The Industry Summit 2021 Partners In Progress Honorees Revealed
July 29, 2021
Dallas, July 29, 2021 – The Industry Summit announced its 2021 Partners In Progress honoree list this morning during a live stream at the National Sports Collectors Convention taking place at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Chicago. This year’s esteemed class includes some of the pioneers of the industry along with several leaders that are playing crucial roles in the industry. A group of breakers was unveiled to recognize, for the first time, one of the industry’s most popular and growing segments.
The Partners In Progress awards, sponsored by The National Sports Collectors Convention, honors key leaders and innovators who have made exceptional contributions to the growth of the trading card and memorabilia industry. The awards will be presented at The Industry Summit in Las Vegas at the Westgate Resort, September 12-15. The list of honorees for 2021 includes:
Ken Goldin – Owner, Goldin Auctions – Goldin Auctions is the official auction house of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, The Jackie Robinson Foundation, and The Babe Ruth Museum. Goldin is on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Museum of Sports and Chairman of Camcare Charitable Foundation. He is a regular guest on Fox Business, CNBC and many other business and industry mediums. Goldin co-founded The Scoreboard, Inc. in 1986-1997 and is also the owner of Goldin Sports.
Brian Gray – Owner/CEO, Leaf Trading Cards, since 2010 – Gray was CEO of Razor Entertainment 2005-2010 and is one of the most interesting, energetic people in the hobby. He has created a strong niche in the industry producing cards with no league license agreements.
The Hersh Family – President, National Sports Collector’s Convention (NSCC) – For 27 years, Etta Hersh has held the title of president. While others on the NSCC team handle the more prominent public roles, she is the less visible rock star. Hersh’s late husband of 57 years, Jerry, passed away in 2019. He was a longtime National exhibitor and board member. Their son Mike, a longtime hobbyist and card show fixture who previously worked for Beckett in the 1990s, passed away in 2013.
Nick Matijevich – Senior Director of Product Development at Panini America, Inc., – Matijevich has a storied history in the industry including, Donruss Playoff L.P. (2000-2005) and Press Pass Inc. Product Development (2006-2015). Including key product development roles at Donruss Playoff (2000-2005) and Press Pass Inc. (2006-2015). He is considered one of the brightest product minds in the industry.
The Veres Family – Rob, Ryan and Stephen, Burbank Sports Cards – Rob Veres is the owner of Burbank Sports Cards. His father, Stephen, was a co-founder and still works in the business. Rob’s son Ryan is the general manager. Burbank Sports Cards features the largest card inventory of any local card shop in the country and just moved into a new larger location to accommodate its expansive growth.
The Industry Summit is proud to recognize and honor five pioneers in the Breaker category who have revolutionized the collecting experience for so many in the hobby.
Cards Infinity – Chris Justice was among the very first breakers in 2007. He opened his West End North Carolina card shop in 2006 and began videoing customer box openings in his store to post on YouTube. The excitement from collectors and positive feedback from viewers led to the creation of cardsinfinity.com in March 2007. What began as a simple idea to highlight great pulls coming from his customers spawned the Breaking business that is thriving today.
FireHand Cards – Chad Redfern’s online store is a name synonymous with breaking and pulling big hits since 2008. As an avid collector himself, Redfern’s commitment, since the beginning, has been to create a collector-first experience for his customers. The trust he has earned has helped build a community of collectors who are some of the most respected in the industry.
Layton Sports Cards – Rich Layton has been as influential in the category as any breaker. Working from his Orlando, Florida-area hobby store, his brand, style and reputation set him apart from most others. If there were a Mount Rushmore of Breakers, his inclusion would be guaranteed.
Mojobreak – Dan Anderson and Doug Caskey were one of the first dynamic duos of breaking. Known for their energy and catch-phrases, Anderson and Caskey were some of the first breakers to take their online enterprise into a brick-and-mortar environment and open a full-fledged hobby shop, located in Santa Clara California.
Ultimate Box Breaks – Bryan Gavin entered the breaking world in 2011 and was the first to develop an all-inclusive breaking website that included patented software allowing customers to trade their random teams in real-time. He went on to develop one of the first widely used breaking apps for both iPhone and Google. Gavin is known as one of the most family-friendly and positive influencers in the community.
Each Summit attendee receives a set of limited-edition trading cards sponsored by the National Sports Collectors Convention, featuring this year’s class of honorees. The honorees will receive their awards in a ceremony on Wednesday, September 15 at the Summit.
John Broggi – NSCC
Mike Berkus – NSCC
Lloyd Kee – GTS Distribution
Kit Young – Kit Young Sports Cards
Jim Beckett – Beckett Media
Angelo Exarhakos – Universal Distribution
Lynn LaPlaca – Ultra Pro
Janyce Mabra – TriStar Productions
David Hall – PSA
Roger Barry – Magazine Exchange
Evan Kaplan – MLBPA
Mark Harwell – Beckett Media
Jeff Rosenberg – TriStar Productions
DJ Kazmierczak – Panini
Mike Phillips – Upper Deck
Clay Luraschi – Topps
Jim Grant – Peach State Sports
Brad Wagoner – Southern Hobby Distribution
Jason Howarth – Vice President of Marketing, Panini America
Chris Ivy – Director of Sports Auctions, Heritage Auctions
Adam Martin – Owner, Dave & Adams Card World
Dave McCarthy – Vice President of Consumer Products and E-Commerce, NHL Enterprises
Victor Shaffer – Executive Vice President, Fanatics, Inc.
James Spence – Owner & Founder James Spence Authentication
Beckett, a leading voice of the collectibles industry since 1984, is based in Dallas and serves as a trusted resource for collectors in sports and non-sports trading cards, memorabilia, comics, coins, stones and gems. Striving to advance the collectibles industry with dynamic products and services, Beckett offers a singular place for enthusiasts to organize, price, sell, trade, grade, protect and authenticate items confidently and accurately. For more information, visit www.beckett.com.