WIT announces 16th annual Wonder Women Awards finalists

Published on: 13th January 2020

Winners will be announced at the Awards dinner on Sunday 23rd February at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, coinciding with Toy Fair New York. 

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) announced its 2020 slate of finalists for the 16th annual Wonder Women Awards, which celebrates top female executives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and other change makers for their extraordinary accomplishments and impact within the toy, licensing and the entertainment industries.

Winners in each category will be announced at the Awards dinner held on Sunday 23rd February at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, coinciding with Toy Fair New York.

The 2020 Wonder Women Award Finalists are as follows:


  • Angie Cella – GemC2, creator of Blinger
  • Carla Schneider – WubbaNub
  • Catalina Escobar – Basic Fun!
  • Deirdre Cross – Funko
  • Kana Claussen – Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company
  • Kathryn Hosford – ViacomCBS
  • Kim Culmone – Mattel
  • Roxana Powell – Disney Consumer Products
  • Teri Weiss – DreamWorks Animation
  • Vickie Stratford – Hasbro


  • Bek Fairweather – Moose Toys
  • Carla Silva – King Features, a division of Hearst
  • Glenda Beltran – ViacomCBS
  • Julie Thompson – LEGO Systems, Inc.Laura Clunie – Spin Master
  • Linda Morgenstern – Beanstalk
  • Mel Alexander – Hasbro
  • Mellany Masterson – Nelvana Enterprises, a division of Corus Entertainment
  • Michelle Fode – The Walt Disney Company
  • Susan Brandt – Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.


  • Anna Mowbray – Zuru
  • Bridget Russo – Just Play, LLC
  • Haley Maiden – Moose Toys
  • Heidi Schwartz – Universal Branding & Media
  • Ivonne Olivares – The LEGO Group
  • Joyce Reid – Little Kids Inc.
  • Kate Keller – Spin Master
  • Kate Sheets – Playtime Engineering
  • Katia May – Bandai America
  • Sasha Davenport – Hasbro


  • Amy Wann – PlayMonster
  • Cristy Collins – Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company
  • Danielle Norwood – VTech Electronics North America
  • Jen Boswinkel – Hasbro
  • Jessica Aceti – Funko Games
  • Jessica Murphy – ViacomCBS
  • Jodi McDonald – Spin Master
  • Karen Branson – IMC Toys US
  • Krista Berger – Mattel
  • Sunny Lauridsen – Just Play, LLC

Rising Star Corperate 

  • Azhelle Wade – Creative Kids
  • Chelsea Morrissey – Hasbro
  • Elaine Chang – The Walt Disney Company/Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
  • Elizabeth Scarwid – IMG
  • Jacqueline Daniels – VTech Electronics North America
  • Maddie Michalik – The Toy Book
  • Marissa Beck – Mattel
  • Mika Nakano – NBCUniversal
  • Natalie Wight – WowWee
  • Rebecca Mond – The Toy Association
  • Tanja Gaspardo – Spin Master

Rising Star Independent 

  • Beth Fynbo – Busy Baby LLC
  • Callie Christensen & Kelly Oriard – Slumberkins
  • Jessie Silbert – Celestial Buddies, LLC
  • Jillian Lakritz – Yoee Baby
  • Jill Walters – Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld
  • Joanna Paul – Whatsitsface, LLC
  • Madeleine Hunter – Hunter Products
  • Madison Robinson – FishFlops
  • Marcia Haut – SmartNoggin Toys
  • Robin Sydney – Zorbitz, Inc.
  • Sara Farber – Galactic Sneeze

Social Responsibility 

  • Allison Kohll – Hasbro
  • Anna Mowbray – Zuru
  • Belinda Gruebner –- Moose Toys
  • Claire Ellis – Entertainment One
  • Elizabeth Max – The Toy Foundation
  • Jennifer DuBuisson – The Lego Group
  • Jennifer Pace Robinson – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • Nancy Molenda – Mattel
  • Rachel Griffin – Jakks Pacific
  • Rebecca Mond – The Toy Association

Voting for the Wonder Women Awards will be open to all WIT members, from Wednesday 15th January till Monday 27th January.

“We had the most submissions to date, and our slate of 2020 Wonder Women Finalists reflects the brain trust of brilliant women making an impact on our industry,” said Karen Kilpatrick, WIT Nominations Committee chair. “We are excited to celebrate this year’s outstanding finalists, the incredible winners and our esteemed honorees at the upcoming Wonder Women Awards.”

To purchase tickets/tables, or to sponsor the WIT Wonder Woman Awards or purchase a Digital Tribute Book ad, please visit

WIT thanks its generous 2020 sponsors, and the many sponsors who support the organisation year-round and help contribute to the success of the Wonder Women Awards. Proceeds from this event are used to fund scholarships, develop and maintain a full calendar of programmes and networking events, and support initiatives for WIT’s members and its community.


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