Eric Ellenbogen, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chair of WildBrain, has spent more than 30 years running entertainment businesses, including holding senior management roles as President of Broadway Video Entertainment (the TV and film production and distribution company founded by Lorne Michaels); President of Golden Books Family Entertainment; and President and CEO of Marvel Enterprises before its acquisition by Disney. With the backing of private equity, he co-founded Classic Media in 2000, which became one of the largest private owners of branded kids’ and family entertainment and was acquired by DreamWorks Animation (DWA) in 2012. At DWA, Mr. Ellenbogen became Co-Head of DreamWorks Classics and DreamWorks International Television, and was largely responsible for the company’s entry into the television business. Following DWA’s sale to NBCUniversal, Ellenbogen became Co-President of Classic Media, which was restarted as a business unit of NBCUniversal. Mr. Ellenbogen was a board director of Golden Books and Marvel, then both public companies, and is a Trustee of the Public Theater in New York City among other civic involvements. He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds an MBA from UCLA.
Aaron Ames, Chief Financial Officer of WildBrain, has had a long career in management roles for public and private companies. He was Chief Operating Officer of WildBrain’s predecessor company, DHX Media, from April 2018 to September 2019, during which time he oversaw a program to improve operational efficiencies and streamline the business. Previously, he was Chief Integration Officer for DHX Media following the Company’s acquisition of Cookie Jar Entertainment, where he was Chief Financial Officer. A Certified Professional Accountant (Ontario & Ohio) and specialist in business improvement, M&A integration and synergies, Aaron has held senior roles with Atlas Cold Storage (TSX: FZR), Centenario Copper (TSX: CCT), Coretec (TSX: CYY) and TSC Stores LP. Aaron graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1993 with a Master’s of Accountancy and worked for Ernst & Young in Cleveland and Toronto until 2001.
Josh Scherba, President, oversees the talented teams at WildBrain who are responsible for creating winning kids’ and family content and placing it on screens globally. Mr. Scherba has been with the company since its founding in 2006, coming over with DECODE Entertainment when it merged with Halifax Film to form WildBrain’s predecessor company, DHX Media. Since that time, Mr. Scherba’s passion for kids’ and family content has been key to driving the growth of WildBrain’s business into a leading international producer and supplier of television programming. As President, Mr. Scherba leads the creative and business teams behind the development and production of series, as well as content distribution sales. Mr. Scherba has also played an integral role in building the Company’s leading YouTube-based kids’ network, WildBrain Spark.
As Executive Vice President, Content and Current Series, Stephanie Betts applies her many years of experience in kids’ and family content, fostering, managing and expanding WildBrain’s content slate. Ms. Betts’ expertise lies in building strong, creatively driven teams, and in developing series that kids around the world love. Drawing on more than a 16 years’ experience developing and producing award-winning series, Ms. Betts has spearheaded numerous WildBrain shows, including new Peanuts content, Strawberry Shortcake, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Inspector Gadget, Teletubbies, Polly Pocket, and Chip and Potato. Prior to joining WildBrain, Ms. Betts worked as a Producer and Development Executive at Breakthrough Films and Television, and previously at Atomic Cartoons.
James Bishop, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of WildBrain, is responsible for the corporate legal function of WildBrain. He joined WildBrain in 2014 and has held a series of progressively senior roles in the Company’s business and legal affairs group since then. Prior to joining WildBrain, Mr. Bishop was an associate at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP where his practice covered a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. Mr. Bishop was part-time faculty with Dalhousie Schulich School of Law from 2015-2019, where he taught Entertainment Law. He is on the board of directors of the Atlantic International Film Festival. Mr. Bishop holds a B.Sc. (Hon.) from Queen’s University and a J.D. and MBA from Dalhousie University.
Deirdre Brennan, Executive Vice President of Content Partnerships at WildBrain, plays a key role in WildBrain’s content group, overseeing the company’s global distribution business as well as its suite of Family-branded broadcast channels in Canada. Ms. Brennan previously worked for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment as General Manager, Universal Kids, where she worked across NBCU to optimize the company’s kids & family business. Production under her leadership expanded significantly at NBCU, earning 13 daytime Emmy nominations for the originals. Prior to NBCU, Ms. Brennan was Vice President, Content at Corus Entertainment, where she oversaw all aspects of the kids’ portfolio in Canada. At the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, prior to Corus, Ms. Brennan was ABC TV’s Head of Children’s, leading programming, acquisition and commissioning for Australia’s most successful children’s services. Prior to that, as Director of Content/General Manager for BBC Worldwide Australia, she managed BBC’s branded services and content development across drama, entertainment and factual, as well as regional IP management and audience strategy, including the launch of BBC First. Ms. Brennan also previously worked as Director of Programming, Nickelodeon Australia. Ms. Brennan is a Member of the International Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences and BAFTA NY.
Jon Gisby, Managing Director, WildBrain Spark, has spent twenty years leading, building and advising major companies that create and distribute premium digital content. He was one of the many architects of the BBC’s strategy for online and on-demand services. As Managing Director of Freeserve, he built and monetized one of the UK’s largest online audiences via a portfolio of hundreds of partnerships in media, technology and ecommerce. He became Managing Director of Yahoo! UK and later ran their media and communications products across Europe. As a Director at Channel 4, he transformed the broadcaster’s digital services and culture by building 4oD into the UK’s leading VOD business. He has subsequently helped launch several OTT video ventures including Rightster in the UK and Magine TV in Sweden and Germany. He was Head of Europe at Vevo, the joint venture between Sony Music and Universal Music Group which delivers 25 billion video views a month via OTT services and major partnerships. He also chairs the British Screen Advisory Council (BSAC), the UK’s leading forum for senior commercial and policy executives in TV, Film, Games and Digital Media, whose members include the major broadcasters, studios, platforms and producers. He started his career in strategy consulting having graduated from Oxford, Johns Hopkins and Harvard Business School.
Anne Loi, EVP M&A and Chief Commercial Officer, works closely with senior management and the Company’s talented content teams to help drive WildBrain’s leading slate of kids’ and family shows. She oversees content and IP investments, key external partnerships, and research & insights in addition to her responsibilities in mergers and acquisition activities. Ms. Loi has been a core member of WildBrain’s leadership team since the Company’s founding in 2006, coming over with DECODE Entertainment when it merged with Halifax Film to form WildBrain’s predecessor, DHX Media. Prior to joining WildBrain, Ms. Loi was Vice President of Financial Strategy at Extend Media and before that, she held various management positions at IMG Group (now Lavalife), Proctor & Gamble and Deloitte. Ms. Loi is a Chartered Professional Account (Ontario), holds a BA from Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
Amir Nasrabadi, Executive Vice President and General Manager – Vancouver Studio, has over 20 years’ experience in production, operations, finance and strategy in the animation and visual effects industry, having held senior roles with some of the world’s top production companies and studios. At WildBrain’s Vancouver animation studio, Mr. Nasrabadi oversees all animation production, leading the Vancouver animation team in working closely with WildBrain’s creative, content and brands teams. Prior to WildBrain, Mr. Nasrabadi was EVP of Finance and Operations for Illumination, producers of such global hits as Despicable Me, Minions, The Grinch and Sing. At Illumination, Mr. Nasrabadi led all aspects of operations, IT, finance, planning, competitive and industry analysis, and business development. Prior to Illumination, Mr. Nasrabadi was SVP of Production at Paramount Animation, and before Paramount, Mr. Nasrabadi worked for 15 years with The Walt Disney Studios, where he was VP Finance and Operations for DisneyToon Studios, and then in 2009, launched and ran Pixar Canada in Vancouver. As VP and General Manager of Pixar Canada, Mr. Nasrabadi oversaw all production and represented the Pixar brand to the creative community, local and provincial government and industry leaders. Mr. Nasrabadi started his career with Deloitte & Touche in 1993 as a CPA. He holds a BA in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Danielle Neath, EVP Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, oversees WildBrain’s finance team, which is responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, treasury, tax, rights management and royalties. She joined the Company as VP, Finance in 2012, coming over with the acquisition of Cookie Jar Entertainment, where she was VP Corporate Controller from 2009 to 2012. Since that time, she has held a series of progressively senior roles in the Company’s finance department and now manages a team of over 30 finance professionals. From 2005 to 2009, Ms. Neath held senior finance positions at Softchoice Corporation and Harris Corporation. Prior to that, she worked for Ernst & Young LLP in London, Ontario. Ms. Neath is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Ontario) and graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2003 with a Master’s of Accounting.
Michael Riley, Chief Brands Officer of WildBrain, draws on over 25 years of experience in company building, brand and IP development and global marketing to identify and develop key franchise opportunities for WildBrain’s portfolio of renowned kids and family brands. Mr. Riley has previously worked for some of the biggest firms in entertainment, consumer products and media, focusing on top children’s IP, including Strawberry Shortcake, Polly Pocket, Power Rangers, Ben 10 and My Little Pony. As VP of Franchise Development and Content Strategy & Distribution at Mattel, he was charged with starting a division which identified, launched and expanded Mattel’s billion-dollar franchises. Prior to Mattel, Mr. Riley led the start-up of Hasbro’s Franchise and Entertainment Division, driving consumer engagement to transform brands into kids and family entertainment franchises. He has also held senior roles in strategic marketing and brand development at Bandai America and at Sony Pictures Entertainments’ consumer products division. In his early career, he built a foundation in agency work (Saatchi & Saatchi), research (Information Resources), and classic consumer products (Nestle). Since 2014, Mr. Riley was a principal with IP 360 Group, a consultancy firm specializing in creating and executing strategic plans to launch, build and grow kids and family IP across all platforms. Mr. Riley holds a B.S., Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.
Tara Talbot, EVP, Global Talent, leads WildBrain’s Talent team with a focus on human resources, development, leadership and culture. Ms. Talbot joined WildBrain in 2016 bringing more than 20 years of progressively senior experience in Human Resources and Communications across numerous industries such as technology, healthcare and entertainment. Previously, Ms. Talbot held the role of Vice President, Human Resources & Communications at Workopolis, where she was responsible for establishing and driving employee acquisition and retention strategies, as well as establishing the employee engagement “best-practices” for Canada’s leading online career management resource. She was also the public-relations spokesperson for Workopolis with the media. Prior to that role, Ms. Talbot was the Vice President, Human Resources at TeraGo Networks. Concurrently, Ms. Talbot was a Professor in the School of Business at Georgian College. Ms. Talbot holds an MBA, a post graduate certificate in Human Resources Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Joe Tedesco, Chair, WildBrain Television, draws on his decades of experience in broadcast television to focus on revenue relationships, business development, regulatory matters and government relations for WildBrain’s Canadian broadcast channels. Mr. Tedesco is also Chair the Programming Committee for WildBrain Television. Prior to this, Mr. Tedesco was Executive Vice President and General Manager of WildBrain Television, during which time he oversaw the day-to-day operations, strategic development and overall financial performance of WildBrain’s broadcast group. Before joining WildBrain Television, Mr. Tedesco held the position of Senior Vice President, Finance & Business Affairs with Astral Television Networks. In this role, he was responsible for the financial, legal and IT functions for the division. He also managed key supplier and customer relationships, including negotiating long-term supply and distribution agreements with major Hollywood studios and distributors. Mr. Tedesco also serves as Vice Chair on the board of Accessible Media Inc., a not-for-profit media company that operates television channels dedicated to providing entertainment for the visually and hearing impaired. He is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto.
Maarten Weck, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of WildBrain CPLG, oversees all global operations of the Company’s third-party licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG, which is one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies with more than 40 years of experience in the industry. Working with such clients as, Nickelodeon, BBC Worldwide, Peanuts, MGM, emoji, Paramount, MGA, Spin Master, Sesame Workshop, Mattel, Line Friends, Ubisoft, Real Madrid and more, WildBrain CPLG provides licensing solutions for brand owners and retail partners looking to maximize consumer products opportunities around the globe. Formerly WildBrain CPLG’s Managing Director for Northern Europe, the UK, NORDIC, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Benelux territories, Mr. Weck has been with the agency for over 13 years. Prior to working for WildBrain CPLG, Mr. Weck held management positions with Memphis Belle, the Cookie Company and Keesing. In these positions, he worked with clients in the book, game, fashion and television industries. Mr. Weck holds a degree in Business Economics from Hogeschool van Amsterdam.
Jianbo Wei, Managing Director, China, oversees WildBrain’s content and licensing business in China. A veteran entertainment executive, Mr. Wei has deep ties and experience in China’s media industry and regulatory environment. He has managed business and growth strategies in China for many of the world’s leading entertainment multinationals, forging partnerships and successfully navigating the country’s regulatory landscape. Prior to joining WildBrain, Mr. Wei worked for NBCUniversal, where he built and led a China team that drove significant growth in content licensing. Before that, Mr. Wei worked for The Walt Disney Company, as Director, Government Relations for the Shanghai Disney Resort, managing relations and engagement with third-party stakeholders including government agencies, industry partners, business associations, and schools. Prior to Disney, Mr. Wei worked for Warner Bros., where he was responsible for the international TV and new media distribution business in China. He also worked for a period with AGB Nielsen Media Research, focusing on strategic planning, government relations, PR and marketing. Mr. Wei holds an MBA from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, as well as a Master in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Business and English from Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.