January 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 1
WTHRA Announces 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
Inductees to be Honored at Opening Night Gala, South Point Hotel and Casino
With ToyFest West just two months away, rooms at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Vegas are nearing capacity as anticipation for the region’s largest toy industry event builds. The show’s Opening Night Gala is scheduled for March 10th and will honor the newly selected WTHRA Hall of Fame Inductees.
Since 1990, the Western Toy and Hobby Representative Association (WTHRA; founded in 1961) has been recognizing pioneers and leaders in the toy industry and celebrating their success and achievements on the opening night of ToyFest West. WTHRA is pleased to announce its 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees and Retailer of the Year as follows:
Hall of Fame Inductees:
Rich Brady, Senior VP, Sales, BrainstormProducts
From his humble 1970’s beginnings as a stock clerk and hobby counter employee at a toy store, to his present position as VP, Sales at BrainstormProducts, Rich has enjoyed over 40 years of toy experience and adventure, and is now recognized as an industry leader. He is regularly consulted for product information from a variety of popular industry publications such as Toy Magazine, as well as national newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.
Bill & Nancy Smith, Owners, Toysmith
As owners of Toysmith, Bill and Nancy have long shared a passion for all that is toys. Bill became active in the toy industry in the mid 70’s and in 1981l decided to start his own company, Toysmith. In 1987, Nancy joined the company full time and together, they have expanded the family business from its original location in Bill’s garage, to a 300,000 sq ft facility in Sumner, WA. Toysmith is now a worldwide brand with distribution in over 50 countries. The company has received numerous industry awards including Vender of the Year, Best Customer Service, Best Marketing, World Trade Globe Award and Astra Best Toy Award.
Kathleen Milne, Toy Manufacturer Rep
Kathleen has been a leading West Coast manufacturer’s representative for more than 25 years. She entered the business as a rep in 1985 and two years later, started her own company, Kathleen Milne Company, which is committed to bringing innovation, good design and creativity to specialty toy retailers.
Retailer of The Year
Brian Miller, President, Geppetto’s
Brian grew up frequenting the Geppetto's store in Old Town San Diego, which was owned by his childhood next door neighbor. Yet his career in the industry wouldn’t start until 1992 when he and his mother decided to purchase the familiar neighborhood toy store. Today, Gepetto’s has grown to be considered a San Diego tradition with eight locations and a ninth store slated for opening late 2013. Brian and Gepetto’s generously support local elementary schools, Children’s Hospital, the Arts Festival, Sports Education and more. Geppetto's has received two industry achievement awards from Playthings Magazine and has been recognized in several local newspaper readers' choice awards for favorite toy store in the area.
ToyFest West, (formerly known as the Western States Toy & Hobby Show) is the country’s oldest regional toy trade show, spanning over 40 years. The show offers a playground of buying activity, where attendees gather in a familiar, relaxed and friendly environment.
For more information on our honorees or the ToyFest West show, March 10-13, 2013, at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, visit www.toyfest.com.
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