Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment revealed its 2019 Wonder Women winners at the 15th Annual Wonder Women Awards held earlier this week.
The Awards coincided with the New York International Toy Fair, with an event that celebrates female empowerment within the toy industry, usually with a star-studded celebration.
WIT presented 14 awards to women making an impact in toys, licensing and entertainment, including honourees Pam Kaufman, president of Viacom Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products, and Gaye Dean from Target.
The evening included the President of Lucasfilm and prolific filmmaker, Kathleen Kennedy, presenting the Mentor of the Year Award to Kaufman, and a performance by Grammy award-winning artist Yolanda Adams.
WIT also presented four-year old Youtube Influencers, Mila and Emma, with the 2019 Wonder Girls Award, and presented scholarships to nine students from universities around the country to a sold-out room over 800 women and men who run the toy industry and support the organisation’s mission to advance women business leaders.
The 2019 Wonder Women Honorees and Winners are:
- Mentor of the Year – Pam Kaufman, Viacom Nickelodeon
- Retailer of the Year – Gaye Dean, Target
- Wonder Girls – Mila and Emma
- Creator / Inventor – Amy Pruzansky, Spin Master
- Licensing – Gabriela Arenas, Sesame Workshop
- Manufacturing – Nancy Sanchez, LEGO Systems, Inc.
- Marketing – Juli Lennett, NPD
- Rising Star / Corporate – Chrissy Helmich, Wicked Cool Toys; Kate Nichols, Spin Master
- Rising Star / Independent – Marissa Louie, Animoodles; Natalie Rebot, Moonlite World
- Sales – Marian Bossard, The Toy Association
- Social Responsibility – Amy Knight, Hasbro
The 2019 Wonder Women Scholarship Recipients were:
- LIU – Zeynep Ecem Atabay
- OTIS – Jessica Archibeque
- University of Arkansas – Jessie Daspit
- OCAD – Julia Babici
- Stanford – Sarah Cook
- FIT – Yang Liang
- GenHeration / Wharton – Jelece Morris
- GenHeration – Jelece Morris
- Wharton – Lea Chen
“We kicked off an incredible Wonder Women Weekend and Toy Fair by being invited to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ on Friday morning,” said Genna Rosenberg CEO of GennComm and longtime Gala Co-Chair.
“Followed by an incredible evening celebrating these amazing powerhouse women who are making their mark.”
“This years’ Award Winners are some of the highest achieving and most remarkable women in our industry”, said Jennifer Caveza, Senior Vice President of Toys and Business Development, at Nickelodeon Consumer Products.
“It is truly an honour to celebrate their outstanding achievements and to watch them continue to lead our industry, while inspiring greatness”.
WIT would like to thank Hasbro, Nickelodeon, Disney, Spin Master, Mattel, LEGO, PlayMonster, Jazwares, The Bandai Foundation, and the many sponsors who support the organization year-round and help contribute to the success of the Wonder Women Gala.
Proceeds from this event are used to fund scholarships, develop and maintain a full calendar of programs and networking events, and support initiatives for WIT’s members and its community.