Chairman, TIA Board of Director
President/Chief Executive Officer
American Plastic Toys, Inc.
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 and his wife, Susan, reside in Michigan, with their four children, Ellen, Jack, Emma and Julia. Gessert earned his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his MBA from Wayne State University.
Vice-Chairman, TIA Board of Directors
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, 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.
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, Hargreaves helped Hasbro to substantially improve its profitability and strengthened its balance sheet, and undertook several strategic initiatives to expand the reach of the company’s brands into digital gaming, movies and television. 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, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Hub.
Prior to joining Hasbro, 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.
Hargreaves sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Toy Industry Association and serves on the board of trustees for the Toy Industry Foundation. 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.
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 Play Monster
Bob Wann is the Chief Play Monster of PlayMonster LLC formerly Patch Products Inc, makers of, Roominate, Lauri and PlayMonster Branded toys, games and educational products. Bob proudly serves on the Executive Committee of Toy Industry Association's Board of Directors as well as on the Board of Directors of the Toy Industry Foundation. He also holds the position of Secretary/Treasurer for the Toy Industry Association and Chair for the PlayCon Conference Committee.
Wann has over 35 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 23 years, and resides in Lake Geneva, WI with their 19-year-old daughter Melanie and 27 year old daughter Mackenzie.
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, Price leads all strategic planning and business development initiatives, including partnerships with other major toy companies and licensors.
Price 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), Price was elected to the Board of Directors in February of 2010.
She also holds the position of Chair of the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Committee and is past co-chair of the PlayCon Committee. She is also a member of Women In Toys and received the Wonder Woman In Toys Award for Manufacturing in 2011.
Price is a graduate of Catherine College. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two children.