Chairman, TIA Board of Director
President/Chief Executive Officer
American Plastic Toys, Inc.
Mr. John Gessert currently serves as president and chief executive officer of American Plastics Toys, Inc. He joined the organization in 1984 in sales and operations and, after holding regional sales manager positions, became national sales manager in 1991. He served as executive vice president from 1998 to 2003 when he was named as president and CEO.
Gessert is a member of the Toy Industry Association (TIA)’s Board of Directors where he serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Board and as a member of the Executive Committee.
Gessert and his wife, Susan, reside in Michigan, with their four children, Ellen, Jack, Emma and Julia. Mr. Gessert earned his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his MBA from Wayne State University.
Vice-Chairman, TIA Board of Directors
EVP & Chief Strategy Officer
As a 30-year veteran of Hasbro, David Hargreaves has been instrumental in growing Hasbro from a smaller toy and game manufacturer to a global branded play company, and a top provider of a vast array of immersive offerings in entertainment, digital games and lifestyle products – all based on Hasbro’s beloved brands.
As Hasbro seeks to strengthen its capabilities beyond toys and games, delving deeper into digital gaming, immersive entertainment experiences and lifestyle licensing, Mr. Hargreaves was appointed Hasbro’s Executive Vice President Chief Strategy Officer in February 2013. In this newly created position, Mr. Hargreaves will leverage his proven financial acumen and widespread business relationships to drive profitable growth against the backdrop of a rapidly changing global business environment.
Mr. Hargreaves joined Hasbro in 1982 when the company reported $138 million in revenues and has held several positions within finance and operations, being appointed CFO in 2001 and COO in 2008. As CFO from 2001 to 2008, Hasbro substantially improved its profitability, strengthened its balance sheet, and undertook several strategic initiatives to expand the reach of the Company’s brands into digital gaming, movies and television. Mr. Hargreaves helped orchestrate the formation of a 50-50 joint venture with Discovery Communications to create The Hub, a new television network for kids and their families that launched on 10-10-10. Mr. Hargreaves serves on the Board of Directors of The Hub.
Prior to joining Hasbro, Mr. Hargreaves worked in the automotive industry with Ford of Europe where he held a number of positions in finance and strategic planning, and in finance with DeLorean Motor Cars Limited.
Mr. Hargreaves sits on the executive committee of the Board of Directors for the Toy Industry Association. He is involved with a number of non-profit organizations and has been a board member of the Kent County YMCA and Capital City Community Centers.
Mr. Hargreaves obtained his BA in Business from the University of East London, and undertook post-graduate business studies at the University of Warwick Business School.
Secretary-Treasurer, TIA Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Bob Wann is the CEO of Patch Products Inc, makers of Patch, Lauri and Smethport Branded toys, games and educational products. Bob proudly serves on the Executive Committee of Toy Industry Association's Board of Directors and holds the Chair position for both the PlayCon Conference Committee and the Toy Industry Foundation's Fundraising Committee.
Wann has over 30 years experience at both Fortune 500 and Entrepreneurial/Start-up companies in U.S and International markets. Through strategic brand and product development combined with creative marketing, he has overseen the development and growth of some of the most recognized brands in Toys and Consumer Packaged Goods, including M&M's, Johnson & Johnson, Fisher Price and Playskool. Wann developed his brand building and marketing skills at M & M Mars, Johnson & Johnson and American Greetings and later applied these skills as VP of Marketing at Fisher Price, Executive Vice President of Playskool and President/Worldwide General Manager of Milton Bradley/Parker Bros at Hasbro, overseeing the successful introduction or growth of industry recognized brands such as Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Fisher Price, Playskool, Nerf.
Wann is widely recognized as a creative thinker and marketer, developing award-winning programs such as "Family Game Night” and “Get Together Games.”
He has been married to his wife Amy, for 19 years, and resides in Lake Geneva, WI with their 16-year-old daughter Melanie.
Member of the Executive Committee, TIA Board of Directors
President and Chief Operating Officer
Shirley Price is President and Chief Operating Officer of Funrise Toy Corporation, an industry leader in the manufacturing and distribution of the most popular toys for children of all ages. She started her toy industry career with Funrise in 1987, the same year the company was founded, and has held several senior management positions within the organization. In addition to managing the operations for a company that goes through the entire creative process of designing and manufacturing toys, Shirley leads all strategic planning and business development initiatives, including partnerships with other major toy companies and licensors.
Shirley is very involved in charitable causes. For 10 years, she organized Funrise’s “Toy Run For Kids,” an annual toy drive that brought the largest single donation of toys to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She was the founding co-chair of the Toy Industry Foundation’s Toy Bank Committee when it was created in 2004 and continues to sit as a member of the group.
An active member of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Shirley was elected to the Board of Directors in February of 2010. She also holds the position of co-chair on both the PlayCon and Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Committees. She is also a member of Women In Toys and received the Wonder Woman In Toys Award for Manufacturing in 2011.
Shirley is a graduate of Catherine College she lives in Southern California with her husband and two children.
Member of the Executive Committee, TIA Board of Directors
Managing Director, Europe
Mr. David Allmark is the managing director of Europe for Mattel. Prior to this role, Allmark served as executive vice president global enterprise, where he had the responsibility of leading the Global Insights team, The Digital Group, Innovation platforms and the Inventor Relations community, a New Business Venture team and the HIT Entertainment group, which Mattel acquired in 2011 and includes some family favorite pre‐school leading brands like Thomas & Friends®, Barney®, Bob the Builder® and Mike the Knight®.
Previously, Allmark was the executive vice president of Fisher‐Price, the leading maker of infant and preschool toys in the world. As the head of Mattel, Inc.’s largest brand, Allmark was the architect of the Fisher‐Price global business strategy and propelled the company’s long legacy of producing high‐quality toys that have enhanced learning and early‐childhood development for more than 81 years.
In 2005, prior to this role, Allmark was general manager of Fisher‐Price Friends, which produces lovable and innovative toys from such iconic character lines as Dora the Explorer™ and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In this position, Allmark oversaw the design, engineering and marketing functions of the important licensed brands arm of Fisher‐Price.
Although spending many years in the U.S., Allmark relocated to London in September 2013. His former roles included SVP&GM Mattel UK/Canada & Eastern Europe, and vice president, international, for Fisher‐Price, where he was responsible for the development and execution of Mattel Preschool’s global marketing strategies.
After being educated in England, Allmark attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management
Program and commenced his career with The Kellogg Company. He soon transitioned into the toy
industry as an employee of Kenner‐Parker‐Tonka, which was later purchased by Hasbro in the UK, where
he held various senior level sales and marketing positions on brands such as Batman, Trivial Pursuit and
Playskool. In 1995, Allmark was appointed director of UK sales and marketing at Bluebird Toys P.L.C.,
famous for its Polly Pocket Brand, which was subsequently acquired by Mattel.
David lives with his wife, Beth, and three children (Justin, 19, Violet, 15 and Harriet, 13) in England where he enjoys challenging himself with DIY home projects, which allow him to find creative solutions to everyday tasks.