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TIA Announces New Board

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new and three returning members to the TIA board of directors for three-year terms, which will expire at the annual general meeting in 2015.

Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA board of directors are John Barbour, CEO, LeapFrog Enterprises; Richard Barry, executive vice-president, chief merchandising officer for Toys “R” Us; Manuel Torres, senior vice-president, global toys and consumer electronics for Nickelodeon Consumer Products.

Nominated to serve his first full term on the TIA board after being appointed to fill a vacancy is David Allmark, executive vice-president, global brands team, Fisher-Price and nominated to serve their second terms are Joel Berger, president of Cardinal Games and Peter Henseler, president of TOMY International.

The board has voted to continue with its current leadership for the next year. The group is comprised of chairman, Soren Torp Laursen, president of LEGO Systems, Inc.; vice-chairman John Gessert, president/CEO of American Plastics Toys; secretary-treasurer David Hargreaves, COO of Hasbro; and members of the executive committee Bob Wann, CEO of Patch Products; and Shirley Price, president and COO of Funrise.

The following are retiring board members: Jamie Gallagher, CEO of Creativity for Kids; Julia Fitzgerald, chief digital engagement officer at Sears Holdings Corp.; and William Campbell, senior vice-president of U.S. sales for LeapFrog.

Valen Group Hires Heitkemper

The Valen Group announced that Sean Heitkemper has joined the firm as director of business development. He brings a wealth of experience in identifying and developing new client relationships. His background includes more than 15 years winning new client relationships for marketing, branding, and licensing agencies across numerous consumer products companies.