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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

WIT is a collaborative community championing professional growth for women through leadership, networking

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT

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Ashley Mady

President
Head of Brand Development
Basic Fun!

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.

EXECUTIVE BOARD

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Janice Ross

Vice President
Managing Partner
Brand Fresh Management

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Alita Friedman

Treasurer
CEO
Alita’s Brand Bar

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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Mary Kay Russell

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Bernadette Boyle

The Toy Association Liaison
Senior Membership Manager
The Toy Association

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Bisma Ansari

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

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Cynthia Nishimoto

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

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Deb deSherbinin

Empowerment Chair & Communications Co-Chair
President
Perk Consulting

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Elizabeth Kong

International Chapters Chair

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Gena Lavallee

Corporate Development Co-Chair
Vice President Marketing/Licensing
Cra-Z-Art

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Genna Rosenberg

Wonder Women Awards Gala
Co-Chair & Sponsorship Chair

CEO
GennComm, LLC

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Jadyn Rosario

Regional Chapter Development Chair
Principal
Simplicity Consulting

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Jennifer Caveza

Wonder Women Awards Gala Co-Chair
SVP Toys
Nickelodeon

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Jennifer Quattrock

Design Co-Chair
Creative Director
JenQTRock Design

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Jessica Gavin

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Julie Powell Christopher

Marketing Committee
VP, Marketing, North America
Entertainment One

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Karen Kilpatrick

Nominations Chair
Vice President
Jazwings

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Laurie DeLuca

Design Co-Chair
Founder
Innovation Grove

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Laurie Schacht

Communications Chair
CEO/Toy Insider
Adventure Publishing

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Lisa Shamus

Mentorship Chair
President
Lisa Shamus and Partners

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Lourdes Arocho

Corporate Development Committee
VP, North America Category Management
NBC Universal

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Mellany Masterson

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

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Michele Martell

Programming Chair
President
Martell Media House

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Nancy Zwiers

Empowerment Co-Chair
EVP and Global CMO
Spin Master

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Stefanie Barone

Products & Promotions Co-Chair
VP of Design
Wicked Cool Toys

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Stefanie Mendoza

Young Professional Network Chair
Manager, North America Licensing
Sesame Workshop

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

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Amy Good

Operations Manager

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Peg Brom

Community Manager

OUR FOUNDERS

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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!

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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.