Forty Under Forty: The Under 40 Hot List12 Sep, 2011 By: HM Editorial Staff
The home entertainment industry is in the midst of the Age of Transition, with an ever-expanding array of delivery mechanisms to bring entertainment directly to the consumer, both physically and electronically. Appropriately enough, a new generation of future leaders is hard at work charting a new course for the home entertainment business, strategizing alongside the veterans on just where exactly we are going and what we need to do to get there. Home Media Magazine is proud to honor the titans of tomorrow — 40 rising stars under the age of 40 who believe in our business and its limitless potential.
• BADIE ALI & HAMZA ALI, EVPS, MPI Media Group
The Ali brothers jointly oversee the entire operation of the company and its subsidiaries. Founded in 1976 by their father, Malik Ali, and uncle, Waleed Ali, Chicago-based MPI Media Group remains one of the largest independent entertainment companies in the country, producing and distributing some of the world’s most respected cinema, documentaries, performances and television programs. Graduates of DePaul University, Badie and Hamza have worked at the company since their youth and have witnessed MPI’s dramatic growth from a small family business into a key player in the independent DVD distribution business. In recent years, MPI Media Group has secured DVD distribution deals with several high-profile companies, including IFC Films, Cinetic FilmBuff, Severin Films and others. Staying true to their father’s and uncle’s vision and unique managerial styles, Badie and Hamza have ensured that MPI will remain a thriving leader in the home entertainment business.
• JILL ANDERSON, VP, Lionsgate Sellthrough Sales for Walmart, Sam’s Club, Vudu and Walmart.com
Anderson is responsible for driving the overall strategic direction, including vendor-managed inventory, retail planning and marketing, for Lionsgate at the world’s largest retailer. Anderson transitioned into her current position after serving as director of national sales for the Best Buy and Target accounts. As the team leader for both accounts, she was responsible for driving the overall business and strategy. Prior to joining Lions-gate, Anderson spent five years at Best Buy. She served in three different roles at the company in inventory and merchandising, culminating in the position of movie buyer. Anderson currently resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Todd, and enjoys singing and playing guitar and piano in her spare time.
• SHANAN BECKER, EVP, New Business Development, Image Entertainment
For more than 15 years, home entertainment companies such as Paramount Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation have relied on Becker for his business and financial know-how. That’s why Image Entertainment has brought him on board as its EVP of new business development. Becker is responsible for the distributor’s new business initiatives, expansion of library assets and strategic acquisitions, as well as working with the senior sales team to develop new business opportunities. He has held such positions as SVP of business operations at Paramount and executive director of finance at DreamWorks. He has an master’s in business administration from UCLA’s Andersen School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Carleton College.
• IAN BRICKE, VP, Programming Acquisitions And Strategy, Epix
Bricke oversees key programming acquisitions, including original boxing matches and music concerts, for the upstart online pay-TV platform. Before joining Epix, Bricke served as senior director of acquisitions at IFC TV and Sundance Channel. Prior to joining Sundance Channel in 2000, Bricke worked at Killer Films and at the Independent Feature Project on three consecutive independent feature film markets. He also worked in development for Open City Films and Pipedream Productions. Bricke has appeared on panels at South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, IFP Market, Atlanta Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Sithengi Film & TV Market. Bricke also served on juries at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, New York Exposition of Short Film and Video, Gen Art Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Florida Film Festival and New York University’s Wasserman Awards. He has served on the advisory committee of IFP/New York’s Project Involve program and on the advisory board of the Film Festival Collection, a nonprofit short film distributor. Bricke is a graduate of Swarthmore College.
• JULIE CANDELARIA, Director of Marketing, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Since joining Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2010, Candelaria has successfully spearheaded marketing campaigns for Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases of The Weinstein Co. films, including The King’s Speech, The Company Men, Blue Valentine, Miral and Scream 4. Next up she’ll be tackling the home entertainment releases of Spy Kids: All The Time in the World, Submarine, Our Idiot Brother and I Don’t Know How She Does It. Candelaria brought more than a decade of product management and entertainment marketing experience to Anchor Bay, previously working with DirecTV, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
• ERIN CARTER, Executive Director of Marketing, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Carter is in charge of marketing for all of Anchor Bay’s children’s titles as well as direct-to-video releases from Anchor Bay Films. During her four years with the distributor, Carter has worked on the launch of the popular children’s series “Chuggington,” which airs on Disney Jr., and Nickelodeon’s “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” Carter also is tasked with marketing all horror titles from Anchor Bay, most recently spearheading the releases of the original 1978 and the recent remake versions of I Spit on Your Grave. Next up under Carter’s charge are the documentary Corman’s World and The Divide. Before joining Anchor Bay, Carter worked at Mars Advertising, handling brands including Nestles, ConAgra, Hewlett-Packard and Glaxo Smith Kline.
• JULIE CARTWRIGHT, SVP, Brand Marketing, Anchor Bay Entertainment
To market its fitness, family, children’s, TV DVD and special interest properties, Anchor Bay Entertainment turns to Cartwright. The distributor has been turning to Cartwright since 1999, when she first joined the company (and the home entertainment industry) and helped grow the “Thomas & Friends” brand by double digits, expanding retail and developing unique product offerings. Cartwright spent two years with HIT Entertainment in New York before returning to Anchor Bay in 2003. Cartwright launched the TV DVD business for Anchor Bay, pushing the “Roseanne” and “Three’s Company” franchises beyond expectations at retail. Today her marketing hand can be found on the Starz Original Series “Spartacus” as well as AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Cartwright was key to growing Anchor Bay’s fitness line. She was responsible for new proprietary fitness brands (“Element”), licensed brands (“Billy Blanks” and “Pussycat Dolls”), partnerships with the likes of Kellogg’s Special K, and expansion into new retail sections. Cartwright also manages the team responsible for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) label.
• MIGUEL CASILLAS, SVP, DVD/Blu-ray Disc Production, Lionsgate
Casillas helped Lionsgate become the first studio after Sony Pictures to announce its support for Blu-ray in 2006 and launch some of the first titles in the format. In 2007, Casillas pioneered the industry’s first BD-Live titles with the release of Saw IV and War, and he ushered Lionsgate’s entry into the digital copy sector through a deal with Apple that delivers iTunes digital copies on DVD and Blu-ray releases. Casillas started his career at Artisan Entertainment in 1999, well before the company’s merger with Lionsgate. In 2000 he moved into DVD production, where he worked with Sonopress on the industry’s first hybrid DVD — audio CD on one side, DVD movie on the other — for Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Casillas graduated in 1995 from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and cultural studies. He received a Master of Arts degree from Emerson College in video and new media production in 1999.
• MICHELLE DAVIS, VP, Global Product Management, Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Davis leads product windowing and design, licensing, acquisitions and global catalog. In addition, she heads best practice sharing and marketing deliverables critical to maximizing profits and platform adoptions across the globe, including 3D, Blu-ray Disc and digital. Prior to her current position, Davis served in critical roles within home entertainment, including domestic and international assignments. Most notably, she led the Australian home entertainment marketing team to sustained growth across all product categories. Before joining Disney, Davis was a consultant with the Ernst & Young strategy group, working with such clients as American Express, Delta Airlines and Air France. She also held various product management roles within The Cola-Cola Co. and Johnson & Johnson. She holds a master’s degree in business from the Johnson School at Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Davis resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. She enjoys Australian Rules football, NCAA sports, cooking, international travel and art history.
• BRETT DISMUKE, VP, Acquisitions and Urban Programming, Image Entertainment
Dismuke brings more than 17 years of experience to the table. He handles acquisitions, marketing and branding of Image’s One Village studio. In addition to finding and securing content for the label, Dismuke also is charged with overall strategic planning, financial management, brand building and product lines. Recent acquisitions Dismuke can hang his hat on include Blood Done Sign My Name, Love in the Nick of Tyme and The Inheritance. Dismuke started early, interning for B IV 10 Records while attending the University of Southern California, and becoming the College Representative of the Year for PolyGram Group Distribution, where he went to work after graduation. Dismuke moved on to become an urban marketing specialist for Universal Music and Video Distribution, after Universal acquired PolyGram in 1999. A year later, Dismuke joined The Walt Disney Co. at Hollywood Records as director of product development, the youngest ever to hold the position at 24 years old. After a stint as a radio personality, Dismuke joined the UrbanWorks division of Ventura/First Look Studios and held titles ranging from marketing to acquisitions.
• COREY FERENGUL, EVP, Products, Rovi Corp.
Since first joining Rovi Corp. in 2006, Ferengul has helped walk CE manufacturers, service providers, studios, retailers, portals, advertisers, mobile carriers and STB manufacturers through the technology they need to take consumers into the digital age of home entertainment. Under Ferengul’s leadership, Rovi has launched groundbreaking products such as TotalGuide xD, which extends the cable video experience to tablets and smartphones; has helped shape Rovi’s product creation, distribution, discovery and enjoyment of entertainment; and has helped Rovi revolutionize the way guidance technology, entertainment data and video delivery platforms are being implemented throughout the ecosystem. Ferengul previously served as Rovi’s EVP of product management and marketing, as well as EVP of marketing and solutions. Before joining Rovi, Ferengul was EVP of marketing at Infogix (formerly known as Unitech Systems), and SVP and director of enterprise system management at The Meta Group. He is a graduate of Illinois State University.
• BRYONY GAGAN, VP, Business and Legal Affairs, Netflix
Gagan oversees all of Netflix’s business and legal affairs efforts related to content acquisition. In that role, she negotiates licensing arrangements for Netflix’s Watch Instantly streaming platform, both domestically and as part of Netflix’s international expansion efforts. Gagan is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Georgetown University.
• PRASANNA GANESAN, Chief Technical Officer, Walmart/Vudu
Ganesan is the chief architect and designer of Vudu’s content distribution engine and primary inventor and author of Vudu’s patent portfolio, including its first and flagship patent, granted by the U.S. Patent Office in February 2007. Prior to joining Vudu at its inception, Ganesan pursued his Ph.D. at Stanford. During his time at Stanford, he authored 15 research articles on various computer science topics, including P2P systems, databases and networking. In 2000, he received the President of India Gold Medal, awarded to the student with the highest academic standing at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He also holds the distinction of being ranked first in the joint entrance examination for the Indian Institutes of Technology. Ganesan holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from IIT Madras, a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford and a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford.
• MEREDITH GERTLER, VP, Product Management, Operations and Production, HBO Home Entertainment
Gertler crafts the strategic business plans for all of HBO’s DVD and Blu-ray releases. Under her guidance, True Blood: Season One became the No. 1 TV DVD release in 2009, and in 2010, The Pacific became the No. 1 TV DVD release, while True Blood: Season Two became the No. 2 TV DVD release. Gertler took on her current management responsibilities in January 2009. In only two years, her portfolio has increased significantly to encompass management of HBO’s DVD/Blu-ray production and operations areas as well as supervision of the company’s growing Canadian business. “Gertler is playing a major role in HBO’s groundbreaking success in the TV DVD business, and she is certain to have an even greater impact on HBO and the industry in the years ahead,” said Henry McGee, HBO Home Entertainment’s president.
• JARED GOETZ, SVP, Pay Television and Digital Sales, Disney/ABC Domestic Television
Goetz was named to his current post at Disney/ABC Domestic Television (DADT) in 2011. He is an integral part of the team that distributes film and television properties across an array of media platforms and businesses, including video-on-demand/pay-per-view, electronic sellthrough, pay TV, subscription VOD, mobile, broadband and other digital technologies. Goetz joined Disney as a sales trainee in 1995 and has risen through the ranks since. Upon completion of the domestic television sales training program in Los Angeles, he moved to Atlanta, eventually taking on responsibility for domestic television sales for the southeastern territory in 2000. During his 15 years in Atlanta, Goetz held such positions as account executive, executive director, and VP and SVP of the southeast region. Goetz has licensed countless Disney-produced films and television series to national cable channels and local broadcast stations. He has been instrumental in DADT’s sales efforts on first-run syndicated programs such as “LIVE! With Regis and Kelly” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” as well as off-net series “Castle,” “Wipeout,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Wife Swap,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “SuperNanny,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Scrubs,” “According to Jim,” “Home Improvement” and “Alias.” He also has been responsible for all business development and sales to U.S. Hispanic channels. Goetz earned a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Vermont.
• JOHN GRIFFIN, Senior Director, Online Media, Dolby Laboratories
Griffin takes the lead on anything and everything having to do with Dolby’s online and streaming content business. He oversees the management and marketing of Dolby solutions for online video and music services, and works with a wide swath of customers and partners to help bring a more immersive entertainment experience in the online space. Before his current position, Griffin led Dolby’s connected electronics and games marketing divisions. He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
• JUSTIN HOTARD, VP & GM, NCR Entertainment
Hotard oversees the business development team that has been instrumental in creating and extending the NCR Entertainment line of business, including creation of the Blockbuster Express kiosk brand. Hotard has helped NCR through acquisitions and integration of key companies, including Touch Automation, Ambient, TNR and DVDPlay. Hotard also oversaw NCR’s investment in MOD Systems and development of NCR Entertainment’s digital strategy. He then went on to serve as the first GM of NCR Entertainment from December 2008 through June 2009, where he led the effort to develop the technology platform, solutions roadmap and deployment and support operations. Following that, he served as head of product and solutions management as well as other strategic and operating roles within NCR Entertainment until January 2010, when he transitioned to his most recent assignment in the corporate office as VP and head of business development. Hotard has a master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
• ANA KONO, SVP, Marketing, Image Entertainment
To fill its newly created position of SVP of marketing, Image turned to Kono, the former executive marketing director at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Responsible for mapping the marketing strategies for Image’s home entertainment titles, Kono currently is working on projects for The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway; A Little Help; All Things Fall Apart; and The Double, starring Richard Gere and Martin Sheen. Before marketing MGM library titles at Fox, Kono held positions with Warner Home Video and The Walt Disney Co. She’s a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
• KELLY MERRYMAN, VP, Content Acquisition, Netflix
Merryman has been with Netflix for four years and manages content licensing for Netflix’s international expansion. Previously, she held positions in both digital distribution and business development for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Merryman holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
• BERRY MEYEROWITZ, President & CEO, Phase 4 Films
Meyerowitz heads one of the leading independent film and television distributors in the United States and Canada. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s overall operation and focuses his efforts on key customer partnerships, acquisition and M&A opportunities. Established after purchasing the shares of Peace Arch Entertainment two years ago, Phase 4 Films has grown under the direction of Meyerowitz. The company has more than 65 employees with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Bentonville, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Vancouver and Montreal, and a distribution facility in South Carolina. Meyerowitz has led Phase 4 in building up its North American distribution operation, which services all Walmart stores in the United States and Canada on a direct-to-store basis. He has spent the past year establishing video-on-demand and electronic sellthough partnerships with major cable and digital providers, including Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, iTunes, Xbox, Vudu and others.
• BILL MILLER, Senior Buyer, DVD/Blu-ray Disc, Trans World Entertainment Corp.
Miller oversees all studio-related disc acquisitions for more than 400 f.y.e. (Four Your Entertainment) retail stores nationwide, which are owned and operated by Trans World Entertainment Corp. Miller has a strong entertainment retail background, having managed a Blockbuster store while attending Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., where he graduated in 1997. The following year he accepted a position as the assistant video buyer for DVD with Trans World Entertainment. During the next five years, Miller became the chain’s key studio contact for disc sales, promotions and inventory management. That expertise subsequently led to being named associate buyer and then buyer at f.y.e. In 2008 he was promoted to senior buyer.
• LISA NISHIMURA-SEESE, VP, Content Acquisition, Netflix
Nishimura-Seese has held her current position since 2007. She oversees the successful expansion of Netflix’s offerings of independent studio films and television content from around the world. Prior to joining Netflix, Nishimura-Seese was GM of Chris Blackwell’s multimedia company, Palm Pictures.
• RAJEEV RAMAN, VP, Product Management, Roku
Raman, who joined Roku in 2011, is responsible for software product development, service merchandising and interface design for the Roku Internet TV platform. Previously, Raman was the founder and CEO of mywaves inc., a free mobile video service, where he led the company from incubation to a top 10 mobile entertainment service reaching more than 6 million users each month, with entertainment brands such as MTV Networks, CBS, Fox and Playboy. At mywaves, Raman also established distribution partnerships with Verizon, Vodaphone, Nokia and Sony-Ericsson. Prior to founding mywaves, Raman was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Menlo Ventures, where he fostered mywaves and assisted with other investment activities. Before that, Raman held executive positions at Questra Corp., where he helped the company grow from inception to more than $7 million in annual revenue, and ETI, where he built the practice to more than $10 million in annual revenue from clients including Motorola Semiconductors, Infineon, LSI Logic and Intel. Raman has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in business administration.
• MICHAEL RATHAUSER, SVP, Marketing, Lionsgate
Rathauser oversees the strategy, marketing and management for all home entertainment releases for Lionsgate family entertainment as well as the Miramax, Studio Canal, Roadside Attractions and Zoetrope libraries. He is a core part of the family home entertainment acquisitions team that evaluates any new distribution agreements or potential home entertainment productions. Rathauser oversees the Studio Canal library, which contains many of Lionsgate’s most lucrative library titles, including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Rambo and others. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Rathauser began his career in advertising as an account executive with Grey Advertising and DDB in New York. Rathauser graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in economics and foreign affairs. He received a masters of business administration degree from UCLA in 1999.
• EMIL RENSING, Chief Digital Officer, Epix
Rensing and his team at Epix assimilate and create the pay-TV platform’s online library of high-definition movies from co-owners Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate and other sources. He also oversees backend technology that powers multibit-rate HD video playback over the Internet, programming, packaging and promotions for EpixHD.com. Previously, Rensing was instrumental in the early success of America Online and MTV Networks Online, where he ran strategic development. He also was a partner at Frederator Studios, an on-air producer for MTV Networks and co-founder of Next New Networks.
• JOEL RESNIK, VP, Video Games, Redbox
On June 17, 2011, Redbox rolled out video game rentals to its kiosks nationwide, and Resnik was the man the kiosk operator counted on to make it happen. Resnik helped oversee nearly two years of testing, with more than 2 million gaming rentals at those test locations. He helped fine-tune the rental business model, and worked closely with game publishers before Redbox game rentals rolled out. Resnik brought more than a dozen years of gaming experience to the company, having worked as director of product at Blockbuster. Before that he was with Florida-based retailer Rhino Video Games. Resnik is a member of the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Retail Council, as well as Redbox’s Innovation and Diversity and Inclusion Councils. And the University of Florida graduate takes his work home with him: One of his favorite pastimes involves letting his kids beat him at “Mario Kart.”
• JENNIFER ROBERTS, SVP, Brand Marketing, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Roberts is charged with marketing for both theatrical and home entertainment releases for the newly formed Anchor Bay Films, as well as all home entertainment releases from The Weinstein Co. Her first Weinstein release? The Academy Award winner for Best Picture from 2010, The King’s Speech. She also handled Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas, and City Island, starring Andy Garcia. Roberts started her career with Anchor Bay in 2007, managing the marketing campaigns for Overture Films, including for the films The Visitor and Law Abiding Citizen. Currently she’s working on theatrical campaigns for Kill the Irishman, starring Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer and Vincent D’Onofrio; Beautiful Boy, with Michael Sheen and Mario Bello; Son of No One, featuring Channing Tatum and Al Pacino; Tanner Hall, with Rooney Mara; Corman’s World (about Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Corman); and Michael Mann’s Texas Killing Fields. Prior to joining Anchor Bay, Roberts spent eight years in marketing with Paramount Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
• JASON ROPELL, VP, Content, Netflix
Ropell manages all licensing of content for Netflix in the Canadian and Latin American territories. Previously, Ropell held the position of VP of digital media and business development at NBC Universal for the group of channels formally known as Comcast Entertainment Group (E!, Style, G4). Prior to that he worked in business affairs at Nelvana Enterprises, a part of Corus Entertainment. Ropell began his career in the music business and worked for several years as a music attorney in Toronto.
• LYNDSEY SCHAEFER, Director, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Schaefer has been with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group since 2006. Prior to her current role as director, she served as associate director of DEG for four years. Schaefer is responsible for day-to-day operations of the group, including media relations, website maintenance and oversight, managing the DEG committees, event planning for all tradeshows and conferences, and meeting planning. “She plays an integral role in the DEG, and we are proud to have her as part of the DEG family,” said Amy Jo Smith, executive director of DEG. Before joining the DEG, Schaefer served as project manager for Home Media Magazine, where she managed all promotional campaigns and conferences for the industry trade publication. Schaefer graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton, and a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from California State University, Long Beach.
• WALTER SCHMIDT, VP, Marketing and Product Development, Entertainment One U.S.
Schmidt has been with Entertainment One U.S., the U.S. arm of Entertainment One Ltd., for six years. With more than a decade of experience under his belt, Schmidt has helped Entertainment One U.S. remain a strong and successful independent home entertainment label in the United States. Working out of the company’s Port Washington, N.Y., location, Schmidt oversees U.S. marketing, DVD production, label management and creative services staff. Schmidt joined the company (formerly Koch Entertainment) in 2005 following a six-year stint at Wellspring (Winstar TV & Video), where he served as marketing manager and then director of marketing, home video.
• ROB SCHONFELD, VP, Digital Sales and Retail Account Development, Disney/ABC Domestic Television
Schonfeld first joined Disney in 2001. He has been serving in his current post since 2005, when the position was created. He oversees the development of business strategies for the distribution of these products in all areas of digital and on-demand media, and the execution and management of business partnerships and licensing agreements in fulfillment of those strategies. Schonfeld recently added physical goods new account development to his responsibilities. With more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, he is an expert in digital technology and creative content. Prior to joining DADT, Schonfeld served as VP of strategy and finance for Walt Disney Television Animation. He joined Disney as director of business planning for Television Animation and Disneytoon Studios. Before joining Disney, Schonfeld worked for Razorfish as the Los Angeles office’s senior strategy lead. Prior to that, Schonfeld served as a senior strategy consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in its entertainment and media sector. Schonfeld graduated with a master’s in business administration from UCLA’s Anderson School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia.
• GALEN C. SMITH, SVP, Finance, Redbox
He may be new to DVD kiosk giant Redbox, but Smith isn’t new to the game. Coming over to Redbox from parent company Coinstar, Smith now is Redbox’s SVP of finance, responsible for overseeing the company’s $1.5 billion fiscal operation. Prior to joining Redbox he was corporate VP and treasurer at Coinstar, overseeing mergers and acquisitions, treasury, corporate financial planning and investor relations. Previously with Morgan Stanley Consumer and Retail Investment Banking Group, Smith helped lead the Mead Johnson IPO, the lone U.S. IPO during the first quarter of 2009, and was a key player in the Proctor & Gamble sale of Folgers Coffee. Prior to that, Smith spent eight years at Wheaton College as director of development, and as an adjunct faculty member for the business and economics department. Currently a board member with the Seattle Pacific University Foundation, Smith is a graduate of the University of Chicago.
• SHAYNA SMITH, VP, International In-Home Sales, Walt Disney Studios
Smith is responsible for developing strategies and plans for new product launches internationally. Working in close partnership with local sales teams, she helps identify and develop cross-platform sales initiatives that drive growth in each market. Smith previously served as VP of distribution channel strategy, with a focus on global windowing and strategic distribution initiatives. Prior to joining Disney, Smith handled deal and financial analyses at New Line Cinema’s business development group and managed deals in the mobile and online video syndication space at CBS Television Stations’ digital media group. She began her career as a management consultant with Monitor Group. Smith attended MIT and has a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. She serves on the national board of ArtTrain, a mobile art exhibition organization.
• SOUMYA SRIRAMAN, President & CEO, Palisades Tartan
Sriraman oversees the acquisition, marketing and distribution of Palisades Tartan’s theatrical and home entertainment releases. She has consummate taste in world cinema, bringing award-winning, Oscar-nominated international films to the North American market, as well as new additions to the company’s Extreme Asian label. Sririman has more than 12 years of experience in the filmed-entertainment industry, working in a range of disciplines, including category management, brand marketing, sales analysis, theatrical distribution and television licensing. Prior to Palisades Tartan, Sriraman was SVP at Universal Music and Video Distribution’s filmed entertainment arm, Vivendi Entertainment. She also has held executive positions at Warner Home Video and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
• SHERICE TORRES, SVP, Global Entertainment, Nickelodeon Consumer Products and MTV Networks International
Torres manages the worldwide home entertainment portfolio and spearheads all licensing and marketing. She is responsible for putting MTV Networks content into consumers’ hands and helps select the properties that make it to store shelves around the globe. Torres has sustained Nickelodeon Home Entertainment as a leader in the kids category throughout the past several years, establishing “Dora the Explorer” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” as top DVD franchises by increasing sales. Known in the industry as an effective leader who provides strategic insights, Torres has been honored with a number of recognitions, including being named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America and 75 Most Powerful Women in Business; Crain’s Business Top 40 Under 40 List; and among the Most Influential Minorities in Cable by CableFAX: The Magazine.
• KEVIN VAN BELOIS, EVP, Interactive TV, Menus and Content, Trailer Park
Van Belois oversees a staff of creatives, technologists and producers responsible for work on several notable Hollywood movies, including Avatar, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Citizen Kane, Supernatural, The Sound of Music and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Van Belois joined Trailer Park in 2003, rising to SVP, where he was integral to the company’s industry leadership in Blu-ray, DVD and interactive content. He executive produced PromaxBDA award Key Art winner District 9 and oversaw three of the other four projects shortlisted last year in the Menu Design category: Donnie Darko, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Van Belois also has overseen PromaxBDA award winners for Million Dollar Baby and The Polar Express. While his team began as a seven-person group, under his leadership it grew into a 30-person division. That team has worked on some of the entertainment industry’s biggest blockbusters of all time, including 20th Century Fox’s Avatar and Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” movies. Prior to joining Trailer Park, Van Belois was VP of AV at B.D. Fox & Friends Advertising.
• MEREDITH VINCENT, VP, Consumer Marketing, HBO Home Entertainment
Vincent oversees all aspects of HBO’s award-winning home entertainment marketing activities, from the company’s innovative packaging designs to its breakthrough print, online and television advertising campaigns. She also heads up creative content development for HBO’s cutting-edge Blu-ray Disc features. The home entertainment industry consistently has recognized Vincent’s work. Earlier this year, Home Media Magazine named The Pacific as Best Miniseries on Disc for its Home Media Awards. At the BDA/Promax Awards earlier this summer, HBO walked away with packaging prizes for both Sex and the City: The Complete Collection and The Pacific, and awards were bestowed on The Pacific and True Blood: Season Two for their bonus features. Employing leading-edge techniques, Vincent’s BD Live and social media promotion for True Blood: Season Two on Blu-ray recently won a Webby award. “Vincent is a true innovator and is destined to play an increasingly important role in our industry,” said Henry McGee, president of HBO Home Entertainment.
• MARK WARD, VP, Acquisitions, Image Entertainment
Ward assists Bill Bromiley, chief acquisitions officer, in acquiring cast-driven, under-the-radar feature films for exploitation on packaged media, VOD and television. Previously, Ward was VP of acquisitions for Anchor Bay Entertainment. During his tenure with Anchor Bay, the company expanded into new productions, limited theatrical releases as well as DVD premieres. Key acquisitions included Hatchet, The Grand, Frozen and the critically acclaimed “Masters of Horror” TV series. Ward also secured the DVD rights to the “Evil Dead” franchise as well as several popular television series such as “Roseanne,” “Three’s Company,” “21 Jump Street” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.” He was key in the development of numerous special features and added-value content for DVD.
• ELI WEISMAN, VP, Interactive TV, Trailer Park
Weisman focuses on devising digital strategies for clients and new business, as well as working with platforms such as Active Video Networks, Yahoo ConnectedTV and Google TV for Comcast, Crackle, NBC and others. Weisman has led client service, creative and technical teams to the successful launch of major brands across numerous websites, interactive TV, video-on-demand, mobile and set-top products. Early in his career, award-winning design and branding agency Pittard Sullivan recruited Weisman to produce interactive projects and cross-platform initiatives for clients such as ABC, Microsoft, CNN, Disney, DirecTV and TiVo. He went on to leadership roles at FutureBrand, DirecTV, K Street Partners and Warner Bros. Weisman has been a mentor at the American Film Institute’s enhanced TV forum and is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group.