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Toy & Game Marketing PRO Quarterly Events! 
April 2022 

Learn - Share - Network

Thank you for being a part of our inaugral series for Marketing and PR Pros! All panels were recorded and linked in the agenda below. Please click on the link above and reach out to your colleagues - we are building an important community here! 

Virtual Keynotes

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Carly McGinnis

President at Exploding Kittens, Inc.

I am passionate about working at the intersection of storytelling and technology and enjoy being part of the transformation of traditional media into the next generation of entertainment.

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Dan Gingiss

For 20+ years, Dan led marketing teams in nearly every marketing channel — from direct mail to email to social media. He also served in multiple customer service and customer experience leadership roles. Dan combines his professional experience at brands like Discover, McDonald’s and Humana with tons of real-life examples from B2C and B2B companies of all sizes to recommend actionable, profitable CX solutions. 

Virtual Speakers

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Dr. Cheryl Robinson

Founder, Ready2Roar

Contributor, ForbesWomen 

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Mindy Stumpf

Communication & PR Lead

Radio Flyer

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Shawn Smith

Global Head of Communications Osmo 

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Genna Rosenberg



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Amy Friedland

Executive Vice President

 Freeman PR

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Kathleen Tomes

President and Founder

Brilliant PR and Marketing

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London Detrick

Global Public Relations Manager


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Kelsey Wheeler

Account Director

Litzky PR

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Rachel Griffin


PlayWise Partners

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Eric Jones Jr.

Sr.  Producer: ABC News 

Good Morning  America, 

Race & Culture

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Kaylie Easton

Vice President

Litzky PR

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Christie Damato

Account Director

Litzky PR

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Kathi Sharpe-Ross

CEO & President


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Ethan Alter

Senior Writer

Yahoo Movies/Yahoo TV

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Yelitsa Jean-Charles

CEO & Founder

Healthy Roots Dolls

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Marisa LaScala

Senior Parenting and Relationship Editor

Good Housekeeping

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Bridget Carey

Principal Video Producer


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Beth Cochran

Supervising Producer

Tamron Hall show

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Alexa Vogue

Vice President, Sales & Marketing Brilliant PR & Marketing

Conference Welcome and Committee Co-Chairs

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Michele Litzky

Founder, Litzky PR

Mary Couzin

Founder/President, Chicago Toy & Game Group dba People of Play

Virtual Conference Agenda (panels recorded - click on link)



1:00pmET Welcome and Keynote

Carly McGinnis - President at Exploding Kittens, Inc.

Michele Litzky - Founder, Litzky PR

Mary Couzin - Founder/President of Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc DBA POP

2:00pmET  Influencers & Social (earned & paid)


Rachel Griffin, Co-founder, PlayWise Partners  


Mindy Stumpf - Communication & PR Lead, Radio Flyer

Amy Friedland - Executive Vice President, Freeman PR

Kelsey Wheeler - Litzky PR

Alexa Vogue - Brilliant PR and Marketing

2:30pmET  Traditional Media


Genna Rosenberg - CEO, GennComm


Dr. Cheryl Robinson - ForbesWomen Contributor, founder, Ready2Roar

Marisa LaScala - Senior Parenting and Relationship Editor, Good Housekeeping

Bridget Carey - Principal Video Producer, CNET

Ethan Alter - Senior Writer, Yahoo Movies/Yahoo TV



3:00pmET  Broadcast: TV, Streaming, Radio, Podcast


Kathleen Tomes - President of Brilliant PR & Marketing


Kathi Sharpe-Ross - Reinvention Exchange Podcast

Christie Damato - Litzky PR

Beth Cochran, Supervising Producer, Tamron Hall Show

Eric Jones Jr.  - Senior Producer: ABC News / Good Morning America, Race & Culture

3:30pmET  Events and Activations


Shawn Smith, Global Head of Communications, Osmo 


Kaylie Easton - Vice President, Litzky PR

London Detrick - Global Public Relations Manager, MGAE

Yelitsa Jean-Charles CEO & Founder, Healthy Roots Dolls

4:00pmET Closing Keynote


Dan Gingiss - The Experience Maker™

Following Dan's Keynote - Networking in POP Pub UNO Room

Special Thanks to our Marketing & PR Committee! 

Event Founding Committee Members

Michele Litzky (Litzky PR), Tammy Smitham (Spin Master), Karri Bean (Disney), Rachel Griffin (Playwise Partners), Kathleen Tomes (Brilliant PR and Marketing), Lisa Wuennermann (PlayMonster), Dana Moncrief (Moose Toys), Sara Rosales (Jazwares), and Mary Couzin (POP)


More Details . . . 

It is beneficial for attendees to have a POP profile*, but not required. There will be a hidden page just for attendees with contact information: one page for brands and one page for agencies/pros. We will feature links to POP Profiles. 

*What is a POP Profile?  POP hosts the most powerful search engine for everyone in the toy industry. In addition to bios, photos, media, videos, fun facts, and more bringing a person, brand, product or company 'to life' and telling their story on a page, Marketing and PR Pros can list include their skills and expertise on their profiles and Companies and Brands can search for them by skills, expertise, and roles. Examples include: #pr #pr agency #product launch #influencers #affiliate marketing #trends #doll launches #brand guidelines #entertainment #licensing. PR agencies can add videos of past campaigns and media articles. Agencies/brands can put their press releases on POP to both be part of their profile and be featured in the POP feed on the homepage and In the Bloom Report News Feed.  And, there are loads of other features to explore!

Thank you to our  POP Sponsors
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Blue Plate Media Services

What Past Attendees of our Events Shared...

“It’s an annual rite of passage for our industry. Keep doing a great job bringing the community together and promoting the spirit of play.” 

– John Bell, Director  of Product Design & Development,

Buffalo Games

"I attended CHITAG for the first time, and thought it was a fantastic event. It was great to connect with peers and learn from the quality talks. Look forward to attending next time!"

– Gabby Toniolo, Inventor, Bella Products, Australia

The Innovation Conferences are a must for anyone - inventors or company people - in the toy and game industry.  The information you'll learn, the pitching and the networking is incredible. Mary and her team are to be congratulated; there is nothing else like it in the world!"

– Tanya Thompson, Hasbro

We are not mere creators of trinkets and insignificant baubles and playthings. we are the toymakers, the shamans, the wizards, the blacksmiths, the court jesters and sometimes even the town fool, and what we do – the toys that we create, contribute to the ever-evolving ever-advancing forward motion of the civilized world.”

– Bruce Lund 

"This event makes me fall in love with the Toy & Game Industry each year!"

– Megan Hinterman Kanous, PSI, Inc.

"I don't think I have learned more about the Toy Biz since?... ever. I didn't want it to end." 

– Carle Wunderlich, Best of Best Toys, Inc. 

Thank you for putting on such an informative and comprehensive conference and show.  ChiTAG is an excellent way to meet fellow inventors.  Our company, 1015 Creative, grew out of it.  Michael Adams and I met each other three years ago and within a year we were working together.  In October of last year we formed 1015 Creative, LLC with Damon Brown, bringing together a combined history of over 25 licensed games and 80 years of experience in game design, illustration and product development.  Our new company of successful inventors collaborating together debuted at the 2016 ChiTAG show.  We owe our success to the event and environment you have created."

– Eric Foster, Principal at 1015 Creative, LLC.

Chicago Toy & Game Week’s Professional Inventors Track is not just fertile ground for making the connections necessary to do business, it’s the annual gathering of the inventor tribe. In the whole wide world, there’s not a better place for independent toy and game inventors to go to catch up with each other, build friendships and strategic alliances, and spend quality time engaged with others who truly understand the nuances of the toy and game invention industry and share the common goal of expanding and improving our business opportunities. No other convention compares in personal warmth, richness of content, generosity of information sharing, and glorious un-rushed bubbles of quiet time to meet in depth and set a well-considered course right before the show season swings into hyper-warp mode and calm clarity morphs into frazzle."

– Peggy Brown of Peggy Brown Creative

"CHITAG’s Inventor Conferences are timed optimally.

There is no better time of year for inventors to pitch ideas to us!"


– Ben Dermer​, SVP Creative Development and Innovation. Deputy Creative Officer, Spin Master Ltd. 

"I love the CHITAG events!

They're extremely well run with a great amount of thought put into them." 


– Carly McGinnis, Chief Operating Officer at Exploding Kittens

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