Creative Advisory Board
AREA DAILY / Ms. Christine Magda, Partner & Founder
Christine Magda is a travel enthusiast with 20 years experience in marketing, advertising sales, and business development. She has created and managed revenue programs for advertising and sponsorship campaigns working with Fortune 500 consumer brands, advertising agencies, manufacturers, and retailers.
Christine and her partners founded Area Media Inc. in 2007. Area (www.area-daily.com) is an online luxury travel resource for global nomads looking for an insider or local's perspective verses a tourist or travel writers point of view. Area publishes three emails a week with tips on where to sleep, eat & drink, and play in cities around the globe. Area Guides, digital guides to cities around the world, will be launching this spring and available for desktop, eReaders, and smartphone applications. Christine develops and manages Global Partnership and Affiliate marketing programs generating revenue streams and creating brand awareness. She also oversees the Advertising and Sponsorship programs for the website, email, and guides.
BLACKBIRD VINEYARDS, MA(I)SONRY Napa Valley, I. WOLK GALLERY / Mr. Michael Polenske, Proprietor / Curator / Founder
Michael Polenske is intently devoted to “the business of leisure.” In acquiring Blackbird Vineyards and turning it into an ultra premium label, Polenske brings to the venture his proven flair for combining individual talents into a highly effective team.
In his 20 years of investment management, Polenske observed the fact that many of his clients preferred investments that reflect their personal interests. Applying the same principle to himself, he displayed an impressive sensitivity to the prevailing zeitgeist. He became a founding investor of New York’s storied SoHo House, the private club and hotel whose rooftop swimming pool was prominently featured in the TV show, Sex and the City. Another of his interests, Boulettes Larder in San Francisco, is an epicurean restaurant devoted to organic fare, embracing the slow food movement, which has made a strong impression in the culinary world. Boulettes also sells its gourmet ingredients for the home cook. Among his other interests are The Vines of Mendoza in Argentina; Taylor’s Refresher in San Francisco, St. Helena and Napa; Terzo, a sister restaurant to the acclaimed Rose Pistola; and an import business Patina Atelier Antiques which carries European art and furnishings.
Polenske, with the addition of Curator to his résumé, foresees building a synergistic relationship between his former ventures and his latest enterprise, Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley—“a life aesthetic.” Opened in the town of Yountville in the fall of 2008, Ma(i)sonry allows guests to appreciate or acquire art and furnishings, all while sampling artisan wines from collective winery partners, including Blackbird Vineyards.
In January of 2010, Polenske acquired the I. Wolk Gallery in St. Helena, as well as the sculpture gardens located at Auberge Du Soleil in Rutherford and MacArthur Place in Sonoma, CA. The I. Wolk Gallery will merge with Ma(i)sonry to serve as Napa Valley’s premier destination for the appreciation of world class works of art and design.
Through September of 2006, Polenske served as a Managing Director of Quellos, focusing on financial and investment activities of private clients. Prior to Quellos, he was a Managing Director at Mezzacappa Management, LLC, an investment management firm. Before joining Mezzacappa, Polenske was President and Chief Executive Officer of Chase Manhattan Bank & Trust Co., N.A., heading up the private banking business in the Western U.S. Polenske joined Chase Manhattan Corporation from J.P. Morgan, where he served as the head of the private banking group’s west coast/north region. Prior to J.P. Morgan, he was the Managing Principal of the San Francisco region for American Express Financial Advisors and was co-founder of both the San Mateo and San Francisco offices.
CLEVELAND CIRCLE TRAVEL-AMERICAN EXPRESS
Glenn Bornstein, President and Co-Owner
Glenn Bornstein is the President of Cleveland Circle Travel in Brookline and Needham Massachusetts. Cleveland Circle Travel just celebrated its 50th year in Business. Cleveland Circle Travel revenues exceed 20 million a year with a 50/50 split of corporate and leisure. Cleveland Circle Travel also operates two online website swisstix.com, a wholesale site for Swiss air and Carreservations.com, a website that does online international car rentals. Glenn is married with three children and lives in Westwood Massachusetts.
After graduating Babson college in Wellesley, MA in 1986 , Glenn received his CPA certificate and worked at Peat Marwick and Coopers and Lybrand accounting firms until he join Cleveland Circle Travel in 1994 .
ELITE TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL / Ms. Stacy Small, President
The launch editorial director of Elite Traveler Magazine and founder of Elite Travel International, Ms. Small has spent the past 19 years traveling worldwide on assignment visiting hotels, reviewing airlines and cruises, previewing new spas, interviewing travel industry executives and uncovering the latest, greatest trends in luxury travel. In 2005, Ms. Small launched Elite Travel International, a luxury boutique travel firm based in Brentwood, CA specializing in high-end travel experiences for both leisure and business travelers. Small has written about luxury travel for TheStreet.com, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the New York Times Magazine, and has been quoted as a luxury travel expert in Smart Money, the New York Times, & the Wall Street Journal. When not jet setting around the world, Ms. Small enjoys yoga, spending time with her three rescued dogs, and working with charitable organizations including The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise funds for cancer research.
FOUR HUNDRED / Mr. Tony Abrams, President & CEO
Born and raised in South Florida, Mr. Abrams has made New York City his home for the past decade. After graduating from Fordham University in 2001, Abrams immediately joined the fast paced world of entertainment production, working for hit shows such as The West Wing and Sex and the City.
After three years in entertainment production Tony decided to apply his skills to a new and evolving industry; Lifestyle Production. He entrenched himself, and quickly became a fixture among New York City nightlife, priding himself on knowing where to be, and how to get in.
Building his reputation at hotspots such as Float, Suite 16, Spa, Flow, and Tenjune, Tony earned a front row seat being the "velvet ropes" of high end living. His efforts did not go unnoticed, and he was soon recruited by Quintessentially, a worldwide concierge company, to become Director of North American Membership. As the conduit between clients and service providers, Tony gained an intimate knowledge of what clients want and how he could position himself to provide it.
With Tony's powerful network of lifestyle tastemakers established, Tony began Four Hundred in 2006 - an exclusive, members only Lifestyle Management Firm that focuses on the seamless acquisition and execution of clients' desires. Four Hundred expanded their operations to Los Angeles in August of 2009 and have plans to open Four Hundred London by June 2010.
FROSCH TRAVEL / Ms. Barbara Gallay, President
Barbara Gallay is President of Frosch - New York, which is the co-headquarters of Frosch Travel in Houston, Texas. FROSCH, founded in 1972, is privately owned and is the sixth largest travel management company in the United States.
Barbara was president and owner of Linden Travel, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2009 and was acquired by FROSCH in July, 2009. Maintaining strong relationships with industry partners is of prime importance to Barbara Gallay, who continues to play an active role in the travel industry.
Barbara is recognized by Travel + Leisure Magazine as an “A-List All Star”, by Travel Agent Magazine, and by Forbes as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Travel”. Crain’s New York Business also recognized her as one of Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business.
She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of Travel + Leisure Magazine, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, Abercrombie & Kent, Preferred Hotels and Resorts, Luxury Travel Expo and others. Barbara is also an active member of the Women President’s Organization.
Linden's 15-year membership in the international consortium, Virtuoso, ended in 2009. During that time Barbara participated on the Virtuoso Advisory Board, was head of the Northeast Region, and was also a permanent member of the Hotels & Resorts Committee. Additionally, Barbara is a lifetime member of the Institute of Certified Travel Consultants, (ICTA).
Outside of the travel industry, Barbara Gallay lends her support to many charities and enjoys all that New York has to offer, especially theatre and all the arts. More than anything, she says, “I still get a thrill out of travel!”
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. (GE) / Ms. Erica Frontiero,
Senior Vice President in Capital Markets at GE Capital, the financial services unit of GE.
A travel and food and wine enthusiast with over 10 years in sales and debt capital raising; Erica currently sells commercial loans raised for corporations and private equity clients, across a wide spectrum of industries to investors including, banks, hedge funds, pension funds and other financial institutions. She is also the co-leader for the NY/NJ chapter of the Women’s Network at GE, which fosters women’s professional development; helping to attract and retain successful women across GE. Erica previously worked as a sales Account Executive at NBC Universal where she created and sold advertising and sponsorship campaigns across TV, web, and local events to Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies nationwide. She began her professional career at Banc of America Securities in leveraged finance in New York and London, structuring and raising debt capital for corporations and financial sponsor clients.
Erica holds a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University and is an active volunteer with Dress For Success and is the President of Y.E.S! (Young Executives for Success) an executive fundraising and volunteer group for Dress for Success. She is also a strong supporter of the Gen Art Foundation for emerging artists.
JEAN SHOP / Mr. Eric Goldstein, President, Founder & CEO
Eric Goldstein, founder and President of the Jean Shop Manufacturing Inc., travels throughout the world to design, develop and distribute the finest quality denim and leather products available. The company, which outfits many celebrities and high profile clients, has been recognized in numerous publications as being a leader in the fashion industry. Jean Shop has recently been featured on the new HBO series “How To Make It In America,” where Eric had his acting debut and was also credited as a creative consultant.
Eric began his career working with Ralph Lauren, where he created the brand RRL. After six years, he took his experience to the Gap, where he oversaw denim production and product development for ten years including the launch of the “1969” brand. He started Jean Shop in 2003 with partners Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman, founders of Lucky Brand.
Today, Jean Shop has two retail stores in Manhattan and has wholesale accounts in 12 countries.
OVATION TRAVEL GROUP / Mr. Paul Metselaar, Chairman & CEO
Mr. Metselaar is the Chairman and CEO of The Ovation Travel Group. The Ovation Travel Group is comprised of Ovation Corporate Travel, The Lawyers’ Travel Service, and Ovation Vacations. The business is primarily focused on managing business and luxury travel for professional service firms and other hi-touch companies. In addition, he is the current Chairman of the Metro New York Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the largest YPO Chapter in the world.
Mr. Metselaar is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University. He resides in Manhattan and Bridgehampton and has been married for 25 to his wife Lisa. He has two lovely college-aged daughters, Allie, a Senior at Syracuse University, and Lindsey, a Sophomore at Boston University. Paul is an avid runner, tennis player and wine collector.
PARTNER CONCEPTS / Mr. Paul Cohen, President
As President of Partner Concepts, Paul has built a team of travel marketing specialists around the world; all specializing in developing custom integrated marketing programs to promote international destinations in the U.S. market. Prior to co-founding Partner Concepts, Paul headed up the hospitality and tourism account activity as vice president of Enten & Associates, a global advertising agency based in suburban Washington, D.C. There, he led a team of five senior account executives representing multiple destinations, hotel companies and international airlines. Prior to that, Paul served as the director of marketing for the American Hotel & Motel Association, where he gained valuable insights and experiences at the heart of the U.S. travel industry, working closely with senior executives from all of the leading American hotel companies, as well as developing strategic partnerships with corporations such as Visa International, MasterCard International, American Express, and Coca-Cola, among others.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York, College at Brockport, concentrating in hospitality and recreation services. He is often a guest speaker at the George Washington University Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management and was recently awarded the 2007 Tourism Industry Achievement award from Niagara University College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Mr. Cohen recently served as the Vice Chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa Tourism Committee, where his team of industry leaders delivered policy recommendations to the Obama Administration covering travel and tourism.
SMARTFLYER / Mr. Michael Holtz, Founder & President
A solid fixture in NYC's real estate scene and one of travel industry's brightest shining star, Michael Holtz established himself as an industry power house without much bells and whistles. He believes in quality more than anything in the world, that is after all the biggest luxury of all.
Michael founded Smartflyer almost two decades ago focusing strictly on airlines. Over the years, the company has organically transformed into a luxury boutique house that caters to stylemakers, industry captains and your everyday jetsetters.
The epitome of a citizen of the world, Michael logs in thousands of miles traveling the world, constantly in search of the best that it has to offer.
STERLING BROWNELL / Martha Gaughen, Co-Owner & Vice President
Ms. Gaughen is one of the most recognized and celebrated travel consultants in the industry. She has been named a top travel specialist by both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines for the past 6 years. During her 20 years as a travel consultant Martha, has served on the advisory boards of several of the top travel providers in world. She joined Sterling Travel in 1991 and became an owner of the company in 2000. She became an owner of Brownell in 2003 when the two companies joined forces. "What do I enjoy most about travel planning? Making experiences happen!"
Martha specializes in family, Caribbean and adventure trips and her expertise is unsurpassed in these areas. She considers her planning services as the first leg of the clients' trip.
TRAVEL + LEISURE / Pamela Norwood, Vice President/Associate Publisher
Pamela Norwood is the vice president/associate publisher, marketing for Travel + Leisure magazine where she oversees the brand’s marketing initiatives. She returned to American Express Publishing, having served as Creative Services Director of Food & Wine and Corporate Creative Services Director from 1996 – 2000. Previously, she was the Executive Director of creative services at GQ, executive director of creative services at Condé Nast Corporate, Condé Nast Bridal, and Rolling Stone, and U.S. marketing director at Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Pam graduated from Marietta College, with a B.A. in Marketing. She resides in Brooklyn, NY and Stonington, CT.
TWO TWELVE / Scott Feldman, President & CEO
Scott R. Feldman is a fifteen-year veteran of the hospitality and lifestyle industry, renowned for his talent of developing sustainable relationships on behalf of clients and the execution of strategic marketing platforms for consumer brands. He was named one of Crain’s New York’s 40 Under 40 in 2004 in recognition of his leadership in the hospitality industry and impact on the city’s fast-paced restaurant scene. Most recently Scott was named Boston University's College of Communication's Distinguished Alumni for 2009, the highest honor that the College bestows upon its Alumni.
Scott founded Two Twelve Management & Marketing in 2004 to build mutually beneficial and financially advantageous relationships for his individual and corporate clients. The company’s client portfolio includes prominent chefs and restaurateurs such as Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Anne Burrell, Geoffrey Zakarian and Harold Dieterle as well as a number of well known hospitality brands. Scott works closely with his clients, whether up-and-coming stars, seasoned personalities, or brands to assure they reach their maximum professional potential - Building Brands To Their Boiling Point.
Two Twelve has earned a reputation for activating and producing exemplary brand management and marketing programs for globally recognized corporations including Coca-Cola, Valentino, Electrolux, Fiji Water, St Germain Liquor, Aperol Spirits, and Beefeater Gin. By offering customers distinctive experiences and creating associations between brands and personalities, Two Twelve is able to reposition these brands and increase awareness in a growing and influential market.
In 2005, Scott and his team at Two Twelve launched the Two Twelve Access platform, allowing brands to engage high-end consumers at special events across the country. Today, they execute events at the biggest festivals in the industry including the New York and South Beach Wine and Food Festivals and the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
Scott’s vast knowledge and experience within the hospitality segment also provides Two Twelve with significant domain expertise and operational savvy. Through strategic analysis and assessment, Two Twelve applies industry best practices and overall strategy towards the enhancement of guest engagement, experience and hospitality for large and small operations.
UPTOWN MEDIA GROUP & VIBE MEDIA / Leonard E. Burnett, Jr.,
Co-CEO & Group Publisher
Len Burnett is an industry veteran and highly successful entrepreneur with over 20 years of publishing experience. As a pioneer in the urban media space, Len has been at the forefront of transforming marketer’s perception of the importance of reaching this growing audience. Len’s expertise in advertising sales and marketing leadership has enabled him to successfully launch 7 major magazines with exceptional advertising growth.
Burnett serves as Co-Founder and Group Publisher of UPTOWN Magazine, a bi-monthly publication for urbanites focusing on the lifestyle and culture of Affluent African Americans across the nation and with special editions in New York, Chicago, DC, Atlanta and Charlotte. Uptown Media Group also comprises UptownLife.net, the interactive website as well as Uptown’s signature upscale events. Recently, Burnett has become the Co-CEO of the Vibe Lifestyle Network, an online ad network with Vibe.com as its flagship and the bi-monthly Vibe Magazine.
Prior to Uptown, Burnett was Group Publisher of VIBE, the nation’s leading urban music and culture magazine, and its spin-off, VIBE Vixen, the fashion and beauty title for women, in June 2005. Burnett was with the magazine during its inception as Associate Publisher before leaving in 1999 to Co-found the urban publishing company Vanguarde Media, where he was Group Publisher of Honey, Heart & Soul, Impact and Savoy. Burnett returned to Vibe one more time from 2005 – 2007.