Canadian Toy Association Inducts 2022 Hall of Fame Members

Event Concludes 2022 Toys for the North Campaign with More than $450,000 Worth of Product Donated to Kids in Need

spin-master-foundersNovember 18, 2022, 2022 | The toy community gathered last night at the Canadian Toy Association’s (CTA) Hall of Fame Event at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ontario to celebrate the industry’s top leaders and trailblazers. More than 200 individuals representing 25 companies attended the reception and dinner, which was followed by ceremonies to honor the CTA’s 2022 Hall of Fame inductees and recognize the 2022 Rising Star Award winners.

Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Toy Association, kicked off the evening with remarks that highlighted the partnership between the CTA and The Toy Association. The CTA then inducted Monika Merz, former president of Toys “R” Us Asia Pacific, and Spin Master Co-Founders (pictured) Ronnen Harary, Anton Rabie, and Ben Varadi into the Hall of Fame. They join a roster of 45 toy industry leaders who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1995.

The inaugural Rising Star Award winners included Rakan Al-Shawaf (CEO) and Pablo Eder (COO), co-founders of Makeship, for the Entrepreneurship Category; Jessica Shaheen, head of corporate brand at Mastermind Toys, for the Retail Category; and Rochelle Pires, director of sales at Hasbro, and Justine Wong, director of marketing for Moose Toys Canada, for the Vendor Category.

“It was a joyful night celebrating Canada’s extraordinary toy and play community, five incredibly talented rising stars, a legendary retailer, and three powerhouse individuals who have touched so many lives,” Pasierb said. “The emotional remarks from Spin Master’s three founders — in addition to stories about those who generously lifted them up in the early days and their genuine delight about being part of the toy community — captivated the room. Every aspect of the evening underscored CTA’s value and its achievements to promote the innovators, companies, and initiatives that benefit Canada’s toy industry.”

The event also included a silent auction and a toy collection for the CTA’s 2022 Toys for the North campaign, which ended with 23,356 pieces donated valued at $453,312. The products will be distributed to children and families in need in northern parts of Labrador, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Ontario.

Click here to view more information about the 2022 CTA Hall of Fame inductees and Rising Star Award winners.

Founded in 1932, the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The CTA leads the growth and health of the Canadian toy community as the authority on toys and the benefits of play. The Toy Association sustains the CTA, which provides enhanced value for active member companies across North America.