Brad Auerbach, Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Hewlett-Packard

May 31, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Brad Auerbach, Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Hewlett-Packard 

Brad Auerbach
Vice President, Strategic Business Development

Mr. Auerbach is a senior entertainment executive with extensive and unique expertise in production, content acquisition, Intellectual Property law and licensing, on a global level. He is currently handling Strategic Business Development with Hewlett-Packard for the innovative Retail Custom Publishing initiative. He was the prime architect for Hewlett-Packard in structuring the entertainment industry’s first DVD manufacture-on-demand agreement with a major Hollywood studio.

Mr. Auerbach has had success in structuring many groundbreaking deals with a diverse range of rightsholders, including NFL, NBA, NHL, HBO, MTV, Live Nation, Marvel Entertainment, Olympics Committee, Screen Actors Guild, every Hollywood studio, Peter Gabriel, ESPN, Sesame Workshop, among numerous others. He has deep familiarity with each aspect of the media business, having sat on all sides of the deal-making table, on behalf of mobile, cable, satellite, Internet, hardware, software, distribution and production companies. He has held positions as Senior Legal Counsel with Qualcomm’s MediaFLO / FloTV enterprise, General Counsel for Philips Media (a division of Royal Philips Electronics, Netherlands) and Head Counsel, Business Affairs for Astro/MEASAT (Malaysia), the premier direct broadcast satellite operator in South East Asia. As the lead attorney of Business Affairs for Programming at Starz/Encore he structured the pay television industry’s largest Hollywood studio output deal, and the first to include SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) rights.

Mr. Auerbach started his entertainment media career at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he handled business affairs for the industry’s leading home video company, including Disney’s first copy protection deal and Disney’s first Pay Per Transaction deal. He has published dozens of entertainment articles worldwide (including his Law Review article “Biotechnology Patent Law in Britain and the United States”), and he has presented his views at numerous industry conferences across the globe. Mr. Auerbach helped form the Digital Entertainment Group, the industry-wide consortium that was the primary catalyst for the launch and spectacular success of the DVD format. He was a Founding Board Member of the Electronic Software Association, which not only established the E3 video game conference but remains dedicated to serving the business and public affairs interests of companies that publish video and computer games. He was the Founding Executive Director of the DVD-Audio Council, and has consulted to a handful of cutting edge clients. His past engagements include Warner Music Group, Playboy, Flexplay, Macromedia’s Mobile group and the Getty Museum. He holds a patent with Qualcomm relating to mobile phone media technology.
BA – Hamilton College, JD – Boston College.

Sean Besser, Vice President, Business Development, Rovi

May 25, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Sean Besser, Vice President, Business Development, Rovi 

Sean Besser
Vice President, Business Development
Rovi Corporation

As the head of Business Development, Sean Besser is responsible for guiding the corporate growth of Rovi, including identifying, expanding and managing its strategic partnerships. Sean’s current focus is on the company’s digital content strategy. One of his key goals is to enable consumer TV viewing experiences to be more compelling and interactive by bringing downloadable video, music, photos, games, etc. directly to the TV directly through the guide.

Sean brings to Rovi nearly 15 years of experience in the delivery of entertainment and related services, including work at TiVo, Fox Sports, NBC, EchoStar (The DISH Network), and most recently Movielink, where he headed up all of the company’s business development and strategic partnership activities.

Sean holds an M.B.A. from the Haas Graduate School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and both a J.D. and B.A from the University of Southern California.

Blake White, Director, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

May 25, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Blake White, Director, PriceWaterhouseCoopers 

Blake White

Blake is a Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers Entertainment, Media & Communications advisory practice based in San Jose, where he leads Media Technology & Transformation advisory services. He previously led PwC’s national initiative in Digital Media Risk Management, and held principal positions in media industry engineering consulting firms, advising clients on: digital content management, content security & piracy prevention, metadata integrity, transition to HD, and IT integration.

Blake is an experienced Hollywood and Silicon Valley executive, who, over a 20-year period, has been responsible for: the first commercially available Digital Asset Management (DAM) developer product, used for the remake of a major motion picture and the development of a digital feature animation release; broadcast newsroom video asset server; Digital Rights Management (DRM) IP licensing; DRM-enabled online e-book service bureau; file-based digital media transport service; and SOA-based integration architectures for broadcast applications. He has led solution development and integration projects in computing platforms for: real-time broadcast graphics; animation and film industry visual effects; and interactive TV.

Blake is the author of: The Technology Assessment Process: A Strategic Framework for Managing Technical Innovation, published by Greenwood Press; the PwC publication — A New Era for Content: Protection, Potential, and Profit in the Digital World — and the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal article by the same name; and he was co-author of Digital Asset Management: Process Over Product, published in Broadcast Engineering magazine. He holds BSIE, MBA, and MLA degrees from North Carolina State, Xavier, and Stanford universities, respectively.

Morgan Fiumi, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations, Deluxe Digital Studios

May 25, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Morgan Fiumi, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations, Deluxe Digital Studios 

Morgan Fiumi
Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations
Deluxe Digital Studios

Morgan Fiumi is currently Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations at Deluxe Digital Studios, a division of Deluxe Entertainment Services. In this capacity, Morgan has spent the last five years enhancing the home entertainment supply chain service offering by overseeing the integration of key services including video compression, authoring, BD-J development, subtitling, foreign language dubbing, audio, and creative services, across seven facilities and five countries.  This successful integration has enabled content owners to prepare and package content for release on BD, DVD, and digital distribution formats in shorter lead times and at lowered total cost.

Prior to joining Deluxe, Morgan was the founder and CEO of Softitler Net, Inc., a leading supplier of translations and subtitling to the entertainment industry. Softitler was acquired by Deluxe in 2004 and now has a network of more than 3,000 in-territory translators.  Morgan holds a B.S. in Finance from New York University, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.

Joseph Kessler, Chief Executive, Intelligence Group

May 20, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Joseph Kessler, Chief Executive, Intelligence Group 

Joseph Kessler
Chief Executive
The Intelligence Group

Joe’s career spans nearly 30 years in communications, marketing and business strategy.  Currently, he is Chief Executive of The Intelligence Group (IG), a leading consumer insights firm focused on youth culture and consumer trends.   IG is the publisher of The Cassandra Report which, for 15 years, has been the definitive quarterly syndicated study of youth attitudes, behaviors and consumption for marketers.  IG also consults with an array of corporate clients and agencies on their marketing strategies for engaging youth audiences, including Microsoft, Visa, Nordstrom, Target, T-Mobile, Unilever and Time Warner, among many others.  IG is wholly owned by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the largest entertainment and sports talent agency in the world.

Previously, from 2004 to 2008, Joe was a partner of SS+K (formerly Shepardson, Stern + Kaminsky), an integrated, non-traditional marketing communications agency that, among its many accomplishments, was part of the Obama for President media team during the campaign leading up to the 2008 elections with a focus on developing campaigns designed to get out the youth vote.  Previously, he served in a series of senior management positions at Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest public relations agency, including President of its Global Technology Practice and President of its Western Region operations.

Joe started his career as a Capitol Hill journalist and later served as a legislative aide to U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and as press secretary to the late U.S. Representative Ted S. Weiss (D-NY).

In addition to his work with IG, Joe is a principal in Option A Advisors, a strategic business advisory firm that helps emerging communications and marketing services firms realize their asset value.  He serves as an advisor to web start-up Club Montrachet as well as Big Moving Pictures, a media production company.   He’s been a graduate level lecturer and adjunct professor at the USC Annenberg School of Communications and sits on the Executive Board of the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program.

Joe graduated from Boston University’s College of Communications and now resides in Woodland Hills, CA with his wife and two children.

Dr. Kevin Dooley, Senior Advisor Sustainability Consortium and Professor of Supply Chain Management, Arizona State University

May 18, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Dr. Kevin Dooley, Senior Advisor Sustainability Consortium and Professor of Supply Chain Management, Arizona State University 

Dr. Kevin Dooley
Senior Advisor, Sustainability Consortium and Professor of Supply Chain Management
Arizona State University

Dr. Kevin J. Dooley is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at Arizona State University.  Dr. Dooley is a world-known expert in the application of complexity science to organizations.  He is a Dean’s Council of 100 Distinguished Scholar, and he has published over 100 research articles. He is currently Director of Sustainability Initiatives in the W. P. Carey School of Business, and a Senior Advisor at The Sustainability Consortium.  He has co-authored two patents concerning Centering Resonance Analysis, a novel form of network text analysis, and is co-founder and CEO of Crawdad Technologies, LLC.   He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois.

The Sustainability Consortium is a research organization developing standards for the measurement and reporting of consumer product sustainability across all retail product categories.  This talk will discuss our progress with the Food, Home & Personal Care, and Electronics Sectors, and discuss how media manufacturers and retailers could participate.

Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO,

May 17, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO, 

Dr. Werner Vogels
Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Werner Vogels is Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at where he is responsible for driving the company’s technology vision, which is to continuously enhance the innovation on behalf of Amazon’s customers at a global scale.

Prior to joining Amazon, he worked as a research scientist at Cornell University where he was a principal investigator in several research projects that target the scalability and robustness of mission-critical enterprise computing systems. He has held positions of VP of Technologyand CTO in companies that handled the transition of academic technology into industry.

Vogels holds a Ph.D. from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has authored close to 80 articles for journals and conferences, most of them on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.

Seth Hallen, President, Testronic Laboratories

May 6, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Seth Hallen, President, Testronic Laboratories 

Seth Hallen
Testronic Laboratories

As President of Testronic Laboratories, Hallen oversees US operations and brings his 20 years of leadership experience to the execution of the company’s strategy in emerging digital markets. Prior to Testronic, he was Vice President of North American Operations at Lightworks, the developer and supplier of high-end editing solutions for film and television.

Hallen got his start in home video when in 2000, he was recruited by Lightning Media in Hollywood, CA, to handle sales, marketing and business development overseeing the development of their Digital Media Services and DVD Authoring divisions.

Two years later, he ventured into television production and became the Director of Marketing and Business Development at the commercial production company Big Picture Studios, producing television commercials and representing the company’s roster of directors to ad agencies.
He gained further experience in the prep to post supply chain as Executive Vice President of Standard, a full-service production and editorial facility in Los Angeles.

Hallen’s production expertise was recognized when he won an Emmy Award in 2005 as Producer of TalkShow.TV, which was honored as Best Magazine Format Broadcast. The program was a talk/reality show distributed on cable, the Internet and video-on-demand during the spring of 2005.

Mr. Hallen currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of MESA as well as being a board member of both the Hollywood Post Alliance and the International Digital Media Alliance/DVDA. He holds a BA in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Maryland.

Robert Blatt, Senior Vice President, Product and Service Development, Ascent Media

May 6, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Robert Blatt, Senior Vice President, Product and Service Development, Ascent Media 

Robert Blatt
Senior Vice President, Product and Service Development
Ascent Media

Blatt serves as senior vice president, product development at Ascent Media Group where he is responsible for spearheading the company’s digital services initiatives. With more than 23 years of experience in product development and corporate strategy Blatt plays a critical role in leading companywide efforts to build Ascent Media’s next-generation digital vault, repurposing and publishing solutions, and new business systems.

Prior to joining Ascent, Blatt was vice president and general manager at AOL Software. During his tenure there, Blatt was responsible for all major functions including strategy, product management and marketing, engineering, operations and quality assurance for AOL’s Personal Media business which served over 12 million unique visitors a month. Previously, Blatt has held executive positions at Accruent Software, Outcome Software, and Aspect Telecommunications.

Mitch Lowe, President, Redbox

May 6, 2010 · Posted in Speaker Bios · Comments Off on Mitch Lowe, President, Redbox 

Mitch Lowe

A veteran of the video and entertainment industry with more than 25 years experience, Mitch Lowe was named chief operating officer of redbox in 2005 and president in April 2009. Widely credited for the development of low-cost, automated DVD rental, Lowe has played a central role in growing the redbox network from 12 locations to more than 21,000 locations nationwide.

Prior to joining redbox, Lowe consulted for McDonald’s business development group, heading the company’s DVD vending machine team – the team that ultimately created the redbox concept. Before that, he helped to found Netflix, where he served as vice president of business development. In 2002, Lowe helped to bring Netflix public.

An innovator, in 1984, Lowe oversaw the development of one of the video industry’s first video vending machines – Video Droid. He ultimately sold 60 of these machines in the United States and Japan and, in 1986, its technology to C. Itoh, a Japanese trading company. Over the next 10 years, Video Droid opened video rental stores and grew into a successful regional chain in Northern California.

Involved in all aspects of the video industry, Lowe has served on the Board of Directors of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and was named its Chairman in 1996.

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