Advisory Board and Organizing Team:

 

Yossi Vardi
Chairman
Sharona Justman
Managing Director
STEP Strategy Advisors
Nir Haklili
Director
GDMX / Warner Bros.
David Lonner
CEO & Founder
Oasis Media Group
Jeff Pulver
Chairman
Zula
Isabel Maxwell
President emerita
CommTouch
Yair Landau
Founder
Mass Animation / Bedouin Media
David Renzer
Former Chairman and CEO
Universal Music Publishing Group
Avi Yaron
CEO and Founder
Visionsense
Sharon Rechter
Co-Founder and EVP
BabyFirstTV
Eran Wagner
General Partner
Gemini Israel Ventures

 

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Yossi Vardi

 

Yossi Vardi - CO-CHAIR
Yossi Vardi is one of Israels early entrepreneurs and has co-founded, lead, and participated in building over 60 high-tech companies.

Yossi co-pioneered instant messaging as the founding investor and the former Chairman of Mirabilis Ltd., the creator of the highly popular instant messaging program ICQ now sold to AOL. Yossi Vardi has an extensive government and public career, holding the position of Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of Israel s National Oil Company and Chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation.

Many of Yossi Vardis investments have resulted in the company going public such as answers.com, Scopus, Granite, and Lasers with many being acquired. Yossi Vardi sits on the advisory boards of 3i and Amdocs and has served on boards of numerous state and private corporations including Bezeq, Israel Electric, and the Bank of Israel. He has also been an advisor to the CEOs of AOL, Amazon, and Allied Signal.

Yossi Vardi has received many awards, including the Prime Minister of Israel Hi-Tech Award for life achievements on two occasions, the Industry Prize, the Ramniceanu Prize and C-E-Os Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame.

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Sharona Justman

STEP Strategy Advisors


 

Sharona Justman - STEP Strategy Advisors CO-CHAIR / CO-FOUNDER
Sharona Justman is a Connector and is the co-Founder of The Israel Conference - hosting a mega-networking event in one of the largest US cities and bringing the top CEOs and leadership of Israel-facing companies together.

The Israel Conference inspires Israeli entrepreneurs and US investors and the international corporate world to meet, ideate, and create new ventures together. Companies enjoy presenting their technology, products, and services that innovate and open new markets. The Israel Conference is a business event to showcase the innovative spirit of the Israeli market and has enjoyed presentations from hundreds of CEOs and leaders of companies that do business in Israel. The Israel Conference is the result of collaborative efforts from the business community to bring the best companies to the stage. Yossi Vardi and Sharona Justman are the co-Chairs of this annual event in Los Angeles.

In addition to organizing The Israel Conference, Sharona is a businesswoman known for connecting companies and leaders to align in creating rich opportunities for business. Sharona combines a strong business background with a solid tech understanding and adds a dash of marketing flair which positions her as a top advisor to many companies.

Sharona is the Managing Director of STEP Strategy Advisors (www.STEPstrategy.net), a strategic planning and acquisition advisory firm that facilitates expanding the growth of companies through market entry planning and execution as well as an advisor to facilitate growth through acquisition working with some of the largest Private Equity firms in the US.

Sharona co-founded Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (www.RJMC.net) providing enterprise-wide information technology and operations improvement management consulting services to middle market companies in technology, distribution, manufacturing, financial services, entertainment, and consumer product markets.

Sharona Justman began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a CPA. Sharona is an alumna of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and California State University, Northridge in Accounting and Economics.

When not obsessively planning The Israel Conference or managing STEP Strategy Advisors, Sharona plays music, writes poetry, watches classic movies, and practices speaking Hebrew, Spanish, and English.

The Israel Conference launched in 2009 to expand the conversation between the business community and the exciting happenings in the entrepreneurial Israeli market. STEP is known for connecting companies and people together to create new business opportunities, drive new business, and facilitate acquisitions. STEP is an established M&A Advisory firm and known for business acumen that supports the parties in making aligned decisions. STEP Strategy Advisors is a strategic planning and acquisitions advisory firm that facilitates expanding the growth of companies through market entry planning and as well as an advisor to facilitate growth through acquisitions working with some of the largest Private Equity firms in the US.
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Nir Haklili

GDMX / Warner Bros.
 

Nir Haklili - GDMX / Warner Bros.
Nir Haklili has 30 years of vast experience in TV content management: Development,Production, Programming, Distribution,Marketing and sales. Besides Warner Bros, Nir has served as President of All Media Management, Director of Media Services at RRSat, and CEO of Passport TV.

For over 20 years GDMX-Global Digital Media Xchange / Warner Bros. has been a recognized leader in providing services for the digital entertainment and broadcast television industries. Their services include encoding and authoring for Blu-ray/DVD/MOD, encoding and packaging for VOD and iTunes, Ad distribution, subtitle localization, and e-publishing. GDMX also operates a 24/7 broadcast center providing broadcast origination and TV syndication distribution services via satellite.
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David Lonner

Oasis Media Group


 

David Lonner - Oasis Media Group
David Lonner is the founder of Oasis Media Group, a management and production company based in Los Angeles. Under the Oasis banner, Lonner represents writers, directors, and producers in the film, television, and online content arenas. Prior to founding his own company, Lonner was a talent agent at William Morris Agency from 2003-09. He was previously a partner at Endeavor where he established their Motion Picture division. Lonner also spent several years at Creative Artists Agency and began his career at ICM. Lonner is a committed philanthropist working with numerous organizations. He serves as a former board member of the Early Childhood Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and former chairman of the entertainment division of the United Jewish Fund. Additionally, he is a board member of the Phase 1 Cancer Institute, American Pardes Foundation, and Entertainment Industry Foundation. Lonner graduated from Tulane with a BA in Sociology.

Oasis Media Group is a Management and Production Company based in Los Angeles
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Jeff Pulver

Zula


 

Jeff Pulver - Zula
Jeff is an Internet Pioneer who is known for helping to accelerate the worldwide acceptance of VoIP. He is also an early-stage investor in Israeli startups. A co-founder of Vonage, one of the biggest and earliest VoIP companies around, Pulver is a self-described futurist, serial entrepreneur and long-time evangelist for VoIP technologies. In 1995 Jeff defined VON to stand for Voice/Video on the Net and continues today to contribute words to both the telecom and social media vernacular. From 1997 to 2008 he hosted/produced the VON Conferences. Mr. Pulver is the founder of Free World Dialup (FWD), the VON Coalition, Vivox and others and is the co-founder of Zula and VoIP provider, Vonage. He has influenced the creation of numerous other startups. He discovered health & wellness and hosts a new conference, #140You in NYC.

Zula is developing a comprehensive solution for initiating, managing and maintaining mobile team communication. As work teams become more mobile and cross-organizational, there is no ideal solution to help businesses communicate and collaborate on the go. The Zula Solution was designed for mobile from the ground up and allows team members from inside and outside of the organization to seamlessly join a conversation, collaborate, share documents, take a poll and instantaneously connect over voice-tools that are essential for effectively managing a virtual team.
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Isabel Maxwell



 

Isabel Maxwell - CommTouch
Isabel Maxwell is a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum and co-founder of The McKinley Group, creator of the pioneering Magellan online search engine that was successfully sold to Excite. She is president emerita of CommTouch (NASDAQ:CTCH).

Isabel Maxwell brings over fifteen years of international journalism and entertainment experience with accomplishments including production/direction for the Yorkshire and Southern Independent Television networks in the UK and feature film production for New World Pictures. She was a founding director serving on the Board of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts-LA from 1986-1998 and is a long-time member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), U.K. Isabel Maxwell holds honor moderations in Jurisprudence and a B.A. and M.A. in history and modern languages from Oxford University. She has divides her time between Los Angeles, Israel and Silicon Valley.

Commtouch (NASDAQ: CTCH) is a leading provider of Internet security technology and cloud-based services for vendors and service providers, increasing the value and profitability of customer solutions by protecting billions of Internet transactions on a daily basis. With 12 global data centers and award-winning, patented technology, Commtouch capabilities in email, Web, and antivirus easily integrate into our customer products and solutions, keeping safe more than 350 million end users.
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Yair Landau

Mass Animation / Bedouin Media


 

Yair Landau - Mass Animation / Bedouin Media
Yair Landau is the former Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President, Sony Pictures Digital. Landau formed Sony Pictures Digital in 1999, bringing together all of Sony Pictures digital artists and software engineers from Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment and Columbia Tristar Interactive into one division.

Landau supervised production of Imageworks first animated short, THE CHUBB CHUBBS, which won several awards including an Academy Award for Best Short Film (animated) in 2003. Landau has grown Sony Online Entertainment into the worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming building upon EverQuest, the most successful MMO PC game in the United States with Star Wars Galaxies launched in partnership with Lucas Arts in 2003.

Through Sony Pictures Digital, Landau developed the technology and formed the five-studio Movielink partnership, the first major studio Internet movie download service, launched in 2002. Most recently, he reorganized Sony Pictures Digital Networks to focus on emerging mobile entertainment, broadband video delivery and media software.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago, Landau earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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David Renzer

Universal Music Publishing Group
 

David Renzer - Universal Music Publishing Group
David Renzer, Former Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), was responsible for overseeing the activities of UMPG's 57 offices in 47 countries.

Since Renzer joined the company (then called MCA Music Publishing) in 1996, UMPG has grown exponentially through direct signings and catalogue acquisitions. UMPG is the global leader in the areas of Production Music, Christian/Gospel and Classical Music.

Major signings, renewals and deals under Renzer include: the catalogues of Elton John/Bernie Taupin, Justin Bieber, Florence & The Machine, Eminem, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, U2, Mary J. Blige, Justin Timberlake, Owl City, Alex Da Kid, Tricky Stewart, Leon Russell, Desmond Child, Sean Garrett, Jamie Foxx, Ester Dean, T-Pain, Dave Grohl, The Killers, Juanes, Paul Simon, Bon Jovi, Beastie Boys, 50 Cent, Danny Elfman, the catalogues of Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Bernstein, Bee Gees, Glen Ballard, Cash Money and Notting Hill. Renzer was also responsible for deals with Holland Dozier Holland and the Henry Mancini catalogues, Film/ TV administration deals with Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Bros. Television, DreamWorks, as well the acquisition of Interscope Publishing, All Nations, Epitaph, Momentum, Forerunner, Marantha Music, EMack and the John Phillips catalogues.

Renzer began his career at Zomba Music Publishing, where he rose to SVP and GM. During his decade-long career there, Renzer helped Zomba achieve ASCAP's R&B Publisher of the Year and Pop Publisher of the Year awards.

Renzer sits on the Boards of ASCAP, NMPA, the International Music Publishers Association and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Music and Entertainment Division of the City of Hope, and founded Songs of Hope, raising over $1,750,000 for the City of Hope Hospital. David Renzer received his B.A. from N.Y.U.

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is the leading global music publisher. Headquartered in Los Angeles, UMPG has grown exponentially through both direct signings and catalogue acquisitions, which include the BMG Music Publishing, Zomba, Polygram, and Rondor catalogues.
UMPG has some of the most important contemporary songwriters and artists on its global roster, including: 3 Doors Down, 50 Cent, ABBA, Christina Aguilera, Beastie Boys, Mary J. Blige, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Chemical Brothers, The Clash, Coldplay, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Daughtry, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Franz Ferdinand, Juan Gabriel, Robin and Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Elton John, Keane, The Killers, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Brian McKnight, Ne-Yo, Prince, The Sex Pistols, Paul Simon, Britney Spears, Bernie Taupin, Justin Timberlake, T-Pain, U2, Keith Urban, and the catalogues of Henry Mancini and Leonard Bernstein, to name a few.
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Avi Yaron

Visionsense


 

Avi Yaron - Visionsense
Avi Yaron is the CEO and Founder of Visionsense. Avi has 20 years of management and innovation experience that evolved from the communications world, first as an officer in the Israeli intelligence forces and later in Eldat Communications, an Infrared diffused wireless communication company. Among his initiatives, he founded MotoTech, which developed advanced ignition systems for motorcycles and was among the developers of the microprocessor labe at Tel-Aviv University. Due to a brain tumor that was detected by coincidence, Avi Yaron became deeply involved in the minimal invasive surgical field. This personal experience led him to found Visionsense.

Avi Yaron has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University. He holds several patents in the field. He is a visiting lecturer in the MBA entrepreneurial programs of MIT and Babson College.

Visionsense has developed a patented technology, which provides surgeons with real-time, high-resolution, natural stereoscopic vision for Minimal Invasive Surgery applications. The design of the proprietary single sensor is based on multidisciplinary technologies combined with sophisticated image processing algorithms.
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Sharon Rechter

BabyFirstTV
 

Sharon Rechter - BabyFirstTV
Sharon Rechter, along with business partner, Guy Oranim, conceptualized and co-founded BabyFirstTV. In her role as executive vice president, she leads the business development and marketing activities for the company with a clear passion to bring quality, new educational programming to families of babies and toddlers.

Sharon has a broad background in television programming and recently served as the vice president and head of operations for The Israeli Network (the Israeli television channel in the U.S.). She was responsible for the general management of the network, and focused on areas including business development, advertising and subscriptions. Before entering the television broadcast industry, she headed the strategic planning department at GNS Advertising in Israel where she was responsible for developing strategic plans for a variety of lifestyle brands. Sharon received her B.A. in business administration from the Arison School of Business and her L.L.B in law from the Radziner School of Law, both at The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.

BabyFirst is a fun-filled TV network made just for tots and their parents. Meet our adorable characters and introduce your child to basic building blocks like numbers, colors, animals, art, music and more! Get it on TV, online and on your mobile/tablet device.
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Eran Wagner

Gemini Israel Ventures


 

Eran Wagner - Gemini Israel Ventures CO-FOUNDER
Mr. Eran Wagner has been a General Partner at Gemini Israel Funds since 2011. Mr. Wagner serves as Managing Partner of WSG Management LLC. Mr. Wagner served as the President of North American Operations at cVidya Networks Inc. Mr. Wagner has an extensive knowledge in the Telecommunications industry and has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, operations, and marketing and customer relations. Prior to joining cVidya, Mr. Wagner served as a Vice President, Portfolio Strategy and Planning and General Manager, Cross Portfolio Product Business Unit at Amdocs where he was responsible for developing its overall product strategy, including portfolio planning, foundational products, product integration, as well as the development of new innovative solutions in the Amdocs Research Lab. Mr. Wagner co-founded XACCT Technologies Ltd. (XACCT Technologies 1997 Ltd.) in May 1997 and Xpert UNIX Systems Ltd. in 1993. Mr. Wagner served as an Executive Vice President, Technology of XACCT Technologies Ltd. since January 2000 and Chief Executive Officer from June 1997 to January 1998. Prior to XACCT Technologies, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Xpert UNIX Systems Ltd. He served in an elite technology unit of the Israel Defense Forces. Mr. Wagner served as Chairman of the Board of XACCT Technologies Ltd. since June 1997. He serves as a Director of ConteXtream, Inc. and TranzMate. He is a Co-Founder of both the IEFF (Israeli Entrepreneurs and Founders Forum) in the Silicon Valley and the Israel Conference (www.theisraelconference.org) in Los Angeles. He is a serial inventor with multiple granted patents. Mr. Wagner holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University.

Gemini Israel Ventures is a leading Israeli venture firm specializing in early and seed stage investments in technology companies in sectors that include mobile, digital media, enterprise software, online services and semiconductors. Gemini manages over $700M in five funds. Gemini counts over twenty M&A and IPO transactions to its successes. These companies include Allot, Butterfly, Ceragon, Commtouch, Diligent, Itemfield, Jacada, Mellanox, nLayers, Ornet, Precise, Saifun, Traiana and Verisity.

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