Marian Bossard, EVP Global Market Events at The Toy Association, Announces Retirement
May 3, 2021 | Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association, has reached her goal and will retire as planned on June 1, 2021, after serving 22 years on the Association’s staff and senior management team. Following Bossard’s retirement, which has been in planning for the past three years, she will remain in a consultancy role for The Toy Association through to Toy Fair New York ’22 (Feb. 19-22).
As The Toy Association’s EVP of global market events, Bossard was directly responsible for management of the organization’s two live go-to-market events: Toy Fair New York, the largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, and Toy Fair Dallas, the by-appointment-only event targeted to long-lead buyers where toymakers and marketers preview the following year’s lineup to key accounts.
During her tenure, Bossard expanded The Toy Association’s live events to include a consumer-facing event, Play Fair, dubbed a public celebration of play and entertainment for all ages, which ran two years in 2016 and 2017. Under her leadership, the Association expanded its portfolio of go-to-market initiatives to include the toy industry’s first digital social marketplace, Toy Fair Everywhere, and in 2020 launched The Toy Association’s Private Preview program in partnership with key retailers sourcing product in specific categories and from suppliers meeting specific criteria. Bossard’s team oversees the organization of the Association’s Annual Business Conference which has taken place in the home cities of key retail partners in Seattle, Minneapolis, and in 2022, Bentonville. She has also been responsible for developing and executing international trade missions to emerging markets with the goal of assisting members grow their businesses within the U.S. and in the global marketplace.
”It is impossible to recount all the positives and good that Marian has brought to The Toy Association’s staff, member company representatives, and trade show exhibitors over more than two decades,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “Marian has driven change, challenged conventional thinking, consistently generated outstanding results, supported innumerable entrepreneurs and inventors, all while building a deeply committed professional team that is the finest in the trade association field. Across the United States, North America, and in business-building missions around the world, Marian has relentlessly kept both member benefit and the best interests of the entire toy and play community foremost in her mind and actions.”
Bossard came to The Toy Association in 1999 after spending five years in the exhibition management industry, first with an exhibit design firm and then with Miller Freeman/United Media where she was Trade Show Operations Manager in their General Merchandise division. Previously, she enjoyed a 16-year tenure in sales and customer service with Delta Air Lines.
Bossard is a member of the Advisory Board to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, NYC & Company, and Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT). She is a 1977 graduate of Rutgers University and a life-long resident of New Jersey.
Pasierb added: “In the months between now and Toy Fair New York in February 2022, we will engage Marian in the role of senior advisor, with focus on the reimagination and reinvention of our marketplace events for 2023 and beyond, while also assuring a smooth transition in operations to her successor, Kimberly Carcone, who will ascend to the role leading the team on June 1, 2021. While ultimately profoundly sad to see such a dear and invaluable colleague retire, the toy and play community is thankful for her service and could not be better served by these steps.”
Kimberly Carcone, vice president of market events, has been promoted to the role of senior vice president of global market events at The Toy Association, effective June 1, 2021. An official announcement will be made in the coming weeks.