Women In Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Announces New Board and Adivsory Members
New Chapters Also Added in Puerto Rico and France
NEW YORK, May 3, 2017 – Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT), the leading global professional women’s organization in the toy, licensing and entertainment industries, today announced the expansion of its board of directors with new members. WIT is also pleased to announce its continued growth, with new chapters and chapter chairs in Puerto Rico and France.
“We enthusiastically welcome the newest WIT board members, both of whom are dedicated to our mission and bring additional strength and depth to our board,” said Ashley Mady, WIT President. “We could not be happier with the sustained growth, especially on a global level. These expansions are logical steps in our mission to provide our members a trusted platform for business opportunities through a diverse and talented network in 2017 and beyond.”
WIT’s board of directors will benefit from the expertise and contributions brought by these two new appointments, which include:
Gena Lavallee – Senior Buyer, Toys”R”Us
Gena is a retail veteran and works with manufacturers, licensors and studios to bring extraordinary programs to life at retail. She provides feedback on products, packaging, marketing & strategy to execute a collaborative vision for the brands within her influence. During her 14 years at Toys”R”Us, Gena has managed businesses for Fashion Dolls, Tween, Baby Dolls, Kitchens, Play Food, Preschool, Infant Toy, ELA, Crafts, Construction Back to School, Wheeled Goods, Outdoor Playground Equipment and Sports.
Brandi Pinsker – Founder and CEO, Project Genius
During her time in the toy industry, Brandi has worked as a buyer, a manufacturer, and as a rep. Her “toy story” began 17 years ago when she served as Calendar Club's toy and game buyer for eight years. In 2009, Brandi launched Recent Toys USA, the American subsidiary of a successful Dutch company specializing in unique brainteasers and mechanical puzzles for all ages. After building Recent Toys into a leader in the brainteaser category, she bought out the company and rebranded it as Project Genius. Brandi also serves as co-chair for the Dallas WIT Chapter.
Additionally, WIT’s advisory board welcomes Maura Regan, Executive Vice President of The International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association (LIMA).
Maura Regan – Executive Vice President, LIMA
Prior to joining The International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association (LIMA) in late 2016, Regan was SVP and GM, Global Media Business for Sesame Workshop. Over her 17-year career with Sesame Workshop, she held various senior-level executive positions. Before joining Sesame Workshop, she worked for Scholastic Entertainment and MTV Networks in their international divisions. Maura is co-chair of the FWA Executive Leaders committee and a standing fellow with the US-Japan Foundation Leadership program. Regan was recognized as a top leader in business by Irish-America Magazine.
WIT is also excited to welcome new chapter chairs, as a result of the organization’s expansion with new chapters in Puerto Rico and France. The following new WIT chapter chairs will be responsible for keeping members connected in their region:
• Johanna López-Falero (Puerto Rico) – Vice President, Tree House Kids
• Christine Pagani (France) – Director, 123 Conseil
• Mathilde Dezalys (France) – Country Manager, Bandai
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.