Women in Toys (WIT), a US organization for professional women in the toy, licensing and children’s entertainment industry, honored female executives from such companies as Spin Master, Hasbro, Moose Toys and Walmart for their achievements in the kids entertainment industry over the past year at the 12th Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala, which was held in New York earlier this week.
WIT handed out 12 awards at the event, which was attended by more than 500 execs from around the world.
Mattel took home the Game Changer Award for the evolution of its iconic Barbie brand with the Fasionistas line (pictured), which reflects women of different physical appearances and backgrounds.
Anne Pitrone and Susan Matsumoto received the founders award for growing WIT – the organization they started 25 years ago in a restaurant – into a global association that hosts more than 50 events per year worldwide.
And another duo taking one of the top prizes were young entrepreneurs Sydney and Toni Leow, who won the Wonder Girl Award for creating Poketti pocket plush.
Rounding out the winners circle were:
- Manufacturer: Cat Demas, VP and global business head, preschool girls, Spin Master
- Rising star: Laura Guilbault, director of product and market strategy, Disney Princess and Frozen, Hasbro
- Public relations: Tara Tucker , VP of global marketing communications, Spin Master
- Designer/inventor: Jacqui Tobias, director and head of girls product development, Moose Toys
- Licensing/entertainment: Joan Grasso, VP of North American licensing, Entertainment One
- Marketing: Kimberly Willis Boyd, VP of US marketing, gaming and partner brands, Hasbro
- Social responsibility: Joan Lawrence, senior VP of standards and regulatory affairs, Toy Industry Association
- Social influencer: Melissa and Gracie Hunter, Mommy & Gracie Show, Family Video Network
- Retailer: Anne Marie Kehoe, VP of toys, Walmart