend-setting diversified promotional product and design firm specializing in "fresh" ideas for corporate promotional campaigns. A unique blend of traditional and next-generation strategies provides a diverse client roster with unmatched results through superior quality, visibility, business development, client/customer relations, advertising and product branding. With its unique blend of custom-branded products combined with the enhanced capabilities of a full-service design firm, the company has created promotional product campaigns for some of the nation's most recognizable brands, including ESPN, ABC, Mattel and Verizon Wireless. In 2008, the firm was recognized with the ASI Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) Spirit Award; in 2009, it received the Women's Business Enterprise Supplier of the Year Award (WBENC); in 2010, Smith was named to Counselor Magazine's "Hot List;" and this year, she was named "Enterprising Woman of the Year" by Enterprising Woman magazine. Develop a new product or concept, or modify an existing one -- at The Brandmarket, the possibilities are endless! To learn more, visit www.thebrandmarket.com or call (949) 706-3000.

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