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Speakers Include:

Jeremy AvinJeremy Avin, Co-Founder/CEO
Mobile Vegas

Jeremy runs a network a of casino-style game sites, with both instant-win and virtual currency games that have several million users across multiple titles. Jeremy has pioneered compelling innovations in both Virtual Currency and Casino Gaming.   Currently, Jeremy is building cross platform Mobile Casino games under his ‘Mobile Vegas’ Brand.

Previously,  as a partner at Lynx Capital, Jeremy traded equities and derivatives on US exchanges.  He specialized in short term and specialty situation trading strategies while building and managing a team of 35 traders that were responsible for trading 10's of millions of shares per month on the NYSE/NASDAQ exchanges.

Projjol Banerjea, VP of Marketing & Talent
SponsorPay

Projjol Banerjea is VP Marketing & Talent at SponsorPay, the world’s leading value-exchange advertising platform.

He oversees marketing, including online/offline presence, PR/communications, industry relationships, market research, business development, presales and sales support, as well as recruiting and talent management.

Previously, he worked in London as VP Marketing for mobile payments company Surfpin. Projjol has had a diverse range of professional experiences that span academia, start-ups, small enterprises and large corporations in the US, UK, India and Germany. In June 2008, he was selected as a Fellow by StartingBloc, an international fellowship of young leaders who share a keen interest in corporate responsibility, cross-sector partnerships and sustainability.

Projjol was awarded an MBA by the Said Business School in 2009. At Oxford, he was a member of the university’s lightweight rowing programme. Prior to that, he earned degrees in computer science and informatics from DePauw and Indiana universities.

Gordan Bellamy, Business Development & Industry Relations
Tencent

 

Bjorn Book-LarssonBjorn Book-Larsson , CEO
Reloaded Games Inc. / GamersFirst

Bjorn Book-Larsson is the CEO of Reloaded Games Inc, the parent company of the free2play portal GamersFirst.com, the casual games site Winster.com and the studio subsidiary Reloaded Productions.  Mr. Book-Larsson became the company’s CEO in 2012 after previously serving as its COO and CTO. Prior to Reloaded Games, he was the CTO at FUNTechnologies (TSX:FUN, LSE:FUN) later purchased by Liberty Media, and he served as the CIO and co-founder of SkillJam, a subsidiary of Inter Mix Media (NASDAQ:MIX). Reloaded Games, through its predecessor K2 Network, is a pioneer of free2play® games in the Western Market, launching the first western free2play Massively Multiplayer Online Game in 2004.

Today GamersFirst.com serves over 30 million free2play hardcore gamers, Winster.com serves an innovative blend of casual collaborative social games, and Reloaded Productions designs and develops hit MMO games like All Points Bulletin: Reloaded®, Fallen Earth® and Hailan Rising / KingOnline™

Reloaded Games also operates a game platform business, giving third party developers unparalleled access to tools, game distribution, data analytics and global payment and monetization systems for use in their own games.

Michael Cai, Vice President of Video Games
Interpret

Michael Cai serves as Vice President of Video Games for Interpret, a leading media and technology research firm. He leads the company’s gaming vertical, providing a wide variety of market research and analysis products to help clients gain a comprehensive understanding of consumer gaming habits and interest and make strategic decisions.

Andrew DainesAndrew Daines, Founder and CEO
PrePlay

Andrew is the Founder and CEO of PrePlay, a second screen predictive gaming studio. PrePlay adds a game layer to the world’s most popular sports and events. Fan use their mobile devices to predict what is going to happen next in-sync with the live broadcast. Andrew’s original idea for an MLB live predictive game in July 2009 sparked the beginning of PrePlay. He launched the company from his dorm room at Cornell that fall, recruiting a seasoned team of designers and technologists through University networks. That year he was named one of Cornell’s 20 Most Notable Graduating Seniors, and had earlier served as a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy and as a missionary in Southeast Asia for two years.

Jesse DivnichJesse Divnich, VP, Analysis & Insights
EEDAR

As the Vice President of EEDAR's Insights & Analysis Division, Mr. Divnich is responsible for the creation, development, and execution of EEDAR's custom research, insights and market analysis.

Mr. Divnich has more than 9 years of experience within interactive entertainment, primarily as a financial analyst for private investments firms with strong economic interests in the interactive entertainment sector. In addition, Mr. Divnich has over 7 years of experience within multi-media retail.

Mr. Divnich also represents EEDAR for the majority of media and press relations activities, and is one of the most widely referenced analysts across mainstream, financial and specialist video game industry media outlets.

Mr. Divnich has a Bachelor of Arts (Business Management) from Eastern Michigan University.

Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist & Director of Research
Consumer Electronics Association

Shawn DuBravac is the Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $165 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry.

DuBravac provides crucial economic analysis to association and industry leaders regarding future economic activity and the relative health of the consumer electronics (CE) industry. He also contributes research into technology trends that underpin the industry and was the primary driver of the industry’s new smartphone index, developed in partnership with NASDAQ, and the CE consumer confidence index, in partnership with CNET.

DuBravac has been widely published on the topics of finance, economics and technology. His keen insights regarding the economic drivers of the global consumer electronics industry have made him a highly sought-after speaker and commentator. DuBravac travels both internationally and domestically to meet with CE industry leaders and make presentations about technology and the economy. In addition, his analysis has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, Barron’s, CNN, MSNBC and other media outlets.

DuBravac is also an Adjunct Professor in George Washington University’s MBA program and has taught at Mary Washington University and in George Mason University’s MBA program.  Prior to joining CEA, DuBravac was head research analyst in the Economic Analysis Group of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  He holds economic degrees from Brigham Young University and George Mason University.

DuBravac is an active member of a number of professional organizations including the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) where he is on the Board of Directors and the National Business Economic Issues Council (NBEIC). He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is on the Board of Directors and currently President of the CFA Society of Washington, DC. In his free time, he volunteers in the community by providing financial education through the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

You can follow Shawn on Twitter at @twoopinions. 

Mark Friedler, Partner, Worlds and Games LLCMark Friedler, VP, Business Development
Playerize

Mark is a 20 years games, entertainment and online services veteran and is VP Business Development of Playerize.com, a games monetization and user acquisition company that recently acquried SuperRewards. His experience spans startups, global media companies, SaaS services and ad networks.

Most recently he was a partner at mamagement consultancy Worlds and Games LLC, focused on enterprise Saas services, mobile, games and ad technology markets. Previously he was Founder/CEO of GameDaily (acquired by AOL/Time Warner), Gigex, and V-Cast (acquired by Verizon Wireless) and Publisher and co-founder of IndustryGamers.com (acquired by Eurogamer). Previously he spent 6 years in Europe where he was Managing Director of Teleworld, a division of Philips Media, that operated voice response and interactive TV services with MTV. Mark’s first business introduced chocolate chip cookies to Sweden with its first chain of cookie stores. He lives in the SF Bay Area and serves is as a board member and investor to several startups and media companies and an adviser to an international VC fund.

Mitch GarberMitch Garber, CEO
Caesars Interactive Entertainment

Mitch Garber is CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. He is responsible for the World Series of Poker as well as all interactive businesses, including internet gaming, mobile and social network applications for Caesars Entertainment's brands which include Harrah's, Caesars, Horseshoe, WSOP, and others.

Prior to joining Caesars, Garber served as CEO of companies trading on the London Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange, most recently as CEO of PartyGaming PLC from 2006 to 2008. Garber is an attorney, who represented a number of major land-based gaming companies in private practice between 1990 and 1999. He is a member of the International Association of Gaming Attorneys (IAGA), and in 2009 was voted one of the ten most influential people in the gaming industry by Global Gaming Business Magazine.

James Gatto, Partner and Leader, Social Media, Entertainment & Technology
Pillsbury

Mr. Gatto created and is the leader of the firm's Social Media, Entertainment and Technology team, leader of the Virtual Worlds and Video Games team and co-leader of the Open Source team. He leverages his unique combination of over 25 years of IP experience, business insights and attention to technology trends to help companies develop IP and other legal strategies that are aligned with their business objectives. His practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property, internet and technology law, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and open source. His areas of technical focus include computer software, social media, video games, social networks, virtual worlds, mirror worlds, augmented reality, user-generated content, location-based services, business methods, Internet and e-commerce technology, media, financial services, bioinformatics, personalized medicine, optics, and wired and wireless telecommunications.

He has extensive experience advising internet and social media companies on business and legal strategies relating to virtual goods and virtual currency, handling terms of service and end user license agreements, (e.g. for online games, video games, virtual worlds and mirror worlds), developing DMCA policies, handling DMCA enforcement, privacy and COPPA policies and much more.

Mr. Gatto has been in the intellectual property field since 1984, when he started as a Patent Examiner while attending Georgetown University Law School at night. Prior to joining our firm, Mr. Gatto headed the local IP practice for Mintz Levin's Reston and Washington offices, and was co-chair of the firm-wide IP Section. Prior to that, he co-founded and co-headed the National Patent Practice and Northern Virginia Technology Practice for Hunton & Williams, the then largest Virginia-based law firm.

Mr. Gatto is frequently invited to speak at leading business and legal conferences in the U.S. and internationally. He is a regular contributor to VirtualWorldLaw.com, Pillsbury's blog that addresses business and legal issues that affect social media applications, technologies and business models. He has also appeared as a featured guest on Bloomberg television and the Fox Business Network, and has been quoted in popular internet news sites, such as CNN.com.

David Goldberg, CEO
Spring Valley

David has an outstanding track record as an operator and thought leader in the consumer internet space with a heavy emphasis on entertainment and gaming. Most recently David ran Federated Sports + Gaming, an enterprise dedicated to building poker brands and audience. Prior to Federated, David was CEO of Youbet.com (NASDAQ: UBET), the largest, legal online wagering site in the US processing over $500m in annual wager volume. David and his team turned around Youbet from a failing enterprise and led it’s eventual sale to Churchill Downs (NASDAQ: CHDN).

David was EVP of Global Music Services at Ticketmaster and one of three executives charged with overall leadership of the business through the office of the CEO. He was also responsible for all aspects of global sales and marketing, mergers and acquisitions and business development. Before Ticketmaster David helped start up two venture backed business: Sportvision, creator of the yellow "1st and Ten" line on football broadcasts, and Tunes.com, operator of Rollingstone.com and other music destination sites. David earned his MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago and his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Northwestern University.

Marcus GnersMarcus Gners, VP
Stardoll

Marcus Gners joined Stardoll in 2009 after leaving his position as Head of Marketing for the Swedens largest youth website. Prior to that Gners worked in various positions within advertising, media and management consulting. He is currently Director, Business Development & Marketing at Stardoll responsible for acquisition of new users and strategic partnerships. Marcus has an M.B.A. from Gothenburg University and a degree in Communication from Berghs SOC. He is also author of a book about men’s fashion.

With over 140 million registered users, Stardoll is the world’s largest virtual entertainment and social gaming destination for teen and tween girls. Stardoll is a virtual world where the users can become members and create a “MeDoll” (an avatar that the users design themselves), express themselves through design, fashion play and social interaction. Stardoll offers a fun-filled approach to fashion, creativity and making friends. Stardoll is headquartered in Stockholm with offices in Los Angeles and London.

Teemu HuuhtanenTeemu Huuhtanen, Head of M&A and Investments
Rovio

Teemu is Head of M&A and Investments for Rovio, an entertainment media company, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise. Previously, as EVP, Business Development & Communications, Sulake Corporation, Teemu Huuhtanen was instrumental in leading the 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. 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.

Rex IshibashiRex Ishibashi, CEO
Callaway Digital Arts

Rex Ishibashi’s entrepreneurial career reflects his passion for media, entertainment, and technology. Rex is the CEO of Callaway Digital Arts, the developer/publisher of meaningful mobile apps for kids that combine entertainment and learning.

He previously has held key roles at Electronic Arts during two tenures at the company, including the leading of Business & Corporate Development and the co-founding of EA.com in the late-90's, and most recently as President of EA Japan. Rex was part of the early executive teams at Wired (acquired by CondeNast), Kontiki (acquired by VeriSign), Motricity Mobile (IPO in 2010), the 3DO Company (IPO in 2003) and the founder of Originator Media.

Rex has also advised a number of ventures including Elevation Partners, SecondLife, Chow/Chowhound (acquired by CBS Interactive), Matrix Memory (acquired by SanDisk), Blurb, and MOG.

JensenMarshallMarshall Jensen
Managing Partner, DMW Hexagon LLC

Marshall Jensen is a seasoned investment banker, attorney and private equity professional.  He has nearly two decades experience working with emerging growth companies, largely within the TMT (Technology, Media and Telecom) and Digital Media sectors. Mr. Jensen has completed in excess of one hundred and fifty financing and M&A transactions in either an advisory (investment bank and legal) or principal investment capacity. 

From 1996 to 2005, he worked in the investment banking groups of several major and bulge bracket financial institutions including CIBC, UBS and Adams Harkness (subsequently acquired by Canaccord) where he was a Managing Director, Head of the Equity Private Placement Group and later additionally Co-Head of equity Capital Markets.  Marshall also spent three plus years (2005 to 2009) at a $100mm+ AUM hedge fund and private equity vehicle (Fort Mason Capital, LLC) were he lead the origination and structuring of numerous TMT-focused private investments and was integrally involved in fund administration matters.  Pre-dating his investment banking and principal investment experience, Marshall briefly practiced corporate law as an associate attorney with Shearman & Sterling, supporting clients including Apple Computer, Viacom and Silicon Graphics.  

Today Marshall continues to advise numerous emerging growth clients as a Principal of DMW Hexagon and additionally serves on the Advisory Board of Digital Media Wire, Inc. Mr. Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and JD degree from Columbia University.  With an interdisciplinary skillset drawn from investment banking, legal and principal investment / fund administration experience, Marshall brings a process-driven and detail-oriented approach to all his professional endeavors.

Tasos Kaiafas
Director of Games, AT&T

Tasos Kaiafas has 20 years of experience in computer games. He is currently the Director of Games at AT&T for wireline products and services in the U-verse TV and Broadband organization. He is responsible for product and business development of online and TV gaming and is considered a subject matter expert for games across AT&T. He also manages the games site on the att.net portal and the U-verse Games channel on U-verse TV.

Prior to joining AT&T, he was Strategic Planner for gaming and graphics at Intel Corporation where he was responsible establishing the company’s cross-enterprise long-term direction in those market segments. His annual strategy was used to direct product planning in CPUs and chipsets, software enablement, strategic relationships, and external investments.

Prior to joining Intel, Tasos worked as an editor for gaming magazines and Web sites, including Gamespot.com, Incite PC gaming, and Computer Game Review.

Ken Kajikawa
General Manager, Digital Media, Telx

Ken Kajikawa serves as General Manager of Digital Media at Telx, a leading provider of high performance, high connectivity, and flexible infrastructure solutions.  Ken is responsible for providing unique industry insight, emerging trends, strategic direction, and innovative solutions for digital media companies.  Ken has more than 20 years of sales, marketing, and business development experience at companies such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Equinix, supporting leading game publishers, digital studios, e-commerce, internet search, cloud, and social networks.

Ken started his career in the digital media industry as a videogame producer with Accolade and Acclaim Entertainment.  Ken is very passionate about streaming media, mobile content, and gaming, and is a power user of today’s leading apps, services, and consumer electronics in our multi-screen digital world.  Ken has an MBA from Pepperdine University and a US Patent as one of the pioneers of USB technology. 

Wanda MeloniWanda Meloni
Founder and Senior Analyst of M2 Research, Editor-in-Chief of Gaming Business Review

The founder and president of M2 Research, Wanda Meloni is one of the leading analysts and market strategists covering interactive entertainment and digital media. She specializes in emerging trends and the impact technology has on these markets. Wanda has been tracking entertainment and digital media; development tools, 3D and graphics technologies; and emerging markets and trends for over 15 years.

Wanda publishes timely reports and newsletters that provide in-depth analysis on the market dynamics affecting development and consumer trends. In addition to her published works, Wanda consults with numerous companies on detailed client-specific research as well as investment strategies, strategic positioning and competitive analysis.

Prior to starting M2 Research, Wanda was president at DFC Intelligence where she played a key role in business development, working with new clients and custom projects. She also contributed on a myriad of game development topics including middleware, costing concerns and development pipelines. Before DFC Intelligence, Wanda was a senior analyst at Jon Peddie Research where she grew the company's graphics software research and consulting business which included 3D gaming, animation, virtual worlds, 3D web applications, 3D gaming, CAD, visual simulation, and enterprise graphics solutions.

Ms. Meloni holds an MBA in International Business and speaks several languages. She is a frequent contributor for some of the industry’s top publications and speaks at various trade events. Wanda has been quoted in numerous publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today, Fortune, London Times, New York Times, SF Chronicle and LA Times.

Hélène Michel, President & StartUps Liaison Manager
Europe4StartUps

Hélène worked several years in the USA, helping US companies to develop their business in Europe (and French companies to expand in the USA).

She then relocated to Luxembourg, at the heart of Europe, and worked during more than 2 years as one of the Luxembourg delegates at the European Commission for R&D programs in various sectors such as ICT and bio technologies.

Thrilled by the creation and expansion of business opportunities for her clients, Hélène founded Private Consulting 5 years ago in order to help a variety of entrepreneurs, corporations and not-for-profit organizations grow and develop their ventures in different sectors, by offering them dedicated, flexible and unique services. One of her historic clients in this exciting project has been SecureIT who at first mandated Hélène to conduct a business development study in the USA.

SecureIT and Hélène strengthened ties over time notably by creating Europe4StartUps, a Luxembourg non-profit organization which aims at both helping e-startups to boost their activities in Europe and promoting Luxembourg internationally.

 In July 2012 Hélène has been appointed as chairperson of Europe4StartUps.

Michael Pachter, Managing Director, Equity Research
Wedbush Securities

Mr. Pachter is an analyst at Wedbush Securities providing coverage of the Entertainment Software, Entertainment Retail and Movies and Entertainment sectors.

Previously, Mr. Pachter spent two years as the Director of Research at Wedbush Securities. Before joining Wedbush Securities, Mr. Pachter served as the Director at Management Resource Center, a middle-market investment bank. Prior to that, Mr. Pachter spent 15 years in various financial and management positions at Atlantic Richfield Company, most recently as Director of Strategic Planning. Mr. Pachter brings over 20 years of experience as a finance professional to Wedbush Securities. Mr. Pachter has been recognized as StarMine’s Top Earnings Estimator year after year and Best on the Street by the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Pachter holds an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at the University of California at Los Angeles, a juris doctor from Pepperdine University, an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida, and a bachelor’s in Political Science from California State University, Northridge.

Chris PetrovicChris Petrovic, General Manager
GameStop Digital Ventures

Chris Petrovic serves as GM of GameStop Digital Ventures, the digital strategy, M&A and incubation arm for GameStop, the world’s largest provider of video game products and services. As a member of the company's senior management team, Chris serves as the principal leader of GameStop's global digital strategy. He is responsible for building on the company's ongoing efforts to integrate digital initiatives into the company's multi-channel strategy, as well as overseeing the development and execution of digital acquisitions (Jolt Online Games, Kongregate, Impulse & Spawn Labs), strategic partnerships (IGN) and investments. This includes leveraging the company's unique and distinctive relationship with customers in-store, online and around the globe.

Chris has over 12 years of experience in digital media, having held senior level positions at Playboy, AG Interactive (a division of American Greetings), drkoop.com and theglobe.com. He began his career in the late 90’s as an entrepreneur, serving as the CEO of Internet start-up BannerGreetings.com. From there he went on to become COO of Buzztone.com, a leading interactive marketing agency, before joining Prime Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm started by current Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt

Brock PierceBrock Pierce, CEO
Playsino

Brock Pierce is CEO of Playsino and a Managing Director of the Clearstone Global Gaming Fund.

Pierce is best known for pioneering the market for virtual goods in online games. He has founded eight companies, acquired more than thirty companies, and closed a dozen corporate finance transactions, securing more than $200 million on behalf of his companies.

Pierce founded IMI Exchange, formerly Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE), in 2001. The Company raised over $100 Million from blue chip investors such as Goldman Sachs and Oak Investment Partners. Today, IMI Exchange owns the world’s leading marketplaces for the trading of virtual goods with system wide annual revenues exceeding $500 Million. Pierce currently serves Vice Chairman of the Board.

Among his other current ventures, Pierce spun Xfire out of Viacom and sits on the board. Xfire is a communication and social tool for hardcore gamers. Pierce is also the founder of ZAM, one of the largest gaming networks providing information and services to more than 15 million gamers monthly; IGE, the largest etailer of virtual goods in the Western World; Playsino, a leading social casino game publisher; EverTune, a patented proprietary technology which keeps any stringed instrument in tune for the life of the string set by utilizing a unique spring system to maintain constant tension; and RevenueAPEX, a specialty finance company advancing receivables for the Internet industry.

Prior to founding IMI Exchange, Pierce co-founded the first and most ambitious Internet television firm of the 1990s, Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), a company focused on the delivery of entertainment over broadband. DEN raised more than $88 million from investors such as Microsoft, Intel and NBC.

Also since 2010 to present, Pierce is one of two overseas advisors to the China Youth League of China, which governs the education and recreational activities for China’s youth up to the age of 28.

Nanea Reeves, COO
Machinima

Recognized by Digital Media Wire as one of the “25 Executives to Watch in 2010”, Nanea brings over 15 years experience in the online service arena. Prior to joining GAIKAI as the Chief Strategy Officer, Nanea was most recently SVP/COO, Global Online for Electronic Arts, Nanea was directly responsible for transforming the company’s legacy online systems into a highly scalable and available service layer capable of growing EA’s digital revenues to over $200MM in 2010. During her tenure at EA, Nanea was responsible for the delivery of a worldwide digital distribution solution with 32 eCommerce storefronts, Global Identity, microtransaction capabilities across multiple platforms, best-in-class web architecture, global data warehouse and a new Community/Multiplayer service layer.

Nanea came to EA through the acquisition of JAMDAT Mobile, a mobile games company that EA acquired in 2006 for $680MM following a very successful IPO in 2005. While at JAMDAT Nanea was the Management team member responsible for the Operations of the Deployment Group as well as all Central Technologies.

Prior to JAMDAT, Nanea has held key positions in product development and marketing for emerging new media and e-commerce companies, including eToys, eCompanies, and Venu Interactive.

Michael Ritter, SVP Business Development
SGN

Michael oversees distribution, partnerships, licensing, publishing and mergers & acquisitions for SGN games. He manages all third party partner relations and strategy. Prior to SGN, Michael was the founder and Publisher of Saturday Night Magazine, growing the business into the largest monthly circulated collegiate magazine in the country. Michael received his MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

Darrell RodriguezDarrell Rodriguez, Chief Creative Officer
International Game Technology

Darrell Rodriguez is IGT’s Chief Creative Officer and Senior Vice President Global Game Studios. He is an entertainment products executive with expertise in managing the full product lifecycle for video games, theme park attractions, online content, eCommerce and client software applications. Previously, he was president of LucasArts (the interactive game division of Lucasfilm), and Chief Operating Officer at Electronic Arts Los Angeles. At LucasArts, his leadership in all aspects of the business and keen focus on strategy and vision played a major role in the company’s success, resulting in best-selling products and unprecedented productivity. At EA, Rodriguez pioneered processes focused on game hit potential and played central roles in strategic planning, developing company culture, and hiring and retaining world-class talent. Rodriguez has also held positions in product development and production at EarthLink, Walt Disney Imagineering and the Walt Disney Internet Group. Now with IGT, Rodriguez brings a deep and thorough understanding of game development strategy, and is responsible for IGT’s creative vision and producing IGT’s overall portfolio of games and licenses. He was born and raised in the Bay Area, and earned his MBA at the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrew Schneider, Co-Founder & President
Live Gamer

Andrew Schneider has been a digital entertainment industry leader and catalyst for emerging business opportunities at the crossroads of media and technology for over 14 years. Prior to founding Live Gamer, Schneider served as Executive Vice President of Marketing at Wind-up Records, the world’s leading independent record label, where he focused on digital innovation. Previously, during his eight year tenure at Sony Pictures Digital, Schneider developed and launched award-winning interactive marketing campaigns for major entertainment franchises, developed consumer broadband content services, and launched user-generated media tools and applications. Schneider began his career at NBC Television Network, where he inaugurated the company’s interactive marketing practice with the network’s first online presence.

Rob Schonfeld, Vice President, Global Digital and Mobile Sales
Activision Blizzard

A 15 year veteran in the media and entertainment industry, Rob Schonfeld has served as vice president, global digital and mobile sales for Activision Blizzard since July 2012. In this role, Schonfeld oversees the development of viable business strategies for the digital distribution of Activision Blizzard’s games globally, and the execution of business partnerships and licensing agreements in fulfillment of those strategies. 

Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Schonfeld spent twelve years at the Walt Disney Company / Disney ABC Television Group, in various roles related to the digital distribution of film and television content, including business development and sales leadership positions. 

Before joining Disney, Schonfeld worked for Razorfish as the Los Angeles office’s senior strategy lead, where he was responsible for developing new business and marketing initiatives. Prior to that, Schonfeld served as a senior strategy consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in their entertainment and media sector. 

Schonfeld earned a master’s of business administration from UCLA’s Anderson School, and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of British Columbia.

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 digital age media company that owns and produces nine annual conferences and provides daily news, information and community to tens of thousands of executives and professionals at entertainment, media and technology companies throughout the world. 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 responsible for establishing DMW's partnerships with NYU's Stern School of Business, the Consumer Electronics Association and numerous other industry publishers, associations and businesses. Future of Television Forum, which he co-chairs, with NYU's Professor Al Lieberman, is widely considered to be the most prestigious event of its kind, bringing together industry leaders from around the globe twice annually in Los Angeles and New York to network, do deals and discuss the industry's future. He also co-chairs and hosts Digital Music Forum, the industry standard among digital music industry events.

In 2004, Ned created the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference & Awards, which was acquired from DMW by VNU (now Nielsen) in 2005. Ned continued to be active in the Awards, which he co-chaired with Billboard and Hollywood Reporter President and Publisher John Kilcullen. In 2006, Ned was instrumental in securing an investment from the Consumer Electronics Association, now a partner on two DMW events, Digital Music Forum East and Future of Television Forum. In 2007, Ned established a partnership with Canada's leading media and entertainment event, Canadian Music Week, and chaired, produced and hosted the successful Millennials Canada Youth Marketing event in Toronto.

As Publisher and Executive Editor of DMW since 2000, Ned overseas all content for the site and newsletter, writes a weekly column Digital Media Week in Review and has published two books, Millennials & The Digital Entertainment Age: A Sourcebook for Consumer Marketers and The Digital Entertainment & Media Directory. From 2003 to 2004, he was Editor-in-Chief of Digital Media Law Report.

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 a graduate of Brown University (AB, with honors, 1990) and the University of Texas School of Law (JD, 1994) where he was Chief Articles & Notes Editor of the Texas International Law Journal.

Rick Thompson, Partner
Signia Venture Partners

Rick is a partner at Signia Venture Partners, an early stage venture fund that invests in consumer mobile technology and mobile gaming. He is an entrepreneur and investor with a passion for social and mobile gaming. As the most active investor in the space, Rick serves on the boards of Cie Studios, Iddiction, Idle Games, Playchemy, Red Robot, Rumble Entertainment, Kihon Games, and Grow Mobile. Previously, Rick co-founded Funzio (acquired by GREE in 2012), Playdom (acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2010), Adify (acquired by Cox in 2008) and Flycast (IPO in 1999 and acquired by CMGI in 2000). He was the first engineer at Octel Communications (IPO in 1987 and sold to Lucent in 1997). Rick received a BA from UC, Santa Cruz and an MBA from the Wharton Business School.

Oren Tvesky, VP, Business Development
Unity Technologies

With a 20 year background in the mobile and entertainment industries, Oren Tversky is VP of Business Development for Unity Technologies’ Union business unit, overseeing Unity Technologies' content distribution efforts.  Union is a business unit of Unity Technologies dedicated to distributing high-quality 3D games on mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, connected TVs and other emerging platforms.   

Prior to Unity Technologies, he worked in San Francisco and in London as Head of Business Development at mobile operating system vendor Symbian, where he launched and led Symbian’s Korean business.  Tversky also has an extensive background in the video games industry, having worked for The 3DO Company on console and Internet games, as well as several gaming start-ups. 

Tversky has an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a Master’s and a Bachelor’s from Brown University. He is an advisor to several start-ups and active in the entrepreneurial community in the Bay Area.

Mike Vorhaus, President
Magid Advisors

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.

 

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