Cynthia is a recognized leader in brand and new business development as President of three companies— Universal Studios Consumer Products Worldwide Group, Imaginarium Toy Stores, and Teleflora Gifts (worldwide network of florists). While at Universal, Cynthia spearheaded international expansion, opening dedicated offices in Japan and Europe while securing a network of international agents to cover the rest of the world. Previous start-up experience includes launching Universal Studios Interactive Games, Universal Studios retail stores, Broadthink and now BroadLit.
Accomplishments range from $2B retail sales for Jurassic Park branded products, 15 million Crash Bandicoot games sold due to a unique partnership with Sony Games, developing a successful line of 200 Imaginarium-branded products, and expanding new product development sources for Teleflora to include Eastern European and Asian markets. While Marketing Vice President at Mattel in the early 1980s, Cynthia directed product development in mainland China and Taiwan production facilities, providing on site approvals to guarantee critical holiday deadlines were met. Cynthia’s first marketing position was with the Carnation Food Company (now Nestle Foods) where she was a brand manager for pet foods and Contadina Italian foods.
Her breadth of experience and superior track record in identifying new business trends for diverse global brands, manufacturing oversight, retail experience, entertainment and online/digital marketing expertise, and producing fast-track results provide a unique perspective of world markets and have made her a recognized industry leader. She has launched thousands of consumer products and established innovative alliances with packaged goods and fast food promotional partners and key mass market retail partners.
Nancy is an expert in translating story concepts from one medium to another and is a recognized expert in all forms of print and digital publishing across all genres and age groups both domestically and internationally. She is acknowledged as one of the earliest creators of the “tie-in” publishing business, transforming it from a marketing-only function to a financially significant business. Nancy was also in the forefront of creating a new business for the development and licensing of video-game rights to filmed entertainment properties–now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Nancy began her career in book publishing as the Managing Editor of two academic presses: The University of California at Berkeley Continuing Education of the Bar and Sage Publications. She transitioned to trade publishing and video-game licensing, where she launched and ran for 23 years the worldwide book publishing division of Universal Studios and the Universal Videogames Licensing Division. As a result of establishing both of these divisions for Universal Studios, Nancy became the first female division president in the history of the Studio.
She is responsible for creating and selling her first New York Times best-selling book in 1982 and has continued to earn this distinction for both fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults over the past 30 years for a wide spectrum of creative properties. Nancy was also the Executive Vice President of the Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, where she had a wide range of responsibilities including acting as the representative for this Group with all the key film and television producers, directors and performers on the various filmed entertainment projects produced and distributed by the Studio. In this capacity she often traveled with film production companies shooting on locations such as mainland China, Slovakia and Mexico. Previous start-up experience includes launching Broadthink and BroadLit.
A proven media/communications and content specialist, Barbara has developed television and video programming for ABC, HGTV, Price Waterhouse, and others. Simultaneously, she has run her own consulting firm specializing in magazine publishing, business and product development, and affinity marketing. In this context she successfully created and launched new “affinity” clubs, membership publications, direct mail campaigns, merchandise catalogues; directed quantitative research projects and branding programs; and consulted on database marketing projects. She was charged with restructuring the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and represented the organization at the International Women’s Economic Summit held in Paris.
Previous start-up experience includes launching the Affinity Development Group, Broadthink and now BroadLit. Her career began as a journalist and editor where she worked as the Features Editor for the Chicago Daily News, and as the Special Sections Editor, Entertainment Editor and Sunday Magazine Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. Her remarkable track record in creating and establishing new features and syndicated columns for the newspaper has been widely recognized. As Promotions and Marketing Services Director at the Sun-Times, she created all of its advertising and promotional campaigns.
At Broadthink, which she launched with her two partners, her branding, business development, and content management skills have provided new directions for interactive, entertainment, and publishing clients. She has developed and launched new websites, social media, email programs, and is a veteran e-content developer and art director. Broadthink has worked with Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups to develop and expand their brands, build online communities, translate content into new media, and to connect “all the dots” between a brand and its market.