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Toy Industry Foundation
1115 Broadway, Suite 400
New York, NY 10010
Jean Butler currently holds the position of Executive Director at the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF).
In her leadership role at TIF, Ms. Butler has created and launched several national programs including Play Helps, to aid the children of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Play Heals, a national partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities; a national partnership with My Stuff Bags Foundation to benefit abused and abandoned children; and 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. She oversees all aspects of the Toy Industry Foundation including program management, grant making, fundraising, budgeting, operations and communications. Under her leadership, total fundraising has increased by 166%.
Previously, Ms. Butler held dual executive positions at TIA as Vice President, Membership and Executive Director, TIF. 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 University Graduate School of Business where she designed and teaches a global MBA course entitled “Marketing to Young Consumers.”
Marisa Medina was appointed Foundation Manager of the Toy Industry Foundation in October 2011. At the start of her career, Marisa managed the Kids Division of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to provide critical school supplies, new clothing, and gifts to over 60,000 disadvantaged and at-risk children annually. Marisa joined the TIF team in 2008, serving nearly two years as Foundation Coordinator and manager of TIF's Toy Bank. She temporarily left TIF to develop and execute fundraising and communication strategies as Director of Development for the New Jersey Blind Citizens Association, after which TIF recruited Marisa to rejoin the team as Foundation Manager.
Marisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from The College of New Jersey as well as a Master’s degree in the same field from Rutgers University. She believes in the power of play and that by giving kids a happy childhood, they develop a positive and proactive outlook on life. During her own youth, Marisa loved Connect Four, Guess Who, and playing outdoor games with sidewalk chalk.
Elizabeth Max joined the Toy Industry Foundation as Program Manager in June 2014. Elizabeth came to the Foundation from Bottlerocket Marketing Group where she managed strategic partnerships, promotions, and events for various cable-television networks, retail, and consumer clients in New York, NY. From conception to execution and everything in between, Elizabeth extended brand awareness through unique experiences that effectively engaged and converted consumers to lifelong advocates of multiple brands. Some of Elizabeth’s key clients included A+E Networks, NBC Universal, AMC Networks, General Mills, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, Management, and Design from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. She believes in the importance of “paying it forward,” and giving every child an opportunity to experience play. During her childhood, Elizabeth loved Pretty Pretty Princess, Lite-Brite, Guess Who, and Twister.
Special Events Coordinator
Mikaila Brown was appointed Special Events Coordinator of the Toy Industry Foundation in May 2014. Mikaila began her nonprofit career as a college preparatory advisor for the Harlem Children’s Zone. She then went on to design programs and curriculum for Cool Kids Learns, a nonprofit based in Miami, Florida. Mikaila currently run her own socially conscious fashion line, where the proceeds benefits various charities around the world.
Mikaila holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Master’s and Doctoral degree in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University. She is a strong proponent of the role play has in developing constructive personality and cognitive skills in all children. During her own youth, Mikaila loved jumping rope, Cabbage Patch Dolls and Pound Puppies.
Vice President, Finance & Administration, Toy Industry Association
Paul Vitale joined the Toy Industry Association as Vice President, Finance & Administration effective November 5, 2007. Mr. Vitale is a Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years experience. He has held senior financial positions in both for profit and not-for-profit organizations and spent over 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.