K’NEX® & The Rodon Group President & CEO Named as Finalist in 2013 American Business Awards

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K’NEX Angry Birds Building Sets Also Named Finalist in 11th Annual Stevie® Awards.

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“I am honored to have been named a finalist in the 2013 American Business Awards,” said Michael Araten, President and CEO of K’NEX Brands. “The Angry Birds nominations are truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding K’NEX team."

K’NEX, the only US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love™, is pleased to announce that K’NEX and The Rodon Group President & CEO, Michael Araten, has been named a Finalist in the 2013 American Business Awards. Mr. Araten will ultimately be a Gold, Siver or Bronze Stevie Award winner. In addition, the very successful Angry Birds building set line has been named a Finalist in the award program.

The American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small.

More than 3,200 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others. Michael Araten is a finalist in the Executive of the Year category in both the Consumer Products for K’NEX and Manufacturing for Rodon. K’NEX Angry Birds product launch marketing campaign is a finalist in the Marketing Campaign of the Year category, Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year category and New Product Introduction of the Year category.

The American Business Awards will be presented at two awards events: the ABA's traditional banquet on Monday, June 17 – in Chicago for the first time, after 10 years in New York; and the new product & technology awards event on Monday, September 16 in San Francisco.

“I am honored to have been named a finalist in the 2013 American Business Awards,” said Michael Araten, President and CEO of K’NEX Brands. “The Angry Birds nominations are truly a testament to the hard work and dedication that our outstanding K’NEX team demonstrates on a daily basis. I am so very proud to be part of such an effective and winning group.”

Finalists were chosen by more than 140 business professionals nationwide during preliminary judging in April and May. More than 150 members of nine specialized judging committees will determine Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, to take place May 13 - 24.

Details about The American Business Awards and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.    

About K’NEX Brands

Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands, the world’s most innovative construction toy company, was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children. Winner of over 250 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX is America’s building toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love, and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.” From the living room to the classroom, K’NEX has building toys specially designed for every age group and skill level. The K’NEX family of brands includes K’NEX Building Sets, K’NEX Thrill Rides, K’NEX Education: America’s STEM building solution, Lincoln Logs®, Tinkertoy®, NASCAR®, Angry Birds™, Mario Kart Wii™, Mario Kart 7™, Super Mario™, PacMan™ and more. Since 1992, The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of K'NEX Brands, L.P., has manufactured over 31 billion parts for the K'NEX building toy system. Join us as we help build the leaders of tomorrow. For more information, please visit http://www.knex.com or http://www.rodongroup.com.

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. A fifth program, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, will debut this year. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

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