MEET THE TIA SENIOR TEAM
Carter Keithley, President and CEO
Marian Bossard, Senior Vice President, Global Market Events
Jean Butler, Executive Director, Toy Industry Foundation
Ed Desmond, Executive Vice President, External Affairs
Kenneth Ebeling, Vice President, Strategic Development and Member Services
Alan P. Kaufman, Senior Vice President, Technical Affairs
Joan Lawrence, Vice President, Standards and Regulatory Affairs
Ken Seiter, Vice President, Strategic Communications
Paul Vitale, Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations
Meet Carter Keithley
President and CEO
Carter Keithley became President of the Toy Industry Association in 2006. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing the activities of the $18M+ not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages.
During his tenure, TIA has increased its membership to more than 750 companies across North America that are responsible for approximately 85% of domestic U.S. toy sales. The Association’s external affairs programs have expanded to encompass industry-related issues at the state, federal, regional and global levels; its go-to-market trade events attract increasingly global audiences; and its philanthropic activities have grown to serve millions of children in need each year.
Mr. Keithley is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100, a Board member of the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), and a member of the Consumer Goods International Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC-4) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. He is immediate past chairman of the NY Society of Association Executives (NYSAE) and a former volunteer director and chair of several industry organizations, including the Associations Council of the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Council of the Housing Industry. Previously, he was an appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC).
In 2010, Mr. Keithley received the Chairman’s Award from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for his leadership with the Toy Safety Initiative of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Mr. Keithley practiced law for several years before joining the association management firm of Smith, Bucklin. His 35+ year career as chief executive of more than a dozen industry associations and professional societies has focused on advocacy and public affairs in areas such as safety, environmentalism and small business issues.
Meet Marian Bossard
Senior Vice President, Global Market Events
Marian Bossard currently serves as Senior Vice President, Global Market Events at the Toy Industry Association.
In her current position, she is directly responsible for management of TIA’s two go-to-market events: the American International Toy Fair, the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere, and Fall Toy Preview, the by-appointment-only event targeted to long-lead buyers where toy manufacturers privately show their newest product lines. She also oversees the production of PlayCon, the International Conference of Play Professionals, an annual education and networking event for those involved in play-related industries.Ms. Bossard is committed to developing programs that will help TIA members grow their businesses within the U.S. and in the global marketplace.
Ms. Bossard came to TIA in 1999 after spending five years in the exhibition management industry, first with an exhibit design firm and then Miller Freeman/United Media where she was Trade Show Operations Manager in their General Merchandise division. Previously, she enjoyed a 16-year tenure in sales and customer service with Delta Air Lines.
Ms. Bossard is a member of the Advisory Board to the Jacob Javits Convention Center and sits on the Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 committee. She is proud of her work on the volunteer advisory board for the 2011 World Police and Fire Games, an Olympic style event that brought nearly 20,000 firefighters and law enforcement personnel from 70 different countries to New York City to compete in 65 sporting events.
She is a 1977 graduate of Rutgers University. She is a resident of New Jersey where she lives with her husband; her family is always nearby.
Meet Jean Butler
Executive Director, Toy Industry Foundation
Jean Butler joined the Toy Industry Association in December 2003, and currently holds the position of Executive Director at the Toy Industry Foundation.
Ms. Butler has held several executive positions at TIA including Director of Membership and Business Development and Vice President of Membership.
In her leadership role with the Foundation, she created and launched several national programs including Play Comforts, the first-ever national toy distribution program to serve every branch of the U.S. military through an exclusive partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America; Play Heals, a national partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities; Play Helps, to aid the children of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and national programs with My Stuff Bags Foundation and CASA National to benefit abused and neglected children. She received the Wonder Women In Toys Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in 2013.
Prior to joining TIA, she held several senior business development positions within Time Warner Inc., including Director of Sales and Business Development for Time Life Inc., and Director of Partnership Marketing/New Business Development for Time Inc. Consumer Marketing. She initiated Time Life Inc.’s first direct-to-consumer business unit which included video, music and children’s entertainment products. She was presented with the Award of Excellence for Outstanding Financial Contribution by Time Inc.’s Executive Management.
Ms. Butler holds a BA in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA in Marketing from Fordham University Graduate School of Business. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Fordham, where she designed and teaches a global MBA course entitled “Marketing to Young Consumers.”
Meet Ed Desmond
Executive Vice President, External Affairs
Ed Desmond joined TIA in October 2008 to serve in the newly created position of Executive Vice President, External Affairs. During his tenure, Mr. Desmond has built a strong and effective advocacy program that touches directly on the key domestic and international issues impacting the toy industry: safety; environmental sustainability; global trade – including export restrictions and international counterfeiting; children’s online privacy protection, and more.
Headquartered in the Association’s Washington, DC, office,
Mr. Desmond oversees TIA’s product safety and standards initiatives, technical affairs, state and federal legislative and regulatory outreach, and related communications programs.
Prior to joining TIA, Mr. Desmond served as Senior Vice President, Government Affairs with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Previously, he served as director of government affairs for several large multi-national corporations. He began his career as legislative counsel for Rep. Henry Hyde, the former Republican Congressman representing the northern suburbs of Chicago.
A graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, Mr. Desmond lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.
Meet Kenneth Ebeling
Vice President, Strategic Development and Member Services
Ken Ebeling joined the Toy Industry Association in May 2013 as Vice President, Strategic Development and Member Services.
In his role, Mr. Ebeling has overall responsibility for developing and executing strategies that will create and deliver enhanced value propositions to all TIA members. He leads engagement with members so that TIA can best meet the needs of each of the diverse constituencies that it serves.
Previously, Mr. Ebeling held the title of Senior Vice President of Membership Development for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), where he worked for more than 20 years. Reporting to the President and CEO of DMA, Mr. Ebeling was responsible for acquisition, retention and servicing of members and prospective members, and oversaw multiple areas including business development, special interest councils, program management, and member communications management. Sales and development activities spearheaded by Mr. Ebeling generated 70% of DMA company revenues in fiscal year 2012.
Immediately following college, Mr. Ebeling was recruited as a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals professional football team, and then pursued a brief career as an educator. In 1984, he joined DMA as a new member account executive and was subsequently promoted through a number of roles to his most recent post as SVP of membership development.
Mr. Ebeling lives in Mahwah, NJ and is the father of four children. He holds a degree in economics from Colgate University and an MBA from Fordham University.
Meet Alan P. Kaufman
Senior Vice President, Technical Affairs
Alan P. Kaufman is a toy industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience addressing product safety, quality assurance, regulatory compliance and product testing issues for toy companies and retailers
Prior to joining TIA in May 2011, Mr. Kaufman was vice president for global product safety and regulatory affairs at Toys“R”Us, Inc. Previously, he spent more than a decade directing production, sourcing and technical services within The Walt Disney Company and its affiliated companies. Earlier in his career, he held technical and production positions at a number of toy manufacturers, including Mattel, Knickerbocker and Coleco.
As part of the External Affairs team, Kaufman leads the continuing development and implementation of technical policies and strategies relating to toy safety, the environment, supply chain issues, factory processes and other related matters.
A graduate of UCLA with a degree in biology and organic chemistry, Kaufman is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). He is also a member of the executive board of ASTM International Committee for Consumer Products F15, and is very active on a number of its subcommittees responsible for toy and juvenile product safety standards.
Based in the Association’s New York City office, Kaufman works closely with TIA President Carter Keithley, Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs, and Joan Lawrence, vice president of standards and government affairs.
Meet Joan Lawrence
Vice President, Standards and Regulatory Affairs
Joan Lawrence currently serves as TIA’s Vice President of Standards and Government Affairs. Since joining the Association in 1992, she has managed product safety programs encompassing the development of safety standards as well as industry and consumer safety education. Her experience and leadership within the industry spans a broad range of issues – from product safety and quality to environmental and other corporate social responsibility initiatives. As TIA’s primary toy safety spokesperson, her advice on toy safety and standards appear regularly on websites and in articles and broadcast segments around the globe and her toy safety shopping tips and “how to” videos are featured elements of the ToyInfo.org website.
Ms. Lawrence chairs the ASTM subcommittee on Toy Safety, which is responsible for the continuing development of toy safety standard ASTM F963. She is a board member and former president of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO), a public-private forum for the advancement of consumer product safety. She also serves as executive administrator of the International Council of Toy Industries, Inc. (ICTI), a group of 21 toy associations from around the world.
Meet Ken Seiter
Vice President, Strategic Communications
Ken Seiter joined the Toy Association in August 2014 as Vice President of Strategic Communications. Mr. Seiter oversees the development, implementation and oversight of the Association’s communications strategies, key messaging and brand integrity programs.
Previously, Mr. Seiter served as chief marketing officer for the Specialty Food Association (SFA) and oversaw the creation of the Association’s new brand, as well as the execution of communications plans for SFA’s trade shows, educational programs, membership outreach and media engagement. Mr. Seiter was also responsible for the Association’s annual sofi™ Awards program, which honors the best in specialty foods at the Summer Fancy Food Show.
Prior to joining SFA, Mr. Seiter held a variety of positions at Kraft Foods, where he ran marketing communications services for the foodservice division, oversaw consumer promotions for multiple brands, and introduced integrated marketing communication. Additionally, Mr. Seiter has 25 years of advertising experience, having worked for a number of agencies on high-profile foodservice accounts.
Mr. Seiter holds a Master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing / English literature from Baruch College and the City College of New York. He lives in Stamford, CT with his wife and is the father of two children.
Meet Paul Vitale
Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations
Paul Vitale was named Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations at the Toy Industry Association in 2013 after having served as Vice President, Finance & Administration since November of 2007.
Mr. Vitale is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years experience. He has held senior financial positions in both for profit and not-for-profit organizations and spent more than 10 years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen. Prior to joining the Toy Industry Association, Mr. Vitale was Senior Director of Finance for the Greater New York Chapter of the American Red Cross for almost six years.
Mr. Vitale graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John's University in New York. He is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executives International.
Mr. Vitale has been a volunteer director since 1995 and treasurer of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Association, a not-for-profit provider of mental health services to children and their families based on Long Island, NY. He also serves on the Audit and Compliance Committee of Catholic Health Services of Long Island, a not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system.