October 28, 2018
Welcome to Media Play News’ inaugural 40 Under 40 — what we anticipate will be an annual list of talented young executives worth keeping an eye on.
The home entertainment industry is bigger than ever. With subscription VOD by Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others joining the traditional transactional model, consumers have never had as many choices as they do now when it comes to watching movies and other content where, when and how they want to.
With the at-home sector expanding, a new generation of leaders is emerging to chart the industry’s future course. Our inaugural 40 Under 40 is a diverse list rich in both talent and promise. Some honorees are already influential business leaders; others are up-and-comers with a fresh perspective and a toolbox of skills that have yet to be fully deployed.
And we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that back in 1977, when the late Andre Blay effectively birthed the home entertainment business by licensing 50 movie titles from 20th Century Fox and releasing them on cassette under the Magnetic Video label, none of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 was even born!
Our honorees are listed alphabetically by last name.
Lyndsey Adams, 30
Customer Marketing Manager, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Adams develops, secures and executes creative promotions for Universal at Walmart, one of the top home entertainment retailers in the country. For the recent release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, she coordinated 1,000 Brand Ambassadors in 500 Walmart stores interacting with customers to sample UPHE’s innovative Augmented Reality-enabled corrugate. Additionally, Adams oversaw parking lot events in 120 Walmart stores that allowed customers to interact with the “Jurassic World” brand through Virtual Reality, Lego displays, photo ops and more. Earlier, Adams — who began her UPHE career as an intern — secured Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again integration into Walmart’s national radio broadcast network, highlighting UPHE’s exclusive movie and soundtrack offer.
Christina Avitabile, 34
Head, Content Distribution & Licensing (TVOD/SVOD/AVOD), YouTube & Google Play
Avitabile leads the content distribution and licensing business across YouTube and Google Play. She is responsible for business development and partnerships for Google’s transactional movies and TV stores (on Google Play and YouTube) as well as licensing and acquisition deals for YouTube. Before joining Google in January 2014, Avitabile spent a year in content acquisition, digital video, for Amazon. Before that she was involved in content and acquisition strategy at Sony Network Entertainment International. A UC Berkeley graduate, Avitabile began her career as an investment banker at Citi and then spent three years in corporate development at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Nick Bell, 34
VP of Content, Snapchat
Bell launched his first dotcom venture, Teenfront.com, at 16 in the United Kingdom before joining News Corp. as SVP in his 20s. He joined Snap in 2014 and works with co-founder Evan Spiegel as the social media app moves into original content, including video, via Snapchat Discover. Notable deals include a partnership with NBC Sports Group for “Premier League: Extra Time” and the reality dating shows “Phone Swap” and “Second Chance.” In March, Snap bowed an augmented reality marketing deal with Sony Pictures for the home release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, incorporating a special code on packaging and marketing materials that filtered through Snap.
Joe Burg, 35
Executive Director, Virtual Reality and Content Development, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Burg is one of Sony Pictures’ young futurists, charged with harnessing new technologies to enhance the customer experience. Known for his skills in writing and producing award-winning creative and interactive content, he leads a team of content producers in creating next-generation home entertainment experiences. He is the lead producer on all of Sony Pictures’ virtual reality (VR) initiatives, including The Walk mobile, Goosebumps mobile, Ghostbusters VR Playstation and Spider-Man: Homecoming VR experiences. A 2005 University of Arizona graduate, Burg joined Sony in 2012 after nearly five years at 20th Century Fox in global content development for television.
April Carretta, 39
SVP, Global Communications & Partnerships, Worldwide, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Carretta serves as a senior leader on Fox’s integrated marketing communications team, helping to drive global communications and secure critical partnerships with major brands across corporate and consumer-facing initiatives for all 20th Century Fox title releases and next-generation technologies. This year she led one of the most successful home entertainment communications campaigns of the year for Deadpool 2: Super Duper Cut as well as the 25th anniversary of the baseball classic The Sandlot, which included a partnership with Major League Baseball and a “Today” show segment and culminated with a 20-city tour that brought the film and its cast to stadiums around the country.
Leda Chang, 37
VP, Interactive Marketing, Paramount Home Media Distribution
Chang joined Paramount in August 2017 to oversee the home media division’s global interactive marketing. Recent successes include digital and social campaigns for A Quiet Place and Daddy’s Home 2, driven by consumer insight strategies that provided the foundation for standout creative and new partnership development. Chang additionally oversees tiered catalog campaigns to deliver incremental results using seasonal triggers, milestones and targeted social tactics. Chang joined Paramount from Universal Music Group, where she started and developed the digital marketing team for UMe. Prior to that, she had roles within Edelman Digital, Republic and Motown Records.
Emi Chau, 32
Manager, Site Merchandising, Vudu
Chau is a merchandising manager at Vudu, Walmart’s digital video service. She joined Vudu in 2009 — the same year she graduated from San Jose State University, and a year before it was acquired by Walmart — and began contributing as a member of the merchandising department in 2014. It was during that time that her numerous successes in promotional strategy and building studio partnerships led to her promotion into her current role in 2017. Over the past nine years, she has helped Vudu grow to the point where it now delivers more than 180,000 movies and TV shows, many in industry-leading 4K HDR quality, to countless households and users. Chau currently manages more than 40 studio and television network partners, driving weekly merchandising strategies and promotions across the Vudu service.
Rachel Derrico, 31
Senior Manager, Content Programming, Vudu
Derrico joined Vudu in January 2017 with eight years of experience in the entertainment industry and a master’s degree in the field from Fairleigh Dickinson University. An avid fan of television, film, music and pop culture, she spent nearly four years at Showtime Networks, most recently as a manager in program planning and scheduling. In addition to developing and executing the monthly linear/non-linear program plans for all channels, she was responsible for analyzing content performance and evaluating and altering programming strategy. Content continues to be key at Vudu, which two years ago launched an ad-supported “Movies on Us” service, with a catalog of more than 7,000 catalog TV shows and movies free to stream with commercials.
Erica Marie Dionne, 35
VP, Product Development and Strategy, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Dionne oversees UPHE’s digital product strategy and management, including pricing and windowing across film new-release, catalog and television content. She also guides the Movies Anywhere product roadmap via the cross-studio Product Council. Dionne combines strategic thinking with product expertise to champion best practices across retailers. Accomplishments include launching and managing the Digital Movie Card pilot, as well as securing a trial partner (BJ’s), and launching the first-ever Enhanced Extras experience with Comcast on the X1 platform. She subsequently facilitated the launch of Enhanced Extras experiences on the Vudu and FandangoNow mobile platforms.
Michael Epperly, 34
Senior Business Planner, Microsoft Movies & TV
Epperly is charged with managing the movies and TV relationships with Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, HBO, Funimation and others, as well as driving creative programs that combine movie and television content with Xbox offerings. He works across numerous stakeholder groups to drive insights and sales initiation planning. Epperly joined Microsoft Movies & TV in 2016 as global business planner for television, joining the digital store with a background in digital advertising and games monetization. He’s known for his strong analytical skills and ability to convert data into actionable insight.
Barrett Evans, 35
VP, Marketing and Product Development, Mill Creek Entertainment
Executives at indies typically wear many hats, but Evans is a veritable milliner. Over the last decade he’s helped guide Mill Creek — the industry’s leading provider of value DVD compilations — to bigger releases such as the complete series of “The Shield,” “Rescue Me,” “Masters of Sex,” “Community” and others. He oversaw the release of the first-run Flora, a first for Mill Creek, and is currently working on the development of a new streaming service, BINGEflix, that Mill Creek is launching this fall.
Blair Fetter, 37
Director, Original Series, Netflix
Digital originals — fueled by binge-watching — are Netflix’s growth engine, and Fetter is one of the executives charged with keeping that engine purring. Fetter came aboard in April 2012, shortly after Netflix began acquiring original content. The first series, “House of Cards,” went on the air the following February, and the rest, as they say, is history. Fetter’s first contribution was “Bojack Horseman,” Netflix’s first adult animated series. He’s also had a hand in “The Ranch,” with Ashton Kutcher, and the animated adult sitcom “Big Mouth” (season two bowed on Oct. 5). Before Netflix, Fetter — a 2004 USC film school graduate — spent five years on the crew of HBO’s “Big Love.”
Adam Frank, 31
SVP, Worldwide Digital Sales & Distribution, Lionsgate
Frank manages worldwide transactional digital sales and distribution for Lionsgate’s film and television content across a wide spectrum of digital and MVPD platforms. Frank joined Lionsgate as an analyst in May 2011, a year after he graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in media studies. He moved into digital sales and distribution and has since been instrumental in developing Lionsgate’s new windowing strategies, including the company’s industry-leading day-and-date theatrical and VOD business. He oversaw the digital release strategies of La La Land, Wonder and “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight,” “Now You See Me” and “John Wick” franchises and has a constant focus on monetizing the studio’s 17,000-title library.
Maura Gray, 35
Director, Brand and Product Marketing, Redbox
Elevated to director of brand and product marketing earlier this year, Gray is a five-year Redbox veteran who has led multiple, large-scale brand and marketing initiatives for the entertainment brand, known for its ubiquitous red disc-rental kiosks as well as its fast-growing digital Redbox On Demand offering. Her credits include the Redbox On Demand launch, the 4K Ultra HD market test and the company’s rebranding that includes Redbox’s first-ever major ad campaigns. A Penn State graduate, Gray previously focused on ad sales and partnership marketing at the National Geographic Channels.
Christopher Greavu, 38
VP, Sales, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Greavu is charged with developing and executing innovative sales programs and manages Fox’s No. 1 retail account, Walmart. He coordinated the first theatrical draft photobomb promotion for the home release of Deadpool 2, with Blu-ray Disc covers of other well-known movies doctored to include Deadpool 2 at point of purchase, sparking massive social conversation and media coverage. He also developed and executed Fox’s first Digital Redemption Cards at Walmart, and played a key role in overseeing the industry-first expansion of physical sellthrough product on the Vudu platform. Prior responsibilities include strategic account management and driving go-to-market strategies for partnerships with Vudu, Target and Best Buy.
Paul Haddon, 38
Director, Global Sales, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Haddon manages Warner Bros.’ relationship with Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox to drive WB’s extensive new-release slate and catalog of movies, TV shows and video games. He creates partnership opportunities between WB games and video content to maximize core IP, with a focus on the DC franchise and other recent console-friendly hits such as Ready Player One. He has a wealth of international experience and collaborates closely with WB teams around the world to develop global initiatives. Haddon started his home entertainment career at WB in 2003 as a Marketing Assistant for EMEA based in London, and spent 10 years working with licensed markets during the division’s fastest period of disc and digital sales growth. Warner Bros. moved him to Los Angeles in 2015. Haddon is a 2001 graduate of the University of Birmingham.
Brandt Haynes, 39
SVP, Product Management and Partner Marketing, Worldwide Digital Distribution and Home Entertainment, HBO
Haynes leads a team responsible for the strategic business planning and partner marketing/operations for HBO’s global home entertainment and domestic digital distribution businesses, including HBO NOW and the HBO and Cinemax offerings on Sony Vue, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. He joined HBO in 2007 after earning his MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Initially, he oversaw marketing for HBO’s documentary DVD releases. Since then, his team has managed the worldwide phenomenon “Game of Thrones” within the home entertainment category for the past seven seasons. Each season was among the top home entertainment TV titles in its year of release.
David Heimerl, 39
Senior Director, Creative Services, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
A valued leader in UPHE’s creative department, Heimerl is known for balancing creative solutions with business acumen to come up with winning formulas that work for all parties involved. Most recently, he played a key role in the development of the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in-store and in-home Augmented Reality experience. It was the largest retail effort of its kind for both UPHE and Facebook, spanning 18 countries, and also was the first integrated AR experience across the Facebook family of apps. A nearly 15-year UPHE veteran, Heimerl holds an MBA from USC’s prestigious Marshall School of Business.
Laura Lupinetti Hofmeister, 33
VP, Film Trade Marketing, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Hofmeister serves in a leadership position in WBHE’s film business, driving national go-to-market strategy across new-release, theatrical catalog and cinematic VR. She and her team are responsible for curation of content and price variability to maximize sales and placement across various windows in an ever-changing landscape. Hofmeister has both domestic and international experience at Warner Bros. within multiple functional areas. She joined the studio in 2010 from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers and subsequently completed stints in the WB Amsterdam, Paris, and New York (DC Comics) offices in various finance roles before moving to home entertainment in 2013.
Lisa Holme, 35
VP, Content Acquisition, Hulu
Holme oversees content strategy, licensing and business development at Hulu, the No. 3 SVOD service — and home to such hit digital originals as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Castle Rock.” Named by Fast Company to its “The Most Creative People in Business” list, Holme joined Hulu in November 2010 from Illumination Entertainment. She has since played a key role in bringing content to Hulu from major broadcast and cable networks, movie studios and other rights holders, including FX, Disney, NBCUniversal, CBS, WB, Viacom, Sony, Lionsgate, Turner, AMC, A+E, Discovery, Epix, Magnolia and IFC Films. Holme is a 2005 graduate of Yale University and began her career at McKinsey & Co.
Sonia Jain, 39
Jain is responsible for the financial health of Redbox, with its fleet of disc-rental kiosks and fast-growing online TVOD and electronic sellthrough store. She’s charged with setting financial direction, developing strategies to drive profitability and deal support. A former Morgan Stanley investment banker and McKinsey & Company consultant, Jain has been with the Redbox organization since 2010, when she joined then-parent Outerwall. It was under her watch that the company was acquired by Apollo Global Management and launched its Redbox On Demand online video store. A Harvard MBA, Jain also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.
Rebecca Johnson, 34
Senior Brand Manager, Theatrical New Releases, Paramount Home Media Distribution
Johnson is responsible for the creation and execution of fresh, innovative and creative marketing campaigns for the studio’s theatrical titles on home media. Over the past three years she has collaborated on strategic planning for tentpole franchises such as “Mission: Impossible” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” spearheaded campaign delivery for the multi-award-winning film Fences, and established partnership programs for hits such as the Oscar-winner The Big Short. Johnson has 10 years’ experience in home media marketing, having joined Paramount from an independent studio in London where she developed marketing campaigns for more than 50 arthouse, indie and genre releases per year. She holds a master of arts degree in contemporary cinema cultures from King’s College London.
Angie Kang, 36
VP, Business and Legal Affairs, Hulu
Kang joined Hulu in late 2011 and has been the point person on numerous content acquisition deals that have built out Hulu’s library. Kang also has led all major deals for Hulu’s original series, including “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Casual,” and locked in the first official content provider for Hulu’s live-streaming service. She also led negotiations with Warner Bros. to guarantee the studio’s content will be available live and on-demand. After earning her law degree at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Kang began her legal career in 2008 in the corporate department of Latham & Watkins, where she represented numerous start-ups and technology companies.
Mary Khachikyan, 36
VP, Production Release Planning, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Khachikyan oversees the 25-member production and release planning team at UPHE, managing master data, procurement and production planning for the distribution of all physical product in the United States and Canada. This includes releases for NBCUniversal as well as for partners such as Paramount Pictures, Cinedigm, Shout! Factory, Funimation, PBS, Well Go, STX, Pureflix, Neon, Bleecker Street and others. She has been instrumental in producing efficiencies within the operations team, working to create a nimble, lean organization poised to successfully manage the requirements of a rapidly changing industry. Khachikyan also spearheads sustainability efforts to reduce the industry’s environmental impact through the development and implementation of eco-friendly initiatives.
Amanda Kozlowski, 39
EVP, Home Entertainment and Digital Distribution Marketing, Lionsgate
A 10-year veteran of Lionsgate, Kozlowski was promoted into her present position in October 2018. She oversees Lionsgate’s marketing efforts across traditional and emerging platforms and technologies for the entire home entertainment and digital distribution division. This includes Lionsgate feature films and TV titles, original Starz programming, a 17,000-title library, and third-party titles from such content companies as StudioCanal, Amazon Studios and CBS Films. Kozlowski previously served as SVP of digital marketing. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Kozlowski oversaw campaigns for marketing agency A.D.D. Marketing + Advertising as well for the nonprofit organization Film Independent. Kozlowski holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.
Sera Leggett, 36
Manager, Content Operations, Google Play Movies & TV
Leggett heads the New York team for Google Play Movies & TV business and content operations. She partners with product and engineering teams to develop solutions that delight consumers and deliver value to the Google global ecosystem. Prior to joining Google in New York in December 2017, Leggett spent over a decade in digital media distribution working at Kaplan, RR Donnelley, Microsoft, O’Reilly and Google. A Western Michigan University alum, she has supported end-to-end digital ecosystems and managed the day-to-day services pipeline of digital entertainment and software products for movies and TV, books and magazines, e-learning, video games, content, apps, avatars, currency and tokens, as well as operating systems.
Adriana Monsalve, 33
Director, Digital Marketing, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Monsalve joined Warner Bros. in November 2015, leading digital owned/earned/paid strategies for a high volume of titles across various home entertainment business units, including theatrical new release, catalog TV, and family and animation. Her efforts resulted in six industry awards (Clio, Telly and IAC) over two years. In early 2018, Monsalve’s role transitioned to fully oversee digital paid media strategies to advance WBHE’s position in an increasingly dynamic, data-driven landscape. Prior to WB, Monsalve was an agency-side digital media strategist, having spent eight years working with studio and TV entertainment clients including Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Disney Channel, and Paramount Pictures.
Alejandro Otero, 39
SVP, Digital Distribution and Mastering, Pixelogic Media
Otero has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry with a focus on post-production servicing. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Otero joined Sony’s DVD Center. In 2004 he joined Radius60 Studios and worked to create the company’s digital and creative servicing division. Otero came to Pixelogic through its 2016 acquisition of Radius60 and now manages the digital distribution and mastering pipelines in addition to leading the company’s product development vision. He has played a lead role in building the company’s end-to-end localization and distribution platform, pHelix, which employs AI and ML to automate many post-production processes that previously were manual.
Jason Peterson, 36
CEO, GoDigital Media Group
Peterson is an entrepreneur, attorney and producer who has worked in the entire media value chain, from production and post through marketing and distribution. His GoDigital Media Group and its subsidiaries Cinq Music, ContentBridge, AdShare, VidaPrimo, and Distribber build and collect revenue from a media market transforming from ownership to access rights. ContentBridge recently encoded and delivered Studio 100 TV’s entire catalog to leading Belgian telecom Proximus, with specific versions optimized for television as well as the new Studio 100 Go mobile application. In January, VidaPrimo partnered with the live and on-demand OTT service XUMO to launch the first Latin music video channel available on the platform.
Melinda Petrow, 35
Senior Director, Brand Strategy, FandangoNow
Petrow is the senior director of brand strategy for Fandango and FandangoNow, the movie-ticket leader’s premium video-on-demand streaming service. She drives brand strategy for Fandango, FandangoNow, Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster and Fandango Movieclips to deliver an integrated consumer experience across all platforms. Petrow develops and leads strategic marketing plans, messaging, and national and local advertising campaigns for each business unit’s original video series, live events, seasonal content, product initiatives and launches to drive brand awareness, engagement and sales. Previously, she oversaw public relations for Movies.com, and as a Fandango spokesperson, Petrow has appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” the Fox Business channel and CBS’s “The Insider.”
Julie Rapaport, 34
Co-Head, Movies, Amazon Studios
Rapaport was thrust into the spotlight in September 2018 when she was tapped to co-head the movie production team at Amazon Studios, joining Ted Hope and Matt Newman and reporting to studio boss Jennifer Salke. Rapaport joined the streaming giant in 2015 as senior manager of development, production and acquisitions, at Amazon Studios. She oversaw the Plan B festival title Beautiful Boy as well as Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying and Mike White’s Brad’s Status. In her new role, Rapaport is charged with developing bigger-budget movies that appeal to wider audiences. Prior to Amazon, Rapaport — a Tufts University alum — was part of the Weinstein Co. production and development team.
Michael Roberts, 28
Senior Manager, Customer Marketing, Paramount Home Media Distribution
Roberts manages digital campaigns for Paramount Home Media Distribution’s new-release and catalog titles. Over the past three years he has put his social media and digital marketing skills to work on a wide range of titles while developing strong relationships with digital customers. Roberts began his career at Paramount in the page program and subsequently was offered a position as an assistant in the marketing department. From there he steadily advanced up the ranks to become senior manager this past July. Roberts holds a degree from Cal State Fullerton.
Ben Schwaid, 35
VP, Business and Analytics, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
As head of the analytics team for UPHE’s digital sales group, Schwaid has put his degree in computer science from New York University and MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management to good use. His insights have influenced key windowing, pricing and product innovation decisions. He’s built and managed strategic planning, revenue forecasting and performance analysis processes from the ground up as the group’s revenue more than doubled. He leads the annual long-range planning process, building market projections based on sales trends, analyst reports and consumer research. He also created an industry-leading statistical model to forecast film VOD and EST revenue by title, improving accuracy by a multiple of four.
Dan Slepak, 33
Executive Director, Digital Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Slepak is charged with managing Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s content distribution relationships with key digital retailers Apple iTunes, Google, Microsoft (Xbox) and PlayStation. His focus is on growing the transactional VOD business. Appointed to his present position in August 2017, Slepak began his career at Sony five years ago as a digital strategist, analyzing and informing commercial decisions, optimizing the studio’s approach to business planning, pricing, greenlighting and consumer research, and developing best practices for tactics such as bundling and rent-to-own. Prior to joining Sony, Slepak worked at Mercer Investment Consulting and United Talent Agency. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School and an undergraduate degree in business administration from USC.
Nantalie Song, 35
Senior Director of Marketing, FandangoNow
Song directs marketing efforts for FandangoNow. She leads efforts that accelerate new growth and customer retention through digital marketing, advertising and partnerships. Prior to joining Fandango, she held several brand marketing roles at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, overseeing DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital launches for the studio’s slate of theatrical new-release and family titles. Her love of movies and TV began at a young age, and led her to a career in entertainment that also includes marketing and finance roles at Fox Television and Sony Pictures.
Kim Staruk, 36
Executive Director, Marketing, Cinedigm
Staruk joined mega-indie film distributor Cinedigm in March 2014 and currently manages distribution partners such as Hallmark, Status Media, Studio City Pictures and the NHL. She is responsible for overseeing the general partner relationships, along with the overall business strategy and marketing plans for these key content partners and their films. And talk about results: For the Hallmark brand, digital movie sales rose 20% in 2017 over 2016, while DVD and Blu-ray Disc revenues were up 22%. Staruk, a 2004 graduate of the University of Florida, previously spent four years as a marketing brand manager at Universal Music and two years at Sony in SPT International Production.
Anjali Sud, 35
Sud made headlines in 2017 after being named CEO of video streaming platform Vimeo at the age of 34 — three years after joining the company as VP of marketing. The daughter of an immigrant household growing up in Flint, Mich., Sud told Yahoo Finance her father “raised me with this idea that businesses can help create jobs and have a positive force of influence on your local community.” Prior to joining Vimeo, Sud spent four years at Amazon working in business development. She is attempting to transition Vimeo into a B2B video platform after previous CEO Kerry Trainor’s abandoned attempt to morph the service into a Netflix-style SVOD catering to indie content.
Katie Ullrich, 35
Director, Digital Retail Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Ullrich oversees retail marketing of movies and other Sony Pictures content for digital retailers such as Apple iTunes, FandangoNow, Google, Microsoft (Xbox) and PlayStation. A brand expert with a passion for entertainment, she has created customized high-impact retail campaigns on event titles such as Baby Driver, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Ullrich joined SPHE as Brand Marketing Manager in July 2014, leading innovative marketing campaigns for major studio releases, and was promoted into her present position in April 2017. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, she came to Sony after seven years at Paramount, where she served as Brand Marketing Manager, International.
Seth Van Sickel, 36
Director of Operations, Sling TV
As director of operations since January 2016, Van Sickel has been a key contributor to the launch and continued success of Sling TV, the streaming TV service launched exactly one year earlier by Dish Network. Van Sickel, a 2004 graduate of Iowa State University, oversees more than 60 people and is responsible for managing all teams that focus on Sling TV’s customer experience, including the Command Center, the operational analytics team and the user acceptance testing (UAT) team. He has overseen the launch of more than 650 channels since the service’s launch, including more than 80,000 on-demand assets. In 2018, he won Sling TV’s “Best in Class” award.
Gabrielle Waary, 34
Director, Digital Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment
A Penn State graduate, Waary manages SPHE’s content distribution relationships with residential video-on-demand retailers such as Comcast, AT&T Entertainment Group and Spectrum. A key player within SPHE’s digital distribution team, Waary is focused on building the studio’s transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) business. An expert in driving revenue and account management, she has created dynamic TVOD campaigns in partnership with MPVDs reaching more than 60 million households, for top releases such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hotel Transylvania and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. Waary has more than 10 years of experience in digital distribution. Prior to joining SPHE in 2013, she worked for 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate and Capitol Records.