Working on playthings

By Lisa Biank Fasig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Gregory Ionna walks the offices of his new employer like any college student would at his first job. His pace quickens as he describes his products, his eyes grow saucer-like when he discusses the future.

He oozes company spirit like a high-gloss annual report after a bang-up year.

But Mr. Ionna, 49, isn’t at his first post-college job. He’s at his second. Mr. Ionna, the former executive vice president of Gibson Greetings, in August accepted the job of president of Mason-based C.M. Paula, maker of plush toys and novelty goods. Gibson in March was acquired by American Greetings of Cleveland.

“After 25 years with one company, this has been such a terrific change for me,” Mr. Ionna said amid displays of heart-shaped mirrors and wind chimes.

With the job switch, Mr. Ionna has gone from birthday cards and Silly Slammers to inspirational plaques and a trademarked talking toy called Always Angels.

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