Let me tell you, if you are a woman in the toy industry and not a part of this group, you are really missing something. The usual cat fights and secretiveness are not here. All you have to do is ask and people will respond or point you in the right direction. But it is up to you to ask, this is not a group of wall flowers, it is a very philanthropic group that also runs a design scholarship for girls starting out in this industry.
This year WIT granted 7 scholarships to young women currently attending colleges to help nurture their talents. Money for these scholarships is collected via dues paid by the members, contributions, and silent auctions of donated goods/services.
The prestigious Wonder Woman in Toys Awards are also given at the dinner and also includes the recently added Superman Awards! See this year’s winners:
Rising Star — Caitlin Gutekunst – Licensing Manager, Americas – Mind Candy
PR * Social Media — Jen Derevensky – President – Ren Beanie Public Relations
Manufacturer — Gale Jarvis – President – Alexander Doll Co.
Designer or Inventor — Nancy Zwiers – Chief Funosopher – Funosophy
Licensing & Entertainment – Lourdes Arocho – VP, Toys and Games – Nickelodeon
Socially Responsible — Jean Butler – Executive Director, The Toy Industry Foundation
Retailer – Laila Nosrati – Buyer, Girls’ Toys – Toys R Us
Marketing or Branding-Alita Friedman-Chief Brand Officer & Principal-Pretty Ugly
Lifetime Achievement Award – Cathy Meredith – Hasbro
Superman Award – Jay Foreman – The Bridge
Superman Award – Carter Keithley – The TIA
College Highlight: Fashion Institute of Technology (one of the scholarships’ went to a young woman attending here)
*The WIT Foundation, Inc is a 501(c)(3) corporation. The Foundation grants scholarships to recognize outstanding women in toy design and other industry-related programs at colleges and universities around the world.