Ben. T. Smith, IV was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Wanderful Media in April 2012. A veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Ben was selected to spearhead the media industry's major effort to extend its considerable national reach for retail advertisers to the digital realm through the formation of this new company.
Ben came to Wanderful Media after serving as co-founder, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of MerchantCircle, a fast-growing, profitable, local internet media company he sold in 2011. Before MerchantCircle, he held various senior leadership positions at Borland Software, including senior vice president of Corporate Development, strategic advisor, and chief executive officer of spin-off CodeGear. Ben was chairman and chief executive officer at Spoke.com where he remains on the board of directors. He also serves on numerous boards of technology and digital ventures in Silicon Valley, including mobile companies Glu Mobile, and formerly worked with the board at Tapulous. In addition, Ben advises other technology and media companies, as well as venture investment funds, including Accelerator Ventures, where he is a venture partner.
Early career experience includes employment as an engineer at IBM. Ben then worked in management consulting at Ernst & Young before moving to A.T. Kearney, an 85- year-old strategy consulting firm, where he helped lead their Technology practice, as well as their Venture Investment Group alongside EDS. He became one of the youngest partners in the history of the firm and was selected as one of the 25 most influential consultants in the world in 2002. Ben was also a senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation, serving the White House after 9-11.
Ben holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.
Doug Kilponen joined Wanderful Media as chief operating officer (COO) in May, 2012. He previously served as executive vice president of Business Development for Reply! following its purchase of MerchantCircle, where Doug was senior vice president. A founding executive team member of MerchantCircle, Doug held roles in product management, customer acquisition, and business development.
Prior to MerchantCircle, Doug was director of Product Management at Digital Impact (now AcxiomDigital.) Doug also served as eCommerce product manager at RealNetworks and spent four years with A.T. Kearney, a management consultancy, in San Francisco. He began his career at J. Walter Thompson.
Doug holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Nabeel Ahmed joined Wanderful Media as chief financial officer (CFO) in January 2013. Nabeel manages the finance and human resources teams, and partners with the leadership team on a variety of finance and strategic initiatives. He brings more than 16 years of experience in financial leadership roles.
Previously, Nabeel was CFO of MarketTools, Inc., an international provider of digital marketing research software and services technology. Nabeel was an integral part of the team that transformed the company's finances and led it to a successful acquisition. Prior to MarketTools, Nabeel was in a variety of finance leadership roles at eBay in the US, Germany and Switzerland. He started his career at Ernst & Young in Toronto, Canada.
Steve comes to Wanderful Media after spending a month deciding between his options at numerous internet giants before reaching out to us.
He previously held roles as Vice President of Technology at Reply! and as senior member of technical staff at MerchantCircle. Steve also served in senior engineering roles at Borland, CodeGear, Microsoft and Falafel Software.
Steve holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Maine.
Lisa Romano joined Wanderful Media as Chief Marketing Officer in June, 2012. Lisa's prior experience was as founder and principal of consulting firm Atherton Marketing. Clients included many of Silicon Valley's top Fortune 1000 companies such as PayPal, e*Trade, Netscape, Sun, and Palm Computing – and innovative startups like Tango and SixApart. She is an acknowledged expert in branding, positioning, customer acquisition and retention, and communications. Lisa began her career at Apple, moving on to executive marketing roles at McAfee, KnightRidder Digital, Zone Labs, CodeGear and Care2.
Lisa holds a B.S. from Villanova University and an MBA from Suffolk University.
Dave Thomsen joined Wanderful Media in September 2012 as executive vice president of product and design. He brings nearly 15-years of experience in product design, digital media and new product innovation.
Dave previously held leadership positions at IDEO, a global innovation and design consultancy, where he directed innovation programs for a range of consumer electronics, communications and media companies. While at IDEO, he taught courses in design methodology, visual thinking and prototyping in Stanford University's Design Division.
Prior to IDEO, he led multidisciplinary production teams at Yahoo!, helping to design and run record-setting coverage of the FIFA World Cup. He has produced online coverage of four Olympic Games for NBC Sports and also contributed to the design, development and launch of interactive experiences for Quokka Sports, an early innovator in online broadcasting.
Dave holds a B.S. in Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Product Design from Stanford University.
Ron Adams joined Wanderful Media in April 2012 as vice president of National Sales. In this role, Ron is responsible for building relationships with top national retailers.
Previously, Ron has worked for the NNN, the Philadelphia Inquirer, South Florida Sun- Sentinel, and The Miami Herald. He is also the founder of Engage Local Media, a media consulting business for national companies looking to reach local markets. Prior to joining media, Ron was in the retail industry for eight years working for well-known brands such as Perry Ellis, Fila USA, and Federated Department Stores.
Ron holds a B.A. in Business from Florida Atlantic University.
Grace Chan, Wanderful Media's vice president, Product Management, joined the company in May 2012. Previously, she was director of Merchant Monetization at MerchantCircle (acquired by Reply!), responsible for all activities related to merchant revenue growth including direct sales, ecommerce and paid product launches.
Prior to MerchantCircle, Grace was sr. manager, Channel Strategy and Product Marketing at Yahoo! where she was responsible for creating and managing business opportunities and strategies for the HotJobs SMB channel.
Grace's professional experience also includes eight years at Intel in various positions including program manager for Test Equipment Development, design lead for Xeon Processor, and product marketing manager for Intel Flash Products on Mobile Platforms. While at Intel, Grace released the first multi-chip-module Xeon design to market and launched the Intel® Turbo Memory product line, and developed global marketing plans for the company's first mobile Internet devices.
Grace holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from UCLA. She also completed the Executive MBA Program at Santa Clara University in 2005.
Ryan Loh joined Wanderful Media in early 2012 to lead the company's legal operations and various strategic initiatives.
Before joining Wanderful Media Ryan held business development and legal roles at SMB publishing platform MerchantCircle and played a central role in its acquisition for $60MM by Reply.com in June 2011. Following the acquisition Ryan led the legal operations of the combined entity.
Ryan previously practiced law at Gunderson Deter, a Silicon Valley law firm specializing in representing growth companies and venture investors, and Calvo & Clark, a boutique firm representing litigation and business clients in the United States and Pacific Rim.