ABOUT THE PRESENTERS:
Azhelle is known industry-wide as The Toy Coach. She joyfully works as a consultant for popular IP’s and toy companies of all sizes. Her online course, Toy Creators Academy empowers newbies in the toy industry with step-by-step guidance, downloadable worksheets, and group coaching.
Ashley is a creator, connector and industry thought leader. She currently is the head of Brand Development at Basic Fun! a fast-growing toy company in Boca Raton, Florida. Prior to joining Basic Fun!, Ashley founded and helmed the brand licensing and creative agency, Brandberry. There she spent close to a decade launching new IP from the ground up and reinvigorating established brands. In her current position as Head of Brand Development at Basic Fun!, she leads the conceptualization of the company’s new sustainable brands portfolio, oversees promotional and digital initiatives, and works collaboratively with internal teams on growth plans that drive innovation for new and existing brands. From 2014-2020 she served as president of the global non-profit Women In Toys, Licensing and Entertainment. She currently sits on the board of the Toy Industry Foundation and the Toy Association, where she chairs the Genius of Play.
Stefanie's career spans over 20 years in product design and development, brand strategy, engineering and manufacturing of consumer products in the toy and entertainment industries. She is highly skilled across a diverse range of hard and soft lines in both girls’ and boys’ categories. Her proven leadership skills involving managing, directing, mentoring and motivating teams at such companies as Toy Biz, Play Along, Jakks Pacific, Just Play and Wicked Cool Toys/ Jazwares. Stefanie is currently VP of Design at Jazwares.
Tanya Thompson is a passionate gamer and is working at changing the world through play. She is happy to be doing her dream job as the Director Global Gaming Acquisition and Inventor Relations for Hasbro, Inc. She’s thrilled to connect with so many innovators and creators from around the world looking for Hasbro’s next big game idea. Tanya’s board service includes People of Play Group which promotes play through consumer events and fairs and HATCH which is a highly innovative community, movement, and a series of experiences designed to activate creativity to HATCH a better world. Her proudest accomplishment is raising three beautiful children with her husband Chris!