Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) is proud to announce its 2023 Wonder Women Winners, who were celebrated at the 18th annual Wonder Women Awards at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York City. The leading global organization focused on advancing and advocating for women in the toy, consumer products, licensing and entertainment industries, also honored Laura Zebersky with the Visionary Leader Award; Lisa McKnight, who received the Trailblazer Award, and Nyla Hayes, recipient of the Future Leader Award.
The Wonder Women Awards honors top female executives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and other changemakers for their extraordinary accomplishments and impact within the toy, licensing and the entertainment industries.
The 2023 Wonder Women Award Winners Are:
Brand Franchise: Meredith Norrie, Mattel
Commercial Sales: Kristen Shackleford, Amazon
Creative Genius: Carly McGinnis, Exploding Kittens
Designer/Inventor (Corporate): Sunno Cho, Jazwares
Designer/Inventor (Independent): Britney Crowell, CurlCap
Digital Storytelling: Alexandra Kavalova, Spin Master
Inbound Licensing: Tanya Thonpson, Hasbro, Inc.
Marketing: Jonelle Brown, Paramount
PR/Communications: Molly Martin, The LEGO Group
Rising Leader (<500 Employees): Amy Bastuga, Radio Flyer; and Kim Chang, Just Play
Rising Leader (>500 Employees): Adeline Trento, Toys”R”Us at Macys; and Angela Beck, Mattel
Social Impact (Corporate): Pamela Krominga, Target
Social Impact (Independent): April Showers, Afro Unicorn
“We celebrated a truly spectacular evening with over 750 guests, marking the triumphant in-person return of the Wonder Woman Awards,” said Nancy Molenda of Mattel Children’s Foundation & Corporate Philanthropy at Mattel, Inc and Ehi Oviasu-Kahn of Little Art. “Showcasing the dynamism and energy of this extraordinary community has long been a defining hallmark of this event, and the electricity from tonight’s gala continues to resonate. It was a night that embodied the resilience, strength, and inspiration of every Wonder Woman that walks among us!”
Through the support of its generous sponsors, WiT also presented twelve $2,500 scholarships to outstanding students who’ve demonstrated leadership and academic excellence in their chosen fields of business, design, engineering and entrepreneurial studies. In addition, and with deepest thanks to Spin Master for their sponsorship of the WiT Excursionista Grant, all scholarship recipients received a ticket to the Gala, and a stipend for their travel to New York, to experience the Gala and attend the Student Congress at Toy Fair.
WiT thanks its 2023 sponsors for their ongoing support and generous investment in driving positive change for women – including Amazon, Mattel, Paramount, Hasbro, Banda/Namco, Jazwares, LEGO, Spin Master, TOMY International, and the many sponsors who support the organization year-round. Proceeds from this event provide funding for vital programming and initiatives, and the WiT Foundation Scholarship Program.
Founded in 1991, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) / The WIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to advance women through leadership, networking and educational opportunities. WIT serves and supports women at all stages of their careers, from entrepreneurs and startups to seasoned industry veterans. The WIT Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students enrolled in industry-related undergraduate programs. WIT has 25 chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, France, the UK and Australia, with liaisons in Finland, Germany, India and Lebanon.