The awards were presented virtually on the first day of Women’s History Month with a further celebration planned for International Women’s Day next week.
Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) announced the 2022 Wonder Women Award winners yesterday (1st March), the first day of Women’s History Month, and as the global organisation celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The WiT Wonder Women Awards is an annual celebration of the industry’s remarkable thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers in toys, licensing & entertainment.
“It’s a privilege and an honour to celebrate this incredible slate of 2022 Wonder Women Award winners and honorees,” said Janice Ross, WiT president. “This year’s expanded categories gave us the opportunity to spotlight the broad range of tremendously talented women in our industry, and the powerful impact they’re having. Out of hundreds of deserving nominees, this amazing group embodies such extraordinary excellence in leadership.”
Wonder Women Awards co-chairs, Genna Rosenberg and Jennifer Caveza, added: “Heartfelt congratulations to each of this year’s remarkable Wonder Women Award recipients. While we wish our celebration happened in person in New York, we look forward to celebrating our winners and honorees with the WiT community and our industry all throughout the month of March. There’s no better way to celebrate Women’s History Month.”
The 2022 Wonder Women Award Winners:
- Designer / Inventor – Kenna O’Brien, Senior Manager, Product Design – Barbie – Mattel
- Licensee / Manufacturer – Amanda Bright, Senior Director, Product Development – Spin Master
- Licensor / Entertainment – Jes Wolfe, CEO – Rebel Girls
- Marketing / PR – Arlene Biran, SVP, US Marketing – Spin Master
- Social Good – Sarah Knott, Manager, Global Philanthropy and Social Impact – Hasbro
- Covid Hero – The Lego Group
- Deal Maker – Paula Kupfer, Senior Director, Global Partnerships – Hasbro
- Storyteller – Azhelle Wade, CEO – The Toy Coach
- Unsung Hero – Maggie Snow, Senior Director & Associate General Counsel – Mattel
- Wonder Girl – Alaya High, Artist (That Girl Lay Lay) – Paramount
- Rising Star – Deal Maker – Brittany Oliver, Senior Commercial Lead – Zuru Toys
- Rising Star – Designer/Inventor – Vanessa Fung, Senior Designer, Toys & Hardlines – Universal Brand Development
- Rising Star – Licensee / Manufacturer – Dr. Lisa Williams, CEO & Founder – The World of EPI
- Rising Star – Licensor / Entertainment – Tiffany Suzuki, Licensing Manager – Crunchyroll
- Rising Star – Marketing / PR – Sakita Withers, Brand Manager – PlayMonster
- Rising Star – Social Good – Penny Bauder, Founder & CEO – Green Kid Crafts
- Rising Star – Storyteller – Rupa Parekh, Founder & CEO – Umani Studio
- Rising Star – Unsung Hero – Amanda Marschall, Training Manager – The Lego Group
The 2022 Wonder Women Award Honorees Are:
- Retailer of the Year – Amazon / Anne Carrihill – Amazon
- Icon Award – JoJo Siwa – Paramount
- Changemaker Award – Steven Wolfe Periera – Encantos
WiT is also planning a special International Women’s Day Celebration Event on 8th March to celebrate the achievements of all women in the industry, and highlighting WiT’s 2022 Wonder Women Award Winners and Honorees.
WiT presents the 2022 Retailer of the Year Award to Amazon, accepted by Anne Carrihill, director, Toys & Entertainment, for the positive impact Amazon had on the industry and everyone’s lives during the pandemic including Amazon Smile, which offers customers a way to support their favourite charitable organization; Amazon Small Business Academy; and Amazon Black Business Accelerator which have empowered entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations.
Nickelodeon star, pop star, social media sensation, author and consumer products global brand JoJo Siwa received the Icon Award while the 2022 Changemaker Award went to Encantos CEO Steven Wolfe Pereira, for his purpose-driven and transformative leadership in diversity and inclusion.
WiT thanked its generous 2022 sponsors, including Amazon, Hasbro, Mattel, Paramount, Disney, Spin Master, Lego, Jazwares, The Bandai Foundation, VTech, Warner Bros, Tomy, and the many partners who provide funding and support for WiT’s year-round programming, events, initiatives, including The WiT Foundation Scholarship Program.