Mark has 15 years experience as a serial entrepreneur and has consulted on over $500 million in transactions, focused on specialty services, products, and new technologies. At Gift Connect, Mark manages the company’s strategy, business relationships, and finances. Gift Connect is the 5th company that Mark has founded. Mark received his M.B.A. from Hofstra University in 1997.
Gordan successfully set up his first OS at the age of 14, wrote his first paper on Expert Systems at 16, and founded his first development company at the age of 24. Since 2006, Gordan has worked with many startups to conceptualize innovation, define strategy, and explore new frontiers by way of development.
As a high-level strategic digital media executive and entrepreneurial leader, Paul brings 20+ years experience in corporate and start-up environments successfully delivering revenue and profit, building teams, developing business opportunities and partnerships, designing and launching new products and services, and growing business entities in the media, entertainment, travel and technology industries. For GiftConnect, Paul leads the overall company revenue generation & monetization, sales, strategic partnerships, and operations.
Ryan is the CEO of Platinum Rye Entertainment, the world's largest booker of celebrity talent, models, recording artists, sports figures and other celebrities for ad campaigns and PR events. Ryan has negotiated over one billion dollars in deals for more than 100 companies and his agency's US operation was bought by Omnicom in 2004. Ryan is also a founding partner of NOISE - an online marketing agency focused on engaging young adults as well as MMG - a marketing company specializing in nightlife and event production.
The current CEO and founder of the sports agency, FAME, David Falk is perhaps best known for representing sports icon Michael Jordan along with more than 100 other NBA players. The Sporting News listed David as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports” for 12 years straight and Advertising Age listed him one of the “Top 50 Marketers”. David is a brand guru who has successfully negotiated sponsorship deals with Coca-Cola, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Wheaties, and Hanes among many others. In 2008, he established the David B. Falk Center for Sport Management at Syracuse University.
After graduating from MIT, Matthew began his career as a financial professional working at BlackRock and Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup). Gaining experience in portfolio management, Matthew went on to co-found Element Capital Fund, a fixed income hedge fund. After 3 years, Matthew grew the fund to more than $1.5B in assets. He currently runs Polaris Capital, LLC and serves on the advisory board for several Polaris clients.
Dr. Ahrens is the Director of Business Development for Hubert Burda Media, where she has worked since 2011. Her department coordinates cross-company projects, portfolio management, as well as the development of new business channels. She joined the Gift Connect Board of Directors following the company's closing of its Series B round and was named the board's Director in the Fall of 2014.
Charles is a leading expert in the fields of payment, loyalty and offers. He has built and managed loyalty programs for three Top Ten financial institutions and has led multiple business development teams at these banks. Charles has unique insight on payments and technology as the only person in the consulting space to have served in an executive position at both Capital One and Washington Mutual.
Matthew's prior business experience focused on marketing, social media strategy, and mobile technologies for Fortune 500 brands. At Gift Connect, his role concentrates on product development, marketing, and operational management of the Gift Connect team. Matthew sold his first start-up business (an advertising service for restaurants) in 2009.