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CONCORD, NC (April 18, 2014) − As has recently been announced, Jerry Calabrese has stepped down as President and CEO of Lionel after 10 years of leadership.

During Calabrese’s tenure, Lionel began consolidating its business operations in North Carolina, made substantial improvements to the product line, and also became an official partner of NASCAR and the NHRA with the addition of die-cast collectibles to the company’s portfolio. 

The Lionel leadership team thanks Calabrese for his hard work and leadership, and wishes him well in his future endeavors.

Lionel announced today that Howard Hitchcock, who has directed the company’s daily operations for more than a year as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Lionel and has served in the same capacity at Lionel Racing since its inception in 2010, has been named President of Lionel. 

As President, Hitchcock will be responsible for both the train and die-cast divisions of the business, and will continue to lead the strategic planning and daily operations of the company. 

Hitchcock will be supported by an experienced leadership team that has years of expertise working in all aspects of the electric train business, from production and marketing to finance and sales.

“I’m fortunate to have such a strong and dedicated team of employees to support me as we transition into this exciting phase of Lionel’s history,” Hitchcock said. “Together, we are going to introduce new generations to the heritage and the wonder of Lionel trains.”

A key leader on the Lionel team is Chris Elrod, who was previously named Chief Financial Officer. Both Hitchcock and Elrod will direct Lionel business efforts going forward to ensure the company achieves continued success.

“The potential for growth and opportunity that have been a part of Lionel’s 114-year history is stronger than ever and being responsible for the continuance of that legacy is a role both Chris and I take very seriously,” Hitchcock said. 

In addition, enterprise efforts in the digital space will continue to be led by Tony Bordon. Bordon has already played a key role in executing Lionel’s digital initiatives like Battle Train and, and he will continue to advise and assist the management team with long-term strategic planning as it relates to the digital sphere. 

Hitchcock and the Lionel leadership team will continue to be based in Concord, NC, the company’s new headquarters. Lionel’s service and parts department will transition to the North Carolina location this summer, as previously announced.

About Lionel Trains
Lionel Trains is an iconic model train company that has captured the hearts and stirred the imaginations of both young and old since 1900. The company offers a wide product range of interactive train sets, track and accessories. In 2013, Lionel Trains introduced its first iOS gaming application, Lionel Battle Train. In 2014, Lionel opened its LEGACY protocol to allow individuals, clubs and other companies to control all the features of a Lionel locomotive, using LCS WiFi, from a smart phone or tablet. This is the first step towards a universal remote that controls model trains from all manufacturers. You can follow Lionel on Twitter and Instagram or like us on Facebook.

Michelle Fannin
Sr. Director of Marketing