2017 SPLiCE Licensors Summit™ Sponsors and Presenters
*In order of appearance
Amy Walser | Vice President, IP Rights & Royalties
As a senior veteran of media companies, Ms. Walser is charged with implementing best practices and system solutions for IP rights and royalties at RSG. Previously, Ms. Walser spent nine years at Nickelodeon where she was VP, Global Operations for Consumer Products and created processes and systems that serviced more than 2,000 licensees. During her tenure at Nickelodeon, she kick started the network’s Rights Management project for production and talent agreements. Early in her career she developed and executed a homegrown licensing system for Fox Kids Networks to manage the growing Power Rangers and Digimon businesses, which were acquired by Disney in 2002. At RSG Media, Ms. Walser leads Licensing Product Management and oversees Managed Services. Ms. Walser holds a BS from California State University Northridge and an MBA from New York University.
Debra Restler | Vice President, Business Development
In her role at Beanstalk, Debra oversees Beanstalk’s Business Development and Marketing departments. She is responsible for forging and activating new client relationships by working with diverse brand owners to understand their licensing objectives and customizing the agency’s service offering to meet their specific needs. Debra also oversees all aspects of the agency’s corporate communications, continuing to build awareness of Beanstalk as an innovator in the licensing industry. In addition, Debra collaborates with Beanstalk’s parent company, Omnicom Group, to address the licensing needs of sister agency clients.
Since joining Beanstalk in 1999, Debra has played an integral role in building Beanstalk’s world-class client roster across multiple industries including corporate brands, celebrities and entertainment properties. She has also spearheaded the development of Beanstalk’s corporate identity, website, trade show presence, and public relations and social media initiatives. In addition, Debra has been actively involved in the launch of the agency’s consulting division, Blueprint, and its digital media representation division, Tinderbox.
Debra brings to Beanstalk vast expertise in branding and marketing, having worked in account management at JWT, McCann-Erickson and DDB for clients including Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal and Kodak.
Debra holds a B.A. in Business Administration from The State University of New York at Albany.
Vincent Leoni | Partner
Miller Kaplan Arase LLP
Vincent Leoni is a partner with Miller Kaplan Arase LLP in Los Angeles. He has over 27 years of experience performing entertainment consulting, royalty/contract compliance and profit participation examinations. Vincent performs these services on behalf of licensors, owners of intellectual property film studios, production companies, recording artists, music publishers, profit participants and software developers.
In addition to his work in the US, Vincent has traveled extensively throughout the world, performing a number of licensee exams on behalf of major trademark licensors in Asia, Europe and Australia. Vincent has provided litigation support services on behalf of profit participants and licensors, and on multiple occasions has analyzed income streams in order to determine damages and the appropriate share of profits, revenues and royalties due participants. He has also been called upon to serve as an expert witness testifying in the Superior Court of the State of California.
Wesley Richard | Senior Vice President, Innovations and Operations
Wesley Richard is the Senior Vice President of Innovations and Operations for IMG College Licensing, a division of the global sports and entertainment company WME|IMG. IMG College Licensing represents nearly 200 colleges and universities, conferences, and bowl games as well as the NCAA and the College Football Playoff. Wes is directly responsible for IMG College Licensing’s technology infrastructure and solutions, business operations, and the systems and administrative processes to support more than 3,000 licensees. Under Wes’s leadership, IMG College Licensing has implemented numerous process efficiencies and launched many industry-first, award-winning system innovations that have helped our clients change the way they manage their brands.
Prior to his current role, Wes led the global applications IT group for IMG in which he was responsible for business applications strategy, planning, and implementation across all of IMG’s business units spanning 30 countries and nearly 3,000 employees. Wes has also held roles as the CEO of an IBM premier partner specializing in eCommerce strategy and implementation, and a consultant to multiple Fortune 1,000 companies on strategy and business solutions.
Wes is a graduate of Tulane University School of Engineering and is a board member of Atlanta’s Society of Information Management (SIM). He was named as a Premier 100 Technology Leader by ComputerWorld and won the ATP leadership award in 2016.
Mike Dunn | President & Chief Brand Officer
Mike co-founded Octane5 in 2009, after spending over 13 years developing market-leading online brand management and workflow approval systems. In addition to the digital services, Mike built a fully integrated manufacturing facility that had holographic, print production, and finishing capabilities. Mike was a co-inventor on the two patents covering the process of making overprinted holographic hang tags that is currently used on over 1 billion hang tags globally.
Mike was instrumental in developing the global partnership with De La Rue, the world’s largest commercial security printer. Through this partnership, the “THREADS” line of sticker and hang tags was developed exclusively for the licensing industry. THREADS employs currency-grade paper technology that is on the leading edge of brand protection. It is currently being utilized by global brands such as Ford, John Deere and Harley Davidson to protect their licensing merchandise. Mike also was the co-architect of the brandcomply.com licensing management system.
During his career, Mike developed systems and programs for clients such as NASCAR, The National Hockey League, The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) and the PGA TOUR. The CLC brand management and protection program, created in 2002, was the largest in the licensing industry encompassing more than 200 brands, 3500 logos, 2500 licensees, over 100 holographic SKU’s and 100+ million holographic units annually.
Mike has been a featured speaker on licensing and brand protection topics at numerous industry events such as the annual Collegiate Licensing Seminar, John Deere licensing symposium, and Anti Gray Market Association. Mike has a Bachelor of Science from Georgia State University, a wife and two sons.
Jeff Lotman | Founder & CEO
*Sponsor of SPLiCE Licensors Summit™, not in attendance
Jeff Lotman founded Global Icons, one of the leading brand licensing agencies, almost 20 years ago. He established himself at a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company where he developed and marketed for McDonald’s and Kraft. As the CEO of Global Icons, he then leveraged that experience to garner a list of world-class clients that include BMW, Ford, Ironman, and Qdoba among others.
With a passion for building dynamic brand extensions, Jeff has applied his expertise to successfully elevate each of the world-renowned trademarks and brands he manages. Under his creative vision and adroit leadership, Global Icons continues its rapid ascent to the top of a very competitive industry.
Jeff has been a featured guest speaker at many leading industry events including Entertainment Marketing Conference, Young Presidents’ Organization, Licensing Show, LA Roadshow, UCLA and others. He has also been profiled numerous times, most notably in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNBC, and FOX. He is a distinguished member of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and the Licensing Executives Society (LES).
Ross Misher | CEO
Brand Central LLC
Ross is an accomplished industry veteran and licensing executive with expertise in brand extension and creation, innovative partnerships, property acquisitions, and retail development. His long-standing relationships span the licensing industry to licensees, licensors, manufacturers and retailers.
Ross began his career at the William Morris Agency. Thereafter, he served as Licensing Director at the Marvel Entertainment Group. At Marvel, he managed 30% of the company’s domestic licensing revenue and started several new licensing categories including publishing and sporting goods. He was also responsible for the sports apparel and interactive divisions.
Ross also served at the Walt Disney Company overseeing product, marketing and retail programs for Disney Consumer Products. There, he was responsible for much of Disney’s U.S. toy and sporting goods revenue totaling $160 million in retail sales. He was also a Division Merchandise Manager (DMM) on Disney’s retail team. In this role, he developed merchandising, marketing and retail strategies for Toys “R” Us, KB Toys and other specialty retailers.
Ross was one of the founding employees and served as General Manager of New Business Development at WeddingChannel.com, the Internet’s leading wedding website. At WeddingChannel.com, he ran all aspects of the site’s core e-commerce and advertising business and served as a spokesman for the company. The company was sold to knot.com for $80MM in 2006.
Ross founded Brand Central LLC, a global brand consultancy based in Los Angeles and currently serves as the company’s CEO. As CEO, Ross oversees strategy, new business development, sales and marketing, and client management. For the past twelve years, the company has been a leading licensing agency and has been named a top 10 licensing agency by Licensing Magazine for four consecutive years since 2009.
Ross has been named one of the licensing industry’s 40 leaders of tomorrow by License! Global and continues to be an active member of LIMA, the licensing industry’s association where he served on the organization’s West Coast board.
Ross holds a B.A. in Political Communications from George Washington University and studied abroad at the London School of Economics.
Douglas Edwards | President
Comprehensive Royalty Compliance
Douglas Edwards has over twenty-five years of experience conducting and supervising royalty audits in North America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Edwards established CRC in 1998 in order to provide the licensing industry with highly effective and efficient consulting and royalty audit services. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization, as well as conducting and supervising audit engagements. Mr. Edwards has also provided his services as an expert witness in licensing-related litigation.
For nearly twenty years, CRC has provided royalty compliance audit and licensing consulting services for intellectual property owners. The CRC staff consists of experienced auditors that have acquired years of knowledge from conducting royalty compliance engagements. CRC’s audit reports are informative, detailed and tailored to the specific needs and requests of each client. CRC clients include many of the major licensing organization in the United States. These companies continue to entrust their valuable properties to CRC because they receive results that translate to an increased bottom line. CRC clients have recovered millions in unreported royalties as a result of these audit engagements.
Prior to establishing CRC, Mr. Edwards was employed by United Media (UM) in Cincinnati, Ohio. As Audit Manager, Mr. Edwards’ duties involved budgeting, cost monitoring, audit scheduling, hiring and training royalty auditors. UM responsibilities also included financial accounting for the UM Tokyo branch office, calculating and distributing the talent share of royalty income, as well as participating in budgeting, forecasting and miscellaneous projects.
Mr. Edwards received a BS in Accountancy from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an MBA in International Business from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Ohio, a member of The Ohio Society of CPAs and a member of the Licensing Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA).
Pamela Deese | Partner
Arent Fox LLP
Pam Deese is a partner in the intellectual property group. Her practice focuses on intellectual property licensing, brand management, sweepstakes and advertising.
Pam’s intellectual property representation includes counseling patent pools and other IP owners in developing strategic licensing programs. Her work involves the creation, negotiation and enforcement of licenses and related agreements, as well as representation in regulatory approval proceedings, standards, audit support and analysis, import/export and counterfeiting issues, privacy, review of advertising and promotional materials (for regulatory compliance), sweepstakes and promotions, celebrity endorsements and litigating related business disputes.
Pam is active in numerous professional associations. She holds membership in the American Bar Association’s Science and Technology and Intellectual Property Law sections, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Additionally, she is a member of the NY Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, and the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association. Since 2005, she has served as Vice Chair of the ABA Section of Science and Technology, Committee on Technical Standardization and Infrastructure. Pam continues to serve on the Editorial Board and as the Trademark Licensing Columnist for the Licensing Journal, and is serving her fifth term on the American University Board of Trustees.
Craig Smith | Founder & CEO
Craig Smith is the founder and CEO of eBuyNow, a digital services company that works closely with Fortune 500 companies in elevating their licensing and partnership programs by providing data-driven action items, which identify specific pain points and growth opportunities in their licensee’s product portfolios. With 20 years of success in assisting brands to predict, measure and prescribe the best course of action, Craig has become a respected leader in guiding the strategic brand planning and budget development for a range of consumer facing brands.
Craig is a pioneer in the big data analytics sector and has strategically driven the launch of ProductLoop, a software service that marries big data with human experience to enable companies to manage their Brand Lift from within their licensing programs. ProductLoop identifies product issues globally and helps licensees make smarter decisions on new product development by leveraging data from a host of consumer touch points in real-time, including market share, ranking, customer review feedback by product feature and MAP pricing from the most important review sites in 45 countries across the web.
Craig and his team are dedicated to the growth of licensors globally and have worked during the last 5 years to help major licensors navigate the massive growth opportunity for IoT adoption. Taking the CEO role at Hubble Connected, Craig led the core development of the video and data services platform which now powers Motorola monitoring products globally under license. At this time Craig is working with HP on the PerimeterSafe platform which will power a host of HP branded Monitoring products in 45 countries.
Scott Stern | President & CEO
Scott Stern is the President and CEO of Norscot Group, Inc., one of the leading promotional products companies in the USA. Over Scott’s 40-plus year career in the industry, he has developed an unmatched expertise in all aspects of promotional product merchandising. That expertise is built on Scott’s considerable experience in the areas of global licensing, brand identity programming, global sourcing, design and production of promotional products, manufacturing of scale model replicas, direct marketing via catalog and eCommerce, and domestic and international distribution. Scott is an innovator, having started up several related businesses. He is always looking beyond today’s products, trends and delivery systems to anticipate needs and seek out new opportunities in order to best serve Norscot’s valued client partners.
Norscot is a family business headquartered in Mequon, Wisconsin, in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee. Founded in 1970, Norscot specializes in the development of turnkey marketing and fulfillment programs, working with some of the most iconic brands in America to advance their products, services and images. In addition to the corporate headquarters in Mequon, which includes a 100,000 square foot warehouse and fulfillment center, Norscot currently has sales offices in Chicago, Peoria, Detroit, and Savannah; and the company maintains a sourcing and quality control office in Hong Kong. Under Scott’s leadership, Norscot established international sales and fulfillment operations in the UK and China in the 1990’s, with additional sales outlets in Europe and the Middle East, successfully operating those divisions until their sale in 2015.
Scott and his wife live in Mequon, and they have two adult children. A lifelong Wisconsinite, Scott is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is a loyal fan of the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and Badgers. He enjoys the frustration of golf, vintage rock and roll, and occasional karaoke singing.
Lisa Maxwell | Manager, Senior Business Development
A graduate of Middlebury College, Lisa has over 20 years of experience working with manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, and factories developing program solutions that fit clients’ individual testing needs. She works closely with our global client services and technical teams ensuring that clients’ expectations are not only met but exceeded. Supported by a global team of technical and operational professionals, Lisa’s energy and passion resonates with companies who are in search of a laboratory partnership which is truly client-focused, quality-driven and cost competitive. Her mission is to continually exceed clients’ expectations while building long-term partnerships with clients.