Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia

Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia currently serves as Founder and CEO of PlayWerks, an independent interactive media company that creates high quality innovative multi-platform immersive interactive experiences that inspire, empower, and engage children and adults.

Previously, Shirin worked as the Research Manager & Bratz Brand Manager at MGA Entertainment, where she combined her child and youth marketing expertise with her toy marketing experience to perform ongoing research and analysis of the most current industry trends, consumer motivations and competitor activity for over five years. Salemnia was also responsible for the design development of MGA’s Play Lab - a place where dyads and triads of children and their parents gather for in-house qualitative research right on MGA’s premises.

Prior to MGA, Salemnia worked at Mattel, Inc. in Worldwide Consumer Research for the Barbie/Girls Division. Here, in addition to conducting both qualitative and quantitative research, she was responsible for supporting Strategic Planning in all related new business ventures.

Before entering the Toy industry, Salemnia was a Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten Teacher at Stephen S. Wise Preschool in Los Angeles for several years where she developed team projects and study plans for the class curriculum, as well as honed her skills at observing children at play with toys. “My teaching experience gave me an incredible opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of the universal and timeless emotional needs that all children share,” says Salemnia. “I love kids, and watching them at play is so magical. I learn so much from them!”

Salemnia obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Child/Family and Consumer Sciences at California State University, Northridge in 2000. She hosted the first Girls App Challenge in collaboration with the White House Council of Women and Girls. And she is currently very actively involved in Women in Gaming, Advisor to the LA FILM School Video Game Dept, Girls in Tech, Women in Film, Next Gen Femmes, the Entertainment Division of the Jewish Federation, and was the past President of Hadassah Southern California Vanguard II, a charitable organization that raises funds for the Hadassah Hospital in Israel. Her hobbies include fashion, spirituality, and personal development. She currently lives in Los Angeles.