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For Immediate Release

Contact: Kristin Morency Goldman
The Toy Association


The Toy Association Names Industry Veteran Greg Ahearn as New President & CEO

greg-ahearn-headshotNEW YORK, NY | May 20, 2024 — The Toy Association Inc., the business trade association representing a wide array of manufacturers, retailers, licensors, and others involved in the youth entertainment industry, announced today Greg Ahearn will join as President & CEO on June 1. Ahearn will be responsible for leading the next chapter of the Association as it continues to evolve and best serve its close to 900 members, as well as the needs of the entire industry. He will have oversight of the key objectives, which include industry trade shows and events, regulatory affairs and representation, toy safety and ethics initiatives, member education, as well as consumer outreach to champion the importance of play. The role also extends to partnership with The Toy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the organization.

“As a part of the strategic evolution of The Toy Association, our goal is to better serve the wide and changing needs of our industry. I am delighted to announce that Greg Ahearn is joining this passionate team as its President & CEO,” said Sharon Price John, President & CEO of Build-a-Bear Workshop and newly appointed Chairperson of The Toy Association Board of Directors. “For over 100 years, The Toy Association has played the role of protectors and evangelizers of our industry, promoting the pivotal role of play. We believe Greg’s diverse and multi-decade toy background in senior roles across top manufacturers and retailers has built a valuable, trusted, and far-reaching network of relationships that will further the Association’s objectives both now and as they continue to evolve.”

This announcement comes at an important moment for The Toy Association with the reestablishment of the flagship industry event, Toy Fair New York, as well as the recent creation of an Association-run Los Angeles market preview, amid industry evolution and convergence in the post-pandemic economic environment. Ahearn’s illustrious career includes experience in a variety of executive roles inside the toy industry at small and large manufacturers including Mattel, OddzOn, Hasbro, LeapFrog, and Toys “R” Us on the retail side. These experiences make him particularly well-suited to understanding and addressing industry challenges. Additionally, his exposure to leadership roles outside the toy space at Uber Technologies and as Co-President at Davis Elen Advertising help broaden his perspectives to include manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, digital media, branding, marketing, and licensing.

"This is an amazing moment to continue elevating and uniting the toy industry to optimize our greatest opportunities and meet our biggest challenges together,” said Greg Ahearn, incoming President & CEO of The Toy Association. “Having first-hand experience at both emerging toy companies and large global corporations involving almost every aspect of the toy business, I am looking forward to bringing a fresh, well-informed perspective as we build on and develop new ways for The Toy Association to bring value to its members. I am incredibly excited about the future of our industry and look forward to collaborating with our broad membership to help them be successful as individual companies and as part of the industry as a whole.”

Ahearn received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He will be based out of The Toy Association’s New York City headquarters.

About The Toy Association™ / / /

Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the business trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $102.8 billion, and its roughly 900 members drive the annual $41 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned Toy Fair™ in New York City; hosts marketplace activities in Los Angeles; engages in state, federal, and international advocacy on behalf of its members; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard. The Toy Association’s philanthropic arm is The Toy Foundation™, a 501 (c)(3) children's charity that acts as the uniting force for the collective philanthropy of the toy industry. To date, The Toy Foundation has delivered the joy of play to 32 million children in need worldwide.