Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) announced the 2020 Wonder Women Award Winners at the 16th Annual WIT Wonder Women Awards. The global organization focused on advancing women working in toys, licensing, and the entertainment industry also honored Pam Lifford, President of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, who received WIT’s Mentor of the Year Award, and Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer, who received the WIT Changemaker Award.
The 2020 Wonder Women Award Winners Are:
- CREATOR / DESIGNER / INVENTOR — Angie Cella; GemC2, Creator of Blinger
- LICENSOR / ENTERTAINMENT— Glenda Beltran; ViacomCBS
- LICENSEE / MANUFACTURER — Anna Mowbray; ZURU
- MARKETING / PR — Krista Berger; Mattel
- RISING STAR CORPORATE — Elaine Chang; Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and Maddie Michalik; The Toy Book
- RISING STAR INDEPENDENT — Madison Robinson; FishFlops and Jill Walters; Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld
- SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY — Nancy Molenda; Mattel
Mattel CEO Richard Dickson presented the Mentor of the Year Award to Pam Lifford. As President of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, Lifford is responsible for strengthening consumer engagement across the company’s characters and Global Franchise businesses, including Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Themed Entertainment and fan-focused brands, DC, HBO, and Cartoon Network properties. In her first year at WBCP, she increased overall business by 47 percent and has continued a consistent growth trajectory ever since. With more than 25 years of experience, Lifford is an industry veteran, who embraces collaboration and mentorship and was recently installed in the LIMA Hall of Fame.
ViacomCBS President Pam Kaufman and last year’s Honoree presented WWE Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon, with WIT’s Changemaker Award. McMahon is responsible for the company’s Brand, Community Relations, and Pop Culture strategies, and represents WWE as its global brand ambassador. Among her contributions, she has been the driving force behind WWE’s women’s evolution, which has given female performers an equal share of the spotlight both in and out of the ring. Adweek has included McMahon in their list of the Most Powerful Women in Sports for the past four years and recently recognized her as a 2019 Brand Genius. She was also recently named to Forbes’ Most Influential CMOs report. In 2014, McMahon and her husband, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, established Connor’s Cure, a fund dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer, which has raised $3 million to date and has helped more than 400 families.
Hasbro Chairman and CEO Brian Goldner presented longtime WIT President Ashley Mady with WIT’s President Award for her more than six years of service. Under Mady’s leadership, WIT has grown to a global organization with an infrastructure, hundreds of events, and a growth strategy for the future. WIT also announced yesterday that Janice Ross will lead WIT as its new President beginning in March.
“It was an absolutely extraordinary evening, with more than 850 guests joining us to celebrate brilliant women making an impact on our industry,” said Genna Rosenberg from GennComm and Jennifer Caveza, from ViacomCBS, Wonder Women Awards Co-Chairs. “The 2020 finalists, winners and honorees all reflect excellence and we can’t wait to continue to watch them shine.”
WIT also presented $2,500 scholarships to 11 students who’ve demonstrated academic excellence and leadership in business, design, engineering, and entrepreneurial studies, and with the support of WIT’s sponsors. Many of the recipients were in attendance thanks to the Bandai Foundation, which underwrote a special Excursionista travel stipend.
The 16th Annual Wonder Women Awards, held on Sunday, February 23 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, coinciding with Toy Fair New York, honors top female executives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and other changemakers for their accomplishments and impact within the toy, licensing, and the entertainment industries.
WIT’s 2020 sponsors and in-kind donors include Hasbro, Mattel, ViacomCBS, Disney, The Bandai Foundation, Jazwares, Amazon, LEGO, PlayMonster, Spin Master, VTech, and more. Proceeds from this event are used to fund scholarships, develop and maintain a full calendar of programs and networking events, and support initiatives for WIT’s members and its community.