Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) announced the speakers and experts who will be participating in its annual WIT Empowerment Day event, to be held on Sept. 26, the day before Fall Toy Preview in Dallas officially begins. Held in collaboration with Walmart and the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the day includes informational sessions and panels to help WIT members with their businesses.
This year, WIT has gathered industry experts, buyers, speakers, and panelists from the toy industry to help woman-owned start ups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners grow their businesses.
Throughout the day, attendees can expect to hear from the following experts:
- Alice Brooks, Play Monster/Roominate
- Anne Marie Kehoe, Walmart
- Avi Levine, Star Funding
- Belinda Gruebner, Moose Toys
- Ben Dermer, Spin Master
- Carlos Lopez, Toy Backer
- David Gifford-Robinson, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- Deb de Sherbinin, Kidsmart
- Jamie Cygielman, Madame Alexander
- Jeff Pinsker, Pressman Games
- Jerry Welch, Bambini Partners
- Joan Lawrence, Toy Industry Association (TIA)
- John Lee, Bambini Partners
- Karen Kilpatrick, JazWings
- Kelli Couchee, UBM
- Kim Mosley, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)
- Laura Zebersky, Jazwares
- Marian Bossard, Toy Industry Association (TIA)
- Maureen McHale, McHale Design
- Nancy Zwiers, Spin Master
- Patti Becker, Becker Associates LLC
- Paul Solomon, Moose Toys
- Phil Sage, Hasbro
- Sarah Wilson, Walmart
- Stephanie Pottick, Pottick Law
- Stephanee Synnott, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Steven Heller, Esq., The Brand Liaison
- Sue Warfield, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)
- Victoria Cushey, Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA)
- Wendy Smolen, Consultant
- Yolanda G. Olivarez, Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Yvonne Lee, Indiegogo
Panel Discussions are open to both WIT members and Fall Toy Preview guests and exhibitors, and include:
- Walmart Buyers Panel with Vice President of Toys, Anne Marie Kehoe, and Walmart Buyers.
- Financial Alternatives Panel with Indiegogo, JazWings, Bambini Partners, Star Funding and the Small Business Administration.
Info Sessions are open to registered WIT members only, and include:
- 15-minute speed Info Sessions, giving participants the chance to meet with and learn from top industry experts in a variety of specialties, such as intellectual property, licensing, crowdsourcing and funding, financing, branding, marketing and PR, packaging, manufacturing, sales and distribution, product testing and safety, startup tips, industry associations, the SBA, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.