The Toy Association announced the election of two new members and nine term renewals to its Board of Directors for two-year terms expiring in February 2022. The announcement was made during The Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, open to all Toy Association members and attendees of its global marketplace, Toy Fair New York.
During the meeting, two candidates were elected to serve first terms on The Toy Association Board of Directors: Sharon Price John, president & CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Melissa Millo, vice president of Toys at Target Corporation.
Ten members were elected to serve additional terms: Anne Carrihill, general manager of Toys & Games at Amazon and Christopher Harrs, executive vice president and general counsel, corporate secretary at Spin Master, Inc. were elected by the membership to first official terms having been elected by the Board in June 2019 to fill vacancies. Directors elected to second terms included: Michael Keaton, CEO, ToySmith; Timothy Kilpin, CEO & president, Second Childhood, LLC; Andrew Quartin, CEO, Thames & Kosmos, LLC; and, Andrew Weiner, chief advisor, Toy `N Around. Directors elected to a third and final term included: Jennifer Caveza, senior vice president, toys, ViacomCBS; Charlie Emby, co-president, Just Play, LLC; Skip Kodak, executive vice president, Americas, LEGO Systems, Inc.; and, Geoffrey Walker, president & CEO, KidKraft, Inc.
“The combined talents of The Toy Association professional staff together with the ongoing role of strong governance, and strategic and financial oversight through the Board of Directors, ensures the Association’s services and commitment to the toy and play community will continue to be best of class,” said John Gessert, president & CEO of American Plastic Toys and current chairman of The Toy Association’s Nominating Committee. “We are privileged to have ten active board members reelected to new terms, retain other invaluable members with terms not yet expiring, and blessed to have two outstanding new members in Melissa Millo and Sharon Price John. The diversity and range of business perspectives represented on The Toy Association board augur well for the future.”
The Annual General Meeting also marked the end of the successful two-year chairmanship term of Bob Wann, chief playmonster of PlayMonster, LLC and the announced election of Skip Kodak, executive vice president, Americas at LEGO. Wann will become chairman emeritus and take over the role of chairman of the Board Nominating Committee and as such will serve as a member of the chairman’s Advisory Committee.
The Toy Association’s new Executive Committee elected by the board members on February 21 during their winter meeting will include: Skip Kodak of LEGO Systems, Inc. as chairman; Geoffrey Walker of KidKraft, Inc. as vice chairman; Jennifer Caveza of ViacomCBS as secretary/treasurer; and Timothy Kilpin of Second Childhood and Steve Totzke of Mattel as members at large. Toy Association president & CEO Steve Pasierb will continue to serve on the Executive Committee in an ex officio role.
In assuming the role of chairman, Mr. Kodak thanked departing chairman Wann and made the following additional four appointments to the chairman’s Advisory Committee to serve two-year terms: Ashley Mady, director of brand development, Basic Fun!; Kathleen Campisano, global chief marketing officer, ChizComm; Glenn Abell, president and general manager U.S., Moose Toys; and Andy Keimach, president, V-Tech Electronics North America. Departing advisory members include board chairman emeritus Soren Torp Laursen, board member at Mattel; board chairman emeritus John Gessert, president & CEO at American Plastic Toys; and board advisor Richard Barry, President & CEO at TRU Kids, Inc.
The meeting included remarks from Pasierb, who spoke of The Toy Association’s continued achievements to protect and promote members’ businesses during 2019, despite the negative impacts of China tariffs, a challenging retail environment, and increases in counterfeit and IP-infringing products from overseas. He highlighted key aspects of The Toy Association’s 2020 action plan. An overview of The Toy Association’s 2019 fiscal results, 2020 budget, and continued healthy and sustainable financial position were also provided. Remarks included those from departing chairman Wann and newly elected chairman Kodak.
“With the strength of our new and returning Board members, Advisory Members and Executive Committee – all of whom possess deep and complementary experience and leverage in the toy and play community – the Association is certain to increase its already profound positive global impact in protecting and promoting both our member companies and the broader toy manufacturing and retailer community,” said Steve Pasierb, Toy Association president & CEO. “Together with the leadership of Skip Kodak we bring to life our belief in being a unifying force for the toy and play community’s creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play.”