WHO WE ARE

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT)
The WIT Foundation

WIT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the leading global networking community for professional women working in the toy, licensing and entertainment industries.

Our Mission

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) is a collaborative community that champions the advancement of women through leadership, networking and educational opportunities.

ABOUT OUR PRESIDENT

JaniceRoss_1.31.19 (edited-Pixlr)

Janice Ross

President
Partner
Brand Fresh Management

 

Janice Ross

Janice Ross has a diverse but complimentary background starting in the entertainment industry as a theatrical development executive working for producers that created blockbuster movies. From entertainment, Janice parlayed her passion for storytelling onto a broader canvas in the consumer products industry.

Today, Janice is a strategic and well-connected senior level global licensing and marketing executive with 20+ years experience developing and executing innovative brand strategies that drive maximum revenue results along with brand longevity. Her network of industry relationships includes licensees, licensors, retailers, promotional partners, talent agencies, technology inventors and more. Janice has built a career creating and maintaining trustworthy business relationships and is passionate about working with like-minded individuals and companies.

Companies that Janice has worked with include LEGO, American Greetings and Lisa Frank, Inc. She is currently President of Women in Toys, Entertainment and Licensing and sits on the Board of Directors. Her credits include co-producer on Bionicle: Mask of Light and Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui.

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Alita-Headshot_11-300x300

Alita Friedman

Secretary / Treasurer
CEO
Alita’s Brand Bar

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Mary Kay Russell

Mary Kay Russell

Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BernadetteBoyleHeadshot700-300x300

Bernadette Boyle

The Toy Association Liaison
Senior Membership Manager
The Toy Association

Bisma-Ansari-300x300

Bisma Ansari

Corporate Development Committee
SVP & Global Brand GM
MEGA Brands – Mattel

Cynthia-Nishimoto-300x300

Cynthia Nishimoto

Legal Committee Chair
General Counsel
SVP, Business & Legal Affairs
Bandai America Incorporated

Deb-de-Sherbinin-300x300

Deb deSherbinin

Empowerment Co-Chair & Communications Co-Chair
Founder & CEO
KidSmart

Gena-L-300x300

Gena Lavallee

Corporate Development Committee
Vice President Marketing/Licensing
Cra-Z-Art

Genna-Rosenberg-300x300

Genna Rosenberg

Wonder Women Awards Co-Chair
& Sponsorship Chair

CEO
GennComm, LLC

Jadyn-Rosario-300x300

Jadyn Rosario

Regional Chapter Chair
Category Manager - Strategic Initiatives
Nintendo

Jennifer_Caveza-300x300

Jennifer Caveza

Wonder Women Awards Co-Chair
SVP Toys
ViacomCBS

Jennifer-Quattrock-300x300

Jennifer Quattrock

Design Co-Chair
Creative Director
JenQTRock Design

Jessica-Gavin-300x300

Jessica Gavin

Scholarship Chair
Partner
Gavin Hoss Group

Julie-Christopher-300x300

Julie Powell Christopher

Marketing Committee Chair
SVP, Marketing, North America
Entertainment One

Karen-Kilpatrick_Headshot-300x300

Karen Kilpatrick

Nominations Chair
Author & Entrepreneur

Laurie-DeLuca-300x300

Laurie DeLuca

Design Co-Chair
Founder
Innovation Grove

Laurie-Schacht-300x300

Laurie Schacht

Communications Chair
CEO/Toy Insider
Adventure Publishing

Lourdes-Arocho-300x300

Lourdes Arocho

Corporate Development Committee
VP Global Consumer Products
Paramount Pictures

MellanyMasterson_NEW_1-300x300

Mellany Masterson

Scholarship Co-Chair
VP, Sales Consumer Products and International
Corus Entertainment / Nelvana Enterprises

Michele-Martell-300x300

Michele Martell

Programming Chair
President
Martell Media House

Nancy-Headshot-300x300

Nancy Zwiers

Empowerment Co-Chair
Mentor and Coach
Retired Industry Veteran

Stefanie-Barone-300x300

Stefanie Barone

Promotions Committee Chair
VP of Design
Wicked Cool Toys

Advisory Board Members

Andrew Kerr
Sutikki

Ann Kearns
AMK Licensing

Anne Pitrone
Pitrone & Associates

Anne Marie Kehoe
Walmart

Barbara Isenberg
North American Bear Co.

Bob Wann
PlayMonster

Brian Goldner
Hasbro, Inc.

Debra Joester
Joester Loria Group LLC

Jay Foreman
Basic Fun!

Joan Packard Luks
The Serenata Group

JoAnn McLaughlin
Marvel Entertainment

Marian Bossard
The Toy Association

Maura Regan
LIMA

Michael Rinzler
Wicked Cool Toys

Stephen Stanley
Rubie’s Costume Co.

Patti Becker
Becker Associates LLC

Neil Friedman
Alex Brands

Pam Kaufman
Nickelodeon

Steve Totzke
Mattel

OUR STAFF

Mary Kay Russell

Mary Kay Russell

Executive Director

Peg-Brom

Peg Brom

Community Manager

Sandra_Lepianka_Cropped

Sandra Lepianka

Operations Manager

Allie headshot

Allie Benham

Marketing Manager

OUR FOUNDERS

pitrone-272x272

Anne Pitrone

With over 20 years’ experience in the design and development of licensed products, Anne Pitrone is an expert at translating some of the most beloved characters into commercially successful ventures, from Cabbage Patch to Spiderman. With an inherent ability to understand parents and kids, Anne interprets their needs and desires into viable products that can be engineered, tooled and manufactured for children around the world. Today, Anne works as a product development consultant to various toy companies. At the center of Anne’s life is expression . . . whether it’s toys . . . art . . . or friendships. She demonstrates that life is an adventure worth exploring, building and sharing with the world!

susan-276x276

Susan Matsumoto

Susan Matsumoto began her toy industry career out of college as a doll designer for Mattel. She then moved on to work for several other firms before starting her own packaging design firm, working with both large and small companies. Together with a partner, she founded her own toy company called Fun First, which helped her understand the toy industry from inception and design, to sourcing and manufacturing, through to sales and shipping. Currently, Matsumoto is inventing and designing in partnership with her husband Mel Kennedy in their company Kennedy-Matsumoto Design. In addition to toy concepts, their projects include hair appliances and accessories, household appliances, and pet products

COMMITTEES

Get involved with WIT by joining a committee today!

Email info@womenintoys.com for more information.