WiT Empowerment Day and Toy Industry Mentors Announced
Female Entrepreneurs to Gain Years of Experience from Top Industry Experts and Benefit from Product Pitch Opportunities with Walmart and Toy Companies
New York, NY – August 22, 2017 – Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) has announced the speakers, industry experts, and panelists who will participate in its annual WIT Empowerment Day event, to be held Monday, October 2, 2017, the day before Fall Toy Preview® in Dallas officially begins. Held in collaboration with Walmart and The Toy Association, this event gives women the opportunity to pitch their play products to Walmart and Walmart.com buyers and top toy companies, and to be mentored by over 20 industry experts.
The speaker line-up for the event includes a morning keynote by Norma Rosenhain, CEO and founder of Creata; a Walmart Buyer Panel led by Anne Marie Kehoe, VP Toys at Walmart, and an afternoon special guest speaker, Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The morning keynote and Walmart Buyer Panel are both open to all Fall Toy Preview® exhibitors and trade guests.
“We’re thrilled to welcome such an exciting roster of speakers and industry experts, and we appreciate their passion and commitment to helping our industry’s women achieve greater success,” said Deb de Sherbinin and Nancy Zwiers, WIT Empowerment Co-Chairs. “The knowledge they’ll share, and the insights, guidance and inspiration they’ll provide will have an invaluable and lasting impact in helping our members leapfrog to success.”
WIT has brought together experts from all corners of the toy industry for this event to help entrepreneurs, women-led startups, and small business owners grow their business and catapult their career.
Speakers and industry experts include:
Ann Marie Buerkle, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Anne Marie Kehoe, Walmart
Avi Levine, Star Funding
Ben Dermer, Spin Master
David Becker, Blue Plate Media Services
Deb de Sherbinin, Perk Consulting
Denise Vannucci, Blue Plate Media Services
Elsie Collins, U.S. Small Business Administration
Gina Anzalone, ASTRA
Jeff Pinsker, Cardinal / Spin Master
Jerry Welch, Bambini Partners LLC
Jill Sasso, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
Joan Grasso, Entertainment One (EOne)
John Lee, Bambini Partners, LLC
Karen Kilpatrick, JazWings
Kelly Couchee, Licensing Expo International
Kimberly Carcone, The Toy Association
Laura Zebersky, Jazwares
Leila Nosrati, Master Toy Advisors
Lisa Shamus, Lisa Shamus and Partners
Lisa Wuennemann, PlayMonster
Marian Bossard, The Toy Association
Matt Phillips, Tier 1
Maureen McHale, McHale Design
Michele Martell, Martell Media House
Nancy Zwiers, Spin Master
Norma Rosenhain, Creata
Pablo Garrahan, Fiction Films
Robert Yusim, Product Counsel
Shelby Mathis, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Stacy Lellos, Klutz
Stephanie Azzarone, Child’s Play Communications
Steven Heller, The Brand Liaison
Sue Warfield, ASTRA
Tanya Thompson, Hasbro
Veronica Walters, Funko
Panel discussions: • Walmart Buyers Panel with VP of Toys, Anne Marie Kehoe and Walmart Buyers • E-commerce Best Practices • DRTV – Using Direct Response to Launch a Product • ‘Be an Inventor’ Panel
Info Sessions are open to registered WIT members only: • 15-minute speed mentoring sessions with top industry experts in a variety of areas include: IP, licensing, content creation, e-commerce, financing, product development, packaging, manufacturing, sales & distribution, PR/marketing, advertising, product safety, industry associations, the SBA, and the WBENC.
WIT Cocktails & Connections – October 2 – 5:30 PM: All Fall Toy Preview® exhibitors and trade guests are invited to join in the fun at WIT’s annual Cocktails & Connections event, immediately following Empowerment Day at 5:30 PM on October 2 at Dallas Market Center, Hall of Nations. Tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased by clicking here.
ABOUT WOMEN IN TOYS, LICENSING & ENTERTAINMENT
Founded in 1991, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) / The WIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to advance women through leadership, networking and educational opportunities. WIT serves and supports women at all stages of their careers, from entrepreneurs and startups to seasoned industry veterans. The WIT Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students enrolled in industry-related undergraduate programs. WIT has 25 chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, France, the UK and Australia, with liaisons in Finland, Germany, India and Lebanon.