Letter from the President & Chief Executive

andy-keimach-headshotFebruary 13, 2024 — It has been a little over a month since I have taken on the role of interim president & chief executive, and with our recent announcement about The Toy Association’s presence in Los Angeles this fall, I felt it was the perfect time to touch base with the entire toy community about current and upcoming priorities for our Association.

Since mid-December, I have been engaging with our industry leaders – not just our members, but a wide variety of individuals from the entire toy community (including manufacturers of all types and sizes, inventors, ASTRA leadership and members, POP leadership and members, and many others) with the hope of gaining a much deeper understanding of The Toy Association and our industry’s greatest challenges and needs. My intention is for the Association to welcome all those who are connected to the toy, play and youth entertainment industries under our “Big Tent” and help their respective businesses prosper.

These conversations have opened my eyes to the needs of all those we serve and is helping to inform the development of our initiatives and programs – including, but not limited to, the positioning and activities of our Toy Foundation, the planning for The Toy Association LA Fall Preview in September, and the many resources we offer to the industry, both members and non-members alike, from our webinars and educational resources all the way to our advocacy efforts across the U.S. and globally.

With the LA Fall Preview on the horizon, I encourage you to visit our event webpage for information about securing space to preview product lines and hold private meetings in LA during the important fall preview season. We will also host a free, industry welcome to LA cocktail party on Tuesday, September 10. It will be an opportunity to have some fun, network, and relationship-build. Please save this date/event on your calendars! In addition to Los Angeles in September we are looking forward to New York Toy Fair 2025 taking place March 1 to 4. Planning is well underway for the iconic show at the Javits Center.

Our Global Government & Regulatory Affairs team is currently working on a number of issues impacting our industry. From leading the charge on amending the outdated Stuffed Toy Law in Pennsylvania to tracking and advocating on 450 bills across 39 states covering chemicals, privacy, and packaging, to submitting comments on the European Union’s Toy Safety Regulation, our team is diligently monitoring and acting on laws and regulations across the U.S. and globally. If you would like to join one of our advocacy committees to become more involved and knowledgeable on a range of priority issues impacting toys, please reach out to Ed Desmond, executive vice president of global government & regulatory affairs. Our government & regulatory affairs staff are strategically based both in Washington, DC and across the country so that they can stay connected to states with high legislative activity.

The Toy Foundation is a key pillar of The Toy Association. We will be clearer in communicating the impact of the collective philanthropy of the entire toy industry while also providing clarity on how the Foundation raises and distributes grants and in-kind donations to children who truly need and benefit from the gift of toys and play.

The Toy Association team has the capacity to serve our entire industry with focus, creativity, and enthusiasm. I am committed to improving upon our ability to meet the ever-changing needs, challenges, and shifts within our business.

It is my hope that you will be in touch with me directly if you have a challenge, concern, or simply want to talk about how we can be of better service to you. The Toy Association leadership team wants and needs your feedback. We are here to listen, and importantly to take action in order to best serve our members and the industry.

Best wishes for a successful 2024,

Andy Keimach
President & Chief Executive
The Toy Association™