I believe in the unlimited potential of people and ideas. My work drives growth and transformation for some of the most powerful brands and businesses in the world. I build creative cultures and systems of impact that inspire people to surprise themselves with what they can achieve.
As President of Known, I'm leading a new kind of modern marketing company that uses science, technology and creativity to help some of the most innovative brands in the world achieve their goals.
Lunch Partners is the early stage venture fund I co-founded in 2018 as a vehicle for CEO’s and CMO’s to invest privately together in the most promising entrepreneurs. As General Partner, I serve on the fund’s investment committee, helping to oversee a growing portfolio of exciting young companies.
Think About This, With Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin, has been a top podcast on Apple, Spotify and Google, produced and distributed by Westwood One since 2019. The podcast challenges listeners to think differently about business, money, culture, technology and more, with guests who are titans of business, creativity and technology.
From 2017-2020, I was founder and CEO of Blackbird, a brand strategy and business innovation firm that used consumer intelligence, strategy, and breakthrough creative to solve problems, create opportunities, and propel growth for industry leaders and the challengers out to disrupt them. Our clients included AT&T, Warner Media, Citi, IMAX, Rockefeller Center, Entertainment One (now Hasbro), Fandango, Viacom, Disney and more. Blackbird was acquired by Schireson Associates in 2019, forming the basis of the company now known as Known.
I spent 13 years in creative and business leadership roles at Viacom, the global media and entertainment company operating in over 170 countries, most recently overseeing all Marketing Strategy, Data Strategy, Strategic Insights & Research, Audience Science, Innovation Lab, Catalyst (creative agency), and Business Development teams. As Chairman of the Viacom Marketing Council from 2015-2017, I led the portfolio’s global marketing priorities, which included Comedy Central’s South Park and The Daily Show, Nickelodeon and Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TV Land’s Younger, CMT’s Nashville, and the award-winning “For All Fankind” campaign.
I joined Viacom in 2004 as the first Head of Programming for MTV's Emmy- and Peabody- Award winning college network, mtvU. In this role, I oversaw the development, production, and programming of original series, branded entertainment, music, events, and user-generated content for on-air, online, and mobile. Later, I became Senior Vice President of MTV 360 Production and Development, developing and producing content across MTV, MTV2, and mtvU. In 2009, I founded and ran Scratch, a strategic and brand consultancy within Viacom that channeled the power of MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon in new ways, including consumer insights, product development, design, branding, and original content development, production, and distribution in all media.
Prior to MTV, I founded Plant Film, a Los Angeles-based production company partnered with Fox, VH1, and Dimension Films; served as VP of Film & Television for internet startup Nerve.com; and was a development executive for Spike Lee's 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks.
I’ve taught poetry at Washington University in St. Louis, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and the New School University in Manhattan. My writing has appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Harvard Review, McSweeney's, Denver Quarterly, BOMB Magazine, and multiple anthologies, and my first book, “The Cop Who Rides Alone,” was published in 2002.
CORPORATE & PHILANTHROPIC LEADERSHIP
I am proud to lead the Guggenheim Museum’s Global Technology and Innovation Council and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Digital & Innovation Council, as Chairman of them both. I serve on the National Board of Directors for the American Advertising Federation and the Yale University Center for Customer Insights. I’m a Co-Founder of the Gun Safety Alliance and The Goodfronts, and a former member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Board of Directors for the Ad Council.
Recent honors and recognitions include Fast Company's “100 Most Creative People In Business,” an Advertising Age “Media Maven” distinction, Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" top business leaders and AdWeek’s “50 Most Indispensable Executives in Advertising.” In 2014, I was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement.
HONORS & AWARDS
Advertising Hall of Achievement
Adweek 50: The Most Indispensable Executives in Marketing, Media and Tech
Fortune's 40 Under 40
Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People In Business
Advertising Age Media Maven
Global Media Award, NATAS
OneShow Entertainment Awards
Digital Leadership Award
Promax Promotion & Marketing Award
Juror, Cannes Lions Awards