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.

WIT EXECUTIVE BOARD

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Janice Ross

WIT President
Managing Partner
Brand Fresh Management

 

Janice Ross
WIT President
Managing Partner, Brand Fresh Management

Janice Ross is the founder and Managing Partner of Brand Fresh Management and serves as president of Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT). Named Game Changer in 2017 by License Global Magazine, she is a multi-disciplined licensing and branding executive. With over 25 years of global experience in the consumer products and entertainment industries, she develops and executes innovative licensing initiatives, high-impact consumer product strategies, and retail programs for diverse brands.

Prior to founding Brand Fresh Management, Janice held top-level roles leading teams at powerhouse companies including American Greetings as Vice President of Global Licensing and Business Development, and LEGO/Create TV as Head of the Americas, where she co-produced successful direct-to-videos for the BIONICLE franchise.

Janice is a passionate and purposeful advocate for the advancement of women. Under her transformational and servant leadership at WIT, the mission-driven organization has grown exponentially both in programming and member engagement. Serving a community of over 3,000 people, WIT is committed to unlocking the full potential of women to drive innovation, creativity, exceptional teamwork, and a sense of purpose.

Janice received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA. She is a mom to boy/girl Gen Z twins and resides in Los Angeles with her husband.

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Alita Friedman

WIT Treasurer / Secretary
CEO. Alita’s Brand Bar

Mary Kay Russell

Mary Kay Russell

WIT Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Vice President and
Chief People Officer
Mattel

Director of Marketing
Jazwares

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Bernadette Boyle

The Toy Association Liaison
Senior Membership Manager
The Toy Association

D&I 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

D&I Chair
Founding Creative Director
Be Super Creative

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Gena Lavallee

Nominations Chair
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Make It Real

Wonder Women Awards Co-Chair
& Sponsorship Chair

CEO, GennComm, LLC

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Jennifer Caveza

Wonder Women Awards Co-Chair
Industry Executive

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Jennifer Quattrock

Design Co-Chair
Creative Director
JenQTRock Design

KarenKilpatrick

Karen Kilpatrick

Wonder Women Awards Committee
Author & Entrepreneur

Senior Vice President, Retail Sales & Marketing
ViacomCBSConsumer Products

Co-VP, Consumer Products &
Vice-President, Distribution
9Story Media Group

Communications Chair
CEO/Toy Insider
Adventure Publishing

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Lourdes Arocho

Corporate Development Committee
VP Global Consumer Products
Paramount Pictures

Scholarship Co-Chair
Head of Nelvana Enterprises,
a division of Corus Entertainment

MicheleMartell

Michele Martell

Programming Chair
President
Martell Media House

Senior Sales Executive
Toy’n Around

Director of PR
Warner Bros.

 

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Stefanie Barone

Promotions Chair
VP of Design
Jazwares

Advisory Board Members

Andrew Kerr
Sutikki

Ann Kearns
AMK Licensing

Anne Marie Kehoe
Walmart (formerly)

Anne Pitrone
Pitrone & Associates

Ashley Mady
Basic Fun!

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
Licensing International

Michael Rinzler
Jazwares / Wicked Cool Toys

Stephen Stanley
Rubie’s Costume Co.

Patti Becker
Becker Associates LLC

Nancy Zwiers
Funosophy, Inc.

Pam Kaufman
ViacomCBS

Steve Totzke
Mattel

OUR STAFF

Mary Kay Russell

Mary Kay Russell

Executive Director

Peg-Brom

Peg Brom

Community Manager

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Sandra Lepianka

Operations Manager

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Allie Benham

Marketing Manager

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Shannon Varcoe

Program 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.