A former retail sales representative for an international toy manufacturer, Marianne saw the opportunity to provide parents with unbiased information they can trust on how to select products that enhance a child's development. This inspired the 1991 formation of The Toy Tips Research Institute, a year-round program of toy evaluation and testing that does not accept revenue from manufacturers.
In 1996, she launched Toy Tips Magazine to provide parents with unbiased information about toy reviews, toy safety, durability, learning value, age appropriateness and enjoyment. To date, seventeen million copies have been distributed through retailers, hospitals, pediatricians and educators. Now renamed, Toy Tips & Parenting Hints, the publication has grown to include research on parenting, child safety and juvenile product reviews. An online version of Toy Tips & Parenting Hints is available free on the company website at toytips.com.
In 2002, in order to serve her local community with toy lending, Marianne created the Toy Tips Toy Lending Library in conjunction with the Franklin Public Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
For the last fourteen years, Marianne's research has been regularly featured on Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN Gift Guide for Kids, The Today Show, The Discovery Channel, FOX Having Fun with your Child, Lifetime, HGTV Classic Toys, Oxygen, Living It Up with Ali and Jack, Fun Developmental Toys on View from the Bay,The History Channel, the Jane Pauley Show, PAX, The Early Show on CBS and close to 300 local new stations across the country. From 1992-1998, she was the resident toy guest on ABC's Good Morning America, and logged 53 segments.
Marianne is the 1996 recipient of the Wisconsin Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a delegate of the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business in Washington, D.C. She is a past adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at The USC Marshall School of Business and guest lectures at a number of colleges and universities worldwide. Marianne's work has been published in research journals in the United States and the United Kingdom. She currently hosts her own Toy Tips segment on WITI -TV 6 FOX News in Milwaukee and the "Kid Tips Report with Marianne," a monthly feature segment for a variety of FOX news stations across the U.S..
Marianne is on the marketing commitee of the Betty Brinn Children's
Museum, the chair of the foundation for St. Francis Hospital Foundation and a
past auxillary board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Milwaukee,
WI. She holds a dual degree in psychology and marketing from Marquette
University. She is married to Garo Hartounian and is the mother of Maximillian
To view Marianne on her various television appearances <click here>.