Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT)
WIT is the leading global networking organization for professional women working in the toy, licensing and entertainment industries.
Our Mission 
Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment is dedicated to facilitating women’s professional growth through its collaborative community by providing leadership opportunities, networking, and education.

OUR PRESIDENT

AshleyMady-3

Ashley Mady

Ashley Mady has been a resolute champion and member of WIT since 2010. Prior to becoming president in 2014, she served the organization in numerous roles — as board member, Wonder Women Gala Co-Chair, Social Media Chair, various Event Chair positions, and Florida Chapter Chair. Under her senior leadership, WIT has more than quadrupled its membership through community involvement and immersive programming.

 

Throughout her career, Ashley has been recognized as a creative hybrid who blends innovation with business. In her current position as Head of Brand Development at Basic Fun!, she leads the conceptualization of the company’s new sustainable brands portfolio, oversees the company’s digital and social media initiatives, and works collaboratively with internal teams on growth plans that drive innovation for new and existing brands.

 

Prior to joining Basic Fun!, Ashley founded and helmed the brand licensing and creative agency, Brandberry. There she spent close to a decade launching new IP from the ground up, and reinvigorated established brands. Ashley began her career at one of the world’s largest toy companies, starting in creative services and then moving into a marketing role. Ashley uses her diverse experience to relate to and craft programming for the many different types of WIT members.

 

Ashley also serves on the Chairman’s Advisory Committee of The Toy Association.

A Message From Ashley

Dear WIT Friends,

It is with great pride to have the privilege of serving as president of Women in Toys, Licensing and Entertainment. We have seen WIT grow and prosper because of the dedication of our members and tireless efforts of our volunteers, chapter chairs, board, and advisory board. I am honored to be part of this diverse and powerful community of women helping women.

We’ve made incredible progress over the years, and we’re constantly striving to do more by listening to members and looking for new ideas and ways to provide more benefits, education, networking and career growth opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. I invite you to consider ways that we can better serve you, serve our industry, and continue to fulfill our mission.

My goal is to continue to see WIT grow and be meaningful to each member, partner, and sponsor. Our success is based on new programs and ideas, many of which come from you. Each of us brings our own unique perspective, skill sets, and talents to the organization. This is invaluable to our success. It is inspiring and rewarding to witness the excitement, passion, and dedication of members and volunteers, all working toward the continued growth and advancement of women in our industry.

Our tagline, We Inspire Together, truly says it best And we’re just getting started!

Please join us as we create positive change that will not only sustain and grow our industry, it will pave the path for the next generation of leaders.

OUR STAFF

Amy Good

Operations Manager

Mary Kay Russell

   Executive Director

Peg Brom

Community Manager

OUR FOUNDERS

pitrone

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

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

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Alita Friedman

Treasurer

CEO

Alita’s Brand Bar

Bernadette Boyle

The Toy Association Liaison

Senior Membership Manager

The Toy Association

Bisma Ansari

Corporate Development Committee

SVP & Global Brand GM

MEGA Brands – Mattel

Cynthia Nishimoto

Legal Committee Chair

General Counsel

SVP, Business & Legal Affairs

Bandai America Incorporated

Deb deSherbinin

Empowerment Chair & Communications Co-Chair

President

Perk Consulting

Elizabeth Kong

International Chapters Chair

Gena Lavallee

Corporate Development Co-Chair

US Executive Director of Merchandising, Senior Buyer

Toys “R” Us

Genna Rosenberg

Wonder Women Awards Gala Co-Chair; Sponsorship Chair

CEO

GennComm, LLC

Jadyn Rosario

Regional Chapter Development Chair

Principal

Simplicity Consulting

Janice Ross

Wonder Women Awards Gala Co-Chair

Business Development and Head of Global Licensing

American Greetings Entertainment

Jennifer Caveza

Wonder Women Awards Gala Co-Chair

SVP Toys

Nickelodeon

Jennifer Quattrock

Design Co-Chair

Creative Director

JenQTRock Design

Jessica Gavin

Scholarship Co-Chair

VP, Marketing & Licensing

The Canada Group Toys

Julie Powell Christopher

Marketing Committee

VP, Marketing, North America

Entertainment One

Karen Kilpatrick

Nominations Chair

Vice President

Jazwings

Laurie DeLuca

Design Co-Chair

Founder

Innovation Grove

Laurie Schacht

Communications Chair

CEO/Toy Insider

Adventure Publishing

Lisa Shamus

Mentorship Chair

President

Lisa Shamus and Partners

Lourdes Arocho

Corporate Development Committee

VP, North America Category Management

NBC Universal

Mellany Masterson

Scholarship Co-Chair

VP, Sales Consumer Products and International

Corus Entertainment / Nelvana Enterprises

Michele Martell

Programming Chair

President

Martell Media House

Nancy Zwiers

Empowerment Co-Chair

EVP and Global CMO

Spin Master

Stefanie Barone

Products & Promotions Co-Chair

Just Play

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

WIT COMMITTEES

Get involved with WIT by joining a committee today!
Email info@womenintoys.com for more information.
Chapter Development

The Chapter Development Committee is responsible for strengthening the infrastructure of WIT at the local chapter level, and making recommendations regarding membership recruitment and retention to ensure chapter growth and viability.

Jadyn Rosario – U.S. Chapters 
Elizabeth Kong – International Chapters 

Communications

The Communications Committee is responsible for coordinating and monitoring activities related to all WIT communications, including website, newsletters/eblasts, social media sites and public relations.

Julie Christopher – Chair
Adrienne Appell
Amanda Cioletti
Anne-Marie Grill
Fatina Johnson
Janis VanTine – Public Relations
Jen Derevensky – Public Relations
Jennifer Lynch
Jennifer Ure
Katie Smith
Marissa DiBartolo
Stephanie Azzaone – Public Relations
Susan Murphy – Public Relations

Corporate Development

The Corporate Development Committee is responsible for identifying, collaborating on and executing strategic growth partnerships and opportunities that are consistent with WIT’s mission.

Jennifer Caveza – Chair
Bisma Ansari
Caitlin Gutekunst
Cristy Collins
Genna Rosenberg
Janice Ross
Jennifer Jankowski
Lourdes Arocho
Nancy Zwiers

Design

The Design Committee is responsible for designing and producing all graphic elements, print and digital materials, and contributing innovative ideas for ensuring the integrity of the WIT brand.

Jennifer Quattrock – Co-Chair
Laurie DeLuca – Co-Chair
Alli Divincenzo
Diana Avellan
Jennifer Lynch
Kiki Kolakowski
Marifely Montealegre
Maritza Cuesta
Mianzie Quaglia
Monique Givens
Peri Olitsky
Ruth Synowic
Shelly Delice
Sylvia Cedeno

Diversity & Inclusion

Rupa Parekh
Terri-Nichelle Bradley

Empowerment & Programming

The Empowerment Committee is responsible for identifying, planning, and implementing programs and events that provide developmental and educational opportunities for WIT members to learn and grow professionally.

Deb deSherbinin – Co-Chair
Nancy Zwiers – Co-Chair
Brandi Pinskier
Elizabeth Kong
Jennifer Caveza
Jessica Gavin
Jodi Norgaard
Karen Kilpatrick
Kimberly Carcone
Laura Fletcher
Laurie DeLuca
Lourdes Arocho
Mellany Masterson
Michele Martell
Stacie Speaker
Tonda Sellers

Finance

The Finance Committee monitors the financial management of WIT and advises the Board of Directors on financial matters and asset management.

Alita Friedman – Chair
Angela Keck

Fundraising

Open Position – Chair

Legal

The Legal Committee is responsible for advising the Board of Directors on legal matters, as referred to them for review.

Cynthia Nishimoto – Chair
Howard Fine
Karen Kilpatrick
Michele Martell
Stephanie Pottick

Marketing & Promotions

The Marketing & Promotions Committee is responsible for creating and implementing marketing plans and campaigns to promote awareness for WIT and The WIT Foundation.

Julie Christopher – Co-Chair
Janice Ross – Co-Chair

Amy Pfister
Jennifer Quattrock
Katie Smith
Marcy ​Harbatkin
Mary Ann Godines
Shehnaz Safiuddin
​Stefanie Barone

Membership

The Membership Committee is responsible for cultivating, recruiting and retaining WIT members.

Fatina Johnston – Chair
Maggie Lynn Held
Marina Khidekel
Monica Brown
Robin Murphy
Simon De Mateo

Mentorship

Nancy Zwiers – Chair
Iris Solomon
Jessica Gavin
Karen Kilpatrick
Lamice JouJou
Lourdes Arocho
Mellany Masterson

Nominations

Karen Kilpatrick – Chair
Bisma Ansari
Caitlin Gutekunst
Cristy Collins
Deb de Sherbinin
Genna Rosenberg
Janice Ross

Research

The Research Committee oversees the creation and collection of information in alignment with WIT’s comprehensive research agenda.

Open Position – Chair

Anne Pitrone

Arwen Hunter

Jamie Emmick

Kati Heljakka

Katlyn Grasso

Nancy Zwiers

Sabrina Hallongren

Scholarship

Jessica Gavin – Co-Chair
Mellany Masterson – Co-Chair

Angelina Lee
Cat Demas
Catherine Demas
Deborah Ryan
Donna Lee Odo
Heidi Schwartz
Joanna Maguire
Kati Heljakka
Katie Khau
Katlyn Grasso
Michael Rinzler
Nancy Zwiers
Stacey Reiner

Sponsorship

Genna Rosenberg – Chair
Deb de Sherbinin
Mellany Masterson

Website

Pamela Anderson – Website Chair
Cara Wendt
Deb de Sherbinin
Jennifer Quattrock
Joan Luks
Julia Shoppach
Marcy Harbatkin

Wonder Women Awards

The Wonder Women Awards Committee is responsible for planning, organizing and executing the annual Wonder Women Awards Gala.

Genna Rosenberg – Co-Chair
Janice Ross – Co-Chair
Jennifer Caveza – Co-Chair

Kim Carcone
Elizabeth Kong
Jessica Gavin
Joan Packard Luks
Laurie Deluca
Lisa Shamus
Mellany Masterson
Stefanie Barone
Tom Ortel