A Conversation With Graciela Meibar and Joan Lynch

Graciela Meibar, Vice President, Global Sales Training and Global Diversity for Mattel

 

Graciela G. Meibar is vice president of global sales training and global diversity for Mattel, Inc., a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys with approximately $6.2 billion in annual sales.

In her role as vice president of global diversity, she has developed a global diversity strategy for Mattel, helping Mattel address its need for a truly diverse employee population. She is responsible for rolling and implementing all aspects of this strategy. She lead a comprehensive diversity review focusing on gender intelligence; has established seven employee resource groups with a strong tie to the company and providing business results; has also developed strategic community relations to ensure Mattel leadership is prevalent in the Los Angeles community, as well as other communities in which it operates.

As vice president of global sales training, Meibar is responsible for providing support to the global sales management teams. Through training she has designed Mattel has embedded a strategic account planning process that ensures the best account plans based on insights, planning and faultless execution, as well as the development of functional competencies and global assessment tools for the organization. She has developed an executive level seminar for the most senior sales leaders.

Meibar began her career at Mattel in 1984 as an Area Manager Analyst in the international division. She was promoted to Manager and later, Director of Planning for Latin America. From 1995 to 2003, she served as vice president of Latin America Export, managing 22 countries. During this time, she doubled the business and changed the business model for Mattel in that region. In 2003, she was appointed to the position of vice president of global sales training and global diversity. This position was created as the result of a clearly identified strategic need within Mattel for a stronger focus on sales training and diversity worldwide.

After emigrating from Cuba at the age of twelve, Meibar moved to Los Angeles, where she attended Gardena High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in internationalrelations from the University of Southern California in 1980 and an M.B.A. in management from Pepperdine University in 1983, which is ranked one of the top business schools in the country. She is bicultural and bilingual in Spanish. Meibar serves as a board member of the Los Angeles Urban League, UNCF and of United Friends of the Children. She is a graduate of Leadership Los Angeles and is a sought out speaker in Diversity and Inclusion as well as the Development of Sales and Customer Management functions.

Mattel’s rich portfolio of brands are known to generations of children around the world, and include Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels® and American Girl®. With headquarters in ElSegundo, Calif., Mattel has offices and facilities in more than 40 countries and sells its products in more than 150 nations throughout the world.

Joan Lynch, co-founder and owner of WagTree LLC,

 

Joan Lynch is the co-founder and owner of WagTree LLC, a company specializing in the identification, development and distribution of new business concepts, talent and branded content. WagTree is one stop shopping for talent who want to move their brand or business to the next level and take on clients who share their entrepreneurial and philanthropic focus.

With a background in news, digital, and sports content development, Joan has an extremely unique approach to story telling that has paid off. Unlike most development executives, her style pushes aside the fear based decision-making process that often gets in the way of innovation and breakout projects.

Lynch was named to the list of Most Powerful Women in Cable in 2011 after overseeing the multi award winning 30 For 30 series where she served as the Vice President and Executive Producer of the Content Development group at ESPN, Inc. According to various outlets, including Forbes, ESPN is one of the top sports brands in the country and with 98% penetration in TV households. Developing programming for ESPN gave Ms. Lynch a unique opportunity to deliver content to millions of viewers on a regular basis.

Lynch is a highly decorated television and film executive whose accomplishments include two George Foster Peabody Awards, NAMIC Vision Award, multiple Sports Emmy Awards, Primetime Emmy Nomination, Television Academy Honors Award, Diversity Award, Women in Telecommunications Signature Accolade Award, two Gracie Awards for Excellence, multiple CableFAX Awards, Web Marketing Association’s Standard of Excellence WebAward, Columbia School of Journalism “Innovative Presentation of Information” Award, and multiple Webbies. In 2011 she was named as a lifetime member of “Worldwide Who’s Who in America”

Lynch’s group within ESPN managed the strategy and creation of original content for placement throughout ESPN’s vastmedia assets. As one of the few women, if not the only woman, in a senior role running a development department at a major sports media company, Lynch is known for her dedication to reaching targeted demos of all races, ages and genders, across the globe and on every media platform. Her department was charged with developing and producing cross-platform programming that engages sports fans through innovation, experimentation and breakthrough sportsdriven initiatives.

Programs originating from Lynch’s group included award-winning sports documentaries from ESPN Films, scripted content, news and analysis shows, unscripted series such as Sport Science, RISE UP, E:60 and SportsNation, and digital features as well as sports-related events such as the New Year’s Eve program New Year No Limits. Outside of programming for the network, Joan’s team also developed and produced commercial pods for advertising partners such as Gatorade and Jim Beam, that air during the highly rated SportsCenter and across platforms.

Prior to ESPN Joan Lynch spent 10 years prior at ABC News and Yahoo as a development executive in both digital and television. While at Yahoo Lynch launched the first broadband channel for financial news and also built and launched theABC News 24hr digital news channel.

What is Joan’s feeling about the current state of media?

We are at an exciting time in media when content providers, advertisers, and those who consume content have high standards matched with an unprecedented number of options. At the same time the field of journalism driven by being first instead of being accurate by some of the biggest companies. I believe great story telling is an art. We see many media executives falling back to things that have worked in the past instead of taking steps forward into new creative spaces. We need more visionaries in this world who want to create change or push for advancement. This is why Steve Jobs’ passing was actually mourned by the whole world. He had the courage even with all the responsibility of employees, investors, and critics – the courage to have a seemingly unreasonable and unending desire to give people what they didn’t know they even wanted or needed. He did that time after time – which some could argue our best leaders, creators, and visionaries do. Fearless leaders can be built through cultures that place a high value on accuracy, calculated risk, growth, and learning. - JL

Does her influence extend beyond her company?

Lynch’s influence extends beyond her company via several organizations. She is involved with ongoing work serving the homeless and veterans suffering from PTSD. Over the past 20 years, she has done numerous international mission trips throughout the world to help provide training and homes for the needy. She is a supporter of World Vision and Can-Do, serves on the Board of Advisors for Win Forever and Heartfelt Leadership.

Motto for success: Listen carefully, communicate with clarity and never be afraid to take chances.