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

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Janice Ross

WiT President
Managing Partner, Brand Fresh Management

Janice Ross is the founder and Managing Partner of Brand Fresh Management and serves as volunteer president of Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) and The WiT Foundation.

A multi-disciplined licensing and branding executive, she was named Game Changer in 2017 by License Global Magazine. With over 25 years of global experience in the consumer products and entertainment industries, Janice 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 leadership at WiT, the mission-driven organization has launched a number of high-impact initiatives, and has grown exponentially both in programming and member engagement. Serving a vast and diverse global community, 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

Treasurer / Secretary
CEO. Alita’s Brand Bar

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Mary Kay Russell

Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

EVP and Chief People Officer
Mattel

Scholarship Committee Co-Chair
Director of Marketing
Jazwares

Director/GM Category Leader,
Toys & Games
Amazon

SVP & Global Brand GM
MEGA Brands – Mattel

Christina Sklavenitis

Christina Sklavenitis

Founder
Christina Sklavenitis Consulting

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Cynthia Nishimoto

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

Founding Creative Director
Be Super Creative

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Gena Lavallee

Nominations Committee Chair
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Make It Real

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Jennifer Caveza

Otis College of Art & Design
Chair Toy Design

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Jennifer Quattrock

Creative Director
JenQTRock Design

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Julie Gwaltney

Senior Director
TOMY International

Marketing Committee Chair
President
Kayppin Media

Founder
LikeU

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

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

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Leila Nosrati

Licensing and Retail Development Consultant
Master Toy Advisors

Co-CEO
Kidfinity, Inc.

Senior Sales Executive
Toy’n Around

Senior Director, Brand and Product Marketing
VTech Electronics North America

DEI Committee Co-Chair
Global Head of Communications
Osmo

 

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Stefanie Barone

VP of Design
Jazwares

EVP and Chief People Officer
Spin Master

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

Debra Joester
Joester Loria Group LLC

Jay Foreman
Basic Fun!

Kim Carcone
The Toy Association

Joan Packard Luks
The Serenata Group

JoAnn McLaughlin
Marvel Entertainment

Maura Regan
Licensing International

Michael Rinzler
Jazwares

Genna Rosenberg
GennComm

Stephen Stanley
Jazwares Costume Play

Patti Becker
Becker Associates LLC

Nancy Zwiers
Funosophy, Inc.

Pam Kaufman
ViacomCBS

Steve Totzke
Mattel

OUR STAFF

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Mary Kay Russell

Executive Director

Kelsey Apaio

Kelsey
Alpaio

Copywriter

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Allie
Benham

Marketing Manager

Peg-Brom

Peg
Brom

Community Manager

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Sandra Lepianka

Operations Manager

Acey Holmes (1)

Acey
Holmes

Program Facilitator

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. 

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Anne Pitrone

Founder & CEO, Pitrone & Associates

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Susan Matsumoto

Partner, Kennedy-Matsumoto Design

COMMITTEES

Get involved with WiT by joining a committee today!

Email info@womenintoys.com for more information.