ANDREW (ANDY) QUARTIN, CEO, THAMES & KOSMOS (CHAIRPERSON, THE TOY FOUNDATION)
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.
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.
KATHLEEN CAMPISANO, GLOBAL CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, BEACON MEDIA GROUP
Kathleen Campisano is Global Chief Marketing Officer 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.
GEOFFREY GREENBERG, CO-CEO, JUST PLAY, LLC
Geoffrey Greenberg is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Just Play, LLC, a top-10 North American toy manufacturer over the last five years, and a global leader across a broad range of children’s goods including figures, playsets, dolls, plush, roleplay, and dress-up. Since its inception in 2010, he has overseen Product Development, Marketing, Licensing, and Operations. He was instrumental in establishing Just Play’s operations in Asia, building an office of over 200 people as well as forming manufacturing and R&D facilities. Domestically, he was responsible for building the team and facilities in the Pennsylvania and California corporate offices of over 150 people.
Prior to Just Play, Geoffrey was President of Creative Designs International, LLC (CDI). During his 20+ years with the company, he was responsible for introducing licensed dress-up and roleplay toys to the market. CDI pioneered the roleplay category into a multimillion-dollar toy business by creating strong partnerships with its retailers and licensing partners, including Disney, Nickelodeon, and Mattel.
Geoffrey plays an active role at Just Play in developing award-winning product lines through open collaborative partnership with brand managers, marketers, retailers, licensors, designers, inventors, and manufacturing teams across the globe. With an unparalleled passion for continuous improvement and innovation, he’s always nurturing teams to evolve and equipping them with resources that allow Just Play to deliver against the needs of today’s kids.
As a leader, Geoffrey has always led by example. His level of passion, integrity, and commitment to his relationships and business have created a solid framework from which to build long-lasting success. Together, his new team has experienced phenomenal growth each year nearing $1B in global retail sales, and has won over 100 awards including 8 Toy of the Year® Awards (TOTY®), 18 TOTY finalists, multiple Vendor and Licensee of the Year Awards, and placements on every major top retailer and industry holiday toy list.
Geoffrey earned a BA in Communications and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a JD from American University. Prior to his career in the toy industry, he worked as an associate in the Corporate Department at the law firm of Wolf, Block Schorr and Solis-Cohen. Currently, Geoffrey also serves on the Governing Board of ICTI CARE Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organization committed to promoting safe and fair working conditions throughout the toy industry supply chain.
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, PRESIDENT, ZIGAZOO KIDS
Ashley Mady is President of Zigazoo Kids, the largest social network for Kids. Her past roles include VP of Brand Development at IT’SUGAR, the largest specialty candy retailer with 100 stores across the country and VP of Brand Development 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 Association, where she chairs Genius of Play and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Toy Foundation.
SARA ROSALES MONTALVO, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT COMMUNICATIONS, JAZWARES
Sara is a communication and public relations strategist with global brands experience and a passion for enabling companies to tell their greatest stories. She is skilled at creating relevancy, driving engagement and reimagining communications to drive business goals.
Throughout Sara’s career she has directed public relations campaigns for diverse global brands represented in consumer products, entertainment, and lifestyle - programs that infuse brands into popular culture, as well as consumers hearts and minds. She has experience with top-tier consumer and business media, and she knows how to effectively use social media to ignite engagement.
Sought after for defending corporate reputation, she was brought in to craft the "day of" media relations strategy for Mattel's largest product recall. That "day of" media relations campaign was applauded by PR trades and influencers as an example of how to effectively manage a crisis.
A trusted advisor to senior leadership, she is a strong leader who understands how PR supports marketing and sales goals. She is also a big believer in collaborating cross-functionally to proactively work together to meet business objectives, address issues and ensure flawless execution to exceed desired results.
AARON MUDERICK, INVENTOR OF THINKING PUTTY AND EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF CRAZY AARON’S
Aaron Muderick is the innovator and creative force behind Thinking Putty®, a groundbreaking stress reliever and fidget sold in over 25 countries. From magnetic to color-changing varieties, he's revolutionized what putty can do. More recent creations like Land of Dough® and Slime Charmers™ have introduced sustainability and extended play value to otherwise mature categories.
As Executive Chairman of Crazy Aaron’s, Aaron has gone beyond innovation to also champion socially responsible manufacturing for over 25 years. Products are made in the USA and provide daily employment to hundreds of individuals with special needs.
Aaron is more than a business leader; he's also a thought leader in the industry. His insights have been showcased in media outlets from The Philadelphia Inquirer to The Today Show. In 2019, he was elected to the board of the Toy Association, where he currently serves as Executive Chairman. He's also an advocate for product safety, testifying before the US Senate Judiciary Committee to push for stricter toy regulations online.
Prior to reshaping the toy world, Aaron honed his tech skills with a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Rochester and then working as a software engineer for Fortune 500 giants such as Apple and Microsoft.
Community service runs in his veins. A twelve-year veteran of his local town council, half of which he spent as President—Aaron continues his community service as an active volunteer firefighter and has served as pyrotechnics leader for the annual fireworks display. As a long-standing treasurer of the nonprofit GEEO, he’s enabling teachers—and through them, their students—to broaden their horizons by traveling abroad.
A committed father and an eclectic hobbyist, Aaron restores old cameras and captures the world through their lenses’ in his limited downtime. Residing just outside Philadelphia with his teenage daughters, his nights are dedicated to research—be it Wikipedia or toy safety regulations. For Aaron Muderick, the quest for knowledge never sleeps.
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.
MICHAEL RINZLER, TOY GUY, ENTREPRENEUR, PHILANTHROPIST, INVESTOR
Michael Rinzler is a kid at heart and toy industry expert who has created an impact on some of the most iconic and beloved play and entertainment brands in the industry, including Pokémon, Cabbage Patch Kids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Disney Princess, Squishmallows and Hot Wheels, to name a few. Michael launched his career in the toy business in 1993, holding leadership positions with some of the toy industry’s leading companies, including MGA Entertainment, Mattel, Playmates, and JAKKS Pacific.
In 2012, Michael founded Wicked Cool Toys, which grew to become a major industry player in only a few years. The company was widely regarded for its innovation and modern marketing tactics. It served as master toy partners for Pokémon and Cabbage Patch Kids, along with launching successful products such as the Toy of the Year® Award winning Teddy Ruxpin relaunch and nominated Girl Scouts Cookie Oven and Blinger hair decorating tool.
In 2019, he and his partners sold Wicked Cool Toys to Alleghany Capital/Jazwares. Michael served as Executive Vice President and Partner at Jazwares for three years before departing the company after a second exit upon the sale of Jazwares to Berkshire Hathaway.
Rinz, as he’s known to colleagues and friends, remains active in the toy industry. He currently serves on The Toy Foundation’s Board of Trustees Executive Committee and Chair of the Development & Fundraising Committee and is an advisor to Women in Toys.
Outside of the toy industry, Rinz, alongside his wife Zyta and daughter Zoe, is active in his community. They are Founders Society members at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and support many other community-based organizations and 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.
ANTHONY TRANI, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ELENCO ELETRONICS LLC
Anthony Trani currently serves as the CEO of Elenco Electronics LLC. Elenco’s iconic flagship brand, Snap Circuits, has been helping kids and parents learn through play for over 20 years.
Anthony began his career as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers before pivoting to consumer-packaged goods. Throughout his career, Anthony has had the privilege to work on iconic brands including Fig Newtons, Ritz Crackers, Ring Pop, and Bazooka Bubblegum. He joins the toy industry after over 12 years at Bazooka Candy Brands, where he led Global Marketing and Innovation, built Bazooka Candy Brands’ e-commerce business, and served as General Manager of Latin America. Anthony is passionate about creating moments of joy for kids and their families.
Service has always been incredibly important to Anthony. In addition to The Toy Foundation, Anthony also serves on the Board of Brooklyn Community Housing and Services, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Brooklyn, NY, most recently serving as Vice Chair. While in the confections industry, Anthony worked closely with The National Confectioners Association on a range of industry initiatives and served as Chair of the Confectionery Foundation.
Anthony received his undergraduate degree from The College of the Holy Cross and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently lives in Illinois with his wife, three daughters (9, 6, 1), and miniature dachshund (14).
ANDREW WEINER, CHIEF ADVISOR, TOY'N AROUND INC.
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.