Mark DeFanti, Ph.D
FOUNDER / CHIEF BRAND VISIONARY
As Founder and Chief Brand Visionary, with a Ph.D in marketing from Texas A&M University, an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A., cum laude, from Amherst College, Mark oversees brand portfolio strategy, consumer research, brand analysis, brand valuation, and brand naming. Mark is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Marketing at Providence College, where he teaches undergraduate and MBA courses in Advanced Advertising, Brand Marketing, Marketing Research, and Marketing Management. His research, which focuses on branding, corporate name changes, corporate image, and brand portfolio management, has been published in The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Brand Management, two Marketing Science Institute reports, Business Research Yearbook, Competition Forum, and the American Marketing Association Summer Educators' Conference Proceedings.
PRESIDENT / CO-CREATIVE DIRECTOR
As President and Co-Creative Director, Maeve is responsible for the overall creative vision of the agency. In her roles, she oversees strategic planning, visual design, copywriting, and interaction design, working in close collaboration with all team members whom she is responsible for recruiting and managing. Maeve's background is extensive and diverse, spanning multiple marketing disciplines in the United States and abroad. She began her career as a fine artist after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, moved quickly into illustration/design/corporate identity and web development while living overseas, and then made the switch to advertising, working on both the traditional and interactive sides. Her clients have included Swarovski, Hasbro, PBS, National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, The Mekong Project, Loanbright, West Coast Distributors, The Auber Group, Treanor Brothers Animation, Avid Boats, and J&J Marine .
As Co-Creative Director of Brand Visionaries, former Coty Global Creative Director, Vice President of New Ideas, and author of Living Brands, Collaboration + Innovation = Customer Fascination published by McGraw Hill, Raymond brings years of experience in beauty and fashion and true visionary insight to all our brand initiatives. Raymond has developed brand Identities, Product Concepts and Advertising Strategies for adidas, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Jacobs, Kenneth Cole, Baby Phat, Izod, Timberland, Arrow, Rock Scene for Tommy Hilfiger, The Emerald Monkey Eco-Luxe Resort in Panama and many others. His most recent work celebrates the re-launch, re-branding and advertising for the iconic Fiorucci fashion brand. Raymond's groundbreaking Living Brands, Living Media strategy has been profiled in Brandweek, W, Adweek, WWD, The New York Times and on CNN - as well as via numerous Australian, European and Indian media.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Mark Kallal has over ten years of experience in the financial services sector. Prior to co-founding Brand Visionaries, Inc., Mark served as a Director in the Corporate Advisory and Strategic Transactions group for a large financial services company, managing, negotiating and overseeing the company's marketing and strategic partnerships, as well as managing the company's intellectual property and the group's risk management operations. Mark is currently acting as the Director of Enterprise Risk Management for a not-for-profit private student lending organization. In his role as Chief Operations Officer, Mark is responsible for BVI's legal and operational activities, including the management of the company's brand portfolio. Mark received his bachelor's degree from Marquette University.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Alex Tawse, Previous to becoming CEO/CFO of U.S. Oil and Gas, Alex spent ten years as CFO and Vice President of Operations for the Kaizen Institute; an international consulting company whose mission is to lead the implementation of lean strategy and continuous improvement culture. Clients included Nike, Dannon, Kraft, BioMerieux, JB Poindexter, Hella Lighting and Bacardi. Prior to joining the Kaizen Institute, Alex served as the CEO of Katharsis, Inc., where he and Mark DeFanti analyzed the market opportunity for new fitness apparel brand, co-wrote the business plan, and negotiated successful partnerships with designers, manufacturers and retailers. Alex studied at Oxford University, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from Stanford University, an MBA degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and is also a Certified Public Accountant.
VICE PRESIDENT, LICENSING
Nicole is the founder and president of Brand Visionaries Licensing LLC, which is responsible for the licensing activities of Brand Visionaries' clients. Nicole has over fifteen years of experience in licensing brands that are recognized worldwide. Her responsibilities include day to day marketing strategy and planning, sales and new business development, business affairs, product development and account management. Prior to founding Brand Visionaries Licensing LLC, Nicole served as Vice President of Licensing at Bradford Licensing Associates where clients included Pepsi, Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA, PEZ Candy, Inc., Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, and the Piping Hot fashion brand in Australia.
PARTNER - WINDSOR MEDIA
James Yaffe is currently a partner at Windsor Media, an operational holding company. Prior to Windsor, and from July 2001 to December 2007, Yaffe ran the corporate consulting practice at The Endeavor Agency, LLC, a talent agency that represents leading actors, writers, directors and production companies in the entertainment and media industries. Yaffe served as the managing partner of Endeavor Marketing Solutions, a division he founded to act as a brand development lab to create and develop new businesses. Previous to joining James Yaffe joined the Endeavor Talent Agency in 2001 to launch Endeavor Marketing Solutions- the Agency's corporate consulting division. As a talent agency Endeavor represents leading actors, writers, directors and production companies throughout the world of media and entertainment. Yaffe has built EMS by managing corporate clients (American Express, Best Buy, EA, Motorola, Mattel) and delivering solutions that enable these clients to build their business through innovation, alliances and implementation.
As a multi-disciplined division within Endeavor, Yaffe developed a brand lab that creates and develops new businesses. Three prime examples are the PussyCat Dolls, Martha Stewart/KB Homes and BP Solar Neighbor Program. Yaffe has been instrumental in helping Endeavor core clients expand their businesses globally- like Scout Productions- Queer Eye for the Straight Guy- mobile platform, consumer products and a music label. He has also led Endeavors media and technology practice by expanding platform and content development opportunities internally (talent agency clients) and externally with corporate clients, including a content lab with Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst Productions and AOL.
Before being recruited to Endeavor, Yaffe was investing and guiding several businesses in the media/technology space. Yaffe managed investments in a new media based technology delivery enterprise called DigaFuel and a wireless infrastructure company called voiceTap. The remaining time Yaffe consulted Identify/Beanstalk Group- a Ford Motor Car Company joint-venture, responsible for licensing and merchandising all the Ford brands (Ford, Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover and Mazda) and Digeo- itv platform enabling users to maximize their TV experience.
Prior to guiding these ventures, Yaffe sold his former company TROON to XCEED in 1998 (nasdaq: XCED) and served as EVP/Chief Strategic Officer. In his 18 months at Xceed- Yaffe helped grow revenue from $15mm to $125MM and head count from 75 to 690. Yaffe's primary responsibilities included Xceed's strategic services practice for clients, including (Silicon Valley Bank, Intertainer, Evolve Technologies, CBS, Paramount Digital Entertainment, tunes.com and thatglow.com) and brand development activities. Yaffe started his executive career as Senior Vice President of BBDO where he was engaged in the launch and roll-out of the Apple Macintosh into multiple markets (Business, Government and entertainment). In 1990, Yaffe founded TROON Ltd., an integrated marketing, communications and technology provider that grew to be a leader in the industry working with companies that included: ABC, Absolut Vodka, Apple Computer, BMW, Disney, EMI Music, Joe Boxer, Microsoft, Pioneer Electronics, Philips Consumer Electronics, PacBell, Radius and Sony.
He is currently on the board of the Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communications at The University of Michigan and By Kids For Kids- an innovation lab empowering kids to invent products and take them to market. Yaffe also strategically advises companies that include Lost Art (Lifestyle brand), Clean Well (Ideo company- eco friendly technology products) and Kwiry.com (media network).
Yaffe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, marketing and communications from the University of Michigan. James was also the captain of the golf team at Michigan.