ANDREW WEINER, CHIEF ADVISOR, TOY'N AROUND INC. (CHAIRPERSON, THE TOY FOUNDATION)
Andy is a 47-year veteran of the toy industry, who began his career at the Milton Bradley Company in 1975. During his time at Milton Bradley, Andy held various positions in administration and ultimately ended up in their sales force. When he left Milton Bradley in 1983, he held the position of Southwest Regional Sales Manager with primary responsibility for Walmart Stores.
Since then, Andy has served the industry as a manufacturer's representative in the central and upper Midwest, starting with Dan Buckey Associates, the firm that later morphed into Toy’n Around and is headquartered in Minneapolis. Over the past 37 years, he has participated in the launch of several major toy brands, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), Tech Deck, Vtech and Squinkies. Today, his firm continues to represent several iconic brands including TMNT Animal Planet and Crazy Art, as well as emerging brands like Basic Fun! and Ryan’s World from Bonkers Toys.
Beginning with a five-year service as a firefighter/EMT Andy has an extensive background in nonprofit board work. He has held the position of chairman of Make-A-Wish Minnesota and at Children’s Cancer Research Fund, the largest contributor to Pediatric medicine at the University of Minnesota (U of M). Additionally, he has served on the Philanthropic Board of the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital. Currently he is a Director for the Western Golf Association (Evans Scholars Foundation) and Chairperson of the Board for The Toy Foundation. Andy is also serving his third term as a member of the Board of Directors of The Toy Association as well as he is currently the Chairperson of the BOG Indian Wells Country Club.
Andy graduated from University of Hartford with a BA and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with his MBA.
Married 43 years to wife, Marci, his life revolves around his daughters, Melissa and Halley, and his six grandchildren.
GLENN ABELL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, MEGA™ AND GLOBAL HEAD OF CONSTRUCTION CATEGORY, MATTEL, INC.
In December 2021, Glenn Abell began his role at Senior Vice President, MEGA™ and Head of the Global Construction Category for Mattel®. Part of the Mattel® family, MEGA™ empowers fans and families to build the future they imagine. MEGA™ designs & manufactures innovative, high-quality construction toys for builders of all ages to create, customize & collect. From the first years of play with Mega Bloks® to the discovery of new worlds with Mega Construx™, MEGA™ is the brand that dares to go beyond the rules of construction. For more information, visit http://www.megabrands.com/.
From April 2019 through November 2021, Glenn was General Manager for Moose Toys US based in Los Angeles. He was accountable for all facets of the USA business and a member of the Moose Toys Global Senior Leadership Team which is responsible for guiding commercial strategy, organizational health, and product development direction.
Glenn spent the previous 16 years working for The LEGO Group, where he held various general management, sales and marketing roles in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Glenn’s most recent role was Vice President & Head of Global Ecommerce for LEGO Retail looking after the group’s owned digital commerce platform, www.LEGO.com, accountable for direct-to-consumer Ecommerce globally. Previous to his time with The LEGO Group, Glenn worked in the U.S. beverage industry for Evian, Dr Pepper/Seven Up, and Anheuser-Busch in a variety of sales and marketing functions.
Glenn has several years of Board experience with industry bodies such as the Australia Toy Association for over 4 years where he Chaired the sub-committee for philanthropy. He also sat on internal Boards at The LEGO Group for three countries. Glenn is currently a Board Advisor for the K9 Youth Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to enrich the lives of young people as they help prepare abandoned dogs for permanent homes. He also sits on the Board of Joy Tops, an innovator in the e-sports gaming space. Most recently, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Toy Foundation, the charitable arm of The Toy Association in the U.S. where is also serves on the Chairman’s Advisory Committee. In addition to his Board service, Glenn has been a guest lecturer with MBA/Executive MBA programs and speaks at conferences worldwide.
His 20+ years of experience in the toy and FMCG industries has given Glenn a tremendous appreciation for the power of brands and people’s ability to identify with them. Glenn, his wife and their two daughters reside in Pasadena, California.
STEPHANIE BAILEY, VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL TOYS, PARAMOUNT
Stephanie Bailey is a toy kid at heart. She started her career selling toys and dancing on the Big Piano at FAO Schwarz. Stephanie played an integral role in the Toys“R”Us acquisition of FAO Schwarz and went on to grow her career in Toys“R”Us merchandising across several categories, ultimately as a Divisional Business Manager for Babies”R”Us.
She has helped dozens of toy companies successfully launch their products and brands, making lots of Toys”R”Us kids very happy throughout the years. Stephanie’s industry experience and childhood dreams of getting slimed led her to a new career in licensing as the Senior Director of Toys at ViacomCBS. Stephanie is an active participant in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries; she dedicates her time to Women In Toys (WIT) as both the New York chapter co-chair and all-around WIT champion. She develops fresh programming that delivers on WIT’s mission, particularly in areas of mentorship and diversity & inclusion.
She is passionate about making kids happy and eager to share her expertise to help others find success in the toy industry. She is committed to driving meaningful industry change through leading by example and growing collaboration across organizations to influence the evolution of equitable workplaces.
BRYONY BOUYER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION & MULTI-CULTURAL STRATEGIES, HASBRO, INC.
Bryony Bouyer is a seasoned executive with demonstrated leadership and revenue building experience in a $6.5B+ publicly traded consumer products and entertainment company. Her brand building, licensing and promotional experience has been recognized by multiple sources including Women In Toys (WIT) and the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where she recently received an Honorary Doctorate.
Bryony currently leads Hasbro’s global Diversity and Inclusion strategy to foster a more diverse workforce while ensuring that the company derives incremental growth from the Multi-cultural consumer. Since assuming this position in late 2018, Bryony has led the execution of the company’s first-ever performance-based diversity and inclusion goals in order to cultivate a successful and sustainable business for the future.
Bryony began her Hasbro career in 1995, serving in a variety of roles in both the Global Brand and Global Consumer Products team. Responsible for developing & driving the global licensing strategy for all of Hasbro’s iconic brands, Bryony leveraged her negotiation, sales, marketing, creative and operational skills to successfully expand the company’s iconic brands, into key consumer products categories. From taking the MY LITTLE PONY brand into more 70 than countries and across all major consumer products and promotional categories, to growing the TRANSFORMERS consumer products portfolio to deliver over $12 billion in retail sales since 2014; Bryony has played an integral role in strategically advancing Hasbro’s successful consumer products division via the licensing mechanism.
Bryony currently serves on the board of the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is also a member of The Toy Foundation’s Diversity Committee and an active member of the Women In Toys (WIT) organization.
Bryony received her BS in marketing and honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and her MBA from Bryant University.
KATHLEEN CAMPISANO, GLOBAL CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER & GENERAL MANAGER, BEACON MEDIA GROUP
Kathleen Campisano is Global Chief Marketing Officer & General Manager of Beacon Media Group. She is an award-winning business leader with an impeccable record of driving multimillion-dollar growth. Areas of expertise include strategic planning, P&L management, brand building, ideation, product development, integrated media planning and buying, merchandising, and experiential retailing.
She has mastered the art of interpreting consumer insights, and successfully translated those insights into market opportunities. Kathleen is a longtime contributor to the toy industry. She holds several patents for product innovation and has served on the Toy Association Board of Directors since 2016.
In 2019, Kathleen was honored to be appointed to the Board of Directors of the Toy Foundation, a uniting force for the collective philanthropy across the toy industry benefiting children in need.
Prior to her current role, Kathleen was Vice President of Toys & Games at Barnes & Noble 2009 – 2019. During her ten years at B&N, she launched a world class Educational Toys & Games department, created, and curated an enviable Hobby, Collectible, Adult Games & Puzzle and Pop Culture division. She achieved consecutive double-digit growth, significant market share and consistently outpaced the industry.
Campisano also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Mega Brands in 2007 – 2009. From 2000 – 2007 Campisano was SVP of Product Development & Marketing for LeapFrog Enterprises where she, along with her talented team, secured several TOTY Awards, People’s Choice Awards, and a coveted Grand Effie. Kathleen has also held key marketing and brand positions at Fisher Price from 1996 - 2000 and Century Baby Products from 1989 – 1996 where she received an IDSA award.
Kathleen has earned an Executive MBA from the SUNY School of Management and a BS in Marketing from Xavier University. Throughout her career, she has passionately and consistently applied her unique skills elevating best in class organizations. Kathleen prides herself on building strong motivated teams who drive impressive results. Her experience, commitment and passion have earned her the respect of executive colleagues, national educators, and industry leaders.
JAMIE CYGIELMAN, GENERAL MANAGER, AMERICAN GIRL
Jamie Cygielman currently serves as General Manager/President of American Girl, a premium brand for girls, best known for its inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences. American Girl is a division of Mattel, Inc.
Jamie joined American Girl in May 2019. For the past 30 years, Jamie has developed, managed, and grown global businesses across the Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment and Toy categories, for iconic brands such as Barbie, Revlon, The Radio City Rockettes, Jones New York, Danskin and Starter. She is a proven leader with a diverse perspective, understanding customer insights, driving brand innovation, and developing effective business turnarounds.
As Chief Marketing Officer for Iconix Brand Group’s portfolio of 30 fashion and lifestyle brands,
Jamie drove innovative partnerships and breakthrough marketing campaigns, while leading the digital transformation for the organization.
As General Manager of Madame Alexander, Jamie successfully led the turnaround for the heritage doll company, to reclaim its premium position and cultural relevance, and restored the brand’s profitability.
At The Jones Group, Jamie re-launched a portfolio of fashion and lifestyle brands including Jones New York, Anne Klein, and Jessica Simpson, to a new generation of women through breakthrough creative, media, and retail programs.
At Madison Square Garden, Jamie developed a long-term strategic vision and expanded the iconic Rockettes into new forms of entertainment, merchandise, and partnerships through multi-media applications and new markets.
At HIT Entertainment, Jamie led Thomas & Friends to four years of consecutive double-digit growth and the status as the #1 pre-school brand, through retail segmentation, licensing and partnerships including live events, hospitality, and theme park programs.
As Global VP of Marketing for Mattel’s Barbie, Jamie led global brand strategy and product
development. She drove innovation in the fashion doll category, launching the brand into long
form entertainment with worldwide movie launches, related merchandise, and retail programs.
At Revlon, Jamie was part of the management team that re-branded Revlon with breakthrough brand positioning, storytelling, and product launches, infusing modernity and relevance into the heritage DNA, and drove the brand to #1 from #3.
Jamie holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a BA from The University of Michigan. She lives in New York City with her family.
JOHN GESSERT (ADVISOR), PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AMERICAN PLASTIC TOYS, INC.
John Gessert currently serves as President & CEO of American Plastics Toys, Inc. He joined the organization in 1984 in sales and operations and, after holding regional sales manager positions, became national sales manager in 1991. He served as Executive Vice President from 1998 to 2003 before assuming his current role.
John is committed to serving and supporting children throughout his career. He was a member of The Toy Association’s Board of Directors for more than a decade, where we served as Chair from 2014 – 2016 and Chair Emeritus/Board Advisor from 2016 – 2020. Additionally, John was elected as Chair of The Toy Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2018 – 2020 and continues to serve as an active Advisor.
John and his wife, Susan, reside in Michigan and enjoy spending time with their four children Ellen, Jack, Emma and Julia and their significant others. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his MBA from Wayne State University.
MANUEL (MANNY) G. GRACE, ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Manuel G. Grace is Associate General Counsel to The Walt Disney Company, the world’s largest entertainment company. Manny is head of the Environmental, Health and Safety practice group, which is part of the Corporate Legal Department. Manny’s responsibilities include a broad array of legal matters including, products liability, environmental compliance, and occupational safety. Manny supports Disney’s Product Integrity team, which reviews the safety of Disney-branded products sold or distributed to the public to confirm those products meet all applicable requirements.
Before joining Disney in December of 1992, Manny was with the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he was head of the Environmental Law Group since 1990. At Milbank, Manny specialized in the environmental aspects of energy development and the representation of multinational companies and banks regarding environmental matters. Before that, he was associated with the law firm of Sidley & Austin where his experience included environmental work on federal, state, and local levels since 1986.
Manny graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1979 with a B.A. in Psychology. He earned his law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1982, where he was Managing Editor of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law. Manny also clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the Hon. Lawrence W. Pierce.
Manny is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Notre Dame University Alumni Association and the California State Parks Foundation. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Earthshot, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring climate action through video games and virtual and immersive experiences, and the Clairbourn School, a coeducational, private school for students in preschool through middle school serving the Pasadena, CA area. He is also a former Chairman of the Board of the Society of Product Licensor’s Committed to Excellence (SPLiCE). Manny is a member of the Environmental Law Committee of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. In addition, he is a member of the Environmental Law Committee of the California Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Manny is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section.
PETER HENSELER (ADVISOR), CHAIRMAN, TOMY INTERNATIONAL
Peter Henseler is the Chairman of TOMY International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based TOMY Company, Ltd., a leading global designer and marketer of toys and juvenile products. Prior, to Chairman he held the position of President of TOMY International from April 2011 until April 2012 and from May 2017 thru March 2021.
Previously, he was President and a Board of Director of RC2 Corporation, a NASDAQ publicly traded toy and juvenile-products Company, from 2002 to 2011, at which time TOMY Company acquired RC2. Pete also served as RC2's Vice President of Marketing and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing from 1996 to 2002. Prior to joining RC2, he held various marketing and sales positions at McDonald's, Hasbro, American Greetings, and Kimberly Clark.
Formerly the Chairperson of The Toy Foundation, Pete currently serves as an advisor of The Toy Foundation Board of Trustees and also completed three full terms of service on The Toy Association Board of Directors. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Old National Bank (ONB: NASDAQ), one of the premier relationship-based banking firms in the Midwest. He has also served on nonprofit boards including the National Board of Playing for Keeps (2006-2008) and as an Advisory Board Member for Xavier University’s Williams College of Business for Entrepreneurial Studies (2008 – 2012). Pete and his wife, Molly, have been involved in local charitable organizations in their hometown of Chicago, including Educare of DuPage County, The Juvenile Diabetes Association, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
MICHAEL KEATON, CEO, TOYSMITH
For 30 years, Michael Keaton has dedicated his career to optimizing the value of premium-brand CPG companies. Whether it’s soft drinks or toys, his passion for building powerful brands and committed teams has been the driving force of his professional life. For the past two decades, Michael has been singularly focused on promoting the benefits of play through his leadership roles within the toy industry.
Michael began his CPG career with The Coca Cola Company as a Sales and Marketing professional. His career in toys began in 2002 with The LEGO Group, first in the North American market and then global roles in Australia and Denmark. As VPGM for LEGO Australia/New Zealand, he served as a Board Member of the Australian Toy Association and later joined the ATA Board’s Executive Committee. While stationed at the LEGO HQ in Denmark, Michael headed up the creative Shopper Marketing Agency, leading packaging development, product launches, the large-model factories, shopper communication and the Shopper Marketing Centre of Excellence, working to create best-in-class in-store experiences. After nearly a decade abroad, Michael returned to the US with The LEGO Group in 2013.
In 2015, Michael accepted the role of President for the North American Division of Schleich GmbH, the global market leader for premium collectible figurines and playsets. Since 2019, Michael has served in the role of CEO for Toysmith, the Washington-based premium toy and gift manufacturer and distributor, whose mission is to turn everyday moments into joyful memories.
In addition to The Toy Foundation, Michael serves on the Board of Directors for The U.S. Toy Association, advancing the growth and sustainability of the toy industry while helping parents and children discover the benefits of creative play.
SKIP KODAK (ADVISOR), REGIONAL PRESIDENT, LEGO GROUP – AMERICAS
Preston F. “Skip” Kodak is Regional President of the Americas market region of the family-owned and privately-held LEGO Group, one of the world’s largest toy companies, based in Billund, Denmark. From Enfield, Connecticut, U.S.A. office, Skip leads sales, marketing, and operations for the global toy brand in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and Brazil. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the LEGO Community Fund U.S.
Skip joined LEGO Group in 2002 as Vice President, U.S. Field Sales. He became Vice President, U.S. Customer Development in 2004. In 2006, Skip was named Vice President, global Direct-to-Consumer and Outbound Licensing, responsible for all sales, marketing and operations of the company’s owned shopping channels and development of lifestyle categories with partners. In 2008, he became Vice President, global Direct-to-Consumer and Merlin Affairs, leading the collaboration and synergy with the company’s strategic operating partner of LEGOLAND® Parks and LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers worldwide. In 2009, he was promoted to Senior Vice President. In 2012, he joined Corporate Management as Senior Vice President for Shopper Marketing and Channel Development. In 2014, Skip was appointed Senior Vice President, global Supply Chain Planning & Distribution. He was appointed to his current role in 2016 and was a member of the Executive Leadership team from 2017-2020.
Prior to joining LEGO Group, Skip held various sales and marketing roles at the Heinz Company (2000-2002), at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. (1994-2000), and at Procter & Gamble (1987-1993).
Skip is passionate and committed to advancing the needs of underserved children and families at risk. His interests include the many activities in which he and his family participate together, recreational sports, and traveling. He is a member of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center board of directors and is Chairman Emeritus of the Toy Association.
Skip has a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Dartmouth College.
He and his wife Nicole are blessed with 5 children.
SUNNY LAURIDSEN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, LICENSING & BRAND STRATEGY, JUST PLAY
Sunny has been working in the toy industry for over 15 years, starting her career in Toys in Licensing at The Walt Disney Company. She had the privilege of working on Consumer Electronics and Preschool Licensing. The highlight of her time at Disney was partnering with the Disney Channel to launch Doc McStuffins and the entire Disney Junior suite of brands at retail.
After 7 years with Disney, Sunny took a leap and joined colleagues from Disney in the launch of a start-up toy company. Sunny served as SVP, Sales and Marketing for Cartwheel Kids. The deep dive into launching a toy start-up solidified Sunny’s passion for the business of making toys.
In 2015, Sunny joined the Just Play team. She heads up the LA office and is responsible for Licensing and studio relations as well as leading the development of brand strategies across the Just Play portfolio.
Starting at a young age, Sunny was exposed to volunteer work in the community and abroad through church and community groups. As an adult, she has volunteered in food kitchens, as an AYSO coach and in various capacities at her kids’ schools. She looks forward to serving on the Board of Trustees of the Toy Foundation to pay forward the incredible experiences and opportunities that being in the toy industry has provided her with.
ASHLEY MADY, VP OF BRAND DEVELOPMENT, IT’SUGAR
Ashley Mady is currently the VP of Brand Development at IT’SUGAR, the largest specialty candy retailer with 100 stores across the country. Prior to that she spent 3 years at toy manufacturer, Basic Fun!
In 2009, Ashley founded and helmed the brand licensing and creative agency, Brandberry. There she spent close to a decade launching new IP from the ground up and reinvigorating established brands.
From 2014-2020 she served as president of the global non-profit Women In Toys, Licensing and Entertainment. She currently sits on the board of The Toy Foundation and The Toy Association, where she chairs Genius of Play.
SEAN McGOWAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ROTH CAPITAL PARTNERS
Sean McGowan currently serves as a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst covering Beverages and other Consumer Products at Roth Capital Partners, a full-service investment bank focused on serving emerging growth companies and their investors. Roth provides capital raising, M&A advisory, analytical research, trading, market-making services, and corporate access.
Before joining Roth in 2021, Sean was a Managing Director at Gateway Investor Relations, overseeing clients in the consumer/leisure sector.
Prior to that, he spent 30 years as a sell side analyst at various firms on Wall Street.
Since 1986, Sean has been involved in the toy industry in a variety of capacities. These include providing equity research, helping companies raise capital, serving on advisory boards, and serving on the Board of Trustees of the Toy Foundation.
He currently lives in Laguna Beach, CA with his wife Heidi, splitting time among their five children and two grandchildren.
Sean holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Hofstra University.
AARON MUDERICK, INVENTOR OF THINKING PUTTY AND EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF CRAZY AARON’S
Aaron Muderick is the inventor of Thinking Putty and Executive Chairman of Crazy Aaron’s, a toy manufacturer based in Philadelphia, PA. The firm sells Thinking Putty, a toy and stress reliever, in over fifty countries around the world. With magnetic, UV light-reactive, heat-sensitive, crystal-clear, glow-in-the-dark and color-shifting varieties, Aaron has brought bouncing putty into the 21st century.
Crazy Aaron’s manufactures Thinking Putty from start to finish in the USA. The company has also developed unique production methods to employ hundreds of individuals with special needs. Aaron leads R&D of new products and develops new methods of manufacturing. He has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, The Chicago Tribune, and various other media outlets.
In addition to leading Crazy Aaron’s, Aaron was elected to the Toy Association Board in 2019 and currently serves as chair of the organization. In December 2021, he retired from his role as President of his local town council where he had served for twelve years. Aaron has developed skills in bringing government and business together while recognizing competing priorities and timelines. In 2020, he testified before the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. Senate to push for new legislation ensuring toy safety in online marketplaces.
As an active volunteer firefighter, Aaron has served on the board of his town’s local fire company and as Pyrotechnics Crew Chief for the annual fireworks show. Aaron is also the Treasurer of GEEO, a nonprofit organization that enables teachers to travel abroad and share their experiences with their students upon returning to the classroom. The organization’s goal is to promote a more outward-looking world view in American students. Over 700 teachers travel the world with GEEO during their summer breaks.
Aaron holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Rochester. Prior to founding Crazy Aaron’s, he implemented internet software solutions for Fortune 500 clients including: Apple, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, AIG, Deloitte Consulting, Cigna, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, US Steel, Nabisco, Rodale Press, and KPMG.
Aaron’s hobbies include photography, restoring old cameras, collecting playing cards and photographs he finds in the street, caving, hiking, astronomy, garage sales, and dreaming of a trip to Mars. He currently resides just outside Philadelphia with his teenage children.
Aaron never sleeps. Instead, at night, he studies Wikipedia and toy safety regulations.
NIK NAYAR, SVP, HARDLINES, TARGET
Nik Nayar currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Hardlines at Target, a general merchandise retailer with stores in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Nik began his career in 1995 at Target in Finance. Since then, he has held numerous positions throughout the organization. As SVP of Hardlines, Nik is responsible for driving growth and profitability through product assortment, promotions, and pricing.
Nik is actively involved in his community and with national philanthropies. He currently serves as a board member on The Center for Brand Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and The Toy Foundation.
He met his wife, Michelle, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They have three girls ages 14, 16 and 18. Nik enjoys golfing, reading, and running.
Nik received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Accounting and his MBA from the University of Minnesota.
ANDREW QUARTIN, CEO, THAMES & KOSMOS
Andy Quartin currently serves as the CEO of Thames & Kosmos, a leading publisher of educational toys & games. He is responsible for the North American business unit of Kosmos GmbH – a 200-year-old privately-held publisher of books, educational toys, and games.
Andy has chaperoned Thames & Kosmos through 10 years of record growth and profitability while continuing to deliver on its vision to give all children access to real, physical activities and projects that teach them about how things work.
Previously, from 2002 to 2012, Andrew held various roles in the financial sector, where he managed investment portfolios of media, retail, technology, and diversified consumer products companies.
Before that, Andy was President of Turn up the Music (Drew’s famous Party Music), the leading party music publisher and distributor in North America. Through innovative marketing and merchandising strategies, Turn up the Music achieved eight consecutive years of record revenue and profitability, over 25 million records sold, and multiple gold and platinum records.
He is a graduate of Towson State University (Economics). Andy cherishes the time he has with his family, is a mediocre amateur golfer, and is a below-average beginner guitarist.
MAURA REGAN, PRESIDENT, LICENSING INTERNATIONAL
Maura Regan currently serves as President of Licensing International, the leading association for the global licensing industry.
Bringing more than 20 years of global licensing and media experience, Maura joined Licensing International and assumed the role of President in July 2018. Maura is responsible for leading the organization in defining and shaping its future focus. This has and will continue to include fostering the growth and expansion of licensing around the world and creating greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large.
As the former head of global consumer products at Sesame Workshop, the home of Sesame Street, Maura drove the non-profit organization’s strategic commercial initiatives with a focus on delivering significant unrestricted revenue to support the overarching philanthropic goals for the organization.
Prior to Sesame Workshop, where she enjoyed an exhilarating 17-year tenure, Maura held executive positions with MTV Networks, Scholastic Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company.
Maura is a standing fellow of the US-Japan Foundation Leadership Program and on the advisory board of One Animation, The Toy Foundation and Women in Toys.
She served on the board of Licensing International and was board vice chair and chair where she was instrumental in developing the Rising Stars program and “Office Hours” a mentoring program.
She co-chaired the leadership committee of the FWA, Financial Women’s Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in finance.
Recognized as a top leader in business by Irish-America magazine, Maura was also a recipient of the K.I.D.S. (now Delivering Good) Women of Achievement Award.
In 2019 she was named “Volunteer of the Year” by NYSAE.
Maura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
MICHAEL RINZLER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & PARTNER, JAZWARES
At Jazwares, Michael Rinzler serves as Executive Vice President and Partner, overseeing Blue J, a division of Jazwares that focuses on blue sky concepts that create a pipeline of new business opportunities, intellectual properties, and product innovation.
In his role, Michael collaborates with world-class inventors to identify new product concepts, technologies, and white space opportunities. Additionally, he works closely with the entertainment community to develop break frame content that supports Jazwares owned intellectual properties as well as new brands in development. Michael also helps oversee the company’s M&A, looking at opportunities to build on Jazwares’ progressive growth approach through strategic acquisitions.
A toy industry expert, Michael joined Jazwares in 2019 after selling the company he founded, Wicked Cool Toys, to Jazwares. He launched his career in the toy business in 1993 and held positions at various toy companies including MGA Entertainment, Mattel, Playmates, and Jakks Pacific. Michael’s career trajectory culminated as President of CDI, an acquisition of Jakks Pacific, before starting Wicked Cool Toys in 2012.
A kid at heart, Michael has created an impact on some of the most iconic and beloved play and entertainment brands in the industry, including Pokémon, Squishmallows, Cabbage Patch Kids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Disney Princess, and Hot Wheels, to name a few.
He is very active within the toy industry and currently serves on the Toy Association Board of Directors, Toy Foundation Board of Trustees, and as an advisor to Women in Toys.
Michael is also a Founders Society member at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
He and his wife Zyta are active philanthropists in their community, along with daughter Zoe, in support of causes concerning children, animals, and cancer.
Michael has a B.A. from Washington University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
VOIN TODOROVIC, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP, INC.
Since 2014, Voin Todorovic has been Chief Financial Officer for Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., a publicly traded company offering an interactive retail-entertainment experience, where he oversees the treasury, corporate finance, information technology, and merchandise planning and sourcing functions.
Prior to his current role, Voin was employed at Wolverine World Wide, Inc., a leading global footwear and apparel company, where he served as the head of finance and operations for its lifestyle group, which included iconic brands such as Sperry Top-Sider®, Hush Puppies®, Keds®, and Stride Rite®. From 2011 to 2013, he was Vice President-Finance and Administration of the Stride Rite Children’s Group business, operating in wholesale, direct-to-consumer, and international franchising. From 2010 to 2011, he was Vice President of the Performance + Lifestyle Group. Prior to his tenure at Wolverine World Wide, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Collective Brands, Inc., and Payless ShoeSource.
Voin currently serves as the President of the Build-A-Bear Foundation. He also serves on the Advisory Board - Center for Finance and Accounting Research - Olin Business School, at Washington University.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and MBA from Missouri State University.