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Gessert Named Chairman of TIA Board

John Gessert, president and CEO of American Plastic Toys, Inc., was recently elected by members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) to serve as chairman of the TIA board of directors for a two-year term expiring in February 2016.

Gessert joined the TIA board of directors in 2009, previously serving as secretary/treasurer and vice-chair. He succeeds Soren Torp Laursen, president of LEGO Systems, Inc., who was TIA chairman from 2012–2014.

Gessert joined American Plastic Toys in 1984 working in sales and operations. After holding regional sales manager positions for several years, he was promoted to national sales manager in 1991. He served as executive vice-president of the company from 1998–2003, when he was named president and CEO. The company operates five facilities in Michigan and Mississippi, where 100 percent of its toys are assembled from components molded in its own plants or purchased from U.S. companies. American Plastic Toys has manufactured toys in the U.S. since 1962.