Leading Toy Industry Executives to Open Licensing Expo 2016 with Keynote Panel on Content Creation

Posted May 17, 2016

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Every toy has a story, and toy manufacturers themselves have become increasingly prolific creators of high-quality animated and live-action entertainment, whether for theaters, television screens or streaming and social media platforms. To kick off Licensing Expo 2016, sponsored by LIMA and owned and organized by UBM Americas, leading executives from three top toy companies will examine the burgeoning role that content creation is now playing within the toy industry and its implications for the toy, entertainment and licensing businesses.

The keynote session takes place Tuesday, June 21, from 8-9am at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The hour-long discussion, “Toys to Content: Where Do We Go From Here?” will include:

  • Simon Waters, General Manager & SVP Entertainment & Consumer Products, Hasbro Newly-named to his current position, Waters is leading the company’s consumer products team and leveraging licensing to reinvent its franchises as lifestyle brands. He is also working to drive Hasbro’s worldwide studio entertainment initiatives across all platforms. Waters joined Hasbro six years ago as the Senior Vice President of Entertainment and Consumer Products from The Walt Disney Company, where he was Vice President of Global Franchise Development and Strategic Marketing. He led two of Disney’s largest consumer products franchises, Mickey Mouse and Winnie The Pooh.
  • Laura Zebersky, Chief Commercial Officer, Jazwares Zebersky oversees the company’s global licensing, marketing and sales efforts, which have grown more than 200% under her leadership. She also helmed the launch of a variety of highly-successful brands at Jazwares that originated as digital entertainment properties, including Minecraft, Terraria and Tube Heroes. Zebersky began her career as an attorney before joining her husband, Judd Zebersky, CEO and founder of Jazwares. With a talent for identifying trends, Zebersky has become has become an important resource for top-tier retailers who look to her expertise in brand-building and collaborative partnerships.
  • Susie Lecker, Chief Brands Officer, Toy Box Division, Mattel, Inc.A nearly 20-year veteran of the company, Lecker has held a variety of leadership positions since joining Mattel Canada in 1998 as Product Manager, gaining expertise both in brands and marketing. In her current position, she is responsible for all aspects of Mattel’s Toy Box division, a growth engine for the toymaker. Lecker represents Mattel across all of the company’s licensed entertainment properties with industry-leading partners such as Nickelodeon, Disney, Warner Bros, and Universal/DreamWorks, accounting for a wide range of product categories, including preschool, girls and boys, adult collector, and more.
     

LIMA SVP Marty Brochstein will moderate the keynote discussion, which is open to all registered Licensing Expo attendees.

The keynote panel is part of LIMA’s wide-ranging lineup of Licensing Universityeducational programs that begin Monday, June 20 with the Digital Media Licensing Summit, and run through Thursday, June 23. Each session is designed to help attendees acquire new strategies and develop innovative ideas.

“We’re very excited about this year’s line-up of Licensing University topics and speakers, highlighted by our keynote panel,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “Content creation is an increasingly important part of the business of toys and this prominent lineup of speakers will provide invaluable insight into where the industry is, and where it’s headed.”

“We are thrilled to welcome this distinguished group of panelists to address our Licensing Expo audience. The opening keynote has become a must attend part of Licensing Expo and a great way to kick off the show,” said Jessica Blue, Senior Vice President, Licensing, UBM Americas.

For an up-to-date schedule of sessions and to register for Licensing University, visit the Licensing Expo website.