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Pamela Mastrota Named Toy Foundation Exec Director

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The Toy Foundation Board of Trustees and The Toy Association announced that Pamela Mastrota has joined The Toy Foundation (TTF) as executive director, effective immediately. TTF is a 501(c)3 children’s charity that operates under the umbrella of the Toy Association, with the mission of providing philanthropic support and play to children and families under stress and in dire situations around the world.

“The past year of extraordinary progress, innovation, and impactful grant-making through the Trustees and staff of The Toy Foundation continues with the appointment of an exceptionally talented and accomplished executive leader in Pam Mastrota,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Pam brings expertise as a COO and CEO in both the major nonprofit and private sectors together with skills in fundraising and program growth management that are certain to benefit the children the Foundation serves, and call deserved attention to the deep philanthropic commitments across the toy and play community.”

Mastrota will bring her C-level and nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and relationship-building experience to the role, where she will be responsible for maintaining and evaluating TTF’s operations, programs, administration, relationships, and fundraising/donor practices in order to advance its mission.

Most recently, she served as chief operating officer for Make-A-Wish Metro NY & Western NY, leading all operations including finance, human resources, marketing, IT/data management, and project management. Under Mastrota’s leadership, the number of volunteers in underserved areas grew by 180% to serve Make-A-Wish kids through the recruitment of experienced and culturally diverse department heads and the development of organizational plans. Mastrota reduced the wait time from two years to seven months to fulfill children’s wishes and reduced volunteer and staff turnover by 40 percent over her five-year tenure.

Prior to that role, Mastrota served as president & CEO for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Long Island Chapter, where she developed community programs and services to increase chapter-wide income and double endowment size and recruited a professional fundraising staff.

“I look forward to embarking on this incredible opportunity to lead, develop, and empower The Toy Foundation team in its work on behalf of the entire toy industry to make the biggest impact among children and families who need it the most,” Mastrota said.

Mastrota holds a Master of Health Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Communications from Hofstra University. She participated in the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program for multiple years and holds an active membership in Compel CEOs, a peer-to-peer advisory organization that supports executives in reaching their business goals.

“A thorough national search produced an outpouring of highly qualified candidates, and, above all, the search committee was excited by the deep experience Pam Mastrota brings to this important role. Pam is extremely well-suited for our collective vision to be an advocate for and beacon of philanthropy across the toy industry,” said Andy Weiner, chairperson of The Toy Foundation and chief advisor of Toy’n Around. “Under Pam’s guidance, The Toy Foundation will continue to expand its national pediatric hospital grant program, launch an industry-wide diversity & inclusion (D&I) initiative, continue The Toy Bank, and develop a comprehensive strategy of communications and fundraising. Her leadership will help drive collaboration throughout the toy, play, and retail community as we welcome all to engage in these life-changing programs.”

Ellen Lambert, who was interim executive director of The Toy Foundation for the past year, helped drive the Foundation’s progress during the pandemic and developed the D&I initiative for The Toy Foundation. She will stay on as a consultant to The Toy Foundation and focus on D&I programming exclusively.