WiT Names Surprise Ladies Award Finalists

Ladies in Toys, Licensing, and Leisure (WiT) has formally revealed its lineup of finalists for the 2023 Wonder Women Awards.

“This yr’s theme of Thriving Collectively: Celebrating Boldness, Affect and Collaboration, echoes the core values of WiT,” says Nancy Molenda, Surprise Ladies Awards Committee Co-Chair. “We have fun these extraordinary ladies for his or her excellent achievements, which have propelled optimistic change that continues to form our trade’s panorama, and empower the subsequent technology of leaders.”

The lineup consists of feminine executives, entrepreneurs, changemakers, and different leaders within the trade. 

“The Surprise Ladies Awards is a beacon of inspiration, spotlighting visionary ladies in our trade for his or her distinctive dedication and innovation,” says Ehi Oviasu-Kahn, Surprise Ladies Awards Committee Co-Chair. “These exceptional finalists characterize the top of success and exemplify the spirit of excellence that drives the WiT neighborhood and our trade ahead.”

Voting shall be open for all WiT members from Aug. 9-23. Winners shall be introduced on the Surprise Ladies Awards Gala on Oct. 1 at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, throughout Toy Fair in New York. For tickets to the occasion, go to womenintoys.com.

The finalists for every class embrace: 


Anna Songco Adamian, Crunchyroll

Anne Marie Horne, Hasbro

Christine Tran, Amazon

Jamie Sikorski, Jazwares

Melissa Liu, Spin Grasp

Melissa Rodriguez, Common Merchandise & Experiences

Meredith Norrie, Mattel


Alexis Hoopes, Mattel

Allyson Kalvonjian, Paramount

Angela Filippone, Simply Play

Chelsea Stevens, ZURU

Jessica Wichard, Jazwares

Pleasure Sales space, Spin Grasp

Julie Thompson, LEGO Methods

Kristen Shackleford, Amazon

Mary Wooden, TOMY Worldwide

Refugio Lando, Hasbro


Carly McGinnis, Exploding Kittens

Jamie Emmick, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Firm

Joanna Delany, Mattel

Julie Doverspike, Goliath Group

Kristen Beam, LEGO Methods

Lauren Killian, Jazwares

Marlyn Palmer, Spin Grasp

Melissa (Mel) Hershey, Hasbro

Rainey Perez, Amazon

Ruth Balbach, Common Merchandise & Experiences


Allie Jennings, Hasbro

Doreen Fazio, LEGO Methods

Kana Claussen, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Firm

Natasha McGrath, Mattel

Liv DeLuca, TOMY Worldwide

Sunny Cho, Jazwares

Vanessa Wilson, Spin Grasp

Wendi Wing, Moose Toys


April Mitchell, 4A’s Creations

Britney Crowell, CurlCap

Elenor Mak, Jilly Bing

Lauren Cecchi, Signables

Marina Khidekel, Hugimals World

Melody Hsieh-Hornstra, Mobo Cruisers, ASA Merchandise

Sheila Grey, Sheila Grey Assortment


Alexandra Kavalova, Spin Grasp

Allie Walker, SuperAwesome

Amy Kelly, LEGO Methods

Kat Marr, ZURU

Leah Ringelstein, Zigazoo

Sara DeWitt, PBS Children

Sarah Braun, Amazon

Shanae Gill, Hasbro


Cat Caterisano, Goliath Group

Judy Huang, Mattel

Margaret Abroms, Spin Grasp

Molly Robbins, USPA International Licensing

Surina Modha, Common Merchandise & Experiences

Tanya Thompson, Hasbro


Amanda Moldovan, Mattel

Francesca Sonand, ZURU

Grace Ng, Moose Toys

Jessica Kalichman, WowWee

Jonelle Brown, Paramount

Julie Gwaltney, TOMY Worldwide

Kelly Searfoss, Jazwares

Lauren Haxell, Hasbro

Stephanie Guo, Spin Grasp

Taylor Seashore, Amazon


Amarilis Whitty, Mattel

Caleigh Anthony, Spin Grasp

Claudia Vine, Moose Toys

Kassandra O’Brien, ChizSix Advertising & Media

Lauren Purnell, Common Merchandise & Experiences

Libby Shearer, ZURU

Molly Lindemann-Paolillo, TOMY Worldwide

Molly Martin, The LEGO Group


Adeline Trento, Toys”R”Us at Macy’s

Alysha Curtis, Moose Toys

Angela Beck, Mattel

Elizabeth McFarlane, Paramount

Irene Li, ZURU

Lorena Montalvo, TOMY Worldwide

Madeline Boushie, LEGO Methods

Meredith Brooks, Hasbro

Rakhee Ghelani, Common Merchandise & Experiences

Reilly Bailey, Studying Specific Toys

Sasha Bash, Amazon

Shabnam Elmi, Minecraft (Microsoft)

Vanessa Raponi, Spin Grasp


Akruti Babaria, Kulture Khazana

Amy Bastuga, Radio Flyer

Anna Griese, Toysmith

Carolina Acosta, Tragos Video games

Devanshi Kejriwal, Skillmatics

Kelly Kirk-Xu, Cash Masters (Walter the Vault)

Kim Chang, Simply Play

Lana West, Schleich USA

Laurie Lane, Create A Citadel

Shail Mehta, The Final Gameboard

Tysha Brown, Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Firm


Crystal Miller, Mattel

Deb Silver, Jazwares

Emilia Hogan, TOMY Worldwide

Fiona Hardie, Amazon

Kara Hong, ZURU

Kate O’Loughlin, SuperAwesome

Nicole McGinn, Spin Grasp

Pamela Krominga, Goal

Shelly Mazzanoble, Hasbro

Victoria Gomez, LEGO Methods


April Showers, Afro Unicorn

Helen Townsend, Sustained Enjoyable

Kirsten Subject, Child Crafts

Kusuma Reddy, Culturorama Toys

Paige McInnis, Little Change Creators

Dr. Zabina Bhasin, In KidZ

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