CHITAG announces additions to its elite advisory board

Published on: 9th May 2019

Industry leaders Adi Golad, Rachel Griffin, Robert Fuhrer and John Barbour will assist in achieving excellence in play.

A number of CHITAG board members at the New York Toy Fair.

The Chicago Toy and Game Group has announced that Adi Golad, founder and chairman of Goliath, Rachel Griffin, VP public relations of Jakks Pacific, Robert Fuhrer, president of Nextoy, and John Barbour, managing partner at Volta Capital, have joined its advisory board.

“Adi, Rachel, Bob and John bring public relations, marketing, retail and even more visionary expertise to our extraordinary Board,” said Mary Couzin, president of Chicago Toy & Game Group. “We are fortunate to have their talents as we continue to grow our CHITAG Week events, champion innovators and promote community, connection and the power of play.”

Adi Golad founded Goliath in 1980. Headquartered in The Netherlands, Goliath operate offices across the globe and exports to approximately 70 countries world-wide. Its recent acquisitions include Vivid.

Rachel Griffin is a corporate communications, brand public relations, digital and social media leader with over 15 years experience in implementing and negotiating strategic marketing promotions. She currently spearheads Jakks’ communication and social media strategy efforts.

Robert Fuhrer founded Nextoy in 1981 and has helped bring to market some of the most popular toys and games in the world such as Gator Golf, i-Top, Crocodile Dentist and Gifeez. In 2007 he discovered KenKen, a logic and math puzzle, which he now markets worldwide through mobile apps, a web platform, books, tournaments and publications.

John Barbour started in the toy industry in 1983 and has held senior leadership positions at LeapFrog, Toys R Us, Hasbro, OddzOn Products, Matchbox Toys and Palitoy. At Toys R Us he led the turnaround of the US, international and internet divisions. John is currently a managing partner of Volta Capital.

Other Chicago Toy and Game Group Advisory Board members include:

  • Karri Bean – senior manager, Lego, at Disney Consumer Products
  • Peggy Brown – inventor, playwright, designer, author, filmmaker and funmaker
  • Mary Couzin – president and founder, Chicago Toy & Game Group
  • Ben Dermer – VP, new ideas and inventions, Spin Master
  • Richard Gill – CEO and co-founder, McGill Associates
  • Dave Harris – Senior director, inventor relations and strategic partnerships at Mattel
  • Alan Hassenfeld – chairman, executive, committee, Hasbro; chairman, Hassenfeld Family Initiatives
  • Dave Harris – director, inventor relations and strategic partnerships, Mattel
  • Dan Klitsner – founder, KID Group
  • Rich Mazel – senior director global, product acquisition, Hasbro
  • Matt Nuccio – president, Design Edge
  • Phil Sage – senior director – design & development, iPlay, Hasbro
  • Gary Swisher – toy and game innovative executive, formerly Mattel and Jakks (on sabbatical)
  • Tanya Thompson – director global product acquisition and inventor relations for gaming, Hasbro
  • Tim Walsh – co-founder, Getta1Games; filmmaker, author, designer, creative consultant, The Playmakers
  • David Yakos – creativity director and co-owner, Salient Technologies


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