Our Team

Marc Zimmerman

Marc Zimmerman

Chief Executive Officer

Marc was a co-founder and President of Critical Digital Data, Inc. (CDIX, OTC:BB), an online data storage company; CEO of 1st Financial Home Loan Services, a high-end boutique mortgage brokerage that was sold in 2005; and CEO-Founder of PineappleHut Real Estate, a multi-million dollar-producing real estate brokerage. Marc attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a highly accomplished keyboardist, pianist, and composer with worldwide recording and touring credentials.

Huy Ly

Chief Technology Officer

Huy is a technological entrepreneur and has over a decade of documented experience in application development and information technology.  He has played a pivotal role on notable projects in the Healthcare space with respect to strategic planning, software architecture, data security/compliance and software

Jon Cornick

Jon Cornick

Executive Producer

Jon is a Film and Emmy Nominated Television Producer with over 20 years experience in the entertainment business. Having produced a number of Studio and Independent projects, Cornick has managed large groups of employees, oversaw the creative and business responsibilities for all aspects of film-making and raised over $80 million of independent financing for his projects.  In addition to establishing strong relationships with top entertainment lawyers, managers, talent agents, and executives, Cornick has worked with many Industry personalities such as Alec Baldwin, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Plummer, Gary Oldman, Demi Moore, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Blake Lively, Burt Reynolds and David Mamet, to name a few.Cornick graduated with a Marketing degree from KOGOD Business School at American University in Washington, DC, and is based in Los Angeles, California and Wilmington, NC.  He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and avid photographer.

Mike Levine

Creative Director

Mike has been working with interactive and digital media for 20 years.  Mike is a veteran of Lucas Arts Entertainment, where he was in a senior position in the art department, and developed several art production techniques on classics such as ‘Sam & Max Hit the Road,’ ‘Full Throttle,’ ‘The Dig,’ ‘Rebel Assault 1 and 2,’ and ‘Jedi Knight: The Force Within – I&II.’ In 1997, Mike left Lucas Arts to form Puffin Designs, a software company founded by ILM veterans, Lucas’ Effects Division, where he was Product Marketing Manager for the award-winning program ‘Commotion’.  In 1999 he formed Pileated Pictures, which has gone on to become a leader in the online gaming and virtual world fields. Happy Giant, Mike’s latest venture, focuses on mobile and social games. They have made games with Jay-Z, Dark Horse Comics, and Paramount Pictures, as well as publish several of their own apps, including the successful “Dolphin Paradise: Wild Friends”.


Michelle Pomeroy

M.A., Curriculum Director

Michelle graduated from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in 2009 with a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education and a specialization in Special Education.  For the past ten years, Michelle has worked with children in a variety of settings, including schools, camps and respite centers.  In 2010, she began working at Star Academy, which is an independent school that promotes engaging, individualized programming for students with a wide range of social-emotional and academic challenges.  Michelle utilizes both her academic background and experience in the classroom to create a curriculum for The Social Express that teachers can successfully implement with their students.

Mary Anne MacLellan


Mary Anne MacLellan served as the Design Director on The Social Express development team. She is the founder and director of Associated Speech Pathologists, a private practice in North San Diego county. For over thirty years, Mary Anne has specialized in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, apraxia, and other speech and language disorders. Mary Anne received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Diego State University. She is licensed by the state of California and a member of ASHA and CSHA.

Tom Schenck

Follett School Solutions’ past President Tom Schenck has been elected to The Language Express, Inc. Board of Directors.

Schenck, joined Follett in 1989 and was named to his current position in November 2011, where he is responsible for more than 1,500 associates who develop and deliver software, content and related services used every day by 70,000 schools in the U.S. and around the globe. During his 25-year career at Follett, Schenck has served many roles including president of Follett Software Company in 1998. More than a year ago, Schenck spearheaded the merge of four of Follett’s Pre-K12 businesses into one organization, Follett School Solutions.

“I have a lot of experience in successfully scaling up organizations, finding efficiencies, and refining business models,” Schenck said. “That experience can be valuable to SIIA members from a board leadership perspective, particularly now when digital learning possibilities are juxtaposed with tight wallets. I’m optimistic about our ability as an industry to get even more creative about finding new business models and funding, and I plan to use my leadership position on the SIIA board to help explore that topic.”

Schenck and the other new board members represent more than 200 SIIA Education Division member firms that provide educational software applications, digital content, online learning services, and related technologies across the K-20 sector. Follett has been an SIIA member for eight years.

Through its SIIA membership, Schenck said Follett remains ahead of education industry policy changes and seizes regular opportunities to collaborate with thought leaders to shape, influence and implement next-generation education solutions that benefit its customers.

“I like to think we reflect the voices of both our partners and our customers in what we bring to the table,” Schenck said. “Plus, we partner with many SIIA members, from the largest publishers to emerging startups. A year ago, we launched an investment fund as a gateway resource for innovative startups.”

Sue Adelmann, Vice President, Market Intelligence for Follett School Solutions, recently concluded her two-year term on the SIIA Education Division Board, where she served the final 12 months as board co-chair.

Luke Tursi

Luke Tursi has had a very successful 45 years career in the educational publishing industry. All of that experience has been focused on the Sales and Marketing of Curriculum and Assessment to the Birth -12 market. As the New York City sales representative he distinguished himself in the Special Ed market becoming partners with the leadership and sponsoring high quality professional development while selling both group and individually administered diagnostic tests to citywide and district-wide programs.

With AGS Publishing he successfully managed the Northeast Regional sales team for ten years winning state programs and open adoptions in large urban areas. The highlight of those years was managing the very first Reading First Statewide program, Massachussettes.

As National Director of Sales for the past 10 years he managed and led a national sales team of 21 Masters and Ph.D. level salespeople and managers responsible for revenues in excess of $100m. During this time he led the sales team through the Pearson acquisition and integrated the AGS field personnel, operations department, and product management into the Pearson organization.He recently retired form Pearson (and is having the time of his life!).

Aubyn C. Stahmer


Aubyn C. Stahmer, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a Research Scientist at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (Children’s Hospital, San Diego) and Research Director of the Children’s Autism Intervention Center. She also works as a researcher at the University of California, San Diego Autism Research Laboratory. Her current interests include the study of early intervention systems for children with autism and the translation of research practices into community settings. Dr. Stahmer has published numerous research articles examining intervention with children who have autistic spectrum disorders. Dr. Stahmer currently sits on the advisory board for the educational software TeachTown.

Amy M. Wetherby


Amy M. Wetherby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Director of the Autism Institute in the College of Medicine and the Laurel Schendel Professor of Communication Disorders at Florida State University. She has thirty years of clinical experience and is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Wetherby has published extensively and presents regularly at national conventions on early detection of children with autism spectrum disorders and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders using the SCERTS® model. She is the Project Director of a Doctoral Leadership Training Grant specializing in autism funded by the U.S. Department of Education. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee for Educational Interventions for Children with Autism and is the Executive Director of the Florida State University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Dr. Wetherby is the Project Director of the FIRST WORDS Project, a longitudinal research investigation on early detection of autism spectrum and other communication disorders, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is also the Principal Investigator of an early treatment study teaching parents of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders how to support social communication and play in everyday activities funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Juliann Woods


Juliann is a Professor in the School of Communication Science and Disorders and the Director of the Communication and Early Childhood Research and Practice Center (CEC-RAP).  She has over 30 years of clinical experience, research and teaching in communication, language and early intervention for children and families.  Throughout her career, she has emphasized the translation of research to practice and has more than 50 externally funded training and demonstration grants and contracts providing professional development nationwide and internationally with many including the use of technology to support the integration of content into work settings. Current research examines observational measurement of coaching and the application of technology use to coaching within the home and classroom environments to support the implementation of recommended practices for early intervention of social communication for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is the Project Director of a Doctoral Leadership Training Grant on Language and Literacy, Early Intervention and one for Autism funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  She is also the Director of a research and demonstration project on parent implemented language intervention, a Co-Investigator of a NIMH RCT on parent implemented early intervention for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and participates in technology supported professional development for ASD.

Mary Anne MacLellan


Mary Anne MacLellan served as the Design Director on The Social Express development team. She is the founder and director of Associated Speech Pathologists, a private practice in North San Diego county. For over thirty years, Mary Anne has specialized in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, apraxia, and other speech and language disorders. Mary Anne received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Diego State University. She is licensed by the state of California and a member of ASHA and CSHA.

Patricia Wright


Patricia Wright has a passion for education and advocacy and has dedicated her career to ensuring that individuals with autism are fully-included in society. Her personal mission is to offer the support that makes it possible for people with autism lead meaningful, happy and productive lives. As Easter Seals National Director of Autism Services, Wright leads autism programs for Easter Seals, one of the nation’s largest provider of services for individuals with autism across the life span. Wright’s expertise as an educator and Board Certified Behavior Analyst inform her individualized approach to creating effective treatment plans. She knows that early diagnosis and intervention offer the best outcomes but also is a proponent of appropriate treatment for anyone with autism at any age. Everyone has the ability to learn and develop skills. She is a member of the Organization for Autism Research’s Scientific Council and is currently a serving on the Executive Committee for the Friends of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Wright is well known as a presenter and has been invited to deliver presentations and conduct training across the United States and internationally.Wright earned her Ph.D. in education from the University of Hawaii in 2006. She also has a master’s of public health from the University of Hawaii, and a master’s degree in special education from San Francisco State University.

Celine Saulnier


Celine Saulnier, Ph.D., is the Clinical Director for Research at the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. She obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, after which she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center under the mentorship of Dr. Ami Klin before joining Yale’s faculty. At Yale, Dr. Saulnier was both the Clinical Director and the Training Director for the Autism Program where she oversaw, conducted, and supervised comprehensive diagnostic evaluations on individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders from infancy through young adulthood. At the Marcus Autism Center, Dr. Saulnier oversees the development and implementation of diagnostic and clinical assessments for individuals participating in clinical research. Her research focuses on profiles of adaptive behavior in autism spectrum disorders, particularly on the discrepancy between cognitive ability and the application of functional skills to daily contexts and routines. In addition to her research and scientific publications, she is co-author of the book, Essentials of Autism Spectrum Disorders Evaluation and Assessment.

Craig Fincannon


Craig is a lifetime resident of North Carolina and a two-time Emmy Award© winning Television and Motion Picture Casting Director. Along with his wife, Lisa Mae and his brother Mark, Fincannon & Associates has worked on over 750 film and television projects since 1982. In 1998, Craig, Lisa Mae and Mark won their first Emmy Awards© for the Tom Hanks & Ron Howard HBO hit series From the Earth to the Moon. In 2012, Craig and Lisa Mae brought home the Emmy© again for the critically acclaimed Showtime series “Homeland”. Craig has also been nominated for the Casting Society of America Artios Award numerous times, including a win in 2007 for the feature film Junebug, 2010 for the film Red, and 2012 for Homeland. Craig has also produced the critically acclaimed independent feature film Waterproof, staring Burt Reynolds. Craig is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Casting Society of America, North Carolina Film Council, and North Carolina Entertainment Hall of Fame Committee. Craig and his wife Lisa Mae have two daughters, Ashley and Erin as well as two grandsons, Finn and Aidan.

Stephen Shore


Nonverbal until four and diagnosed with “atypical development with strong autistic tendencies,” Stephen Shore was regarded as “too sick” to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization. Fortunately, his parents disagreed. With their persistence and the help of teachers and other friends and professionals, Stephen has gained more ground than anyone would have thought possible from that original diagnosis! He is now completing his doctoral degree in special education at Boston University with a focus on helping people on the autism spectrum develop their capacities to the fullest extent possible. In addition to working with children and advocating for a better quality of life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure. In his book Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, he shares his love of music and learning as he walks us through the heartaches and triumphs of his life as an Aspie. He also serves on the board of the Autism Society of America, as board president of the Asperger’s Association of New England, and is on the Board of Directors for Unlocking Autism, the Autism Services Association of Massachusetts, MAAP Services, The College Internship Program, and the KEEN Foundation.

Shannon Wallace


Shannon Wallace graduated with honors from San Diego State University in 1999, earning a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, and attended Pepperdine University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. While working towards MFT licensure, Shannon has completed coursework in Behavior Analysis and has received her certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Since 1997, Shannon’s expertise and focus has been in the areas of research and therapy in autism. She participated as first and second author on numerous research studies on Autism, Williams Syndrome, and infants with focal brain damage, resulting in the opportunity to present her research at relevant conferences nationwide. Recognizing the dire need for her services in this area, working as Assistant Clinical Director, Case Supervisor and Senior Therapist she helped to implement effective programs in diverse schools and home settings throughout San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. She is skilled at conducting Functional Analyses and implementing positive and effective behavior programs based on her findings. Shannon also excels at developing alternative curriculum based on the principles of ABA, DTT, and a child’s IEP goals/areas of need, in order for the child to access academic curriculum in the most effective way. Her passion lies in working with children to expand socialization, generalization and improving the quality of life not only for children with autism but also their families.

Martin Stein


Dr. Martin Stein is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Child Development and Community Health, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at UC San Diego. He was elected President of the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in 2000, and is the recipient of the C. Anderson Aldrich Award in Child Development for his outstanding contributions to child development internationally. This prestigious award was given by the American Association of Pediatrics. Among the early faculty members in the Department, Dr. Stein established the Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics in 1975. He noted that at the time, the concept of a biopsychosocial approach in medical practice was emerging and was consistent with teaching in development and behavior. Dr. Stein was interested in introducing this approach in academic pediatrics. With the responsibility to train residents in ambulatory pediatrics since the mid 1970’s, Dr. Stein incorporated a curriculum in developmental and behavioral pediatrics in the department’s educational program. With his colleagues at UCSD, he pioneered a new curriculum to teach pediatric residents about the development and behavior of normal children and adolescents as well as those with delays in development, behavioral problems and learning challenges. With his colleague, Dr. Suzanne Dixon, Dr. Stein authored a groundbreaking book, Encounters with Children: Pediatric Behavior and Development (now in the 4th edition); it is recognized as a fundamental textbook in the specialty of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Most pediatric resident programs in the United States currently use this book.

Sue Liesegang

Sue Liesegang has been an Education Specialist since 2003 and currently teaches in a public elementary school learning resource center. She earned a BS in Business Administration from Iowa State University, and an MA in Education from California State University. She is a nationally board-certified Exceptional Needs Specialist who holds a multiple subject credential and two special education credentials (mild/moderate and moderate/severe). Mrs. Liesegang also serves as a Senior Associate Trainer for the Crisis Prevention Institute, where she has gained extensive training in providing behavioral support for students on the autism spectrum. Prior to becoming an educator, Mrs. Liesegang served as an executive for a multi-national corporation where she had training and operations oversight for more than 300 retail sites located in five countries. She previously owned and operated a successful small business.

Vicki Halsey


Sought out globally as an instructional designer, Vicki creates a power-boost for the cutting-edge content of well-known management gurus such as Marcus Buckingham, Keith Ferrazzi, Bill George and Ken Blanchard by infusing their work with optimal learning practices and innovative training materials. As Vice President of Applied Learning for the Ken Blanchard Companies, Vicki specializes in partnering with organizations to design, deliver and coach their people through interactive workshops, keynotes, webinars, podcasts and numerous other classroom and e-learning experiences. Fortune 100 companies that include Nike, Toyota, Gap, Oracle, Proctor and Gamble, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and many more, have benefited from her custom-designed leadership and customer service programs. She is the co-author of Blanchard’s Legendary Customer Service Training as well their award winning blended e-learning Situational Leadership® II program. In addition, Vicki also crafted the highly acclaimed MBA and MSEL university degree programs for both University of San Diego and Grand Canyon University.

Paul D. Carter

Paul D. Carter brings over 20 years of professional management experience in a variety of medical device and software technology market segments. From 2002 to 2008, Paul gained valuable experience developing and marketing software products for individuals on the autism spectrum at DynaVox, LLC. While at DynaVox, Paul served as the President of the Mayer-Johnson division, leading efforts on the flagship Boardmaker software product range targeted at assisting individuals with cognitive, behavioral, and speech challenges. Earlier in Paul’s career at DynaVox, Paul served as VP of Marketing and helped develop and introduce new alternative and augmentative communication devices to the special-needs market. Most recently, Paul held the position of VP of Product Marketing at Masimo, a leading producer of patent monitoring equipment. Prior to DynaVox, Paul led a successful 11-year career with Hill-Rom, a leading hospital equipment manufacturer. Paul’s last position with Hill-Rom was VP and General Manager of the European Capital Business where he served with a team that successfully integrated three acquisitions and returned a struggling division to profitability. Paul and his family spent six years in Europe during his career with Hill-Rom.

Kevin Custer

Kevin Custer offers more than 25 years of experience in launching and growing successful education and technology companies. Custer is a founding principal of Arc Capital Development, a private equity and advisory firm that invests in and operates companies that serve school districts, educators, students and parents. The products of his companies have been installed in more than 50 percent of the K-12 schools in the United States with over 10 million online users each week and total over $300 million in annual revenue.Highlights of his career include being the primary architect in the launching of six startups, all becoming multi-million dollars companies, three of which achieved over $20 million in revenues within their first three years, two of which went public with his leadership. Under his leadership he took a small Internet company public through a reverse-takeover of Canada’s seventh-fastest growing public company. Prior to that, he built an Internet-based subscription service that grossed over $20 million in 30 months.

Recently, Mr. Custer was the CEO of AutismPro, they provided online resource and training to help schools build the capability to educate children with Autism. He raised several million in capital, launched the international brand and lead the company to a successful acquisition in 19 months. In 2009 he participated in Colorado’s Autism Commission, which developed the state’s 10-year strategic plan for autism. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Autism Society of Colorado. As a nationally recognized speaker, Custer has presented to many state and national associations, including Autism Society of America, Council for Admin of Special Education, Assoc, of School Business Officers and Council for Exceptional Children, Software and Information Industry Assoc and COMDEX Asia.

Custer received a bachelor’s of science in computer information science and a bachelor’s of science in marketing from the University of Northern Colorado. He has served as the chairman of the education section of the Software and Information Industry Association, which helps to set public policy as it relates to education technology for schools. Custer serves as the President of the Autism Society of Colorado and on the National Board for the Autism Society of America. He also volunteers with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, serving as a ski instructor for developmentally and physically disabled children and adults.

Taylor Smith

Principal, Tucker Capital

Taylor brings acquisitions analysis, private equity experience, and strategic advisory to the Tucker team.He began his career at Morgan Stanley where he focused on M&A advisory in the technology sector. Taylor was later an investment professional at The Carlyle Group, a leading global private equity fund. While at Carlyle, he focused on buyout investment opportunities in the consumer and retail sectors. Taylor’s consummated deal experience includes the $2.4 billion acquisition of Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., awarded Buyout Deal of the Year, and the acquisition and subsequent refinancing of the Oriental Trading Company, one of the world’s largest direct marketers. Prior to joining Tucker Capital, Taylor co-founded and managed The Spirus Group, a venture capital & advisory firm, for four years. Taylor received a B.S.E. degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

David Drake

Chairman and Founder-LDJ Capital

David Drake, founder and Chairman of LDJ Capital in New York City, has been involved in technology media and telecom (TMT), traditional and renewable energy, project finance, real estate, infrastructure and equity and debt financing for over 20 years. Mr. Drake’s proclivity into Energy, Efficiency and Real Estate intercorrolate directly with the technology segments of TMT investment strategies and clients of LDJ Capital.His network of accessing financing extends all continents from hedge funds, high net-worth investors, Sovereign Wealth Funds, private equity firms, family offices to institutional pension funds, fund of funds and fund of hedge funds.The geographical capital market access is in, but not limited to, US markets and London with exceptional relationships and focus through regular road shows to Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt, Hamburg & Hong Kong. Partner offices are located in Zurich, New York, and Singapore.For charity, Mr. Drake hosted the Harvard Club and Boston Symphony performances at his house and sat on the advisory board of Best Buddies Charity for autistic kids. Mr. Drake has been behind raising $250,000 in charity donations through his produced Carnegie Hall concert series.Mr. Drake speaks 6 languages and holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Chemistry and Marketing from the American University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Drake holds an MBA in Finance and an MA in International Law and Economics from George Washington University where he was awarded the Wallenberg Scholarship for academic merit.

Charlie Walk

Executive Vice President, Republic Records

Former President of Epic Records(2005–2008). Walk’s passion for music began as an undergrad at Boston University’s School of Management, where he started as a collegiate Marketing Representative for Sony Music.When Walk graduated in 1990, he officially joined Sony as a full time Marketing and Promotion Manager. He spent the next decade navigating his way through the ranks, taking over the promotion division of Columbia Records in 1999 and eventually assuming oversight of Columbia’s marketing and promotion division as its Executive Vice President. Working with some of the biggest artists in the industry, including Beyonce, Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen and Will Smith, Walk’s executive decisions reflected a keen consumer insight. This and other moments led to the decision by Sony Music heads to appoint Walk to the position of President of Columbia’s sister label, Epic Records, in December 2005.In his three years at its helm, Walk helped transform Epic from a traditional record label to a progressive, multi-faceted entertainment company. During his tenure, Walk maintained Epic as a creative haven for superstars such as Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Ozzy Osbourne, Duran Duran, Tori Amos, Good Charlotte and George Michael, while also signing new artists like The Fray, Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston and Sara Bareilles. These names not only expanded the breadth of Epic’s artist roster, but proved highly profitable as well; Natasha Bedingfield, Sara Bareilles, and The Fray all boasted multi-platinum singles with “Unwritten,” “Love Song,” and “How to Save a Life”, and their collective album sales made them a lasting fixture on Billboard’s Top 100.

In 2006, Walk took notice of then-undiscovered producer and songwriter, RedOne, teaming him up with Kat DeLuna to create top ten single “Whine Up.”Walk’s tenure at Epic was defined in large part by his embrace of the digital movement and his integrated 360-degree approach. As the music industry underwent a dramatic transformation, Walk boldly focused on the unconventional with a series of new deals and revolutionary marketing initiatives, including a partnership with Yahoo for the first ever user-generated video for Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”, the first ever personalized pop song with Jessica Simpson, and a digital partnership with lifestyle mogul Rachael Ray. In 2007, Walk initiated an exclusive partnership with ABC, making Epic the first label to showcase its artists through integrated television campaigns, introducing them through a new medium while providing a modern platform for album sales and downloads. Walk conceptualized similar ventures with both NBC and MTV, helping launch Natasha Bedingfield through shows like “Lipstick Jungle” and “The Hills”. Walk is currently based in New York City, developing projects for television, music and online platforms as the President and CEO of CWE Media. As part of this venture, Walk has brokered an exclusive partnership with Endemol USA, a leading producer of television programming, where he is developing and executive producing new scripted and unscripted television shows. CWE Media is also responsible for developing and managing talent as well as executing strategic branding operations.

Rand Levin

Rand Levin is Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, at Universal Motown Republic Group, a division of Universal Music Group, where he is involved in all manner of business affairs transactions, including the negotiation of recording agreements, label agreements and distribution agreements, as well as non-transactional legal aspects of the business of the record division. Prior to joining Universal, Rand served as Senior Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs, at Razor & Tie Entertainment, an independent record label that includes traditional record label functions, as well as direct response and special products businesses. Prior to joining Razor & Tie, Rand was a litigation attorney at Robinson Silverman, Pearce Aronsohn & Berman, LLP (now Bryan Cave, LLP), where he specialized in intellectual property and employment law matters. Rand received a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was on the Law Review.

Peter Rubin

Peter Rubin is an artist, art director, designer, illustrator, sometime animator, director, and writer with more than nineteen years of experience in major motion pictures and hundreds of commercials under his belt. His credits include Stargate, Independence Day, Space Cowboys, Gangs of New York, Terminator 3, The Surrogates, Green Lantern, and Clint Eastwood’s upcoming Hereafter. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Perspective, Millimeter Magazine, and The Painter Wow Book.

Les Turbowitz

Leslie David Turbowitz is currently President of David Leslie Associates, a design and development firm. He has over 50 years of experience in toy and allied fields. During this time he spent 20 years in retailing where he rose through the ranks as Buyer Merchandise Manager, VP of Merchandising (with chains such as Macy’s and Arlans Discount Department Stores), Chairman of the Board for Circus World, and finally as the founder of his own business, Toys Etc. In 1976, he joined Remco Toy Company as VP of Product Development and ultimately served as Executive VP of Product Development. In this capacity, Les created designs, built prototypes, cost in factories, and developed mock-up packaging for products to be shown to major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and TRU. In this capacity, Les spent at least 6 months a year in Asia. He retired in 1997 and opened up a consulting firm. In 2003, he provided services for a company that had licensing rights to Coleman Sporting Goods products. He also provided services for WeGo, a company that made a line of products for Rubbermaid, Suave Cosmetics, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, and a complete line of antibacterial wipes. Currently Les is overseas developing a line of inflatable toys and bicycles for Ross, and he is also involved with WeGo kids developing a line of 3D products.

Jim Butz

Jim Butz has a foundation in business strategy/planning and operations expertise that started with over 25 years within corporate America. For the past 10 years, he has focused on helping small/medium businesses (SMB) start up and grow in Southern California. He keeps current on developing technologies through his involvement as an Associate Manager with California Capital Partners and as a member of Keiretsu Forum Angel Network. In addition, he is a Senior Consultant with TriTech Small Business Development Center where he counsels early-stage companies, helping them put together their businesses and, if required, the documentation needed to pursue third-party investments. In 2001, he co- founded Resonnect where he has been helping companies architect growth strategies and execution plans; negotiate strategic alliances and distribution agreements; and develop operation. For the past four years, he has been deeply involved with new technologies around social media networking and marketing and how to incorporate these tools into SMB companies for branding and business growth. Jim is currently providing counseling on social media marketing with a number of clients in both business-to- consumer and business-to-business environments spanning both product- and service-based companies. On a monthly basis, Jim listens to early-stage entrepreneurs present their business opportunities looking for investment. He provides advice to these entrepreneurs on changes that will make their presentations more acceptable to investors. Jim is active in the local technology community. He previously served on the Program Committee for the San Diego MIT Enterprise Forum, and has held Board positions at UC Riverside CONNECT and the San Diego High-Tech Marketing Alliance organizations. He also participates in an Advisory capacity to a number of early-stage companies.

Lauren S. Henry

Lauren S. Henry is a Sensory Designer & Color Expert as well as the President/Founder of, With a Brush of Love. Established in 2002, it is primary function is “transforming the lives of children diagnosed with autism and other special needs through their surroundings” Ms. Henry has been seen on HGTV’s “kidspace” and ABC’s, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and CNN. She has worked with facilities like the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Henry has also worked internationally, teaching seminars and providing design services for military families at Camp Foster in Okinawa through The Exceptional Family Member Program/MCCS, and the worldwide volunteer organization, Hands On Tokyo, in Japan. Her first book, “Unique Kids. Unique Surroundings” was released in September of 2009. With a Brush of Love has also been highlighted in the September 10th, 2010 issue of “The Huffington Post” and were awarded the Customer Service “Rave Reviews Award” as one of The Top Ten Best Service Oriented Companies from the Washington Business Journal. In October 2010, Ms. Henry was invited to host the Inaugural International Naturally Autistic People Awards in Vancouver B.C. Most recently, she was offered her own radio show, “With a Brush of Love presents…” on Blog Talk Radio via Family Network Radio every other Tuesday morning at 10am (PST) highlighting new cutting edge services and experts making a difference within the autism/special needs communities.

Joel Anderson

Joel was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Today, he’s an award-winning artist and outspoken advocate for autism awareness — with a heart bigger than life. Joel prefers to work with acrylic paints, though he also enjoys graphic arts. He is currently studying animation and graphic motion design in college. His art has been published in several books, including the recently released Artism: The Art of Autism by Debbie Hosseini and was also featured in the documentary film ARTS: A Film About Possibilities, Disabilities and the Arts, by Keri Bowers. He received the ANCA Awards, Inaugural 2010 International Award for Community Achievement from Naturally Autistic in British Columbia, Canada and a Certificate of Recognition from the California Senate. Joel hosted the 2011 International Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention in Vancouver, Canada, and is an official International Ambassador for the 2012 Awards alongside Dr. Temple Grandin. Since 2003, Joel has had the opportunity to realize his goal of helping people with autism, as well as those who love and care for them, through the support of The Autism Tree Project Foundation. With the help of the foundation and others, Joel has spoken to thousands of people, from elementary school to high school and university students, and even large corporations. He has also appeared on many news and radio stations, and shared the stage with celebrities who support autism awareness.