Elise Lachowyn, R.I.P.: Boulder Exec Killed by Dump Truck in Trip to NYC Toy Fair

Boulder's Elise Lachowyn devoted her career to bringing childlike joy to others.

As the vice president of marketing with Tech 4 Kids, a Canadian company whose products include 3D Magic and Squishy Pops, she was very much in touch with her younger self — something with which her six-year-old daughter Skyler no doubt helped immeasurably.

But now, her family is mourning.

Earlier this week, while she was in New York City to attend the North American International Toy Fair, she died crossing a street after being hit by a dump truck.

Here's the description of Lachowyn from the bio of Think Outside Marketing, a Boulder firm she co-founded.
Elise is a consumer goods expert with nearly 20 years of experience in Strategic Marketing and Product Development. She has been Vice President of International Marketing at one of the top 5 toy companies in the world. In this role she was responsible for strategic brand development and profitability of the company's international business in several categories. Prior to that as Vice President of Marketing she oversaw all marketing and product development for the company's Activities brands. This included developing brand direction and strategies, directing all marketing activities, driving product development from conception to manufacturing, and managing the profitability for all brands under her portfolio. In 2005 Elise was the recipient of the "Woman to Watch" award from the Women in Toys Association. She also received 4 Toy of the Year awards, 2 nominations, and won over 25 awards for product excellence. Elise has also worked in the video game industry and has launched 8 new video game brands, over 30 different titles, and approximately 60 individual games. In 2001 she received the “Super Woman” award and in 2000 the “Best Team Player” award out of over 700 employees.

Elise has an MBA from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University. When she's not working, she can be found on a mountain bike, on a hiking trail, or on a snowboard. She has traveled around the world and has summited Mount Kilimanjaro twice.
The shot above, showing Lachowyn enjoying the great outdoors, is echoed by pics on her Facebook page..

Here's one portrait with a striking backdrop....

...and another:

Last week, according to the New York Post, Lachowyn arrived in New York City for the massive toy expo, which she's said to have attended many times in the past.

At 10 a.m. on Friday, February 12, she was en route to the event when she crossed 11th Avenue near West 37th Street.

The area — not far from the Javits Convention Center — is captured in the following interactive graphic.

If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."

At that moment, a truck reportedly driven by Carlos Torres turned left from West 37th onto 11th.

The vehicle struck and killed Lachowyn in full view of horrified witnesses.

Afterward, Torres was arrested on suspicion of failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Meanwhile, those in Lachowyn's circle reacted with shock and dismay, followed by a resolve to help her husband, Drew, and Skyler move forward without her.

The introduction to a GoFundMe page created after her passing reads:

On Friday, February 12, Elise Lachowyn was tragically killed in a traffic accident in New York City. She was on her way to the North American International Toy Fair working on behalf of Tech 4 Kids.

Elise leaves behind her husband Drew and 6-year-old daughter, Skyler. Elise was most recently a member of the leadership team of Tech 4 Kids, an alumni of Spin Master and a beloved veteran of the Toy Industry. Elise was highly respected, admired, and accomplished individual who will be greatly missed by all.

In loving memory of Elise Lachowyn, Tech 4 Kids and Spin Master have set up this GoFundMe Campaign to help fund the education for her daughter. All funds raised through this campaign will be matched by Tech 4 Kids and Spin Master.
The offer of matching funds by Tech 4 Kids and Spin Master has been getting more generous with each passing hour. At this writing, the total amount pledged is in excess of $56,000, more than $6,000 beyond the goal.

Click here for more information.

In the meantime, we send our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Elise Lachowyn.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts