Toy Association Board Nominating Committee Names Initial 2019-2021 Candidates

January 8, 2019 | The Toy Association’s Board of Directors Nominating Committee, chaired by John Gessert, president & CEO of American Plastic Toys, today announced a slate of nominees to serve on the Association’s board for two-year terms beginning in February 2019. 

The Committee chose three nominees to replace departing members while reserving the right to name two additional individuals prior to the Association’s 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The 2019-2021 nominees – all representing manufacturers – are: John Frascotti, president and COO, Hasbro; Aaron Muderick, president, Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld; and, Michael Rinzler, co-president and founding partner, Wicked Cool Toys.

“Members of the Nominating Committee were impressed with the quality and quantity of nominations. It was difficult to narrow the list, and the Committee spent a good deal of time considering the merits of each submitted nominee, resulting in a slate of outstanding candidates,” said Gessert. “Going forward, we will encourage the industry to advance more female and culturally diverse nominations. We have worked hard to diversify board membership and do not want to lose the great progress that has been made in recent years.”

There were no existing board terms subject to renewals in 2019. The Nominating Committee made special note of the exemplary service of two Board Members at the conclusion of their terms: Bruce Raiffe, president, GUND, and Richard Barry, executive vice president, Geoffrey's Toy Box. 

Raiffe served on several Association committees and represents The Toy Association as a member of the Board of Directors of The Strong Museum in Rochester, NY.  Following the acquisition of GUND by Spin Master Corp., Raiffe was not eligible for election to a third term as Association bylaws preclude two representatives of a single corporate entity serving on its board. Richard Barry has served the Association tirelessly and with distinction – he served on its Executive Committee and led the Association’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards Committee, among other contributions, and is now concluding his third and final board term.

The Board of Directors sends good wishes and deep thanks to Barbara Finigan as she transitions into the role of strategic advisor at Hasbro. Finigan has served on the Association’s Board and its Executive Committee including chair of the Board Audit Committee during her tenure as Hasbro’s chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

Association board members are elected for two-year terms and may be nominated for re-election twice before being required to depart the board.  Additional at-large nominations for directors may be made only in writing signed by not less than 10 percent of the regular membership of the Association and submitted to the president at least 30 days before the AGM. Notice thereof shall promptly be sent by the president to all members.  Should the Nominating Committee choose to name additional nominees from the group already submitted, an announcement will be made forthwith and prior to the AGM.

The election of board members will occur during the Association’s Annual General Meeting on Monday, February 18 at 8 a.m. on Level 1, Room 1E09 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during Toy Fair New York.

The AGM is open to all Toy Association member companies and their representatives. Live-streaming of the AGM is also planned, however in-person attendance by members is strongly encouraged.  During the meeting, representatives of The Toy Association’s Executive Committee and Steve Pasierb, president & CEO, will address the state of the Association and take questions. Following a vote on new Board Members, the 2019-2021 Executive Committee and appointees to the Chairman’s Board Advisory Committee will also be announced.