May 21, 2018
ASTRA announces winners of specialty toy Excellence Awards

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has announced the 2018 winners of ASTRA’s coveted Excellence Awards.

Selected by the ASTRA membership, the awards recognize leading retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives, and young professionals who represent the best of the specialty toy industry. The 2018 awardees are:

  • Retailer of the Year: Dancing Bear Toys, Ltd., Erika Evers and Sarah Evers, Owners, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Manufacturer of the Year: Marky Sparky, Escondido, California 
  • Sales Representatives of the Year: Carle Wunderlich, WundeReps, Lisle, Illinois; Katherine Hodges, Sandy Ruben & Associates, Garner, North Carolina
  • Young Professional Rising Star: Steve Starobinsky, Diverse Marketing, Dallas,

“Our annual gathering at Marketplace & Academy is an appropriate time to pause and recognize those leaders who have had a big impact on growing the specialty toy industry,” said Kimberly Mosley, President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). “Our honorees exemplify what makes the specialty toy industry special: an appreciation for the role of play in healthy child development; a commitment to top-notch service; and a willingness to help others in the industry succeed.”

The award ceremony will take place on Monday, June 11, 2018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans during ASTRA’s annual Awards Breakfast and Business Meeting. The event begins at 8 a.m. Central time.

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