Chairman & CEO
A multi-Emmy Award-winning producer of children's entertainment, Andy Heyward has produced a record-breaking 5,000+ episodes of award-winning children's television programming. As former Chairman and CEO of DIC Entertainment and Co-President and CEO of A Squared Entertainment, he produced some of the most recognized and beloved series in children's animation, including The Real Ghostbusters, Inspector Gadget, Alvin and the Chipmunks, G.I. Joe, Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Super Mario Bros Super Show, Sabrina the Animated Series, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Captain Planet, Teddy Ruxpin, The New Archies, and dozens more. With numerous industry recognitions, including Emmy, Humanitas, Cable Ace and Environmental Media Awards, among others, Heyward was also inducted into the Kidscreen Hall of Fame and co-won the Studio of the Year at Italy's Cartoons on the Bay International Festival of Television Animation. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Heyward earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from UCLA.
Senior Vice President, Head of Worldwide Consumer Products
Lloyd Mintz is a seasoned industry executive with more than 20 years of experience in licensing, merchandising and new business development and is widely respected for his expertise in leveraging brand equity through licensing. He works with retailers and licensees to build comprehensive global consumer products’ programs for each of the company’s brands. Prior to GBI, Lloyd managed his own consultancy during which time he negotiated more than 150 licensing agreements and generated over $700MM in cumulative retail sales on behalf of clients across a range of brand owners and manufacturers. Most recently, he worked as Executive Vice President of Licensing for NYC-based Galaxy Brands that owned the AND1 and AVIA athletic brands. Previously, Lloyd worked at Hasbro, Inc. as the Vice President of Domestic Corporate Licensing where he pioneered the effort to license Hasbro’s classic game brands, such as Monopoly, to slot machine manufacturers. He began his licensing industry career at Disney Consumer Products where he oversaw Disney’s largest licensee, Mattel, Inc., and their development of toy programs for classic properties such as Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, and Aladdin. Lloyd graduated from Wesleyan University and earned his M.B.A. from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Chief Financial Officer
Robert Denton has spent the past six years in the role of CFO/Controller for Atlys Inc., a next-gen media technology company. His entertainment experience includes assisting with the restructuring of corporate financing for Gold Circle Films, a theatrical motion picture production and distribution company, as its interim chief financial officer; five years as CFO of DIC Entertainment Corp., the global brand management, production and distribution company specializing in family entertainment with annual sales of $85 million. Other previously held executive positions include Chief Operating Officer at Artisan Home Entertainment; Vice President of Finance for LIVE Home Video and VP, Chief Accounting Officer of LIVE Entertainment. He got his professional start with Ernst & Young's Century City office most recently as a Senior Manager.
Denton, a graduate of California State University, Northridge, with a BS degree in Business Administration-Accounting, Denton is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California as well as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Senior Vice President, Global Content Distribution & Marketing and President of Kid Genius
Debra Pierson is a former Kabillion executive and well-respected distribution, production, licensing and merchandising and marketing expert who has over 25 years of children’s entertainment experience. She is charged with spearheading the continued growth of the Company’s Kid Genius channel on Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand service. Debra served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for six years at Kabillion and helped launch the Kabillion Kids VOD channel. She was responsible for content acquisition, traffic, viewership and monetization of the broadband and cable Kabillion content offerings and attracted top advertising partners such as General Mills, Lego, Activision and Hasbro. Debra also oversaw the creation and launch of the Kabillion GIRLS RULE Channel. Prior to Kabillion, Debra was Vice President of Specialty Merchandise for Neopets, where she created the independent retailer merchandise and licensing strategy for the brand, bringing Neopets to market for their 25 million registered users and leading the product development, manufacturing, licensing and sales for the Neopets' Specialty Merchandise division. Most recently Debra served as CEO of Cosmic Toast Studios, since January 2013, working with an incredible talent pool of artists, directors, and producers to create live action and animation content for toy companies, networks, and major brands.
Director, Marketing & Communications
Melissa Kwechansky is a veteran marketing executive with over 14 years of experience. At GBI, she's in charge of all marketing and communication efforts for the portfolio of brands and corporate identity. Melissa has served in marketing roles at Disney Interactive, CAA, Sony Pictures, EQAL and various start-ups. She's launched several high-profile initiatives including LaurenConrad.com and StandUp2Cancer.org. Melissa received a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Vice President, Production
Mark Young is an Emmy Award-winning producer, director, and writer. He previously served as Executive Producer at MGM Animation and was responsible for story editing 48 half-hours of the syndicated series The Pink Panther; co-writing and producing the theatrical All Dogs Go To Heaven II; developing the home video feature Babes in Toyland; as well as a range of live action specials, series, and direct-to-video features. Before MGM, Mark worked as Senior Vice President of Development and Programming, story editor and writer at Hanna-Barbara where he worked on series, including The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, The Addams Family, A Flintstone Christmas, Yogi, the Easter Bear, The Arabian Nights, as well as the writer of the Emmy Award-winning animated primetime special The Halloween Tree.
General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Business Affairs
Michael Jaffa served as Head of Business Affairs at DreamWorks Animation Television and was responsible for all studio business and legal affairs matters, including the negotiation and drafting of hundreds of development, production, acquisition, talent, digital and music agreements. Previously, he was the Vice President of Legal & Business Affairs for Hasbro Studios, working directly with Hasbro Studios' President, CFO, and General Manager to help create programs and launch strategy for a new studio and related network. Michael has also represented various clients, including Sony Pictures Animation and MGM Studios. Michael received a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Vice President of Global Consumer Products & Retail Development
With over 25 years of experience in global entertainment consumer products, Elfenbein previously served as Vice President, Retail Business Development at ZAG, an award-winning global independent animation studio. Previously, she served as Executive Director of Retail Development at SANRIO and has also held senior management positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGA Entertainment, DIC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products.