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PRESS RELEASE

Women In Toys Announces Winners at Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala

New York City, February 19, 2017 -- More than 600 executives in toys, licensing and entertainment gathered Sunday night to honor women leaders at the Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) 13th Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala in New York City. WIT honored executives who shine as among the toy industry’s top Changemakers.

The 2017 Wonder Women Awards Winners are:

Wonder Woman in Entertainment: Andre Lake Mayer, ZAG
Wonder Woman in Licensing: Jennifer Bennett, Mattel
Wonder Woman in Manufacturing: Laura Zebersky, Jazwares
Wonder Woman in Marketing: Lisa Wuennemann, PlayMonster
Wonder Woman in Rising Star:
• Karen Kilpatrick, JazWings
• Kathryn Hardy, Disney
• Marissa DiBartolo, Toy Book
• Nikki Kennamer, Hasbro
• Stephanie Haggerty, Moose Toys
• Julie Kerwin, IAmElemental

WIT also honored actress and activist Geena Davis with a Gamechanger Award, former Chairman and CEO of Mattel, Jill Barad, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and ChiTag Founder Mary Couzin with the Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award.

“Congratulations to these powerful and deserving Wonder Woman Winners,” said Genna Rosenberg, Principal at GennComm and Co-Chair of the Wonder Women Awards Dinner. “Our industry is so rich with talent. It’s an extraordinary time for us, and the perfect moment to champion women who influence our industries and, even more critical, influence the world around them – women who change the game.”

Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jill Barad, former Chairman and CEO of Mattel, who led the Fortune 500 Company, while helping to build Barbie from a $320 million business to a $2 billion global empire.

WIT presented its Changemaker Award to Geena Davis, co-founder and chair of the Bentonville Film Festival and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, who has been at the forefront of gender equality in film and entertainment. Ms. Davis has also been an impactful advocate to the toy industry on the importance of improving gender balance, reducing stereotypes, and creating diverse female characters in children’s entertainment.

Sponsors for the event included Mattel, Nickelodeon, Bandai, PlayMonster, Spin Master, Toys”R”Us, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, Funrise, Jazwares, Moose Toys, Alex Brands, American Greetings Entertainment, Pamson, Entertainment One, JAKKS Pacific, LEGO, NBC Universal, NPD Group, VTech, The Bridge Direct, DGL, UBM, The Product Greenhouse, The Toy Book and ttpm.

While the Wonder Woman Awards Gala is WIT’s annual signature event, the organization provides professional women in the industry year-round opportunities to connect, collaborate and build relationships with one another, plus unique opportunities and powerful leadership tools to grow their businesses and careers. Learn more about the 2016 Wonder Women nominees on WIT’s Facebook Page or online at WomenInToys.com.


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.