Meet the Committee
BOB WANN, COMMITTEE CHAIR
CEO, PATCH PRODUCTS INC.
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 as well as on the Board of Directors of the Toy Industry Foundation. He also 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.
SHIRLEY PRICE, COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIR
PRESIDENT / CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, FUNRISE Toy Corporation
Member of the Executive Committee, TIA Board of Directors
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.
An active member of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Shirley was elected to the Board of Directors in February of 2010 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2012. She also holds the position of co-chair on the PlayCon Committee and Chair of the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Committee. 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.
JOEL BERGER, PRESIDENT, CARDINAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
Joel Berger received his College degree in Business Administration from Boston University and joined his father’s game manufacturing business, Cardinal Industries, Inc. and has spent 35 years in the industry. This year Cardinal Industries is celebrating its 65th year in business.
His knowledge of the industry includes, Product Development, Production, and Sales.
Over the years, he has received numerous Vendor of the Year Awards from most of the major retailers. Cardinal Industries has been recognized for its creativity and reliability.
Joel resides in New York and has 2 children one of whom may follow his family legacy in the game business.
Kathleen Campisano, Vice President, Toys & Game,
Barnes & Noble
Kathleen Campisano is an award-winning business leader with a 20-year record of driving multi-million dollar revenue growth. Her experience spans juvenile products, toys, stationery, art materials and educational electronics and her areas of expertise include licensing, branding, ideation, marketing, product development and P&L management. Kathleen has most recently, thru her contributions at Barnes & Noble, added retail merchandising to her list of accomplishments. Kathleen’s success can be attributed in large part to her innate ability to identify emerging market trends and fully capitalize on consumer insights.
Throughout her career, Kathleen has passionately and consistently applied her unique skill set to companies at various stages of development – identifying consumer needs and desires, building strong motivated teams while leading them in the development of innovative products and driving effective branding, positioning and marketing strategies to maximize revenue and profit.
Early in her career Campisano held brand positions at Century Baby Products and Fisher Price, and more recently has held executive management positions at LeapFrog, Mega Brands and Barnes & Noble.
Campisano holds an Executive MBA from the SUNY School of Management in Buffalo, New York and a BS in Marketing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has also served as a Guest Lecturer at the Haas Business School of Management.
MARY COUZIN, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, CHICAGO TOY AND GAME GROUP
Mary Couzin is CEO and Founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Group, which includes: PlayCHIC Toy Inspired Fashion Show, Int’l Summit for Professional Inventors, Int’l Toy & Game Inventor Conference, Inventor Relations Summit, Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards, Chicago Toy & Game Fair (public facing fair), Games for Educators, Young Inventor Challenge and more fun events promoting the importance of play through fashion, inventors of all ages, media events and direct to consumer events.
Years ago, after inventing, self-producing and licensing a few games, she founded DiscoverGames.com, a co-op of inventors, to help them break into the business. Passionate about making learning more fun and effective, she partnered with Live Oak Games on their Games in Education website and newsletter reaching over 178,000 educators monthly. In addition, ChiTAG Group publishes newsletters to the industry, the inventing community and to consumers. She also writes for ASTRA’s Discover the WooHoo Factor consumer newsletter and has partnered with ASTRA on inventor manufacturer sessions as part of their MarketPlace and Academy. She hosts get-togethers annually at NYTF and ASTRA as well as in cities all over the States, Canada and overseas. A collaborator at heart, she is always looking to connect people and create win-wins. The media often quotes her as she is active in both traditional and social media.
She serves on TIA's TOTY Nominating and PlayCon Committees, is a Selection Committee Member at National Toy Hall of Fame, writes for Global Toy News and has been honored as Women in Toys Entrepreneur of the Year, Global Toys Person of the Year and most recently as a Woman Driving Excellence at the Chicago Auto Show.
Mary received a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and a MBA from Loyola University. She is active in local politics having served on City Council, Park Board, Sculpture Committee, Zoning Board and Plan Commission and is a past United Way Board Member.
Mary can be found on:
- Twitter: @ChicagoToyNGame
- Pinterest: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game
- Facebook: Mary Couzin and Chicago Toy & Game
- LinkedIn: Mary Couzin
RICHARD GILL, FORMER CO-OWNER AND DEVELOPER, PICTIONARY® BRAND
Richard is the former co-owner and developer of the Pictionary® brand. Born in the United Kingdom but having lived primarily in the US since 1985 he was responsible for overseeing the phenomenal successes’ of both Trivial Pursuit® and Pictionary for 15 years before the successful sale of the Pictionary company to Mattel Inc. in 2001.
As Executive VP of Horn Abbot International based in Barbados, Richard oversaw the development of Trivial Pursuit into a $100 million international brand in 35 countries providing development/writing and marketing expertise to licensees in the various territories during the 1980’s. As one of the owners of the Pictionary brand he built an international network for the board game into over 60 markets and 35 languages with annual sales of over $30 million while successfully extending the brand into a syndicated TV show, publishing, computer versions, the gaming industry, party goods and confectionary businesses.
In addition to his media and PR appearances, Richard now provides International Management, Sales and Marketing consultancy services to multiple toy and game clients via his company NH Contract Management. With products currently placed in over 40 markets worldwide Richard provides an instant international development function to his clients looking for international partners, licensees or distributors.
SHARON HARTLEY, Vice President, “R”Us Brands, Toys“R”Us, Inc.
As Vice President, “R”Us Brands, Toys“R”Us, Inc., Sharon Hartley is responsible for the overall business strategy for the company’s owned toy brands, including global product development and brand management. In this role, she works closely with the Marketing, Visual, Creative and Operations teams to provide brand direction, as well as with global merchants to drive owned-brand penetration around the globe.
Ms. Hartley has more than 30 years of experience in global brand building. Prior to joining the company, she spent four years at Crayola, LLC, where she most recently served as Executive Vice President, Marketing and Product Innovation, and before that as Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales, North America. Ms. Hartley first joined Toys“R”Us, Inc. in 2004 as Global General Manager, “R”Us Brands and New Product Development, where she was responsible for managing the company’s exclusive brand portfolio and its international expansion.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Hartley founded Advantage Partners, an independent business and marketing strategy consultancy agency. She also held positions in marketing and product development at Hasbro, Inc. for 18 years and Mattel, Inc. for six years, including as Senior Vice President for Hasbro with profit and loss responsibility across several major toy categories. Ms. Hartley assumed her current role in September 2012.
Ms. Hartley received a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s in business administration from Rutgers College in New Jersey. She has participated in several executive programs, including INSEAD’s International Executive Program and Stanford Business School’s Executive Program on Negotiation. Ms. Hartley currently serves on the Toy Industry Association’s PlayCon Committee. She has also previously served on several boards, most recently for ArtsQuest, a nonprofit organization that seeks to drive economic development through the arts in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Hartley and her husband Gordon currently reside in Easton, PA.
Jeffrey Kennis, President, Enchanted Moments, Inc.
Jeffrey is President of Enchanted Moments, Inc a leading toy and gift representative firm serving both the specialty and mass markets in the Northeast corridor (Mid-Atlantic/New England), of the U.S. for over 20 years. He is also a consultant and investor, and has guided many new companies to successful launches and profitability. Jeffrey is a graduate accounting and business major. His professional experience includes work in notable CPA firms, and management and buying positions in accounting and toys at a world renown retailer.
JANE RITSON-PARSONS, GROUP EXECUTIVE - GLOBAL MARKETING ORGANIZATION, HASBRO, INC.
As Group Executive, Global Marketing Organization, Jane Ritson-Parsons leads a variety of key internal teams at Hasbro, Inc. including Global Consumer Insights, Global Brand Execution, HasbroToyShop.com, and CakeMix Studios.
From representing consumers worldwide in her work with the Global Insights team to delivering consistent brand messaging at events across the globe through the Global Brand Execution team, Ritson-Parsons’ role at Hasbro encompasses a broad range of critical marketing functions.
In her position, Ritson-Parsons also manages Hasbro’s global online retail presence via HasbroToyShop.com and assets for retail partners around the world. In addition, she oversees the Company’s global retailer exclusives program.
Ritson-Parsons also partners in supervising Hasbro’s internal CakeMix Studios which is responsible for all the company’s TV commercials and production across multiple channels. Hasbro’s two creative agencies also report into her.
Ritson-Parsons joined Hasbro in 1993 to lead the Company’s in-house global licensing, publishing, and promotional groups. Prior to her current role, she led product development and marketing for Hasbro’s global franchise brand Monopoly.
Ritson-Parsons began her career at the Jim Henson Company where she delivered a number of high profile international licensing programs. She was also part of the original team that created and launched Hit Entertainment, a leading preschool entertainment company.
Jane and her husband Ian currently reside in Rhode Island with their two children.
MANUEL TORRES, Senior Vice President, GLOBAL TOYS and Publishing, NICKELODEON CONSUMER PRODUCTS
As Senior Vice President, Global Toys and Publishing, Nickelodeon, Manuel Torres manages the world's number-one TV-based licensing business and handles the merchandising for Nickelodeon.
Based in New York City, Torres oversees the global business operations and licensing partnerships for Nickelodeon’s toy, consumer electronic and publishing lines. Torres aligns Nickelodeon’s activities to drive new business initiatives, leverage Viacom Media Networks’ global portfolio, and create innovative and safe product offerings in a variety of categories for global consumers.
Currently, Torres manages the global master toy partnerships with the likes of Playmates Toys for the hit series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was 2013’s number-one action figure property in the U.S.; Mattel for Nickelodeon’s billion dollar franchise, Dora the Explorer, Emmy Award-winning show, Bubble Guppies and the upcoming educational preschool series, Dora and Friends; and the LEGO Group for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others.
Previously, Torres was Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Consumer Products and Viacom Media Networks Latin America, where he was responsible for directing licensing and merchandising activities for all programming properties and brands. Torres established Viacom Media Networks Latin America Consumer Products Division out of Miami, which became the fastest growth business division, when he joined the company in 2004. Under Torres’ leadership, Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer became Fisher-Price’s fastest-growing preschool properties ever in Latin America and SpongeBob SquarePants garnered significant sustained growth.
Prior to Nickelodeon, Torres served as General Manager of Warner Bros. Consumer Products in Mexico. A native of Mexico with more than 20 years of experience in the Toy and Consumer Products Industries, Torres has also held sales, and marketing and trade marketing sales positions at Unilever Mexico and Mattel, Inc. in El Segundo, California.
Torres has been recognized by the industry for his leadership and expertise, recently elected as a member of the Toy Industry Association, Inc. Board of Directors. Torres is also a Member of the Tiger Team at the Breast Cancer Org., where he collaborates in a program to bring greater awareness of breast cancer prevention in young kids.
Thank You to our Sponsors