Women In Toys appoints its first executive director

Global professional women’s organisation for the toy, licensing and entertainment industries Women in Toys (WIT), has appointed Mary Kay Russell as its new executive director.

The latest move underlines the organisation’s efforts to help better manage its initiative as it continues to see global growth after a run of 25 successful years.

The new role will also act to alleviate the firm’s volunteers and provide infrastructure for WIT’s future.

“I am so thrilled that Mary Kay is joining our team full time,” said Ashley Mady, president, WIT. “Every year we surpass goals and are able to accomplish so much, but there is more to do and I know she will help us soar to new heights this year and beyond.”

Russell has worked in the toy industry in multiple roles as an inventor, manufacturer, communications executive and consultant, making her someone who can address issues from multiple viewpoints. She has also been an active member of WIT in various roles.

“I can’t tell you how honored I am to take on this position,” said Russell. “I have been involved with WIT for many years, and as we begin to celebrate our 25th anniversary, I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and extremely excited for our future.”

Russell will step down from her current position as principal of MK Marketing and begin at WIT February 1, 2016. She will report to WIT’s president and Board of Directors.

The move also arrives as WIT unveils its 2016 sponsors, helping to fund its expansive global programe. The 2016 WIT sponsors include:

Gold Sponsor:Mattel
Silver Sponsors:Hasbro, Disney, Nickelodeon
Bronze Sponsors: Moose Toys, The Bandai Foundation

Supporting Sponsors:

Wicked Cool Toys
Skyrocket
Pamson
TIA
The Toy Book
Fiction LA
Kidsmart
Funrise
The Bridge
Entertainment One
NPD
ToyNews
Brandberry
Lego
WABA Fun
UBM/Licensing Expo
TTPM
The Product Greenhouse
GennComm

Friends of WIT:

Nancy Zwiers Empowerment Fund
The Serenata Group
Global Toy News
King Bee Toys
Children’s Media
Fundamentally Children
Becker Associates LLC
Commonwealth
Kidscreen
Toy & Hobby Magazine

Valued Partners

LIMA
Digital Kids
Spielwarenmesse-eG
Sandbox Summit
Hong Kong Toy Council
ChiTAG
Reed Pop
Women in Animation
The Toy’s Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong Limited

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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