Management Team

Management Team

Neil Kolher John Williams Jeff O'Brien

The Wilko Group (TWG) senior management team is comprised of seasoned sales and marketing executives with over 90 years of combined leadership experience. At various times, TWG’s management team has worked for the smallest start ups and the largest global firms throughout the industry. Our commitment is to deliver big company professionalism and results for every client.

 

 

Neil Kohler

Neil Kohler is the President and co-Founder of the Wilko Group. Neil is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of the organization. Neil helped to establish, build-out & manage Wilko’s global sales and marketing team to support and drive explosive growth with emerging toy and sporting good companies. Neil’s expertise in “solution-oriented” selling combines the professionalism and “fact-based” account management found at larger companies with the innovation and freshness that emerging companies offer to the marketplace. Neil has successfully guided the sales efforts for many companies over the last 18 years, specializing at mass accounts like Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Dicks, and Costco.

Prior to founding Wilko, Neil was the head of Sales for Cranium, the independent board games company. Before that, Neil was a Sales Director at VTech in the Electronic Learning category. Neil also has several product development accomplishments, including the Funnoodle pool toy which has sold over 100 million units since introduction.

Neil started his professional career with Procter & Gamble after graduating from the University of Virginia in 1986.

Neil enjoys travel, golf, cooking, and spending time with his family.

 

John Williams

John Williams is a Co-founder and Senior Partner with the Wilko Group. He has  been with the company since the 2001 launch. John brings a long and deep roster of accomplishments to our Senior Management team. John focuses on New Product Strategies, Brand Positioning, Retail Channel Strategy, Corporate Direction & commercialization

Among John’s notable accomplishments, he helped to establish Wilko’s North American sales and marketing network for emerging toy & sporting good companies. John also established our design/development group to assist new product innovators in bringing their ideas/products to market.

Prior to founding the Wilko Group, John was a Senior Sales Executive in charge of New Business Development, Financial management and forecast planning, and Product & Marketing Consulting for RLA Marketing – a sales agency in the Northeastern quadrant of the U.S. 

Notable accomplishments

  • V Tech Industries:  Early and long (20 years plus) engagement.  Helped build them from a one-item company to a $1 Billion plus global manufacturer on Educational and Telecommunication products.
  • Microsoft Inc:  Hired by Microsoft to (1) launch their first children’s-focused initiative and (2) establish their first retail-direct trading relationships.
  • Cranium Inc:  Hired by Cranium to establish a global sales & marketing network.
  • Whamo Toys & Aviva Sport:  Led launch and growth of two Toy Sport companies and successful sale of both to industry leaders.
  • Uno Games:  Part of small group that launched the world’s most successful game and eventual sale, after 16 years to Mattel.

John received his BA Univ. of  Minnesota 1973 and attended Law School at Univ. of Minnesota. When he’s not working, john enjoys travel, golf, philanthropy, fitness and wine

 

Jeff O'Brien

Jeff O’Brien manages Wilko’s Toronto, Canada office. Jeff is a founding member of The Wilko Group and brings over 20 years of experience in strategic marketing, sales and retail merchandising. Jeff is able to balance our clients’ perspective and objectives alongside those of the Canadian retail community.

Jeff’s unique experience as a senior manager in Sales and Marketing at Mattel, Hasbro and The Walt Disney Company affords our partners his deep experience. Further, Jeff has a broad understanding, expertise, and experience in bi-lingual packaging, Canada tariffs, foreign exchange considerations, and many other unique aspects of the Canadian retail landscape. Jeff is focused on growing Canadian distribution for ourt partners through retail partners including Wal-Mart Canada, Toys R Us Canada, Zellers, Canadian Tire, Loblaw, Chapters/Indigo, and others.

Together with Carson Murray, Wilko Canada offers a powerful team to profitably plan, introduce, execute, and develop our client portfolios in the Canadian marketplace.

 
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