|September 21, 2010 | New York, NY|
Cindy Armstrong, President & CEO
Electric Bat Interactive
As President and Chief Executive Officer for Electric Bat Interactive, the innovator in layered reality gaming (LRG) and entertainment, Cindy Armstrong is responsible for all strategic planning as well as overseeing development and publishing operations.
Cindy brought to light the innovative LRG platform, which literally turns any website into a part of the social gaming experience, first to the web and, more recently to mobile, with the launch of the WebLords iPhone application.
Electric Bat Interactive is changing the way people engage with online entertainment by removing the barriers between Web gaming and websites. Pioneering modular online game development, Electric Bat Interactive can easily create new features and titles through their unique technology platform. With a free, downloadable toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox and an application for iPhones, EBI’s games truly remove the barriers between Web gaming and websites, and built in messaging capabilities turning Weblings and WebLords into unique and innovative social gaming experiences.
As a seasoned video games industry executive, Ms. Armstrong brings to Electric Bat Interactive nearly 20 years of experience in operations, business development and finance at companies including WEBZEN America, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), Nintendo America, Activision UK and more.
Joakim 'Jay' Baage, VP, Content
Digital Media Wire
As VP of Content, Jay wears many hats. He oversees the content in DMW's publications as well as for conferences and other events. Jay furthermore runs the day-to-day operations for the popular DMW news and community site, where he also serves as a Senior Writer. Last, but not least, he works with marketing, public relations and business development across the board for DMW.
Jay got into journalism after high school when he served a year of military service in the Swedish Armed Forces and was selected to join its highly regarded conscript writing staff. He has been hooked on working with media and communication ever since.
Jay now has over 10 years of experience in the media industry serving in a wide range of capacities - from a technology writer and editor at several newspapers and magazines (Reuters, Dagens Industri, Aftonbladet etc.) to working in television (ABC Good Morning America, TV4 Ekonominyheterna), both behind and in front of the camera.
Jay has a Masters Degree in Media, Entertainment and Technology Management from New York University and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Goteborg University in Sweden.
He is a recipient of the Wallenberg Scholarship 2004 and 2006 (Academic Scholarship), The Sweden-America Foundation Fellowship 2005 (Academic Scholarship) as well as awarded a scholarship for being "A Promising New Media Manager" by Swedish Newspaper Publishers' Association 2005 and 2001.
Joakim has a keen personal interest in digital media, music and pop-culture. On his desk, you will find a video iPod, the latest issue of US Weekly and a pair of Cutler and Gross shades.
He claims to listen to music by Paris Hilton only because he "has to be familiar with mainstream music" while heavily promoting new bands from his native Scandinavia like "Peter, Bjorn & John."
Atul Bagga, Director/Senior Analyst
Atul is currently the Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Gaming industry at ThinkEquity. He has regularly presented at a number of gaming industry conferences and is widely quoted and interviewed on TV and print media such as Economist, New York Times, Time, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN, and USA Today. Previously, Atul worked as Equity Research Analyst with Smith New Court (now Merrill Lynch.) Atul received his MBA from Haas School of Business at University of Berkeley, Masters in Management from University of Bombay and Bachelors in Engineering from National Institute of Technology in India.
Mari Baker, President and CEO
Mari Baker is president and CEO of PlayFirst, Inc. PlayFirst’s mission is to deliver delightful play for everybody, every day. Over 500 million people have played PlayFirst’s hit franchise, Diner Dash. Prior to PlayFirst, Mari was CEO of Navigenics, a company she helped incubate while an executive-in-residence at the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers. Previously, as president and CEO of BabyCenter, an online site for moms, Mari drove market leading growth and managed the eventual acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Mari established herself as a premier consumer marketer at Intuit where she built Quicken into the world’s most popular personal finance software. Mari currently serves as an emeritus trustee of Stanford University and director of Cozi Group, Inc. She has been recognized in the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame, Fortune’s list of Silicon Valley’s Most Influential Women, and Advertising Age’s Top 100.
Danny Bilson, Executive Vice President, Core Games
As executive vice president, Core Games, Bilson oversees production and marketing across THQ’s core gaming product portfolio, which includes action, shooter, strategy, racing and fighting games. Most recently, Bilson served as senior vice president of creative development for THQ.
Bilson has more than 20 years of writing, directing and creative development experience in all major entertainment media, including video games, film, television and comic books. Prior to joining THQ, he served as vice president of intellectual property development and creative director for Electronic Arts’ worldwide studios.
As vice president of Intellectual Property Development for Electronic Arts, Bilson provided creative direction for some of the most successful video games in the history of the industry including The Sims (as co-producer), Medal of Honor, James Bond, and the Harry Potter franchises, among others. As writer, producer and director, Danny Bilson's credits include the creation of The Sentinel (1996), Human Target (1992) and The Flash (1990) television series; The Rocketeer (1991) feature film; and the Trancers (1985) movie series.
Richard Borenstein, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales
Richard is charged with advancing the company's global revenue growth. Richard brings over 20 years of sales and executive management experience to his new role at Zong. He most recently directed Business Development at Baynote Inc., a leading on-demand recommendations and social search solutions provider, where he was responsible for the growth of the channel sales organization, international markets, creating strategic partnerships with Google, Cactus Commerce (MSFT), and CSK of Japan. Prior to that Richard was the Vice President of Business Development for Airborne Entertainment, a top-tier mobile entertainment company, where he directed all worldwide sales and distribution strategies, 85% of Airborne was acquired by Japanese mobile powerhouse Cybird in a deal worth over $90 million.
Jack Buser, Director, PlayStation®Home
Sony Computer Entertainment
Jack Buser is Director of PlayStation®Home for Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and is responsible for driving business initiatives and activities for the 3D community-based social gaming platform. With ten years of marketing and business development experience, Buser oversees PlayStation®Home activities in the North American region, including revenue generation, management of community operations, and third-party participation in PlayStation®Home.
Previously, Buser served as Director of Worldwide Technology Evangelism at Dolby Laboratories. At Dolby, he drove the adoption of new audio and video technology by developing new business segments for both Games and Internet entertainment. Buser also worked as Director of the Consumer Electronics business segment at Dolby Laboratories where he was responsible for Blu-ray disc technology licensing and driving revenue growth for the company.
Buser received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors in electrical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Steve Chiang, President, Studios
Steve brings 17 years of gaming experience to his role at Zynga as a leader in building and scaling teams around development and operation. Steve previously spent 15 years at Electronic Arts where he was most recently the senior vice president and group general manager for EA SPORTS. Steve oversaw Madden NFL, one of the all-time bestselling video game franchises in North America. Under his tenure, EA SPORTS developed many of its popular titles, including NCAA Football, FIFA Soccer, NBA Live, and NHL. Steve worked with the web teams to re-launch EASPORTS.com and create Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. Steve was a co-founder for Tiburon Entertaniment, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1998.
Steve graduated fro Columbia University with a degree in electrical engineering.
Vivian Chiang, Senior Strategy and Product Dev. Manager
Vivian Chang is a Senior Strategy and Product Development Manager at Massive, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft. She has spent the last two years working with advertisers, internal business groups, and Massive’s development teams to build products that address the advertisers’ needs. Most recently, she drove the industry-leading initiative that proves ad effectiveness through post-exposure user activity. As the strategy lead for Massive, Vivian has also been involved in projects relating to technology integration, marketing, business development, and finance.
Duke Chung, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Duke Chung co-founded Parature in 2000 with a vision to provide superior customer support software accessible via the Internet. Today, Parature’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product suite supports millions of end users worldwide in diverse industries from national associations, leading educational institutions, gaming & interactive media, manufacturing, services, and technology companies.
Duke is recognized as one of the top up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington Metropolitan region. Duke has been widely recognized for pioneering innovation with such honors as being named to Fast Company magazine's Fast 50, Washington Techway's top under-30 technology executives, Washingtonian magazine's Power 150 as a 'Rising Star', and more recently recognized by Bisnow on Business as a 'Top 35 under 35 Entrepreneur' in the Washington region. In 2009, Duke was named to SmartCEO Magazine's Smart100. Duke was also a contributing author to Inside the Minds: Software Leadership Strategies: CRM, Integration, ERP, & Storage Solutions CEOs Offer Best Practices & Keys to Success in the Software Industry by Aspatore Books. In the chapter entitled "Providing a Web-based Solution", he shares his perspective on how the Internet will change the way companies support their end users.
Duke is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences throughout the country, including the Stanford Business School, Darden School of Business, Georgetown University, University of Maryland, Netpreneur, SearchCRM and Potomac Executive Biz. Duke also serves on the Board of Directors for the Monte Jade Science & Technology Association.
Throughout his career, Duke has had the forethought and insight to recognize the undeniable benefits of delivering software-as-a-service. Prior to Parature, Duke co-founded Limespot, a company focused on providing students vital campus information over the Internet. While at Limespot, Duke experienced first-hand the advantages of a reduction in infrastructure cost and human requirements when delivering an application over the Internet versus delivering installed software. The realization of strategies in which the Internet could improve the way business is done became the foundation for how Parature would be built.
Duke holds a B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.
Ted Cohen, Managing Partner
In an industry that’s been slow to embrace change, Cohen is the exception to the stereotypical music-exec rule. Of course, when you start a career on the road with the Sex Pistols and Van Halen, you're more primed for the unexpected.
In his previous role as SVP Digital Development & Distribution for EMI Music, Cohen led next-generation digital business development worldwide for this "big four" record company. During that time, EMI led the industry by embracing and exploiting new technologies and business models such as digital downloads and online music subscriptions, custom compilations, wireless services, high-definition audio and Internet radio.
Cohen also led two highly successful new media consulting operations, DMN Consulting and Consulting Adults, attracting clients such as Amazon.com, Universal Studios and DreamWorks Records. Cohen also held senior management positions at both Warner Bros. Records and Philips Media.
A 30-year industry veteran, Cohen served as Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum idemNet. Cohen serves on the boards for NARAS, the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund and co-chairs the new media arm of the T.J. Martell Foundation.
Chris Davis, Senior VP, Sales
Chris Davis is Senior VP of Sales at leading virtual hangout Gaia Online. He has vast experience integrating traditional brands into a nontraditional space and specializes in custom integrated advertising campaigns.
Chris Davis has over 20 years of sales and sales management experience working with many of the world's most successful brands in various verticals, including entertainment, gaming, retail, and consumer packaged goods. Prior to joining Gaia Online, Davis managed global sales for Neopets, a leading virtual world targeting youth, which was acquired by Viacom/MTV Networks Digital in June 2005. During his time at Neopets, Davis partnered with McDonalds, Disney, Hasbro, Target and General Mills to create customized in-world advertising campaigns designed to engage the Neopets' member base. Previously, Davis spent 12 years at Pfizer, Inc. in various sales and sales management positions. While there he was elected to multiple Vice President Management Cabinets, was named District Manager of the Year and received the 'Spartan' Award, named after him to recognize excellence in salesmanship, teamwork and communication.
Allen DeBevoise, Chairman & CEO
Allen DeBevoise is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Machinima Inc, and its operating site Machinima.com, a premier entertainment network for gamers. With more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment and interactive multimedia industries, DeBevoise oversees the company’s programming, marketing and sales. Since taking the reins the company has grown three-fold and is now boasts over 100 Million views per month. Additionally, he has recently closed a $3.5 Million venture capital deal for Machinima.com bringing the total funds DeBevoise has raised during his 25 year industry tenure to over $130 Million for a variety of business ventures including dotTV, LowerMyBills.com and Dealer.com, where he was on the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Machinima, DeBevoise co-founded Creative Planet, an online resource for film and television production professionals, after serving as President and CEO of TCI Interactive. Allen was featured on The Hollywood Reporter’s DIGITAL POWER LIST for 2009 and has just been recognized as one of Digital Media Wire’s “25 Executives to Watch” for 2010. The company has fast become a revolutionary social media marketing tool due to its highly engaged and interactive community, delivering high CTR and ROI to the brands, studios, networks and retailers who advertise with them.
Michael Doron, Vice President, Americas
Michael Doron serves as ClickandBuy’s VP, of The Americas Michael has increased sales by over 300% and gained new business from major companies such as McAfee, FXDD, OfferPal, Live Gamer, Artix Entertainment, Perfect World Entertainment, Hi5, and Super Rewards.
In his role as VP, The Americas, Michael spearheading ClickandBuy’s growth into Latin America with an emphasis on the Brazilian market and, in addition, is expanding the company’s verticals to financial services, Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) and Casual Games, Physical retailers, social networking, and paid content .
Michael is an entrepreneurial executive who has a wide breadth of experience in successfully managing business development, sales, strategic marketing and operations for all types of companies, including start-ups, Web 2.0 companies and financial services corporations.
Before arriving at ClickandBuy, he was the Director of Business Development for Softchoice and the Director, Global Sales for Broker Processing Service. Michael is a graduate of George Washington University and currently resides in New York City
Joel Ehrlich, Super Hero Marketer
Harmony Entertainment Group
Joel is a “big picture, big results” sales and marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience building brands and driving revenue for media, entertainment, and sports organizations. He currently owns and oversees The Harmony Group, which provides consulting in sales, marketing, social media, and team building. Joel’s former successes include senior positions at Warner Bros./DC Comics, Marvel Entertainment, the International Fight League, and Cahners Publishing. Throughout his career, Joel has developed innovative ideas for a myriad of iconic brands, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, NASCAR, NFL, International Fight League, and magazines such as Modern Bride and American Baby. He had been a “caretaker” of intellectual properties, of which he was “their agent, as well as those IP’s of this clients . He has also produced and overseen the marketing efforts of 3 films, and other entertainment ventures.
Dave Etling, Vice President, Product Development
Dave Etling has spent the past eight years at InComm, holding various management positions including Sales Engineering, Merchant Services, and Business/Product Development. Over the past four years he has been instrumental to InComm's success in product partner acquisitions and successful retail launches of Apple, Nexon, Zynga; specifically as it relates to prepaid digital entertainment products, including virtual goods prepaid game cards as well as digital music and software applications.
Prior to his service at InComm, Etling spent seven years at a startup consulting company and last served as VP of Engineering where he managed a team focusing on financial institution network design and implementation.
Owais Farooqui, Managing Director, NA
Owais heads up King.com in North America and is responsible for groundbreaking partnerships with leading media companies such as NBC, CBS, Yahoo!, Real Networks, and Lifetime. He is also responsible for extending brands of popular TV properties to games such as the Biggest Loser, Survivor and Big Brother. He has more than 11 years experience in business development and marketing. Prior to King.com, Owais was Senior Director, Marketing at Knowledge Adventure, the leader in adventure-based 3D virtual worlds for kids, and was also Senior Director Marketing at Academy123, which was acquired by Discovery Communications.
Robert Ferrari, VP, Publishing & Business Development
Robert Ferrari serves as VP Global Publishing and Business Development at Sanrio Digital, as well as VP Business Development at the company’s joint venture partner - Typhoon Games. Sanrio Digital focuses on the publishing of interactive entertainment based on the world renowned Hello Kitty® and Sanrio brands. The company holds a leadership position creating the convergence of virtual worlds, MMOs and social networking for a truly integrated social gaming solution. Typhoon Games is a premier game development studio for leading MMO brands such as Hello Kitty Online from Sanrio Digital, and Ben 10 Omniverse and Tom & Jerry Online from TurnOut Ventures.
Based in Boston MA, Ferrari oversees the company’s global publishing and business development initiatives across PC, console and handheld platforms. Ferrari brings a wealth of global business experience to Sanrio Digital and Typhoon Games as a well-known and highly respected industry veteran and executive within the online games sector.
Ferrari was previously VP Business Development at Turbine Inc. a leading publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games. Having joined Turbine back in 2004, Ferrari was instrumental in the company’s hyper growth, global expansion, strategic partnerships, self-publishing transition, licensing, digital distribution, and traditional retail channel initiatives. His efforts contributed to the success of Turbine’s award-winning online games, including The Lord of the Rings Online™, Dungeons & Dragons Online™: Stormreach™ and Asheron's Call®. Previous to his tenure at Turbine, Ferrari held senior executive roles at interactive media and consumer product companies such as Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG), Websurfer Inc, and Merinta Inc.
Ferrari is an active and high profile industry speaker. He serves on the exec committee of the MIT/NE Games and Interactive Entertainment SIG, as well as the Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council/Entertainment Sector.
Eric Goldberg, Managing Director
Eric is a 30-year veteran of the game, consumer online, and wireless data industries, serving in capacities ranging from game designer to executive.
Since 2002, Eric is or has been a board member of, advisor or consultant to AOL, AT&T Wireless, Centerscore, Digital Chocolate, Electronic Arts, Exponential Entertainment, Gaia Online, HipLogic, In-Fusio, Juice Wireless, Kayak (dba Blaze), Lifetime, LimeLife, Meredith, Mforma (dba Hands-On Mobile), Moloon, Openwave, PaymentOne, PickTeams (fka GoCrossCampus), Reaxion, rmbrME, Thumbplay, Unplugged, Vindigo, Warner Music, YouPlus, and two US venture capital firms.
Eric was most recently the President and Co-Founder of Unplugged, for which he secured distribution with four of the five largest North American carriers. Previously, he served as President and Founder of Crossover Technologies, one of the first consumer online companies, for which he secured AOL, BMG, Discovery Channel, Intel, Microsoft, Prodigy (IBM/Sears/CBS joint venture), Random House, Sony, Time Warner, and Viacom as clients and distribution partners; and, prior to that, as President of West End Games, the adventure game company for which he published, among 40+ titles, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, and Junta. His award-winning games include Paranoia, Tales of the Arabian Nights, The Tom Peters Business School in a Box, and MadMaze, the first online game to draw one million players. He is a three-time winner of the Origins Award for Best Role-Playing Game and a two-time winner of the Game Designers Guild Select Award.
Eric is a regular speaker at the major North American games, wireless and online conferences, including CTIA, MECCA, Internet World, The Conference Board, DMW, GDC, GDC Mobile, MES, AGC, MGC, LA Games Conference, and E3, and has served as a programs advisor or advisory board member for the latter six conferences. He was previously a board member for the New York New Media Association and New York University’s Center for Advanced Digital Applications.
Jeff Gomez, CEO & President
Jeff Gomez is an expert at transmedia storytelling, incubating new entertainment properties, strategic planning and production for cross-platform implementation.
As CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, an animation and live-action feature film production company and leading creator of highly successful fictional worlds, Jeff transforms intellectual properties into highly successful transmedia franchises. He also extends niche properties such as toys, animation or videogame titles across multiple platforms, evolving them into high quality persistent narratives, which in turn generate multiple revenue streams for his clients.
Jeff has worked on such blockbuster universes as Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince of Persia and Tron, Microsoft’s Halo, James Cameron’s Avatar, Hasbro’s Transformers, Mattel’s Hot Wheels and Coca-Cola’s Happiness Factory.
Prior to launching Starlight Runner with partner Mark Pensavalle in 2000, Jeff Gomez was a prominent figure in the adventure game and video game industries serving as a producer for Acclaim Entertainment’s comic book division. He helped create the Acclaim Comics super hero universe, in addition to adapting Valiant Comics super heroes into videogames for Nintendo and PlayStation consoles. Characters, concepts and game-play Jeff conceived, wrote and produced for Acclaim’s Turok, Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil helped that franchise to gross over $420 million. Turok was recently revived as a new videogame franchise from Disney Interactive and as an animated feature from Starz Entertainment.
In addition to serving as a brand extension consultant to such corporations as Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Coca-Cola, Scholastic, Wieden+Kennedy, Mattel, Showtime, Konami and Hasbro, Jeff has also delivered his seminar, Creating Blockbuster Worlds: Developing Highly Successful Transmedia Franchises, to the MIT Futures of Entertainment Conference, Game Developers Conference, International Game Developers Association, the NewTeeVee Conference, the New York State Bar Association and the Producers Guild of America.
A board member of the Producers Guild of America with over 20 years experience developing, writing and producing content, Jeff has been featured and quoted in such periodicals as Forbes, Business Week, Los Angeles Times, Variety, Investors Business Daily, Publishers Weekly, Produced By, Wizard, and Animation, and he has been profiled on MTV News and American Latino.
As a Latino who spent his childhood in the housing projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Jeff champions the concerns of young people with his Never Surrender inspirational seminars and curricula. He has also recently worked with Operation Respect, the international non-profit education and advocacy organization founded by Peter Yarrow and dedicated to instilling the values of leadership and empathy in young people. He earned a BA in Film Studies and Communication Arts & Sciences from Queens College, CUNY.
Deepak Gupta, VP, Business Operations
Deepak is responsible for Business Development, Ad Sales, Business Intelligence & Analytics and Business Operations at Outspark, a leading Publisher of Free2Play MMO games in North America and Europe. Outspark is the #1 independent MMO games portal in NA, with large and rapidly growing NA & European user base and one of the best monetization rates in the industry. Prior to Outspark, Deepak led strategy, planning and business operations for EA’s Online efforts as Director of Strategy & Planning, helping drive doubling of annual revenue. Earlier, Deepak also Founded mobile social games company called Hovr, where he formed partnerships with over 60+ game developers to offer 700+ mobile games in a social community with millions of users in a freemium and ad-supported model. Earlier Deepak was a technology investor at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), where he invested and closely worked with several successful online and software companies. Prior to that, Deepak was technology banker at CSFB, DLJ and Wasserstein Perella.
Dan Hart, Chief Revenue Officer
Dan Hart joined Arkadium in January, 2010 to spearhead the company’s social gaming strategy. Hart joins Arkadium’s executive team with more than 12 years of experience in games and interactive media and entertainment. Most recently Hart served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of MTV Digital where he oversaw all operational aspects of MTV.com, leading the property to significant growth while developing and launching a series of innovative products and platforms. Previously at MTV Networks Hart served as Vice President of Online Games Strategy and Operations for the Digital Music and Media group. Prior to MTV Networks, Hart worked in Yahoo!’s Entertainment Group where he led Yahoo! Games to become the number one trafficked games site globally. Hart began his media career at MTV Networks' parent company, Viacom, where he served as Vice President of Planning and Development for New Media.
Ron Hirson, SVP, Marketing & Business Development
Ron brings over fifteen years experience in product and general management in the consumer Internet space to the BOKU team. Most recently, Ron served as VP of Product at AT&T Interactive, which he joined through the acquisition of Ingenio. Prior to Ingenio, Ron was co-founder and CEO of The Digs Network, an early social network which was acquired by iDrive. Prior to his role at BOKU, Ron served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Khosla Ventures and actively advises several companies in the consumer Internet space. Ron is frequently sought out for opinions and advice in the mobile payments space, and has been quoted recently in Business Week, The San Jose Mercury News, and Bloomberg News.
Gene Hoffman, CEO
Prior to Vindicia, Mr. Hoffman co-founded eMusic in January 1998 and served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Director. As head of eMusic, Mr. Hoffman was featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine as a member of the July 1999 E-Gang, and named one of the 100 most influential entrepreneurs in technology in Upside Magazine's November 2000 Elite 100. Mr. Hoffman led the acquisition of eMusic by Vivendi/Universal in June 2001.
Before founding eMusic Mr. Hoffman was Director of Business Development and Director of Interactive Marketing of Pretty Good Privacy. Mr. Hoffman joined Pretty Good Privacy after it acquired PrivNet, Inc., an Internet privacy software company, where he was co-founder, Director and Executive Vice President.
Teemu Huuhtanen, EVP, Business Dev. and Communications
As executive vice president, Business Development and Communications, Sulake Corporation, Teemu Huuhtanen is instrumental in leading the continued development and growth of Finnish-based Sulake’s top property, Habbo, one of the world’s most popular online social networking and virtual world communities for teens.
Huuhtanen is responsible for cultivating relationships with major music, television and motion picture studios, as well as retail, fashion and sports industries, to generate relevant and interactive brand partnerships. His mission is to bring real-world mainstream entertainment properties and brands that are important to Habbo’s teen user base into the virtual community.
Huuhtanen also oversees global public relations efforts for Sulake Corporation. He leads the Sulake team responsible for the company’s communications and PR.
As an accomplished thought leader for the digital entertainment landscape over the past five years, Huuhtanen has regularly been a speaker at the industry’s premier conferences and business forums. He frequently addresses issues such as in-game brand engagement, working with entertainment properties, social networking and online gaming monetization models, among many other topics.
In 2008, The Hollywood Reporter ranked Huuhtanen on its “Digital Power 50 List” of top innovators who influence the creation and distribution of online content. In 2009, he was named one of Digital Media Wire’s “25 Executives to Watch in Digital Entertainment.” American Venture Magazine appointed Huuhtanen to their list of the “Top 40 Under 40” executives to watch in the technology industry for 2007.
Huuhtanen served as a member of the 2008 Engage! Expo Advisory Board. Also, he was a panel judge at the Hollywood Netawards and Hollywood Mobile Awards during the 2008 Hollywood Film Festival. He currently serves as a member of the Digital Media Wire Advisory Board.
Since Habbo’s launch in 2000, Huuhtanen has helped grow the teen virtual community to more than 15 million unique monthly users worldwide, in 31 countries on six continents. (Quantcast).
Prior to joining Sulake, Huuhtanen held several senior consumer and B2B sales and business development posts for numerous digital start-up companies worldwide.
Huuhtanen is based and oversees Sulake’s North American headquarters in Southern California.
Simon Jeffery, Chief Publishing Officer
Simon Jeffery is the Chief Publishing Officer at ngmoco, helming the company’s publishing group and partner relations.
Jeffery brings 23 years of games industry experience to ngmoco after more than four years as president and COO of Sega of America, where he oversaw all publishing and product development activities for the top ten publisher. Prior to Sega, Jeffery was president and COO of LucasArts. Jeffery moved to LucasArts in 1998 after working in a number of marketing, business, and development roles for Virgin Interactive and Electronic Arts, both in the United States and Europe
Established in June 2008, ngmoco has claimed the top of the App Store charts with the success of its diverse and expanding catalog of iPad, iPhone and iPod touch games powered by its plus+ suite of developer systems that power freemium features. Having delivered more than twenty Top 25 products into the market and with its games played more than 28 million minutes a day, ngmoco is a leading gamemaker and publisher for the iPhone, iPod touch and now iPad.
Alex St. John, President and Chief Technology Officer
Alex leads all product strategy, design, development and operations at hi5. Previously, he was CEO and co-founder of WildTangent, the world’s largest privately held game network with over 30 million monthly uniques. During his tenure, WildTangent developed a unique and highly successful micro-currency based economy and pioneered several technologies for online game publishing. Previously, Alex was responsible for Microsoft's multimedia strategy. He was one of the principal creators of Microsoft's DirectX technology, which become the foundation for all Windows multimedia applications, 3D graphics, media players, and casual multiplayer games, as well as thousands of PC and Xbox games. Alex has an honorary degree from the DigiPen Institute of Technology, and also advises the University of Washington on its technical degree programs and Tech Transfer department.
Daniel Kayser, Founder/EIC, Host/Writer, Host/Producer
EpicBattleAxe.com, GameTrailers TV, GameTrailers.com
Games industry veteran, writer/producer and presenter Daniel Kayser contributes to various gaming outlets and is best-known for his role as Editorial Producer and Host for GameTrailers TV, GameTrailers.com and MTV Networks. He is also Founder/Editor-In-Chief of the community-driven games industry blog EpicBattleAxe.com.
Originally from New York, Daniel Kayser's GTTV hosting duties have taken him around the world including France, Germany, England, Japan, Croatia, China, Canada as well as throughout the United States. As the co-host of GameTrailers TV on SPIKE (Viacom), Kayser has interviewed sports legends, gaming icons, music artists and entertainment personalities ranging from Tiger Woods to Shigeru Miyamoto, Elijah Wood, Dan Akroyd, John Elway, Stan Lee, Dwight Howard, Perry Farrell, Eliza Dushku, Kurt Schilling, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Brett Farve, Jesper Kyd, Akira Yamaoka, as well as executives from the top gaming companies including Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.
An informative writer for numerous media outlets, Daniel Kayser has contributed feature articles for both international/domestic websites and magazines, including GameDaily.com, IGN.com, Hardcore Gamer and The Comet, while owning and operating EpicBattleAxe.com. The goal of EpicBattleAxe is to "empower and inform" the global gaming masses while creating an entertaining forum for publishers, developers, and gamers alike to get the real deal on today's gaming industry. As fond of music, athletics, art, and the outdoors as he is of gaming, Daniel Kayser aims to re-brand today's perception of what it means to be a "gamer." Having been around the industry since the days of Atari, Kayser possesses a rich knowledge of gaming's culture and throughout his career he has established himself as a recognizable and respected face within the industry. "My passion for gaming is only surpassed by my desire to take the industry forward through the entertaining and informative content I seek to create." http://www.danielkayser.net/.
Tal Kerret, Chairman of the Board, Co-founder & Head of Strategic Partnerships
Tal is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Oberon Media, Inc., the leading multi-platform social and casual games solution provider. Prior to forming Oberon Media in 2003, Mr. Kerret was the CEO and co-founder of RichFX, Inc., a front-end solution & technology provider for e-commerce sites. Prior to that, he served as an officer at one of the top technology units in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Elan Lee, Cheif Designer & Co-Founder
Fourth Wall Studios
Elan Lee believes that if you're bored, you're doing something wrong. A self-identified entertainment-addict, Elan has pent his career finding and sharing ways to extract adventure from the world around us.
From surfing down the flooded streets of LA to broadcasting a radio drama over thousands of ringing payphones, Elan has pioneered breakthroughs in the area of entertainment and immersive gaming.
Elan started his career at the Microsoft Game Studio where he was a Lead Designer for the X-BOX launch portfolio. He co-founded and served as the Vice President of Design for 42 Entertainment, and was co-founder and Lead Designer for EDOC Laundry.
Elan has spoken all over the world on the future of gaming, and is considered among the foremost Alternate Reality Game creators in the world. He has been featured in WIRED Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainmet Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal. He has won awards for best web game of the year, best advertising campaign of the year, and best idea of the year. Also, his mom claims he's a very nice boy.
Kyu Lee, President
Kyu Lee is President of GAMEVIL USA, Inc, US office of GAMEVIL Inc. GAMEVIL(www.gamevil.com) is one of the premier mobile game publishers in the world with offices in LA and Seoul, currently having 140 employees. GAMEVIL is well known for revolutionizing the sector with its original and innovative mobile games, backed by unparalleled expertise in advanced mobile and network technology. As a world class leader in mobile game publishing, GAMEVIL continues to lead the sector with a commitment to establish mobile as the definitive mass market entertainment platform for the world. Kyu, who has been in GAMEVIL since the beginning at 2000, has constantly played a key role in the evolution of Korean mobile gaming and has continuously introduced the innovation to the world. Kyu has graduated Seoul National University with a B.S. in Physics.
Peter Levin, Co-Founder
Peter Levin is the co-founder of GeekChicDaily.com, a daily email newsletter editorializing all things popular culture. Additionally, Levin is principal & CEO of GYL, LLC, a technology development and investment portfolio focused on digital media companies and video game platforms. Levin serves as an Executive Advisor to Ascent Media and Yoshimoto Kogyo as well.
Prior to GYL, Levin served as President and Co-Founder of Bellrock Media, Inc., a mobile and broadband entertainment company creating and distributing premium content for mobile and broadband platforms throughout North America and Japan.
Levin began his career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), working in the Corporate Advisory Group with a client list including Matsushita Electric Industry Company, Sony, Nike, The Coca-Cola Company, and Credit Lyonnais. In 1996, Levin joined The Walt Disney Company in the Corporate and Strategic Planning groups and later joined Disney Online as a senior producer. Leaving Disney in 1998, Levin became managing director of Lynx Technologies. Lynx’s investments included Applied Semantics (sold to Google 4/03), Gamespy Industries (sold to IGN 12/03), Ask.com (sold to IAC 3/05) and Atom Entertainment (sold to Viacom 8/06).
Levin serves on the Board of Directors of Sulake, Inc. (Habbo) and Mind Control Software. He is also on the steering committee of The East/West Sports Council and the Center for International Sport Business Advisory Board at the Western New England College.
Levin is founder and co-owner of the 2006 World Champion Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League and a managing partner in Palisades Baseball, which owns and operates the West Virginia Power, the class “A” affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is also a minority partner in and strategic advisor to Strikeforce, a mixed martial arts promotional entity. In June 2009, Levin served as the exclusive representative of Nikki Finke’s DeadlineHollywoodDaily in its sale to MMC.
Robert Levitan, CEO & Co-Founder
Pando Networks is Robert Levitan's fourth start-up. Prior to founding Pando, Robert was the cofounder of iVillage, Flooz.com and YearLook Enterprises. In between starting companies from scratch and some adventures in world travel, Robert has also been a marketing advisor and executive coach with several companies including AT&T and OddPost. Robert serves on the board of the Executive Council of New York and New York Cares, a service organization that coordinates volunteers who work with children, the homeless and the elderly..
Andrew Lorentz, Partner
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Andrew Lorentz is a partner at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. Andrew has extensive experience with the contractual, regulatory and payment card association issues involved in the establishment and operation of online marketplaces and sale of digital goods. He regularly advises technology startups, venture capital funds, and established technology companies on their payments and billing operations and innovative payment systems and products. His broader experience with retail financial services and associated banking issues and consumer protection enable him to provide a comprehensive perspective on the legal risks and opportunities presented by new business models and approaches.
Peter Marx, Vice President of Production & Technology
Peter Marx is Vice President of Production & Technology for Mattel, where he handles digital and online experiences for the world’s largest toy company. Previously he managed Analog Protocol, a small consultancy whose clients included Fox, Viacom, Paramount Pictures, MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Qualcomm and others. He was the chief technology officer for Vivendi-Universal Games and vice president of Emerging Technologies for Universal Studios from 2000 to 2005. Prior to that he made video games for Electronic Arts.
Marx is an adjunct professor for the Peter Stark Producing Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Home Quick Links: Prospective S
Jason McMinn, Co-Founder
Jason McMinn is a co-founder of Blockdot, a Dallas-based branded entertainment, social media, advergaming, and mobile development studio. Jason has over 15 years of experience helping brands with their strategy and execution on digital platforms. He has helped lead Blockdot from a startup concept in 2001 to being a leader in the advergaming space today with clients such as American Airlines, Microsoft, LEGO, Frito Lay, General Motors, and others. Prior to launching Blockdot, Jason was co-founder of Cosus Interactive, an award winning web development studio.
Today at Blockdot, he oversees teams working on game and application strategy/delivery for world class brands on the web, mobile, and social platforms.
Joe Minton, President
Digital Development Management
Joe Minton is President at Digital Development Management, an industry leading video game agency that represents top-tier game development studios. Before co-founding DDM, Joe served as President of the 13-year veteran game developer Cyberlore Studios. At Cyberlore, Joe was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, setting the corporate direction, building a management team and maintaining a tight ship in a competitive industry. Joe was responsible for all business development â€“ securing millions of dollars in console & PC deals â€“ and fostering major brand relationships with international companies like Hasbro and Playboy. Joe focused on becoming an expert on studio organization, personnel management and communication systems and has lectured on those subjects domestically and internationally.
Dino Mytides, VP
Dino has spent the first half of his research career in the advertising and media field. He worked with many blue chip clients to help them size the potential opportunity for their products and identify target audiences. After 7 years of agency experience, Dino came to Interpret to start the NY branch. Since launching the NY office Dino has developed and enhanced extensive methodologies in ad-effectiveness testing on some of the most difficult to measure channels, like gaming and mobile. Dino has also developed an approach to measuring the multi-screen lives of consumers and the ads they’re exposed to. In the short time since bringing Interpret to NY, Dino has built a strong suite of clients on the agency, advertiser and content side. Dino has also worked closely with the Interactive Advertising Bureau focusing his attention on their Games, Mobile, and Streaming Video Committees to further develop the industry standards for ad-effectiveness testing. Dino holds a BA in Psychology from The City University of New York at Queens College.
Hany Nada, Partner & Co-Founder
Hany Nada is managing partner of GGV Capital. He co-founded the firm in 2000. His focus is on Internet, Mobile, Application Software, and Enterprise Infrastructure. He was previously with Piper Jaffray as a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst specializing in Internet software and e-Infrastructure. Hany was an All-Star analyst in computer software and was named in Institutional Investor All-Star in three categories. He was involved in many transactions, including initial public offerings, secondary offerings, mergers & acquisitions, private placements and venture rounds. Hany's responsibilities include IT investment activities, deal sourcing, investment due diligence, and Board directorships. GGV investments include: Glu Mobile, Xfire, Kintana, Accruent, Vocera Communications, Endeca Technologies and Turbine. Hany is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he earned a B.S. in economics and a B.A. in political science.
Frank O'Connor, Franchise Development Director
Frank brings almost 13 years of experience in the video game industry, starting his career as a video game journalist and eventually segueing into the development world. Frank joins Microsoft’s Halo endeavor from Bungie Studios, where since 2003, he worked on everything from community development and marketing, to game story, dialog and script. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for the careful and considered growth of a beloved fictional universe and cast of characters.
Chris Petrovic, General Manager
Chris Petrovic is the General Manager of GameStop Digital Ventures, the newly created strategy & investment arm of the world’s largest video game and entertainment software retailer. As a member of the company's senior management team, Petrovic serves as the principal leader of GameStop's digital strategy. He is responsible for building on the company's ongoing efforts to integrate digital media into the company's multi-channel strategy, as well as overseeing the development and execution of a digital acquisition strategy. This includes leveraging the company's unique and distinctive relationship with customers in-store, online and around the globe to drive driving digital sales through more than 6,200 domestic and international stores and on its Web sites: gamestop.com and gameinformer.com.
Prior to GameStop, Petrovic serves as VP, Digital Media for Playboy Enterprises. In this role, he was responsible for developing and managing digital-focused strategic and business development initiatives for all divisions the company, including online, mobile, TV, radio and publishing. Petrovic was also responsible for finding the next generation products and services and developing launch strategies for their successful global execution. This position places him at the leading-edge of new and future ideas and technologies as well as and new-media business models.
Before joining Playboy, Petrovic served as VP, Business Development for AG Interactive, a division of American Greetings. Petrovic oversaw all business development efforts across of the division’s digital business units. Petrovic joined AG Interactive from theglobe.com, where he served as VP, Strategy and Business Development and was responsible for developing and growing the company’s digital and print media businesses.
Petrovic is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and holds a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. He began his new media career as the CEO of Internet start-up BannerGreetings.com in 1998, and from there went on to become COO of Buzztone, a leading viral marketing agency, before joining the venture capital firm Prime Ventures as their VP of Business Development and Legal Affairs, managing the business development and legal operations of its portfolio companies, including most notably drkoop.com.
Petrovic is based in Los Angeles.
Jim Poole, General Manager, Global Networks & Content
As the General Manager of Global Networks & Content at Equinix, Jim Poole is uniquely positioned to provide insight into the ecosystem of CDNs, ISPs, carriers, cloud players, and web content and applications. Jim has witnessed the evolution of digital distribution for over a decade. Today he is focused on the strategies that support content, media and gaming customers of all sizes with large-scale online infrastructures that mobilize and monetize assets. With the meteoric rise of online gaming, Jim’s team at Equinix is working in concert with other industry luminaries, service providers and technology platforms to help satiate consumer demand and improve user experience. As the only provider to offer 87 data centers in 35 strategic metros across 11 countries, Equinix offers the content community the most in network density and the largest global footprint, bar none.
Chethan Ramachandra, CEO and Co-Founder
Chethan Ramachandran is the CEO and co-founder of Turiya Media, an early stage company that applies predictive data mining to online games. Turiya's technology enables game publishers to predictively segment and target users by behavioral characteristics. Turiya was recently named top start-up at the GamesBeat@GDC competition. The company is backed by FirstMark Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, Accelerator Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital.
Prior to starting Turiya, Chethan spent three years as a partner at a boutique investment fund where he structured, launched, and ran new technology joint ventures. Prior to that, he was part of the founding team and Director of Business Development of a venture backed startup focused on applying predictive analytics to information security.
Chethan also has previous experience in technology investment banking and strategy consulting.
Christophe Ramstein, CTO
With over 15 years experience in haptics and multimodal technology, Mr. Ramstein leads Immersion's global research and development with a focus on touch innovation and the future of user experience. Passionate about the limitless potential of user experience, Ramstein promotes touch as the cornerstone of the next generation of user interfaces. For example, this year he spoke at two of the technology industry’s leading events -- FORTUNE Brainstorm: TECH 2009 and D: All Things Digital, D7. His tenure at Immersion includes senior positions in software development, engineering and research covering several key focal areas for user experience innovation including mobility, medical simulation and more.
Before joining Immersion in 2000, Ramstein co-founded Haptic Technologies Inc, a leading-edge award-winning haptics company, as chief architect. Prior to that he was the senior scientist at Industry Canada and created innovative user interfaces for astronauts and the visually-impaired. Ramstein is both an author and co-author of numerous haptic patents. He holds a Master's from the Institute Joseph Fourier as well as a PhD in Applied Mathematics for real-time physical modeling, simulation, gesture analysis, and composition for musical creation from the Polytechnic Institute in France.
Jeff Reine, Director, Digital Goods Business Development
PayPal is the leader in online payments; more than 50 percent of direct in-app transactions for virtual goods within social gaming environments are going through PayPal, according to U.S. Virtual Goods Market 2009-2010. Social and massively multiplayer online games are arguably the biggest driver of digital goods business models; however, they’re also very difficult to manage and present a near endless set of unique challenges, specifically how to incorporate monetization into a gameplay model. Jeff Reine, the director of digital goods business development at PayPal, sits at the forefront of the digital goods space and is uniquely qualified to provide fresh, thought-provoking insight on the various ways to leverage this rapidly evolving space.
Kolja Reiss, Managing Director
As Managing Director for mopay Inc. in the U.S., Kolja Reiss is responsible for overseeing all aspects of corporate relations and operations for mopay in North America. Kolja has over 14 years of experience in the telecommunications industry is now focusing entirely on providing best-in-class micropayment solutions to blue-chip clients worldwide.
Manu Rekhi, General Manager, MySpace Games & Developer Platform
Manu Rekhi serves as General Manager of MySpace Content and the Games and Developer Platform. In this role, he works with executives and product managers to set the strategic vision for Games and Developers Platform product sets and ensure alignment with the company’s broader goals. Manu is closely aligned with Product Management, User Experience and Engineering, to deliver world class products. Manu previously oversaw Strategy, Marketing, Biz Dev and Corp Dev at Lolapps, where he transformed Lolapps from a Quiz/Gift provider to a social gaming company through profitable acquisitions and a successful publishing model.
Prior to Lolapps, he was a Product Manager at Google. In this role he worked on several Google products including Gmail, Open Social, Calendar, Orkut and ads. Prior to working at Lolapps and Google, Manu held senior product management roles at WineGlobe, 123 Signup, and AudioHighway. In his spare time, Manu is on the board of advisors at Vivu.tv, Credit Sesame, j2play (acquired by EA), Games2Win, Social Game Universe, Sapplica and Popcorn Apps. Manu holds a B.S from Boston University and a joint MBA from Columbia Business School and Walter Haas School of Business.
Cary Rosenzweig, CEO
Cary began serving as the CEO of IMVU in November 2007. Previously, he served as either CEO or Chief Marketing Officer at four other technology startups, including mySimon.com (acquired by CNET) and Autoweb.com (acquired by Autobytel). Cary was VP and General Manager at Intuit, responsible for QuickBooks Payroll, which he grew from $100 million to $200 million over a three-year period (2003-2006). Cary began his career in marketing and brand management at Procter and Gamble, where he was Tide Brand Manager. He then went to Clorox, where he rose up the marketing ranks before becoming General Manager of the Clorox Pet Products Company.
Cary earned an A.B. in International Relations from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Jason Schreiber, CEO
Jason Schreiber has spent his entire videogame development career in New York. Before founding Powerhead Games, Jason toiled as Senior Producer at GT Interactive Software, where he was responsible for the launch of the Unreal franchise, evaluating new products and developers, and managing the New York product development department. Before joining GTIS, Jason worked in product development at Acclaim Entertainment, Hi Tech Entertainment, and Simon & Schuster.
Powerhead Games creates videogames for console, handheld, mobile, and PC systems. Established in 2000, Powerhead Games has developed over twenty titles, including many successful Nintendo DS games such as Ubisoft's "Catz" & "CSI: Dark Motives", 2K's "MLB 2K10", and Atari's Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers. In 2010 Powerhead Games received the Independent Games Festival award for Best Mobile Game Design for their first self-published game, "Glow Artisan".
Gareb Shamus, Founder & CEO, Wizard Entertainment
Gareb is the recognized leader and authority in the character based genres of movies, TV, comic books, toys, gaming, and pop-culture. He has appeared numerous times on CNN, CNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Good Morning America and in thousands of stories in newspapers, magazines, radio stations and websites including The NY Times, The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, the Sunday NY Post, Time, Newsweek, AP, Reuters, Variety, Sirius and Amazon.
In 1991, shortly after graduating college, Mr. Shamus published Wizard Magazine. In the following years, he launched the publications ToyFare and FunFare. Wizard was voted “Magazine of the Year” for 18 years in a row by hobby store retailers and received seven Folio Editorial Excellence Awards. The magazines are currently read by millions of fans worldwide in over 40 countries. Wizard has been responsible and has discovered numerous comic books and characters that have been leveraged worldwide into all media, especially movies, TV and video games.
Gareb has spearheaded the production of the largest pop-culture conventions in the country with 2010’s Comic Con events expected to top over 200,000 attendees. The 15 cities on Wizard World’s Comic Con tour include New York, Chicago, Anaheim, Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, Austin, and Atlanta with more acquisitions expected shortly.
In 2009, Gareb and longtime friends Peter Levin and Peter Guber, launched the leading online newsletter devoted to being a “Cool Geek." With decades of catering to this fast growing worldwide market – GeekChicDaily.com is the daily source for pop-culture addicts everywhere.
Conrad Sheehan, Founder and CEO
Conrad Sheehan founded mPayy in 2007 and has extensive experience in the payments industry. He spoke recently at the 2010 Gridley Events Investment Conference on the topic of mobile payments, and is confirmed to speak at the upcoming CTIA WIRELESS 2010 conference.
Prior to founding mPayy, Conrad was a senior vice president at JPMorganChase and head of its Consumer Payments business, where he was responsible for the bank's retail payment products that serviced the bank's extensive corporate and public sector clients. While at JPMorganChase, Conrad grew the company’s Consumer Payments business from $80 million to more than $120 million by commercializing numerous Internet and telephony-based payment solutions. Prior to joining JPMorganChase, Conrad was a partner at Accenture, where he worked with global financial institutions focused on transaction processing, risk and payments.
Conrad also worked with Bank of America, IBM and Chase to create Viewpointe, the largest provider of digital check archival and exchange services. Conrad holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Holy Cross College.
Ned Sherman, CEO & Publisher
Digital Media Wire
As CEO, Publisher and Executive Editor of Digital Media Wire, Inc., Ned Sherman works at the center of the rapidly growing digital media industry, where he brokers relationships and keeps a tab on the most important developments shaping the industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Publisher Ned Sherman is more than the average pundit: He is an attorney and has an inside grasp of what is happening.”
Ned has established Digital Media Wire as a leading online media company that provides daily news, information and community to tens of thousands of executives and professionals at entertainment, media and technology companies throughout the world and owns and produces nine annual conferences. The advertising, sponsorship, client, partner and subscriber relationships that Ned has brokered make Digital Media Wire one of the best known media and entertainment industry brands to emerge in the digital age.
Ned is a frequent speaker at industry events in the U.S. and overseas and has been quoted in publications including American Lawyer, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Crain's Mermigas on Media, interviewed and featured on C-SPAN, National Public Radio (NPR), NY1 Evening News and nationally syndicated radio shows, Inside Digital Media and WebTalk, and recognized in the Wall Street Journal.
Before co-founding Digital Media Wire, Ned spent seven years as a corporate and entertainment attorney practicing at several of the leading law firms in the world.
Ned is active in alumni affairs for Brown University and is currently Los Angeles Chair for Brown University's Alumni Interview Program. He has traveled extensively from Europe to Asia to South America to Northern Africa. Ned is married and lives with his wife, son and daughter in Los Angeles, California.
Justin Siegal, CEO and Co-Founder
Justin is an experienced mobile entertainment executive who has successfully started and built several consumer product companies. As co-founder and chief executive officer at MocoSpace, he has taken the company from an idea to an industry leading, profitable business., now with 14 million registered users and over 3 billion pages per month.
Prior to MocoSpace, he was co-founder and chief executive officer of JSmart Technologies, a leader in mobile games and entertainment. Justin built the company into one of the top publishers and developers in the United States before it was acquired by the SK Group in 2004.
Brad Singer, EVP
Brad Singer has over 20 years of business and senior management experience, with expertise in payments, digital media and ecommerce markets.
Brad Singer has been a pioneer in the area of digital payments. He has driven the large scale adoption of alternative payments and related fraud detection and authentication methods, which are patent protected and have now emerged as industry standards. Currently, as Executive Vice President at PaymentOne leads all commercial operations at PaymentOne including sales, marketing, client services, new product, and business development initiatives, including strategic relationships with network operators. During his tenure, PaymentOne has more than doubled its revenues for four consecutive years, culminating in two Deloitte Fast 50 Awards, recently noted as the 11th fastest growing technology company in Silicon Valley, and 33rd fastest growing company in North America. Previously, Singer served as Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Product Management and Content Licensing at NewsEdge, an early pioneer in content syndication, where Brad helped achieved annual revenue growth rates of 40%, consistent profitability, and a successful IPO during his 8-year tenure. Singer also served Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at TeleKnowledge, a billing and commerce infrastructure company and held senior positions at General Electric and Citibank in Latin America.
Singer holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Economics from Tufts University, and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton Business School.
Ian Swanson Co-Founder and CEO
As the co-founder and CEO of Sometrics, Ian Swanson brings together publishers, advertisers and consumers from all types of online experiences – MMOs, casual and social games. As the visionary of Sometrics, he helps maximize revenue for publishers, drive traffic and leads for advertisers, and enhance gameplay for consumers with Sometrics’ technology. The company’s offerings allow partners to learn which audience demographics are responding to specific offers, and directs traffic accordingly to optimize conversions and increase revenue.
Wade Tinney, CEO & Co-Founder
Large Animal Games
Wade has been designing and developing games since 1996. He holds an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design. Wade is the founding editor of the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) Casual Games Quarterly, and the Coordinator of the NYC Chapter of the IGDA. Wade founded Large Animal Games with partner Josh Welber in January of 2001. Since then, Large Animal has developed over 75 titles for various platforms, and worked with a variety of publishing partners, including LEGO, Lifetime Television, Oberon Media, Majesco, D3 Publisher, iWin and Microsoft. Currently, Large Animal is focused on building social games. Try out their popular Facebook game Bumper Stars at www.bumperstars.com
Sutton Trout, Vice President, Digital Content/Gamespy Technology
Sutton started his career in video games with Sega of America in 1993. At Sega, as an art director, Sutton was involved in over 200 Sega titles – including the Sega Genesis, Game Gear, CD and Saturn platforms. Sutton moved on to Sony Computer Entertainment in 1995, where he worked on the launch of the first PlayStation. Sutton also co-produced the first Sony e3 booth. From there he went to Eidos Interactive, where he spent the next 6+ years of his career in a variety of roles. As part of the founding team, he was instrumental in the transition of the Tomb Raider video game franchise from the small screen to the silver screen. Sutton also executive produced multiple TV spots including all of the Tomb Raider commercials, as well as 6 years of the Eidos e3 show and booth. In 2001 he went to work at Konami, in a business development role. Sutton worked on a variety of projects while at Konami, including a Dance Dance Revolution TV show pilot. In late 2 003, Sutton moved to GameSpy, which was then acquired by IGN Entertainment, to build and run content acquisition for IGN's digital distribution channel, Direct2Drive.com and FilePlanet.com. In October 2005, IGN was acquired by News Corporation. Since early 2004, Sutton has been managing content acquisition, and distribution for both sites – D2D and FP. Sutton also oversees the GameSpy Technologies sales group, which licenses proprietary technology to game developers and publishers, enabling their games online accessibility. Since launching in 2004, Direct2Drive has become a #1 retailer in the digital retail space.
Rob Uhrich, Senior Director
Rob Uhrich is Senior Director, Digital Markets for PaymentOne, the leading payment provider for alternative and global online payments. Rob has over a decade of business, market development and operations experience in payments and transaction processing for online based and digital content service providers. He has been with PaymentOne since it's inception over 8 years ago and been instrumental in assisting PaymentOne's clients in generating over $3.5 Billion in gross retail billings. Rob brings PaymentOne expertise in the digital entertainment and content markets. Prior to PaymentOne, he has held sales and business development positions in a variety of industries from shipping and logistics to medical devices. Rob has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Santa Clara University.
Brandon Van Slyke, Editor-in-Chief
Brandon Van Slyke is a professional video game designer with experience designing commercial console games, mobile games, and casual downloadable web games. In addition to his work in game design, Brandon has also written feature articles for GameCareerGuide.com and Game Developer Magazine and is the Editor-in-Chief of nycgameindustry.com, the central online repository and informational hub for New York’s growing game development community. A frequent speaker and panelist at various industry related events, Brandon is an active outspoken member of the IGDA and lifelong game enthusiast. He currently works as a game designer at Vicarious Visions (an Activision Blizzard studio) in New York.
Mike Vorhaus, President
Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors founded the Magid Internet and New Media research and consultation practice in 1995, with AOL and Excite as his first two clients. Mike’s team has completed over 2,500 engagements with over 100 Internet clients. Mike began the Magid Gaming Practice in 2001 with EA and Sony Online as his first two clients. The Magid Game Practice now works with most of the major game publishers. Mike provides research and consulting services to a number of major traditional media companies in regard to their new media initiatives, as well as consulting a number of leading Internet and gaming companies. He has also provided advice to venture capital and private equity firms in regard to investments in the media space. Mike has been involved in strategic and tactical consulting, including the launch of new services and programming, as well as development and implementation of online and offline marketing programs. Mike has also been extensively involved in video and PC gaming strategies for a number of our companies, as well as the development of game concepts. Mike has consulted on a number of film projects such as You’ve Got Mail and The Matrix. He holds a B.S. in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan University and has worked as a fundraiser and transfer of technology officer at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. Mike also worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, The U.S. Senate, and for two Administrations in the White House.
John Watson, Executive Director, Business Development
AT&T Digital Media Solutions
John Watson is responsible for Business Development and Market Development at AT&T’s Digital Media Solutions, encompassing its Content Delivery, Content Management and Digital Signage services. He is responsible for identifying and developing go-to market propositions that integrate partner and AT&T products and services.
Christoper Weaver, Founder
Christopher Weaver is the Founder of Bethesda Softworks, a software entertainment company that has won every major national and international industry award, including over two hundred “Best Game of the Year” awards, the Codie, IGDA and ADC awards, two Clios and the Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes. Weaver is credited with the creation of physics-based PC sports simulation and helped build the original John Madden Football, which has become the top-selling sports game of all time. Bethesda has also created over 75 other hit titles, including Gridiron; Wayne Gretzky Hockey; The Terminator, Burnout Drag Racing, NCAA Basketball, and The Elder Scrolls — one of the best-selling role-playing series in the history of computer games as well as Fallout 3.
The former Manager of Technology Research for the American Broadcasting Company, VP of Science for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and the Chief Engineer for the Subcommittee on Communications at the US Congress, Weaver was a member of the Architecture Machine Group and Fellow of the MIT Communications and Policy Program; a Fellow of the Robotics Simulation Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon, and currently teaches at MIT in the Comparative Media Studies program and Department of Material Science and Engineering. He is a Board Member of the MIT Communications Technology Roadmap group and a Visiting Scientist in the Microphotonics Center. In 2005, he was inducted into the Cosmos Club for excellence in engineering
Gabe Zichermann, CEO
Gabe Zichermann (b. 1974) is an entrepreneur, author and public speaker that coined the term “Funware” to describe the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts. As co-author of the upcoming books “Game-Based Marketing” (Wiley, 2010) and “Funware in Action” (Manning, 2010), Zichermann makes a compelling case for the use of games and game mechanics in everyday life, the web and business. Gabe is the CEO of professional mobile social networking startup beamME where he’s working hard to bring fun to every aspect of interpersonal business. A native of Canada and resident of NYC, Gabe frequently muses about games and the world at http://funwareblog.com