WIT proudly announces the 14th Annual Wonder Women Awards


​The WIT Wonder Women Awards recognize and honor outstanding business leaders, senior managers and entrepreneurs for their achievements and significant contributions to the toy, licensing and entertainment industries. Join us to celebrate these talented industry leaders at the 14th Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York City.

Nominations Now Open thru October 31, 2017


Being nominated for a Wonder Woman Award is a great honor. This is your opportunity to recognize and reward an individual who has made meaningful contributions to the toy, licensing and entertainment industries.

Nominations Now Open thru October 31, 2017

Anyone may submit a nominee for a Wonder Women Award. You might like to partner with a friend to nominate. Self-nominations are welcome.

Submissions fees are non-refundable, and are as follows:

  • $75 – June 1 through August 31
  • $100 – September 1 through October 31


Nominations close October 31, 2017


Nominees will be reviewed by a panel of Judges, and final nominees will be selected based on criteria met.


A nominee may be moved to a different category than originally nominated.


Voting will be conducted by WIT members, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and key industry influencers.


Winners will be announced at the Wonder Women Awards Gala on February 18, 2018.


Some things to consider when nominating your candidate for a Wonder Woman award:


Share why you’re nominating this Wonder Woman, or what makes your nominee a Wonder Woman.


Provide any additional information we should know about your nominee. Files and links to articles, websites, etc. may be sent to Amy Good.




Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Gamechanger Award


Jill Barad

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Couzin

Mary Couzin

Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award

Andre Lake Mayer_Entertainment_Zag
Andre Lake Mayer


ZAG Entertainment

Laura Zebersky



Jennifer Bennett_Licensing_Mattel1
Jennifer Bennett



Lisa Wuennemann



Karen Kilpatrick



Kathryn Hardy_RisingStar_Disney
Kathryn Hardy


Disney Consumer Products

Marissa DiBartolo


Toy Book/Toy Insider

Nikki Kennamer_RisingStar_Hasbro
Nikki Kennamer



Stephanie Haggerty


Moose Toys

Julie Kerwin



14th Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York City
6:00 – 7:30 PM Cocktails & Networking
7:30 – 10:00 PM Dinner and Awards Presentation
Honoring WIT Changemakers: Playing it Forward
In 2017, we will recognize and honor female executives who are creating positive change by giving back, passing on the lessons they’ve learned, and paving the way for future leaders. We pay tribute to these women, who influence the industry and whose work influences the world around them.

Nominations are now closed.


Manufacturing Award Nominees


Anita Choy

General Manager, Asia
at Moose Toys

Anna Mowbray

Chief Operating Officer,

Deirdre Cross

Director of Production,
Forrest-Pruzan Creative

Gretchen Forrest

Vice President of Global Design and Development, Hasbro
Julia Prohaska_Manufacturing_Mattel

Julia Prohaska

Vice President, Global Marketing, American Girl, Mattel

Kelly Woon

Senior Director & GM, Canada, Funrise, Inc.

Laura Zebersky

Chief Operating Officer, Jazwares

Tara Badie

Director – Brand Management, Bandai America

Marketing Award Nominees


Christina Schick

Vice President of Marketing,
Madame Alexander Dolls

Claire Tindall

Senior Director Marketing & Communications, Sphero

Deborah Salmon

Salmon Borre Group
Kristin Hamilton_Marketing_Hasbro

Kristin Hamilton

Senior Director of Partner Brands, Hasbro

Laurie Conway

VP of Marketing,
Alex Brands

Lesley Singleton

Managing Director & Head of Play,
Playtime PR Ltd.

Lisa Wuennemann

Director or Marketing, PlayMonster LLC (formerly Patch Products, LLC)

Lynn Rosenblum

Marketing Consultant,
Middle School Moguls

Marina Gorey

Chief of Staff,

Sejal Shah Miller

Vice President, Global Marketing, Mattel

Sharon Vinderine

PTPA Media Inc.

Sheena Stephens

Group Vice President, MWWPR

Tamara Horowitz

VP & Executive Producer, Creative Content, Spin Master

Licensing Award Nominees


Dianne Bellchambers

Business Manager, Australia, Moose Toys

Erin Stein

Publisher, Imprint – Macmillan Publishing
Hayley Maguire_Licensing

Hayley Maguire

Senior Director of Global Creative and Product Development, Hasbro Consumer Products
Untitled design (1)

Jennifer Bennett

Senior Director, Strategic Development, Global Licensing and Entertainment Partnerships, Mattel

Jessica Blue

Senior Vice President, Licensing, Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, License! Global
Karyn Weiss_Licensing_AccessoryInnovations

Karyn Weiss

Senior V.P. Licensing & Business Development, Accessory Innovations

Marie Todd

Director of Licensing, Komar Kids
Meredith Norrie_Licensing_Disney

Meredith Norrie

Director, Marvel Licensing and Business Development, The Walt Disney Company
Pictured:  Sujata Luther, SVP, Consumer Insights  Photo:  Carol Dragon/Nickelodeon. ©2014 Viacom International, Inc..  All Rights Reserved

Sujata Luther

EVP Consumer Insights, Nickelodeon

Entertainment Award Nominees

Andre Lake Mayer_Entertainment_Zag

André Lake Mayer

President, Global Brand Strategy & Consumer Products,
ZAG Animation Studios

Cathy Galeota

Senior Vice President, Preschool Current Series, Nickelodeon
Meghan McCarthy_Entertainment_Hasbro

Meghan McCarthy

Co-Head of Storytelling, Hasbro
Julie Pistor_Entertainment_Mattel

Julie Pistor

VP, Executive Producer,

Rising Star Award Nominees


Annalisa Batista-Ferreira

Senior Global Brand Marketing Manager, Mattel
Catherine Croft Swanwick

Catherine Croft Swanwick, Ph.D

CEO, Catlilli Games

Jenny Kile

Founder/Inventor, Kardtects Building Cards

Julie Kerwin

Creator, IAmElemental

Karen Kilpatrick

Vice President of Marketing, JazWings
Kathryn Hardy_RisingStar_Disney

Kathryn Hardy

Senior Manager, Marvel Licensing, Disney Consumer Products

Kelley Williams

Co-founder & CEO, Paige & Paxton
Untitled design

Kirsten Augustad de Molina

Senior Director, Operations & Logistics, WABA Fun LLC

Laura Barta

President of Whole Wide World Toys

Lisa Pelletier

CEO, Bears2Go

Madeline Hunter

Vice President, Hunter Products

Marissa DiBartolo

Senior Editor & Director of Digital/Social Media at Toy Book/Toy Insider

Nicole Jakob

Founder & Chief Renegade, Part Time Renegade LLC
Nikki Kennamer_RisingStar_Hasbro

Nikki Kennamer

Director of Global Brand Strategy & Marketing for Family Gaming, Hasbro

Stephanie Haggerty

Brand Manager, Moose Toys

Stephanie Simpson Bughi

Director, Global Brand Marketing, Funrise, Inc.



Member Price – $300
Non-Member Price – $350


VIP Table – 10 Seats – $5,000
Standard Table – 10 Seats – $3,500

* All tables include Digital Tribute Book Ad
* Buy tables with industry friends to secure reserved seats!
* All tables must be paid by check to Women in Toys Inc. Email amy@womenintoys.com to purchase a table. 


What is the format of the WIT Wonder Women Awards Gala?

The cocktail reception begins at 6:00 PM; the seated dinner and Awards program begins at 7:30 pm.

Is there assigned seating at the event?

Yes, there is assigned seating. We will try our best to seat you with everyone in your party. Please include any seating requests in the notes section of your ticket purchase and we will try to accommodate. Assigned seating is only guaranteed for full table purchases.

How do I get my tickets for the Gala?

Tickets are now available. Please scroll up to purchase. No printed tickets will be issued for the event. Guest names appear on a check-in list at the door.

Does the Gala sell out?

Yes, this event may sell out.

Are tickets refundable?

Tickets are non-refundable.

I’m a journalist who wants to cover the WIT Wonder Women Awards Gala on Sunday, February 19. Are there tickets for the media?

For press-related inquiries, please email marykay@womenintoys.com.

Directions to Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City

Pier Sixty is housed within the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, located at 23rd Street and the Hudson River. Vehicles may enter the complex from the West Side Highway between 22nd and 23rd Streets in Manhattan.


WIT Founder Honoree – Anne Pitrone – Pitrone & Associates
WIT Founder Honoree – Susan Matsumoto – Kennedy-Matsumoto Design
Wonder Girl – Sydney & Toni Loew – Poketti
Retailer – Anne Marie Kehoe – Walmart
Manufacturer – Cat Demas – Spin Master
Designer/Inventor – Jacqui Tobias – Moose Toys
Licensing/Entertainment – Joan Grasso – Entertainment One
Social Responsibility – Joan Lawrence – Toy Industry Association
Marketing – Kimberly Willis Boyd – Hasbro
Rising Star – Laura Guilbault – Hasbro
Social Influencer – Melissa & Gracie Hunter – Mommy & Gracie Show/ Family Video Network
Public Relations – Tara Tucker – Spin Master

Lifetime Achievement – Ann Kearns – Sesame Workshop
Wonder Girl 
– Lyla Black – Lyla Tov Monsters
People’s Choice  – Elaine Blackmore Carovilla – Disney Consumer Products
Designer or Inventor
 – Ditte Buun Pedersen – LEGO Future Lab
Licensing & Entertainment – Samantha Freeman – Out of the Blue
Licensing & Entertainment  – Angela Santomero – Out of the Blue
Manufacturer – Irene Li – The Bridge Direct
Marketing/Advertising – Tamara Stewart – Moose Toys
PR/Social Media  – Julie Duffy – Hasbro
Retailer  – Eva Lorenz – Amazon.com
Rising Star  – Alice Brooks – Roominate
Rising Star  – Bettina Chen – Roominate
Social Responsibility  – Deborah Dicochea – Mattel, Inc.

Designer or Inventor  – Kiyomi Haverly – Mattel Global Brands
Licensing & Entertainment – Naz Cuevas – Rovio Entertainment Inc.
Licensing & Entertainment  – Donna Tobin – Hasbro, Inc.
Lifetime Achievement  – Rita Raiffe – GUND

Manufacturer – Stefanie Barone – MZ Berger
Marketing – Susie Lecker – Fisher-Price
Public Relations  – Michele Litzky – Litzky Public Relations
Retailer  – Christina Jansa – Target
Rising Star  – Debra Sterling – GoldieBlox

Designer or Inventor – Nancy Zwiers – Funosophy
Licensing & Entertainment – Lourdes Arocho – Nickelodeon Consumer Products
Lifetime Achievement Award – Cathy Meredith – Hasbro
Manufacturer – Gale Jarvis Alexander Doll Co.
Marketing or Branding – Alita Friedman – Pretty Ugly, LLC
PR * Social Media – Jen Derevensky – Ren Beanie Public Relation
Socially Responsible – Jean Butler – The Toy Industry Foundation
Retailer – Leila Nosrati – Toys R Us
Rising Star – Caitlin Gutekunst – Mind Candy
Superman Award – Carter Keithley – The TIA
Superman Award – Jay Foreman – The Bridge

Designer or Inventor – Lori Rotter – Blip Toys
Entrepreneur – Laurie Zoob Hyman – Green Toys
Journalism and Social Media – Jackie Breyer – Adventure Publishing
Licensing Agent – Jennifer Richmond – Richmond Management Group
Licensee – Lauren Whitehead – JAKKS Pacific
Licensor – JoAnn McLaughlin – Disney Consumer Products
Life Time Achievement – Joanne Oppenheim – Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
Manufacturer – Jennifer Caveza – JAKKS Pacific
Marketing, Advertising and Branding – Sasha Junk– Kidz Bop
Publishing – Laurie Schacht – Adventure Publishing
Public Relations and Communications – Janis VanTine – Imperial Toy
Retailer of the Year – Lori Costley – Walmart
Rising Star – Elizabeth Miller – Hasbro
Sales – Renee Lochhead – Spin Master
Social Responsibility – Deidre Lind – Mattel
Consultant of the Year – Reyne Rice, Toy Industry Association
Inventor/Designer of the Year – Lisa Gelfond, 9 dots
Manufacturer of the Year – Shirley Price, Funrise Toy Corporation
Retailer of the Year – Lisa Harnisch, Toys R Us
Social Media/Digital Marketing of the Year – Kim Vandenbroucke, The Game Aisle
Women to Watch – Anne-Marie Feliciano, JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
Designer/Inventor – Leslie Scott, Oxford Games
Entrepreneur – Melanie Corpstein, Adorable Originals
Green – Ewa Martinoff, Shainsware
Licensor – Ann Kearns, Global Toys – Sesame Workshop
Licensing Agent – Patti Becker, Becker Associates
Manufacturer – Bryony Bouyer, Hasbro
Online Social Networker – Lisa Orman, KidStuff Public Relations
Retailer – Bernadette Voelker, QVC
Women to Watch:
Genna Rosenberg, JAKKS Pacific
Consultant – Stephanie Azzarone, Child’s Play Communications
Designer/Inventor – Fanny Wong, Fanny’s Playhouse
Mary Couzin, Chitag
Mia Galison, Eeboo
Maureen McHale, McHale Design
Green – Sarah Alvarez & Debbie Smith, Idbids
Manufacturer – Sharon John, Hasbro
Licensor – Leigh Anne Brodsky, Nick and Viacom Consumer Products
Licensing Agent – Carlin West, 4Kids Entertainment
Retailer – Laura Phillips, Wal-Mart
Women to Watch:
Jill Waller, Cranium
Elizabeth Werner, iVillage
In Memoriam
Annette Shelley, Annette Shelley Inc
Consultant – Lisa Orman, KidStuff Public Relations
Designer/Inventor – Melone Griffiths, Hasbro
Entrepreneur – Laura Rangel & Lisa Steen Proctor, KidsGive
Licensor – Holly Rawlinson, Pokemon USA
Manufacturer – Julia Fitzgerald, Vtech Electronics
Retailer – Ellen Hearney Mizer, Barnes & Noble
Women to Watch:
Samantha Lomow, Hasbro
Judy Ellis, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Jill Gaynor, Beyond Learning
In Memoriam
Martine Redman Donofrio
Designer/Inventor – Gina Beebe, American Girl
Entrepreneur – Stevanne Auerbach, Dr. Toy
Manufacturer – Patty Jackson, Zizzle
Retailer – Sharon DiMinico, Learning Express
Women to Watch:
Lisa Marie Arneson, Bright Spots
Kathleen McHugh, Astra
Denise Gray Robinson, Dolls Like Me
Designer/Inventor – Judy Shackelford, Shackelford & Associates
Entrepreneur – Debra Fine, Small World Kids
Manufacturer – Lynne Rosenblum, Overbreak
Retailer – Melody Young, Toysrus.com
Women to Watch:
Liane Czirjak, Oregon Scientific
Julie Dix & Danielle Ayotte, Taggies
Elise Lachowyn, Spin Master, Ltd.
Kimberly Kociencki, Society of Product Licensors Committed to Excellence  (SPLiCE)
Designer/Inventor – Betty Morris, K+B Innovations
Entrepreneur – Nancy Zwiers, Funosophy
Manufacturer – Nurit Amdur, Alex Toys
Retailer – Maxine Clark, Build-a-Bear Workshop