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Media Contacts:

Scott Goldberg

CHICAGO, Ill. (Sept. 15, 2016) – The Chicago Toy & Game Group Innovation Conference has a line-up of noteworthy speakers. This year’s keynote speakers include Kathleen Campisano (VP GMM Toys, Games, Hobby & Collectibles at Barnes & Noble), Andy Roo Forrest (Partner, Forrest-Pruzan Creative), Jim McCafferty (Owner, JMP Creative), Tim Walsh (Chief Playmaker, The Playmakers), and Michelle Thaller (Assistant Director of Science, NASA Headquarters).

Both professional and new inventors can meet with and pitch product acquisition executives from Hasbro, Spin Master, Mattel, Bandai, PlayMonster, Asmodee and many more companies from around the world. In addition, there is a full conference agenda of industry basics as well as professional development sessions. This is an opportunity for attendees to create, collaborate, celebrate and connect. Included in the conference package are tickets to Inventor Night at D4, the Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs) and PlayCHIC. The conference is held on Thursday, November 17, 2016 and Friday, November 18, 2016 at Navy Pier. Both days kick off with a Continental Breakfast at 7 A.M. with speakers beginning at 8 A.M.

Kathleen Campisano, VP GMM Toys, Games, Hobby & Collectibles at Barnes & Noble, will speak about trends. Campisano has reimagined the retail space at Barnes & Noble, allowing for the thoughtful integration of non-book merchandise. She serves on the TIA Board of Directors and has previously served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Mega Brands in Montreal Canada.

Andy Roo Forrest, Partner at Forrest-Pruzan Creative, will talk about invention and games. Forrest-Pruzan Creative is an invention, design and playtesting studio specializing in games that works with consumer brands, like Disney, Star Wars, Barbie, Pokémon and more. Andy is also a celebrated Indie singer songwriter.

Jim McCafferty, Owner of JMP Creative, will speak about invention and toys. McCafferty is an award-winning illusionist and the owner of a product invention powerhouse that has developed concepts resulting in over a billion units of product to reach the marketplace, including the latest Orbeez and PomPomWow crazes.

Tim Walsh, Chief Playmaker at The Playmakers, will present on creativity and introduce Reyn Guyer, the inventor of Twister, Nerf and more. Guyer and Walsh recently co-authored, Right Brain Red. Walsh has designed or co-designed four games that have sold over one million copies, including TriBond, Mad Gab, and Blurt! He has also licensed games, educational toys and apps for clients like Hasbro, Mattel, and Educational Insights, authored books and produced documentaries about the toy industry.

Michelle Thaller, Assistant Director of Science at NASA Headquarters, will speak about how we are all connected on a deep level! Thaller manages the Stennis Space Center education and public outreach program. She has appeared on the History Channel show, The Universe and appears in the Science Channel show, How the Universe Works.

To learn about the other speakers or to find out more information about the International Toy & Game Conference visit

About the Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.

The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. oversees toy industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments. Chicago Toy & Game Group initiatives include the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), the playCHIC Fashion Show, the Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the International Toy & Game Innovation Conference (T&G Con), the International Summit for Professional Inventors (I-SPI), Games for Educators, Discover Games and the Chicago Toy & Game Foundation. For more information, visit

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