Women in Toys Honor Industry Leaders

Sesame Workshop, Amazon and Disney execs among honorees

lyla blackLyla Black of Lyla Tov Monsters picked up the inaugural Wonder Girl Award, which recognizes young toy entrepreneurs.
NEW YORK – More than a dozen women in the toy industry were honored on February 15 at the 11th Annual Women in Toys (WIT), Licensing and Entertainment Awards Dinner. Hosted by WIT, and coinciding with the North American International Toy Fair in New York City, the gala awarded winners from more than 40 distinguished nominees from around the world.

WIT also presented Special Honoree Awards to executives From Sesame Workshop, Amazon.com, and Disney Consumer Products. Ann Kearns, vice president, global toys, Sesame Workshop, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for 42 years of service at Sesame Workshop. Eva Lorenz, general manager for toys and games, Amazon.com received the Retailer of the Year Award. Elaine Carovilla, director, Disney Consumer Products, received the People’s Choice Award. For the past seven years, Carovilla has worked Disney Consumer Products’ toy business, launching Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Disney Fairies business, and the juggernaut, Frozen brands, while concurrently working to more than triple the Disney Princess business.

Lyla Black of Lyla Tov Monsters picked up the inaugural Wonder Girl Award, which recognizes young toy entrepreneurs. She designed her first Monster as a gift for her father when she was just 3years old. Now, at the age of 8, she is WIT’s youngest member, and the creative force behind Lyla Tov (“Good Night” in Hebrew) Monsters, choosing fabrics, picking ribbons and deciding which Monsters need ears and which get horns.

This year’s Wonder Woman Award winners include:

Manufacturer of the Year: Irene Li, The Bridge Direct Public Relations & Social Media – Julie Duffy, Vice President, Global Communications, Hasbro, Inc.

Socially Responsibility: Deborah Dicochea, Mattel Children’s Foundation and Corporate Philanthropy, Mattel Inc.

Licensing and Entertainment: Samantha Freeman and Angela Santomero, Out of the Blue Enterprises

Designer /Inventor: Ditte Bruun Pedersen, Future Lab, The Lego Group

Marketing and Advertising: Tamara Stewart, Moose Toys

Rising Star: Bettina Cheng and Alice Brooks, Roominate

“Congratulations to this year’s winners and nominees,” said Genna Rosenberg, co-chair of the Wonder Women Awards dinner. “There is certainly no shortage of talented women in this industry. This event – which has continued to grow each year – is a testament to the innovative, creative and extraordinary women committed to this industry, its consumers and this organization.”

The WIT Foundation also awarded seven scholarships to students enrolled in toy design, engineering, and entrepreneurial studies at universities including Wharton, OTIS College of Art & Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, OCAD University, and Burg Giebichenstein. Scholarship recipients and other young female entrepreneurs were in attendance, and had the opportunity to connect with and benefit from the industry star power and knowledge base in the room.

Playthings Staff | Playthings Staff

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