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”Jodi Bondi Norgaard is an outstanding speaker that carries you through her entrepreneurial journey as a mother, wife, and businesswoman as a powerful advocate of truth and transparency. Her passion and unyielding determination to provide wholesome role models in the toy industry for girls provides hope to the generations that age-appropriate self-image and self-esteem are still alive and well. As an advocate for the advancement of women as leaders both professionally and personally, Jodi inspires and uplifts and is a true hero in her own right."
- Cynthia L Berry, Adtalem Global Education
“Jodi’s determination to change stereotypes has always inspired me because I can see myself and my own daughter in her experience. Her advocacy of female empowerment, girl empowerment, and gender equality is fierce and I admire her entrepreneurial journey and her never-give-up spirit to constantly challenge the status quo. That is how we make change.”
- Gretchen Carlson, Acclaimed Journalist, Best-Selling Author of “Be Fierce” and Female Empowerment Advocate
“Jodi is on the front lines of the battle against beauty sickness, dedicated to creating a healthier world for girls."
- Renee Engeln, Ph.D., Professor of Instruction, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Author of “Beauty Sick”
SPEAKER / ACTIVIST / CONSULTANT
Jodi Bondi Norgaard is an expert in creating change and breaking gender stereotypes. She is the founder of Dream Big Toy Company and the creator of the award-winning Go! Go! Sports Girls line of dolls, books, and apps for girls encouraging healthy and active play over fashion and body image. Jodi is a keynote speaker, author, entrepreneur, consultant, and activist in the movement pushing media and retail to do a better job portraying girls beyond stereotypes. Her new book, More Than A Doll, How Creating a New Brand of Dolls Turned into a Fight to End Gender Stereotypes, will be available fall 2020.
Jodi is a leader in the toy industry breaking gender stereotypes since 2009 when she launched the plush sports dolls built-in specification to a real girl's body. Her inspiration came in 2007 after shopping for a doll with her then 9-year-old daughter and finding a doll with belly-baring clothing, high heels, and make-up, named 'Lovely Lola.' Initially, industry leaders dismissed her product because a sports doll was not mainstream. “Girls want fashion dolls,” she heard, over and over. She was not convinced and knew mainstream ideas never create change. By 2015, she had made significant strides and her product was launched in Walmart stores. In October 2016, the Go! Go! Sports Girls brand was acquired by Jazwares, an established cutting-edge toy company.
She has been featured on national media including The Today Show, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Forbes, Upworthy, Parents, Shape, Self, Runner's World, Advertising Age, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and Huffington Post. In 2016, Jodi was invited by The White House to participate in a conference on breaking down gender stereotypes in media and toys.
Jodi is co-chair of the Toy Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a board member of Kaskey Kids - an award-winning line of sports action figures, a founding member of The Brave Girl Alliance - a think tank of girl empowerment experts, and a former board member of Girls on the Run – Chicago.
KARA DOUGLASS THOM
A U T H O R , S P E A K E R , & A C T I V E L I V I N G A D V O C A T E
Kara Douglass Thom is an author, speaker and expert on fitting fitness into life. She has combined her passion for writing, active living and healthy family values into her books and is the proud author of the Go! Go! Sports Girls children’s book series. She is the author of another children’s book, See Mom Run, and two books for adults, Becoming an Ironman: First Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event and Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom. She has written extensively about health and fitness as a freelance journalist for magazines and newspapers.
Kara is an advocate for children’s and family fitness, and works with various organizations that help empower girls through sports. In 2016, she was recognized for writing stories about girls in sports and was invited by the White House to attend a conference on breaking down gender stereotypes in media and toys.
She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is an avid athlete and former group-fitness instructor living in the Minneapolis area with her husband and four children.
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