Toody Maher, Executive Director
Toody Maher is an artist, inventor, and entrepreneur. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1983 and secured the distribution rights to Swatch Watch in the 11 Western States. In 1983, she pioneered Swatch’s product launch, set up the regional office, and helped drive sales in her region from $0 in 1983 to $30 million in 1986.
Afterward, she started another company, Fun Products, which created the world’s first clear telephone with lights (named Fortune Magazine’s “Product of the Year” in 1990). In 1990, Toody was named Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
Later, she became the Business Director at Juma Ventures, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides jobs and job training to youth at-risk. At Juma, she created a series of “social enterprise” businesses including a Ben & Jerry’s/Tully’s coffee concession at Candlestick and PacBell Park, that employed 200 at-risk youth each year, age 14-21, primarily from San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunter’s Point and Mission districts.
Thereafter, Toody invented, developed, and patented a number of different products and either sold or licensed them to other companies. She worked as a consultant on a project for a research institute at UCLA, helping to translate their scientific, evidence-based research into formats that people can actually use. It was during this project, when she was working on how to increase overall health and well being in communities, that she realized how invaluable parks could be to children, families, and their communities if only the parks were properly designed and managed. This realization led her to found Pogo Park in 2007.