ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
ANDY TAYLOR: Senior Advisor to CEO
Andy is a music industry legend. He co-founded the Sanctuary Group in 1976 with Rod Smallwood and signed Iron Maiden for management in 1979. The Sanctuary Group grew to become the world’s largest independent multi-service music group, encompassing the leading independent record and music merchandising companies, as well as one of the largest music management companies in the world.
Managed artists included, amongst others: Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Beyoncé, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Morrissey, Fleetwood Mac and Joss Stone. Sanctuary Group also had its own booking agency representing major bands and artists from all genres, a music publishing company, TV production and a full range of recording, rehearsal and photographic studios. The company went public in the UK in 1998 and was sold to Universal Music Group after Andy and Rod’s departure in 2006.
Since 2006, Andy and Rod have continued to manage Iron Maiden and serve as directors and shareholders of Raw Power Management. Raw Power Management’s founders Craig Jennings and Mark Fuller also own the Sanctum Hotels and Geales Restaurants. Andy received a Master’s Degree from Trinity College, Cambridge and is a qualified chartered accountant.
SANDY CLIMAN: Senior Advisor
Sanford R. (Sandy) Climan is President of Entertainment Media Ventures, Inc. Founded in 1999 by Mr. Climan, EMV is active in media investment and strategic advisory work, with a particular focus on disruptive technologies and entities currently impacting the traditional boundaries of business, media and entertainment. He is an investor, producer, and considered a media visionary.
Throughout his career, Mr. Climan has held senior management positions in the media and entertainment industry. Mr. Climan served as Corporate Executive Vice President and President of Worldwide Business Development of Universal Studios, where Mr. Climan oversaw corporate international strategy, strategic marketing, and five studio operating divisions.
Mr. Climan was part of the senior management team at Creative Artists Agency for 12 years, where he was the founding head of CAA’s corporate practice and a senior talent agent representing such stars as Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Danny DeVito and director Michael Mann, as well as many prominent film and television production companies.
Notable achievements include: Executive Producer of the first digital live-action 3D feature film, “U2 3D,” and Producer of “The Aviator,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, for which Mr. Climan was awarded a British Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Mr. Climan received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2018.
In addition, Mr. Climan has been an active investor in, and advisor to, venture capital firms and early-stage companies in media, technology, and healthcare.
Mr. Climan serves on several charitable boards, including The American Cinematheque, the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, and the UCLA Longevity Center of the Semel Institute for Neurosciences and Human Behavior. From 20002012, Mr. Climan served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mr. Climan serves as an advisor on entertainment and media to the World Economic Forum and its Annual Gathering in Davos, Switzerland, as a member of the Reuters Editorial Advisory Board, the philanthropic Advisory Board of Lifestyles Magazine, and the Advisory Committee of the Ellis Island Medals of Honor.
Mr. Climan holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College.
RICHARD HILLEMAN: Senior Advisor
Richard Hilleman, an American computer game and video game producer best known for his work creating the original Madden Football game for video game consoles for Electronic Arts, has joined the Explorer1 Music Group Advisory Board. Hilleman was a key figure in building the massive EA Sports brand and has spent over 20 years working in product development at EA and has directly or indirectly influenced a wide range of games and game designers.
Hilleman joined Electronic Arts in 1982, and was employee number 39. After several years working with producers and teams in a variety of roles (including Ray Tobey and Stewart Bonn on the early combat flight simulator Skyfox), he began producing his own titles in the late 1980s. His first credited title as producer was Indianapolis 500: The Simulation on PC in 1989.
In 1990, he was the producer of John Madden Football for the fast-growing Sega Genesis, a game developed by Troy Lyndon and Michael Knox of Park Place Productions, and co-designed by Scott Orr, the game that we still recognize today as Madden Football, the best-selling title in the history of games in North America.
Hilleman was later named Vice President in charge of Production for the company and was Executive Producer or Producer for other successful EA Sports titles in the 1990s as well, including NHL Hockey, NHLPA Hockey, PGA Tour Golf and Tiger Woods Golf. Rich Hilleman worked for Electronic Arts as Chief Creative Officer until May, 2016. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
KEVIN CONROY: Senior Advisor
Kevin Conroy is an award-winning media and technology innovator, with an extensive background driving meaningful transformation at the intersection of content, media, technology, and data, making significant breakthroughs impacting the future growth of entertainment, music, and sports. Consistently at the leading edge, he held a range of global, operational, strategic, entrepreneurial, and intrapreneurial roles for major media and entertainment corporations including CBS, Fox, Bertelsmann, AOL, Univision, and MGM, managing P&L’s in excess of a billion dollars. Selected to AdAge’s “Marketing 100,” honored at Broadcasting & Cable’s Annual Technology Leadership Awards, recognized by Broadcasting & Cable as a Digital All-Star, on CableFAX’s Digital Hot List, lauded as one of Digital Media Wire’s “25 Executives to Watch,” awarded membership in the CDO Club Hall of Fame, and included in Washington Life’s Tech Hall of Fame.
Currently, Conroy is the Founder and CEO of ConroyMedia. He serves on the board of directors of Debenhams and Mattress Firm, as an advisor to Madison Dearborn Partners, and as an advisor and/or investor for an array of companies from small, private startups to successful public companies. He provides consulting and advisory services that create enterprise value and accelerate growth with a focus on early stage and high-growth new companies, working alongside clients and partners to best service their needs and customers. Services include strategic growth planning, content and media strategy, technology choices, data strategy, deal structure and negotiation, and securing funding and investment. Formerly, he served on the board of directors of Sotheby’s and Newell Brands.
Previously, Conroy held the position of President, Digital and New Platforms at MGM, overseeing all initiatives for new and emerging platforms for the company. He led the charge to advance and broaden the studio’s new short-form digital content, and developed new formats for new platforms, utilizing MGM’s vast catalogue as well as originally scripted content. He established and expanded partnerships with major content brands for virtual and augmented reality experiences, which included investments in the leading entertainment and gaming VR and location based entertainment companies. He was a strategic member of the team that developed the company’s OTT efforts in the areas of faith-based and entertainment verticals. Prior to MGM, he served as Univision’s Chief Strategy and Data Officer, where he led efforts to identify priority growth initiatives and developed Univision’s big data strategy. He developed and led Univision’s overall digital platform, product and programming strategies and execution. Before Univision, he spent 8 years at AOL, where he served as Executive Vice President for AOL’s global products and marketing group, Chief Operating Officer for AOL Broadband, and held Senior Vice President, General Manager posts for AOL Entertainment and AOL Music. Previously, he was Chief Global Marketing Officer and President, New Technology for BMG Entertainment, and Vice President, Marketing for CBS/FOX Video.
PETER FRANK: Strategic Senior Advisor, Streaming and AI
Peter Frank is a strategic finance and operations executive with over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors and has expertise in a variety of industries including entertainment, media, and technology. Peter has also held seats on the board of directors of several new media and technology companies.
Peter is the Managing Director of NaviCor Advisors, a management-consulting firm he founded in 2009. During his time at NaviCor, Peter led the organizational redesign of a Fortune 100 food manufacturer, launched several new businesses, served as a securities and banking subject-matter expert for a law firm and helped a number of business expand into new markets and develop innovative business models.
Prior to starting NaviCor Advisors, Peter was the National Executive Director of Screen Actors Guild overseeing the operations of the 120,000-member organization. During his tenure, he also acted as CFO, managed 20 branch offices around the country and served on the board of the SAG-Producer’s Pension & Health Fund.
Before joining Screen Actors Guild, Peter was the Chief Financial Officer of US Search, a publicly-traded software and data management company backed by a venture capital firm. There he raised debt and equity financing for the company’s growth, made operational improvements and led the company’s acquisition efforts, resulting in a 14x increase in the market value of the company.
Peter came to US Search from another success as Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Acacia Research, a publicly traded company that invested in and incubated early stage companies. At Acacia, he was instrumental in raising the value of the company by over a 5x multiple.
Peter also possesses extensive entertainment industry experience, serving as Chief Financial Officer at Gramercy Pictures, as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Twentieth Century Fox, and as Director of Corporate Advisory at Fox Inc. He began his career as an Audit Manager with Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young).
Peter is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and holds a CPA.
ARTURO DURAN: Senior Advisor, Latin America
Having lived in Mexico, Canada, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Chile, Spain, France and the United States, Arturo speaks Spanish, English and French, and has served as a mentor and guru for many companies in multicultural and Hispanic markets. Whilst looking for a content management solution he became Advisor to the Board of Hubii.com and participated in their ICO. Since then Arturo has become an expert in Blockchain based architecture and in the use of Smart Contracts. He currently serves as an Advisor to Mobs.Video and Technology Advisor to the Board of Lolly Inc. Arturo is considered an expert in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning and has a long career around DATA. He sits on the Board of HashPlay Inc., an Immersive Data Visualization Platform and in VR Americas Training and Operational Business Data Visualization Platform. He is also member of the Advisory Board of Tap Analytics, the largest US independent platform for DATA aggregation. He is also an Advisor to the first AI/ML content creation platform Atomic Reach and the only real Commenting Moderation Engine ViaFoura both out of Toronto. Arturo was for more than 5 years Digital and Tech Advisor to the CEO of PRISA (owners of El Pais Newspaper), the largest media company in the Spanish speaking world that experienced a Digital growth of more than 350% during his tenure. He has been Advisor to the CEO at “Grupo El Mercurio” in Digital Transformation. He is also mentor and advisor to the founders of Yecas.cl Zumby.io Amanece.com AutoProyecto.com Antengo.com AutoProyecto.com WearthatArt.com LoyalTraffic.com among others.
Prior to his role as Managing Partner at IVA Ventures, Arturo served as Chief Innovation Officer for Digital First Media, the 2nd largest Newspaper company in the US. Before that, he was Chief Executive Officer of ImpreMedia Digital, the largest Hispanic news-and-information company in North America. He was also previously President of Interactive and Business Integration for CanWest Mediaworks (Canada.com) and was the one responsible for their record-breaking online revenue growth and converting them into the largest Canadian News and Information Network. Arturo is based out of Silicon Valley and spends winter in Chile, Canada and Spain. Previous roles have included Vice President, Multicultural, AOL Media Networks, VP Marketing and Interactive Content, AOL Canada, Director Business Development, AOL Mexico, Director of Business Development, Internet Division for the Polaroid Corporation, VP Business Development at Polaroid China (Hong Kong & Shanghai, PRC), CMO Polaroid Mexico, Vice-President Manufacturing and Retail solutions for Unisys Corp. (Mexico).
FRANCIS CHEN: Senior Finance Advisor
Francis has more than twenty years of management experience and more than fifteen years as an entrepreneur and investor in high-tech and bio-tech start-ups. He is the founder and Chairman of SinoAmerican Partners Limited that provides advisory services for cross-border transactions in life sciences, natural resources as well as infrastructure projects. Francis is formerly Vice Chairman of WI Harper Group, a venture capital firm with investment activities in Silicon Valley, China and Taiwan, and one of the first venture firms in cross-border technology investments between US and Greater China. Francis has served as a director of several technology-based companies and has been an independent board member of Stealth BioTherapeutics (Nasdaq: MITO) since its inception in 2006. He began his career in operating management positions with Becton Dickinson, Baxter Healthcare and Hygeia Sciences where he was one of the senior executives that took the Company public on Nasdaq and ultimately its acquisition by Tambrands. Francis was also a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Scotgen Biopharmaceuticals – one of the first-generation biotech companies in the commercialization of genetically-engineered antibodies for therapeutic applications. He served as a trustee of several non-profit organizations: San Francisco Opera Association, Groton School and Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Francis holds a Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University and an M.S. and a B.S. in chemistry from Tufts University.
NEIL RUSSELL: Senior Advisor - Onscreen
Neil is founder and President of Hollywood Artists Pictures Corporation (www.neil-russell.com), an entertainment-focused intellectual property rights company. He is a former senior executive with Paramount Pictures, Columbia, MGM/United Artists and Carolco Pictures—the company that produced the Rambo movies, Terminator 2, Total Recall and Basic Instinct—and he was the Founder and President of Carolco Television Productions, one of the largest producers of longform television. Over the course of his career, Neil has acquired the rights to and exploited hundreds of motion pictures, books, screenplays, short stories, pitches, formats, life stories, copyrights and trademarks and entered into agreements with numerous companies, including Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Activision, MGM, Columbia, Walt Disney, ABC, Warner Bros, Universal, Heyday Films, Tribune Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, F/X Networks, Mace Neufeld Productions, Hyde Park Entertainment, Wendy Finerman Productions, Simon & Schuster and others. He also sat on the board of KPMG’s digital media incubator, DMX. Neil is currently developing movies, television series and an action comic book miniseries based on rights owned by him and is the author of the Rail Black series of action novels for HarperCollins. A graduate of Parsons College, he is a member of Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Writers Guild of America, BMI, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, International Association of Crime Writers, the Naval War College Foundation and a former board member of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. He has also been made an honorary member of the Hmong tribe of Laos for his fundraising efforts to provide disabled Hmong children with prostheses for limbs lost to mines.
KENIN SPIVAK: Senior Advisor - Strategy
Kenin is a highly regarded executive, entrepreneur, financier and attorney. He has led multi-national companies with billions of dollars of worldwide sales and operations in more than 30 countries, including, among others, major studio MGM/UA Communications, the Paul Mitchell cosmetology schools and leading independent production/distribution company, Island World. As a top studio executive, Kenin selected and supervised the development, financing, production and distribution of hundreds of feature films, including multiple Academy Award®-winning films and long-running television series. Kenin also has completed more than US$10 billion of complex transactions and led the branding, marketing and sales of entertainment content and consumer products grossing many billions of dollars. Kenin is the founder, chairman and CEO of SMI Group LLC (www.SMIGllc.com), which forms and grows businesses worldwide and owns a fully-licensed SEC-registered investment bank. He also is co-founder and chairman of Stratagem Studios Inc. in Toronto and SMI Entertainment LLC in Los Angeles. Kenin started his career as an entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills and New York, served as a senior executive for a leading television production company and then joined Merrill Lynch investment banking, where he specialized in mergers, acquisitions and complex financings for entertainment and media. Since then, Kenin has served as chairman, vice chairman, president, CEO, director and senior advisor for public and private companies in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East, including, among others, leading U.S. radio network Premiere Radio Networks; global leader in traffic and news reporting, Metro Traffic Networks; hair care leader, John Paul Mitchell Systems; Patrón® tequila; the Philippines Dream casino in Cebu, Philippines; and the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Kenin has produced motion pictures released by 20th Century Fox, radio and television series, concerts and theater. He is a published author, holds multiple patents and is listed in Who’s Who in the West, America, Finance & Business and the World. Kenin is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He received an A.B., M.B.A. and J.D. from Columbia University, each with honors.