WiT Unveils Honorees for 2023 Marvel Girls Awards

Girls in Toys, Licensing & Leisure (WiT) has named the honorees for the 18th annual Wonder Women Awards

The honorees for the 2023 Marvel Girls Awards are Visionary Chief Award recipient Laura Zebersky, President of Jazwares; Trailblazer Award recipient Lisa McKnight, Govt Vice President and Chief Model Officer at Mattel; and Future Chief Award recipient Nyla Hayes, CEO of Nyla Assortment and creator of the Lengthy Neckie NFT assortment.

These girls might be honored on the WiT Marvel Girls Awards Gala, set to happen on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York Metropolis. The occasion honors and celebrates the ladies executives, entrepreneurs, and changemakers who’re driving the toy, shopper merchandise, licensing, and leisure industries ahead. 

“Every [honoree] is an incredible supply of inspiration for all of us,” says Ehi Oviasu Kahn and Nancy Molenda, Co-Chairs of the Marvel Girls Awards. “Their private journeys function a robust reminder of our shared capability to thrive collectively. They personify the realm of potentialities that emerge when ardour, willpower, imaginative and prescient, and collaboration come collectively.”

Zebersky joined Jazwares in 2005, starting in licensing after which transferring to a job in gross sales. Zebersky’s pursuit of making unique value-added experiences led to Jazwares being a pioneer of downloadable digital sport codes that at the moment proceed to set the corporate aside. Beneath her management, Jazwares advanced its Roblox-branded enterprise into the popular residence for high sport builders on the platform, making approach for DevSeries, a set of the preferred video games on the platform. Zebersky has performed a key position in reworking the Squishmallows model right into a high best-selling plush in addition to one of many total high best-selling toy properties within the business. Zebersky’s dedication to philanthropy has helped increase “Jazwares Cares,” a department of the corporate devoted to supporting youngsters’s well being, well-being, and schooling by play. As a pure extension of her dedication to philanthropy, Zeberksy is the present Chair of the Make-A-Want Basis of Southern Florida Board. In 2017, Zebersky was acknowledged by WiT with the distinguished Marvel Lady in Manufacturing Award.

McKnight joined Mattel in 1998. In her present position, she oversees all of Mattel’s toy classes and international manufacturers, in addition to design and improvement. McKnight has held a number of senior management positions at Mattel for practically 25 years, together with the worldwide head of Barbie since 2016 and Govt Vice President and International Head of Barbie and Dolls since 2019, the place she oversaw your complete dolls portfolio for Mattel, and led a world group in model technique, product improvement, and advertising and marketing execution. Credited with main the transformation of Barbie, beneath McKnight’s management, Barbie was one of many high international toy properties for 2020 and 2021 and one of many high international doll properties for 2020 by 2022. McKnight has additionally pushed the numerous growth of Mattel’s portfolio, together with successful again the licensing rights to the Disney Princess and Disney Frozen franchise and the profitable relaunch of Monster High. McKnight additionally led the cost in launching the Barbie Dream Hole Mission in 2018, a multiyear initiative devoted to leveling the taking part in subject for each lady.

At 13 years previous, Hayes created the “Lengthy Neckie Women” assortment, the primary female-led, all girls generative artwork assortment on the Ethereum blockchain, presently price $3.4 million in digital foreign money. The gathering options various girls with elongated necks impressed by Hayes’ favourite dinosaur, the Brontosaurus. In 2021, TIMEPieces, a web3 group initiative by TIME, named Hayes as its first-ever Artist-in-Residence. Her assortment for TIMEPieces, “Lengthy Neckie Girls of the 12 months” featured 1,000 distinctive items of the 100 girls named to TIME’s “Girls of the 12 months,” reminiscent of Hayes’s favourite artist Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, Toni Morrison, and extra. In 2021, Hayes was NFT.NYC’s Rising Artist of the 12 months and acquired a Future 50 Tech Award, and this yr, she was named to AfroTech’s Future 50. Hayes is the founding father of NFT Youngsters’s Day and has been featured in TIME and TIME for Youngsters.

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