President’s letter – June 7, 2011: Listening to Our Members … Connecting the Coasts

I’ve been on the west coast for the past week attending meetings and connecting with several of our TIA members in California.  I cannot tell you how delighted I am to hear consistent reports of optimism among companies in the industry … business is good and there are exciting plans for new products, new campaigns and new collaborations in the works.

California is home to high numbers of toy companies (nearly 20% of our members) and the center of gravity for the entertainment industry.  It is important to me that TIA’s constituents on the west coast feel connected to their Association and its staff.   We welcome the additional perspectives that companies like Disney and Warner Bros are bringing to TIA as these entertainment icons transition from associate to full regular members.  And we are committed to bringing all the industry’s voices to the table, meeting your needs and earning your dues dollars.  It is critically important for us as TIA staff to learn about your businesses and to understand how we might add value to you.   

One of my meetings last week was with the Board of the Toy Association of Southern California (TASC), a group that was formed a dozen years ago to provide a vehicle for networking and business development among toy companies in the area.  TIA is helping to reenergize the TASC and will collaborate closely with the group to promote business opportunities; TASC and its members can also help reinforce TIA’s messages to the California legislature about the importance of the toy industry in the state and help prevent the adoption of unwarranted new legislation affecting our business.

To that end, later today we will kick off our first-ever California Toy Day where we bring nearly two dozen toy company representatives together with the State’s most influential decision-makers.  TIA has a full time staff lobbyist in Sacramento who organized this event and serves as an additional resource for our west coast members.   

We are proud to be growing TIA’s capabilities and scope to meet your needs. These are exciting times for the Association and the toy industry.

Warm regards to all,

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Carter Keithley
ckeithley@toyassociation.org