From the ground floor of repurposed parochial Annunciation School on the West Side of Buffalo, CEO Kimberly Kociencki leads a non-profit committed to improving corporate branding and business practices on a global scale. She co-founded the organization in 2004.
SPLiCE (a snappy acronym for Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence) quietly goes about daily business. In late September, however, they will be introducing the socioeconomic landscape of Buffalo to dozens of international business leaders.
SPLiCE members will be in Buffalo from Monday, September 28 through Thursday, October 1. “The support from our local officials, Mayor Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has been phenomenal. Both have agreed to come and welcome our guests to the city. Steven Weathers, CEO of ECIDA has helped get the word out about the event to the business community.”
Upon their arrivals, CEOs from the fifty-eight members companies (including Nike, Mattel, Whirlpool, Disney and Coca-Cola) will have a “walking and architectural tour;” a full day beginning with a visit to City Hall, led by a Visit Buffalo Niagara docent. They’ll head to Darwin Martin House and finish the day at Philips Lytle headquarters overlooking Canalside.
The Public asked Kociencki to talk more about what SPLiCE does. “SPLiCE is an umbrella organization whose members are billion dollar brands that talk about protecting, promoting and enhancing brand integrity. We have a vision to continuously improve brand licensing. More specifically, SPLiCE is a community of licensors that share best practices to protect, promote and enhance brand integrity.”
Discussion of protection of a brand’s integrity leads to thoughts and stories in the news stream of faux brand name products occasionally reported. “We share best practices through case studies and a case study might have to do with counterfeit products. So we would look at ways that licensors have processes in place to prevent – or deter – counterfeit products.”
“I’m so excited and so proud to invite our members to the city where SPLiCE got started. I am a homegrown Buffalonian and I’m very passionate about the city. I wrote my Masters on Burchfield Penney Art Center and the community-building that happened with its design and construction.”
When asked why SPLiCE chose the former Annunciation for their headquarters Kociencki says “what better way to lead an organization than by doing as you preach, so to speak. The first floor is all commercial and there are two floors of residential space above us. Our roof has solar panels on it, we are powered by the sun. Karl Frizlen sells energy back to the grid. Our office is so cool, with the aesthetics from the former school—tiles, blackboards. I’m on SPLiCE’s sustainability committee, so being a little non-profit here in Buffalo, in this building in Buffalo affirms that.”