WiT Announces 2022 Wonder Women Awards Winners
Powerhouse Slate of Winners and Honorees Embody Leadership and Excellence
March 1, 2022 – Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) announces the 2022 Wonder Women Award winners on the first day of Women’s HIstory Month, and as the global organization celebrates its 30-year anniversary. Honoring the brightest women in toys, licensing & entertainment, the WiT Wonder Women Awards is an annual celebration of the industry’s remarkable thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers.
Presenting the 2022 Wonder Women Award Winners:
- Designer / Inventor – Kenna O’Brien, Senior Manager, Product Design – Barbie – Mattel
- Licensee / Manufacturer – Amanda Bright, Senior Director, Product Development – Spin Master
- Licensor / Entertainment – Jes Wolfe, CEO – Rebel Girls
- Marketing / PR – Arlene Biran, SVP, US Marketing – Spin Master
- Social Good – Sarah Knott, Manager, Global Philanthropy and Social Impact – Hasbro
- Covid Hero – The LEGO Group
- Deal Maker – Paula Kupfer, Senior Director, Global Partnerships – Hasbro
- Storyteller – Azhelle Wade, CEO – The Toy Coach
- Unsung Hero – Maggie Snow, Senior Director & Associate General Counsel – Mattel
- Wonder Girl – Alaya High, Artist (That Girl Lay Lay) – Paramount
- Rising Star – Deal Maker – Brittany Oliver, Senior Commercial Lead – ZURU Toys
- Rising Star – Designer/Inventor – Vanessa Fung, Senior Designer, Toys & Hardlines – Universal Brand Development
- Rising Star – Licensee / Manufacturer – Dr. Lisa Williams, CEO & Founder – The World of EPI
- Rising Star – Licensor / Entertainment – Tiffany Suzuki, Licensing Manager – Crunchyroll
- Rising Star – Marketing / PR – Sakita Withers, Brand Manager – PlayMonster
- Rising Star – Social Good – Penny Bauder, Founder & CEO – Green Kid Crafts
- Rising Star – Storyteller – Rupa Parekh, Founder & CEO – Umani Studio
- Rising Star – Unsung Hero – Amanda Marschall, Training Manager – The LEGO Group
The 2022 Wonder Women Award Honorees Are:
- Retailer of the Year – Amazon / Anne Carrihill – Amazon
- Icon Award – JoJo Siwa – Paramount
- Changemaker Award – Steven Wolfe Periera – Encantos
It’s a privilege and an honor to celebrate this incredible slate of 2022 Wonder Women Award winners and honorees,” said Janice Ross, WiT President. “This year’s expanded categories gave us the opportunity to spotlight the broad range of tremendously talented women in our industry, and the powerful impact they’re having. Out of hundreds of deserving nominees, this amazing group embodies such extraordinary excellence in leadership.”
“Wonder Women Awards Co-Chairs, Genna Rosenberg and Jennifer Caveza continued, “Heartfelt congratulations to each of this year’s remarkable Wonder Women Award recipients! While we wish our celebration happened in person in New York, we look forward to celebrating our winners and honorees with the WiT community and our industry all throughout the month of March. There’s no better way to celebrate Women’s History Month!”
WiT is also planning a special International Women’s Day Celebration Event on March 8th to celebrate the achievements of all women in our industry, and highlighting WiT’s 2022 Wonder Women Award Winners and Honorees.
WiT presents the 2022 Retailer of the Year Award to Amazon, accepted by Anne Carrihill, Director, Toys & Entertainment, for the positive impact Amazon has had on our industry and everyone’s lives. Amazon kept the world connected with safe, crucial deliveries of toys and goods for its massive customer base during this unprecedented time, and their myriad strategic programs—including Amazon Smile, which offers customers a way to support their favorite charitable organization, at no additional cost, when they shop Smile.Amazon.com; Amazon Small Business Academy; and Amazon Black Business Accelerators—have empowered entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations with tangible resources, which have been a lifeline to countless companies and individuals. See video here.
WiT presents an Icon Award to the incredible force, JoJo Siwa. JoJo is not only a powerhouse Nickelodeon star, pop star, social media sensation, author and consumer products global brand, she is an activist, role model, and
overall trailblazer in every way. She now also adds powerhouse LGBTQ+ icon for kids and adults of all ages who she has inspired throughout her journey and meteoric career. See video here.
WiT presents it’s 2022 Changemaker Award Steven Wolfe Pereira, for his purpose-driven and transformative leadership in diversity and inclusion. Through his intentional actions using both his personal social influence and the work he leads as CEO of Encantos, the public benefit corporation he co-founded, Steven is a visionary business leader committed to allyship, advocacy and activism to create opportunities for under-served communities. See video here.
WiT thanks its generous 2022 sponsors, including Amazon, Hasbro, Mattel, Paramount, Disney, Spin Master, LEGO, Jazwares, The Bandai Foundation, VTech, Warner Bros, TOMY, and the many partners who provide funding and support for WiT’s year-round programming, events, initiatives, including The WiT Foundation Scholarship Program.
About Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment
Founded in 1991, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) / The WiT Foundation is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that serves a diverse community of professionals at all stages of their career. As the preeminent voice for the toy, licensing and entertainment industries advocating for gender equality and the advancement of women, WiT provides women with a community of belonging that opens doors to people, resources and opportunity through events, education and programming. The WiT Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students enrolled in industry-related undergraduate programs. WiT has 25 chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, France, and the UK, with liaisons in Australia, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Lebanon and Spain. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.