Toy Association AGM welcomes new board members

Published on: 13th March 2023

The US Toy Association has diversified its board with new appointees in order to focus on serving the needs of members of all sizes and types.

The Toy Association has announced the election of six new members and three term renewals to its board of directors to serve two-year terms. The announcement was made during The Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting.

The meeting opened with remarks from board chair Aaron Muderick, founder & executive chair of Crazy Aaron’s, who reflected on the state of the industry, expressed openness to feedback at any time from members and representatives across the toy and play community, and offered thoughts on the build-up to a reimagined Toy Fair 2023 this September.

Toy Association president & CEO Steve Pasierb continued with details about how The Toy Association is continuing to evolve to meet the needs of members amid the current retail landscape, from protecting business rights on local, federal and international levels to creating new opportunities to help members promote and sell their products, to delivering valuable ROI to members on their investment.

“From the largest household names to entrepreneurial startups and inventors, each company plays a vital role in the health, growth and innovation seen across the toy and play community,” commented Steve Pasierb. “Beyond all we do to help members find new opportunities to sell their products, grow, and prosper around the world, we must ensure that members can maximize opportunities to expand into new international markets and conduct global business without undue regulatory burdens.”

Board secretary-treasurer Andy Keimach, president of VTech North America, gave an overview of the association’s 2022 fiscal results. Ed Desmond, executive vice president of global government & regulatory affairs, highlighted the association’s commitment to pushing back against harmful legislation and regulations and advocating for the safety and protection of consumers.

Six new members were elected to serve first terms on The Toy Association board of directors: Zabina Bhasin M.D., founder of In KidZ Co; Jared Carr, senior vice president & US general manager of Lego Systems, Inc.; Lori Dawn Howl, senior vice president of retail development & marketing, NBCUniversal Media; Hiu Lee, CMO of Horizon Group USA; Jeremy Padawer, chief brand officer of Jazwares LLC and Lisa Williams PhD, CEO of World of EPI.

Three members were elected to serve an additional two-year term: Ashley Mady, president of consumer products at Zigazoo, and Dion Vlachos, executive vice president of consumer products, licensing & retail sales at Paramount, were elected to serve a second term; and Steve Totzke, president & chief commercial officer at Mattel was elected to a third term. Outgoing board member Michael Rinzler was recognised for his many contributions.

The Toy Association’s 2023 Executive Committee will include Aaron Muderick of Crazy Aaron’s as chair; Tim Kilpin, executive chair of PlayMonster, as vice chair; Andy Keimach of VTech North America as secretary-treasurer; and Sharon Price John, CEO & president of Build-A-Bear Workshop and Geoffrey Greenberg, co-president of Just Play, as members at large. Toy Association president & CEO Steve Pasierb will continue to serve on the Executive Committee in an ex officio role.

Further appointments to the chair’s Advisory Committee were also announced.


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