WHO WE ARE

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and global community that champions and advocates for the advancement of women through leadership, networking and educational opportunities.

Advance. Connect. Advocate.

These three words are at the heart of our mission of advancing women. Our members open doors for one another, are eager to share what they’ve learned, and are dedicated to change in our industry.Through the critical resources and programming we provide, and the connections we help to forge, we’re creating limitless opportunities for women to thrive at all levels of their career.

WiT EXECUTIVE BOARD

JaniceRoss_1.31.19 (edited-Pixlr)

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.

Alita-Headshot_11-300x300

Alita Friedman

WiT Treasurer / Secretary
CEO. Alita’s Brand Bar

MKRusellHeadshot

Mary Kay Russell

WiT Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Vice President and
Chief People Officer
Mattel

Director of Marketing
Jazwares

BernadetteBoyleHeadshot700-300x300

Bernadette Boyle

The Toy Association Liaison
Senior Membership Manager
The Toy Association

D&I Committee
SVP & Global Brand GM
MEGA Brands – Mattel

Cynthia-Nishimoto-300x300

Cynthia Nishimoto

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

D&I Chair
Founding Creative Director
Be Super Creative

Gena-L-300x300

Gena Lavallee

Nominations Chair
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Make It Real

Wonder Women Awards Co-Chair
& Sponsorship Chair

CEO, GennComm, LLC

Jennifer_Caveza-300x300

Jennifer Caveza

Wonder Women Awards Co-Chair
Otis College of Art & Design
Chair Toy Design

Jennifer-Quattrock-300x300

Jennifer Quattrock

Design Co-Chair
Creative Director
JenQTRock Design

KarenKilpatrick

Karen Kilpatrick

Wonder Women Awards Committee
Author & Entrepreneur

Senior Vice President, Retail Sales & Marketing
Viacom CBS Consumer Products

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

Communications Chair
CEO/Toy Insider
Adventure Publishing

Lourdes-Arocho-300x300

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.

 

Stefanie-Barone-300x300

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
It’sSugar

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

Stephen Stanley
Jazwares Costume Play

Patti Becker
Becker Associates LLC

Nancy Zwiers
Funosophy, Inc.

Pam Kaufman
ViacomCBS

Steve Totzke
Mattel

OUR STAFF

MKRusellHeadshot

Mary Kay Russell

Executive Director

Kelsey Apaio

Kelsey
Alpaio

Copywriter

Allie headshot

Allie
Benham

Marketing Manager

Peg-Brom

Peg
Brom

Community Manager

Sandra_Lepianka_Cropped

Sandra Lepianka

Operations Manager

shannonvarcoe

Shannon
Varcoe

Program Manager

OUR ORIGIN & FOUNDERS

30 years ago, a group of women came together at the New York Toy Fair in pursuit of connections and opportunities in the toy industry.  Today, our ecosystem has grown to include licensing and entertainment with thousands of women still in pursuit of the same thing, a more inclusive and equitable workforce. 

pitrone-272x272

Anne Pitrone

Founder & CEO, Pitrone & Associates

susan-276x276

Susan Matsumoto

Partner, Kennedy-Matsumoto Design

COMMITTEES

Get involved with WiT by joining a committee today!

Email info@womenintoys.com for more information.