Our Team

Debra Fine, Chief Executive Officer

Debra Fine is an entrepreneur, CEO and executive with an over 20-year record in growing and selling both private and public companies in the educational media, technology, and consumer product sectors.

Debra Fine, Chief Executive Officer

Debra Fine is an entrepreneur, CEO and executive with an over 20-year record in growing and selling both private and public companies in the educational media, technology, and consumer product sectors.

Debra Fine is a four- time CEO and senior executive for both Fortune 500 companies and start-ups through exit; sectors include entertainment, media, technology, health and wellness, and consumer products.

Fine has raised/managed over $100 Million for her own companies and her client’s companies. She was Managing Director at EMV Ventures, an entertainment technology venture capital fund and now invests as an angel investor and through Spring Board Fund IV investing in women led companies and products.
She was the founder and CEO of Cloud 9 InteractiveCEO of Small World Toys/KidsCEO of Applied Fun, and turn-around CEO of Fandom.com. She also served as President of Digital Domain Special Effects/Interactive Games where she led campaigns for LegoMattel, and Nike.

Fine has crafted marketing strategy for some of the world’s best-known brands including Disney Consumer Products/InteractiveOrion Picturesand 20th Century Fox.  While at Marketing Corporation of America (MCA), Fine developed successful marketing campaigns and retention programs for Fortune 500 brands such as KraftQuakerSara Lee, and American Express. She also led Product Placements and Sponsorships for PepsiBMWMiller BeerAlka-Seltzer, and General Motors.

With a superior track record in strategic planning, marketing, business development / strategic alliances, and capital raising, Debra is highly accomplished at delivering growth and ROI across multiple industries and product categories. She has been a recognized leader in taking start-ups and middle market companies to double-digit growth and exit.

She has served on both for-profit and non-profit public and privatly held company boards. The boards include: Equity Marketing (Public), PictageEnowThe Committee for Economic Development, and non-profits including  The Maple Center, “Project Access”, and Step Up On Second. She served as CEO for "I Have A Dream" Foundation - Los Angeles and Project-Access. “

Fine was awarded Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the Children’s Educational products space while at Small World Toys. She was also named one of the top 50 most influential women in entertainment for her role as CEO of Cloud9 Interactive, as one of the few women in technology.
She is on the Executive Committee of YPO (Young President’s Organization) and has been a member since 2004 when she took her toy company, Small World Kids public.


Member Organization

The global leadership community of extraordinary chief executives. YPO is the global leadership community of more than 29,000 chief executives in 130 countries who are driven by the belief that the world needs better leaders. Each of our members have achieved significant leadership success at a young age. Combined, they lead businesses and organizations contributing USD 9 trillion in annual revenue. YPO members become better leaders and better people through peer learning and exceptional experiences in an inclusive community of open sharing and trust.

 

Karla ilarde, Executive Vice President

Karla brings over 20 years of brand management experience working for leading consumer brands, including Walt Disney Consumer Products, Disney Interactive, MGM Entertainment, Schwarzkopf Professional, and Hallmark driving strategic planning, marketing, sales and distribution, and corporate relations and communications.

Karla ilarde, Executive Vice President

Karla brings over 20 years of brand management experience working for leading consumer brands, including Walt Disney Consumer Products, Disney Interactive, MGM Entertainment, Schwarzkopf Professional, and Hallmark driving strategic planning, marketing, sales and distribution, and corporate relations and communications.

Karla brings over 20 years of brand management experience working for leading consumer brands, including Walt Disney Consumer Products, Disney Interactive, MGM Entertainment, Schwarzkopf Professional, and Hallmark driving strategic planning, marketing, sales and distribution, and corporate relations and communications.

Karla and Debra met while working at Disney Interactive. Since then they have forged a unique partnership where Debra has brought her in to head marketing, communications, sales services and operations for various projects and business ventures, including Cloud9 Interactive, Small World Toys/Kids and FineLine Services. This long-standing partnership has provided a huge advantage for their clients and companies for whom they have served.

Their most recent collaboration was at “I Have A Dream” Foundation - Los Angeles where she worked closely with Debra to help raise visibility and vital funds for the organization through fundraising and marketing, while also assisting with budget planning and management. Overseeing marketing and development, Karla brought her expertise in marketing, communications, and partnership development to the organization, building strategic alliances and facilitating donor outreach and engagement.

Over the past several years, Karla has also been consulting and freelancing for consumer brands, start-ups, inventors and growing global consumer brands seeking U.S. distribution.

Hillary Gadsby, Consultant - Sponsorships, Events, Social Media

Referred to as a renaissance woman and “Jill of all Trades” by Forbes, Hillary is about as diverse as it gets when it comes to business. She has an international business degree from The American University of Paris, is a best-selling author, and has worked in the marketing and event management departments of world renowned brands.

Hillary Gadsby, Consultant - Sponsorships, Events, Social Media

Referred to as a renaissance woman and “Jill of all Trades” by Forbes, Hillary is about as diverse as it gets when it comes to business. She has an international business degree from The American University of Paris, is a best-selling author, and has worked in the marketing and event management departments of world renowned brands.

Referred to as a renaissance woman and “Jill of all Trades” by Forbes, Hillary is about as diverse as it gets when it comes to business. She has an international business degree from The American University of Paris, is a best-selling author, and has worked in the marketing and event management departments of world renowned brands., is best-selling author, and has worked in the marketing and event management departments of brands such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and The Wedding Shop (distributor for Valentino and Vera Wang). In 2009, Hillary founded A Gadsby Affair, a strategic marketing and experiential event company with clients ranging from Toyota Motor Company, The Four Seasons, The Young Presidents Organization, corporate finance and non profit organizations.

She is also the founder of Stiletto Gal and Boss Talks, which is a national premium media company and speaker series, a relevant global community for (millennial) women leaders.

Hillary’s ability to successfully put her clients in the public eye and build new business relationships for them has gained her respect with companies in a variety of diverse industries from luxury goods to corporate finance.

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Roy Kim, Consultant - Legal, Finance & Operations

Roy Kim has over 30 years experience as an operations, finance and management expert for private and public middle market companies, venture capital companies and institutional lenders.

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Roy Kim, Consultant - Legal, Finance & Operations

Roy Kim has over 30 years experience as an operations, finance and management expert for private and public middle market companies, venture capital companies and institutional lenders.

Roy Kim has over 30 years experience as an operations, finance and management expert for private and public middle market companies, venture capital companies and institutional lenders.

Roy has worked as a CEO, President, and CFO for a number of diverse companies and venture firms including Redpoint Ventures, Insight Capital, and Redleaf Venture Management. He also held roles in executive positions, including a key member of the senior executive team that raised $31 million in venture capital and corporate investment for RedCreek Communications, and a key member of the management team at Quarterdeck Office Systems where he was the lead executive on mergers and acquisitions which resulted in doubling the annual revenue in two years.

Roy was a technology attorney at Cooley Godward and Fenwick & West, and a research and development engineer for Hewlett Packard. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for No Fear and was a member of the board of directors and served as Chair of the Finance Committee for the nonprofit “I Have A Dream” Foundation - Los Angeles”. He received his law degree from NYU School of Law, where he was an editor on the Journal of International Law and Politics, and received his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, specializing in microprocessor design and software engineering, from the College of Engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Howard Bennett, Consultant - Business, Sales & Product Strategist

Howard is CEO at Holly & Company, a consumer goods sourcing and manufacturing company serving businesses in various categories such as toys, dolls, pet products, home goods, and more. He also consults for U.S. and International companies seeking or growing U.S. distribution.

holly and company logo

Howard Bennett, Consultant - Business, Sales & Product Strategist

Howard is CEO at Holly & Company, a consumer goods sourcing and manufacturing company serving businesses in various categories such as toys, dolls, pet products, home goods, and more. He also consults for U.S. and International companies seeking or growing U.S. distribution.

A veteran and well-respected expert in the toy industry, Howard served as EVP of Sales and President of Small World Toys, a 50-year old leading developer, manufacturer, and distributor of high-quality specialty toys and educational products for children. While at Small World Toys, Howard was responsible for managing sales to over 3,000 retail outlets across North America, including specialty toy retailers, national chains, education, catalog, online and International toy retailers, and a catalog of over 1500 SKUS of established and award-winning brands such as Ryan’s Room, All About Baby, Gertie Ball, Small World Living, Active Play, IQ Baby and Neurosmith. He spent the last 25+ years helping the company achieve in excess of $30MM in sales, overseeing a wide range of product development, channel marketing, sales and distribution, supply chain and customer service activities. Along with managing over 80 sales reps covering specialty stores through the United States, Howard led the company’s growth of over $8MM in mass market sales and managed accounts including Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, Ross, Marmaxx, Toys ‘R’ Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Steinmart and more. With years of experience working with these retailers, he has built solid relationships with key buyers and works alongside top sales reps that have direct access to buyers and key decision makers in the buying table of various consumer categories.

Howard is currently CEO at Holly & Company, a consumer goods sourcing and manufacturing company serving businesses in various categories such as toys, dolls, pet products, home goods, lifestyle products, and more. They also develop and manufacture their own brands and distribute them into specialty retail accounts, online retailers, and chain accounts across the U.S. Their brands include Holly Kids, My Dream Doll, Holly Babies and various other private label brands they developed for chain accounts such as Costco, Ross, Maraxx, Tuesday Morning, and more. Howard helped develop and re-launch the doll line, Hearts for Hearts Girls, which is currently sold at specialty retailers across the U.S. and online. He also consults for U.S. and international companies seeking or growing their U.S. distribution. His broad experience in product development, sourcing, manufacturing and multi-channel retail sales and marketing, and vast list of resources is an invaluable asset to his clients as he shares his knowledge, insights and expertise on how to effectively launch products into the retail market and how to strategically scale their businesses for growth and profitability. He currently resides and has an office in Los Angeles and spends a good portion of the year at his office in Hong Kong and his factory in China.

Our Partners

the blaine group logo
Holly&Co logo
Boss talks by stiletto gal logo

Our Partners

the blaine group logo
Holly&Co logo
Boss talks by stiletto gal logo