Board of Directors
Brad Powers – Chairman
Brad Powers has been a marketing and technology powerhouse for over 20 years, with a keen and futuristic eye on technology and the digital marketing landscape.
In his pre-Cupcake days, Brad worked for the music download service Kazaa, as Chief Marketing Officer, where his involvement in music and applications laid the groundwork for innovative app creation. Holding CMO positions at several online companies (and a university!) further prepared him to bring his experience and talents together in a nascent industry that was calling for exciting new products and ideas.
As Founder and CEO of Active Response Group (“ARG”) — a top-three provider of lead generation services — Brad completed two rounds of financing (venture and debt) and two acquisitions over a five-year period before selling to CAVIS Acquisition Corp in 2009.
Lucas, Brad’s nine-year-old son, played an equally significant role in the establishment of Cupcake Digital. Cupcake Digital came about when Brad looked at the marketplace and saw a need for high-quality children’s storybook apps.
“As the parent of a young child, I wanted to produce apps that would make my kid smile, but also offer educational moments, and there just weren’t enough of them out there,” Brad says. “I saw a great opportunity – one that was personal to me – to enter a new marketplace in a new business that was scalable enough to achieve deep market penetration and critical mass in a manner that was replicable.”
More about Brad:
Brad lives in New York City with his wife, son, and dogs (Snickers and Elvis). He has previously served as the CMO of Aspen University – an online university, CMO of Kazaa, the online music service, Chairman and CEO of Active Response Group, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing for eWOMP Technologies, a provider of customized email and viral marketing solutions provider. Before eWOMP Technologies, Brad was Chief Marketing Officer for Wanakee Design and Products, a direct marketer of high-end cosmetic products.
Brad earned both a BA in Psychology and MBA from Clark University, and currently serves on its Graduate School of Management advisory board.
Larry Schafran – Independent Director Chair of the Audit Comittee
Mr. Schafran is a private investor and currently Director of Wright Investors’ Service Holdings, Inc. (WISH; formerly National Patent Development Corp.) and Glasstech, Inc. Previously Mr. Schafran served as Managing Director of Providence Capital, Inc., a New York City-based investment and advisory firm. Prior positions included Chairman/Interim-CEO/President and Co-Liquidating Trustee of the Special Liquidating Trust of Banyan Strategic Realty Trust. He has also served as Director and/or Chairman of many other public and private companies.
J. Gregg Whitaker, PhD – Independent Director Member of the Audit Committee
J. Gregg Whittaker is the founder and Managing Member of Archos Capital Partners LLC, a private equity boutique. Archos contributed to the development and equity funding of a startup financial services company that is currently publicly traded on the NYSE. The group is currently working with a number of portfolio companies in various stages of development.
Gregg is also a Professor in the Department of Business Administration and Leadership at William Jewell College. Prior to joining the Jewell faculty, he worked on Wall Street for 10 years, the last five as a Managing Director and the Global Head of Credit Derivatives for Chase Securities, Inc. (now JPMorgan Chase). Cupcake is fortunate to have this doctor in the house.
Lukas Bennemann – Independent Director Member of the Governance Committee
Lukas Bennemann is an Investment Manager at VCDE Venture Partners GmbH & Co. KG, in Frankfurt Germany. His focus is on investing in tech companies at growth stage. His Duties at VCDE include but are not limited to deal sourcing, valuation, and market screening for worldwide tech markets, primarily growth companies in software, internet, mobile and digital media businesses.
Prior to joining VCDE, Lukas served as an investment manager in various firms throughout Germany, working with family office and Midcap Mergers & Acquisitions. Lukas is the Founder of “BVK Junge Gruppe” -Lobbyist Group of Investment Professionals at the German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. He also serves as a member of the Venture Capital Committee at the German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
Jean Chalopin – Independent Board Member
Bienvenue, Monsieur Jean! Born in Paris, Jean expands the multi-national and multi-talented mix of expertise to Cupcake Digital’s board of directors. He has been the main creative force behind the writing and production of over 1,000 half-hour television episodes for all major markets. Some of his worldwide hits include: Inspector Gadget, Heathcliff, The Littles, Ulysses 31, The Care Bears, Kissyfur, The Real Ghostbusters, The Cities of Gold, Dennis the Menace, Zoobilee Zoo, Conan the Adventurer, M.A.S.K., Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors, Lady Lovelylocks, King Arthur and The Knights of Justice, The Bots’ Master, The Littlest Pet Shop, Happy Ness and others.
Jean formed his first company in France in 1968, from which DIC (Diffusion Information Communication) materialized in the early 1970’s. He honed his business acumen and became a hands-on producer and writer of commercials and series for television at DIC, which, by 1980, had become the largest European producer of animated TV series for children.
Three years later, following the successful creation of KK.DIC in Japan and DIC Enterprises in the USA in 1981, DIC had become the undisputed world leader in the creation and production of children’s programs for TV.
In 1987, Jean sold his interest in the DIC Group and formed C&D (Creativity & Development), which has its main offices in Paris and Tokyo. An associated company (JetLag Productions) was also created in Los Angeles. By 1996, the C&D Group included a film library that had grown to more than 1500 half hours. It was sold to the Saban/Fox Kid’s Network joint venture that year.
Jean is also the founder of the StoryPlus Foundation, a story-telling site aiming at fostering the pleasure of reading in young children, and using its revenues to help less-fortunate children in their education.
He is currently the largest shareholder and Executive Chairman of the Deltec International Group, the parent company of Deltec Bank & Trust, Deltec Investment Advisors Ltd, Clairmont Trust and many other companies focusing on private banking, fiduciary and multi-family offices services, for exclusive clients.
Jean lives both in Switzerland and the Bahamas, where he has been a resident for more than 30 years, and where Deltec group’s headquarter is located.
Sounds like “la vie en rose.”
Board of Advisors
Harold Clarke – Senior Advisor
As the leader of diverse book and magazine businesses for 30 years at Random House and Reader’s Digest, Harold has led multiple businesses through dynamic changes and on to structural profit growth. His strategic roles and broad experience includes turnarounds and acquisitions; P&L leadership driving revenue, product and market development; and an industry wide reputation for financial acumen and media brand management.
Harold recently formed Handover Pfist & Clarke as a media capital venture focused on children’s publishing, toy, and edutainment businesses, his passion since 1994. It was then, after an accomplished career in magazines, that he reinvented Random House’s Children’s Publishing Group as its President and as Executive Vice President of Random House. Creating a $200 million group, Harold devoted himself to leading the publishing campaigns for Dr.Seuss, STAR WARS, Sesame Street, Marc Brown’s Arthur, Thomas The Tank Engine, The Magic Treehouse, Philip Pullman’s acclaimed literary trilogy, HIS DARK MATERIALS, and expanded the Children’s Group’s interactive software, video, and filmed entertainment ventures.
In 2000 Harold joined The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. and as President and Publisher, Books and Home Entertainment, Harold once again reinvented a failing children’s business into a market leader with worldwide scale bringing to worldwide markets innovative interactive products invented for Disney, Marvel, STAR WARS, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Hasbro, Mattel, Fisher-Price, DreamWorks SKG, Warner Bros., and BabyFirst TV.
Harold’s portfolio at Reader’s Digest further extended to Taste of Home Cookbooks and all book divisions, Music Publishing, continuity products, retail operations for all magazines and books, and the Home and Garden and Enthusiast Magazine Brands growing to over 3 millions subscribers.
Harold is particularly proud of his role over the years with First Book, an internationally recognized children’s literacy organization, currently serving as National Advisor, and his many positions on boards and trade associations throughout his career.
Governor David A. Paterson
David A. Patterson served as New York State’s 55th Governor from 2008 to 2010. He immediately raised eyebrows when, in his inaugural address, he warned of an impending fiscal crisis. He was ahead of the national curve in predicting and acting on the State’s fiscal downturn. The Governor enacted sweeping reforms on a wide range of issues facing New Yorkers, and also succeeded in reducing New York’s deficit by nearly 40 billion dollars. He became the first Governor to sign legislation attaching criminal penalties to predatory- lending during the worst foreclosure.
In addition to a long list of other accomplishments during his service as Governor, David served as an adjunct professor of Government in 2011 and 2012 at New York University, and has since moved to Touro college school of Osteopathic medicine. His keen sense of fiscal responsibility coupled with his experience in the educational field will serve us well as applies his powers of observation to the state… of Cupcake Digital.
Christopher Boies is a partner at the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. He is a member of the Executive Committee and heads the firm’s Corporate practice, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and corporate governance work. Chris was named one of the country’s top corporate lawyers by Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers New York-Metro magazine.
Prior to joining Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Chris was an investment banking associate in the Project Finance group at Credit Suisse First Boston and an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City. Chris serves on the Boards of Directors at CounterTack Inc., NuLabel Technologies, Inc. and SeaMax Inc. and as an advisor to SRG Technologies Inc. and Curex Inc. He is also a member of the Limited Partner Advisory Board for Redbird Capital Partners LLC.
Ted Green served as Chief Executive Officer of RLJ Entertainment Inc., a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming until January of 2013.
Prior to RLJ Entertainment Inc., Mr. Green was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Image Entertainment. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Green served as Chairman and Co-CEO and director of TM Entertainment and Media, Inc., an entertainment and media investment company. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Green was the CEO and Co-Owner of Anchor Bay Entertainment, a home entertainment and production company, which at the time was a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment, Inc, a production company that focused on the production, marketing and distribution of various media. Mr. Green began serving as CEO upon the acquisition of Anchor Bay from The Handleman Company. Prior to that, in 2001, Mr. Green established Greenlight Consulting Inc., a project-based consulting practice focused on the media and entertainment industry. Greenlight Consulting s clients included Sony Music and Vivendi-Universal as well as numerous other regional media organizations. Prior to founding Greenlight Consulting, in 2000, Mr. Green was President and Chief Operating Officer of MaMaMedia, Inc., an Internet company that created activity-based learning products for children and their families. From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Green was the founder and President of Sony Wonder, the division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment responsible for the production and distribution of media geared toward youthful audiences and also for all home video distribution. Beginning in 1989, Mr. Green was the Executive Vice President of Administration and Operations for ATCO Records, a music industry label co-owned with The Warner Music Group. From 1982 until 1989, Mr. Green served as the Senior Vice President of Polygram Records, overseeing the Business Affairs and Music Publishing divisions of the company. Mr. Green’s career in the entertainment industry began first in the legal department and thereafter as the Director of Business Affairs for CBS Records. Prior to that Mr. Green practiced general entertainment law at the firm of Moses Singer.
Mr. Green’s broad and deep experience in various segments of the entertainment industry, provides the Cupcake Board with unique and direct access to strategic and operational insights.
Christopher J. Steele, Esq.
A Co-Founding Partner of Sterling Select Partners LLC, Christopher Steele possesses a unique ability to find win-win solutions to the multitude of challenges facing entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Christopher has an extensive background in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and corporate transactions, licensing and regulatory matters, as well as secured financings and general corporate matters.
Prior to Sterling Select Partners, he was a Managing Director, General Counsel and founding partner at Ranieri Partners LLC, an investment firm headed by real estate industry and Wall Street veteran Lewis
S. Ranieri. All rise to applaud the esquire’s presence on Cupcake’s advisory board.
Noah Heller is currently the CEO of Vhoto, developer of a proprietary app that uses proprietary technology to find the best images in any video and turn them into stills and includes a social component so users can tag, share, and search others’ photos.
Previously, Noah served as Entrepreneur in Residence at Atlas Venture, a company that invests in the earliest stages of technology and life sciences; Product Director at Activision, the world’s first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles, launching their first IOS game (Call of Duty: Zombies) and the ELITE social network; and designer and program manager for Microsoft’s Xbox Live. In the late 90s, he founded a MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game) startup. Noah’s experience with digital entertainment development and technology make him an asset to Cupcake’s advisory board. Game on, Noah!
From the medical device business to the U.S. Patent Office, from a 1.2 million square foot manufacturing facility and 2,000-acre planned home community to the Field and Stream brand and from fast food chains to telecommunications, Larry has demonstrated vast expertise as a CEO, General Counsel and entrepreneur in at least 11 different industries. The common thread has been brand building to the consumer by developing a unique selling proposition.
Larry currently serves on the Board of Directors at Eveia Medical Field and Stream. Recently, Cupcake Digital reeled him in to serve on our advisory board.
Eduardo Emanuelli Fonalledas
A big “mucho gusto” (pleasure to meet you), Eduardo!
Eduardo joins the advisory board of Cupcake Digital with a wide spectrum of qualifications that swing from left brain to right brain with the greatest of ease. An accomplished attorney and business development maven, he is currently Vice President, Partner and Sales Leader at Carrion, Lafitte & Casellas/Hub International. (How many attorneys can you name who passed the bar exam with a near-perfect score? Well, at least one, now.)
He leads the charge in Hub’s expansion into the Central and Latin American regions, as well as the Caribbean via Mergers & Acquisitions. He is a seasoned expert in growing “verticals” in highly specialized business sectors. Additionally, he serves as Founder and General Partner of Groundswell Capital, LLC, a Puerto Rico-based family office with over 20 investments in technology, entertainment, food and distribution since 2012.
On the right brain side, Eduardo is a self-proclaimed “free spirit” –writer, stand-up comic, inventor, and musician (guitar, bass, drums). He produced the first book ever on Puerto Rico surf culture; holds one patent and has three more pending; and was Executive Producer for several feature length films and documentaries made in Puerto Rico. He still finds time for both cultural and humanitarian causes: sitting on the board of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico; playing an active role in Filius Institute (part of the University of Puerto Rico) creating and running surfing, yoga, music and acting programs for children with special education needs; and participating in humanitarian expeditions for Central American countries. Eduardo also serves on the boards of Piloto Labs, a local incubator focused on helping startups reach their full potential; and Atlantic University College, a leading digital arts University in Puerto Rico. A graduate of Duquesne University, Pontifical University of Puerto Rico, and The University of Pepperdine School of Law, Eduardo is married and has a young son.
Call him “Mr. Television” or “Dr. Entertainment” or just call him Sandy. Either way, he is one of a rare breed of entertainment executives who has successfully married his vast experience in traditional media with the explosive world of digital media and technology.
Sandy achieved creative, financial, and strategic leadership success as chairman of Fox’s broadcast network and television studio, where his tenure saw the debut of the “American Idol” juggernaut along with major hits such as “24,” ”House,” ”Malcolm in the Middle,” and “The OC.”
Today, Sandy is the CEO of Phase 2 Media, a company comprised of both a strategic advisory practice and a television and digital production division. As CEO, Sandy applies his 25 years of experience running two entertainment businesses with revenues in excess of a billion dollars to guide Phase 2 Media in serving its clients’ strategic business needs, as well as in developing world-class entertainment programming.
Phase 2 Media’s advisory practice works primarily with early stage companies in the digital media and technology spaces, including OTT content providers, mobile and PC-based videogames, e-commerce, ad tech, and digital content production. Phase 2 Media’s television and digital production division, which taps Sandy’s keen understanding of content creation and storytelling, has a number of series in development, with Sandy credited as executive producer on an NBC scripted comedy, a scripted comedy at 20th Century Fox Television, an unscripted series at Pilgrim Entertainment, and multiple unscripted series with Core Media Group.
Sandy currently serves as a board member for The Weather Company, the parent company of The Weather Channel and Weather.com. Cupcake predicts sunny days ahead with Sandy’s wise counsel.