Board of Directors
Cella Irvine - Chief Executive Officer, Vibrant
Cella Irvine brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the digital, media and technology industries to her role as the CEO of Vibrant, technology that gets brand content and advertising discovered across platforms.
Before joining Vibrant in October 2011, Cella was CEO of The New York Times Company's About Group, where she led extensive efforts in contextual advertising - a main driver of About.com's revenue. Under Cella's leadership, About dramatically expanded its content and language offerings.
Prior to About, she was Chief Administrative Officer of Digitas, an ad agency unit of Publicis, where she was responsible for operational, administrative and governance functions. Before Digitas, Cella was Global Head of Strategic Planning and then Chief Operations Officer for a business unit of Marsh, Inc., a risk consulting firm. She has also previously held management roles at Hearst and Prodigy.
She received her B.A. in History from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Chris Ahearn - Board Director
Chris Ahearn is a venture partner at FirstMark Capital and chairman of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. He is also on the board of NewsCred and is an advisor to both #waywire and WiserCare. Chris previously served as President of Reuters Media, a unit of Thomson Reuters, in addition to sitting on the company's executive and operating committee for its Markets unit. While at Reuters he oversaw the launch of its consumer media operations.
Prior to joining Reuters, Chris was an investment banker with J.P. Morgan and was a partner in the e-finance unit called LabMorgan. He started his career at First Boston. Chris is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics.
Cathie Black - Board Director
Cathie Black is playing multiple roles as advisor, board member, investor and mentor to several start-ups and newer businesses in the digital space. She previously served as President, then Chairman of Hearst Magazines, a division of the Hearst Corporation, for 15 years.
Before joining Hearst in 1995, Cathie spent eight years at USA Today first as President, then Publisher. She is a former New York City Schools Chancellor and the New York Times bestselling author of Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life). Cathie holds a degree from Trinity College, in addition to 10 honorary degrees.
Craig Gooding - Board Director
Craig co-founded Vibrant in 2000 with Doug Stevenson, serving as CCO and co-founder of Vibrant between 2000-2009. With minimal seed funding, Craig oversaw Vibrant's rapid growth strategy, positioning Vibrant as the world's leading premium contextual platform in the US, UK, Germany and France. Formerly AOL Europe's E-commerce Manager and leading dealmaker, he has thirteen years of publishing, media and Internet experience across AOL, CompuServe, ICQ, and Netscape, playing a crucial role in the launch of Netscape Online. Craig is an active Vibrant Board Member and Strategic Advisor. He has a B.A. in Humanities from Humberside University.
Wim Obbens - Board Director
Wim Obbens is appointed managing director of Janivo Holding an international Investment company located in The Netherlands which manages the investments of a group of private individuals. He is founder of Bio Rights B.V. an eco-technology group in The Netherlands specialized in the production of biofuels from waste celluloses. Until 2007, Wim served as Managing Director of the Investment Bank of Fortis Bank, and as a member of the Management Team of the Corporate & Investment Banking business unit.
Previously, he was Member of the Board of MeesPierson. Wim also served as director of a number of companies (indirectly) owned by Fortis. Prior to joining MeesPierson, he worked for Swiss Bank Corporation/SBC Warburg which later merged with UBS, being responsible for Investment banking in the Netherlands. Wim started his career in the investment banking business line of ABN AMRO. He graduated in Business Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Ralph Terkowitz - Board Director
Ralph Terkowitz joined ABS Capital Partners in January 2004 as a General Partner and is responsible for investments in companies within the media & communication and technology sectors. He represents ABS Capital on the boards of American Public Education, Inc., eFashionSolutions, LLC, Vibrant, Inc. and WhenU.com, Inc. Ralph is also an observer on the board of Course Advisor, Inc. He brings more than 30 years of operating, financial and technical experience to ABS Capital.
Ralph previously served as CIO/CTO of the Washington Post Company, and was the founder and CEO of its electronic publishing subsidiary, Washington Post, Newsweek Interactive (formerly DigitalInk). Ralph was also the CEO of the company's Brass Ring, one of the first business services providers, which has grown to be one of the two largest outsourced recruiting platforms. Ralph serves on the board of TRUSTe and eCornell.
In addition to his ABS Capital duties, he is a member of the board of advisors of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Indian CEO High Tech Council, the Cornell University Council and the Newspaper Association of America's Business Committee on Industry Development.
Mark S. Zagorski - Board Director
Mark brings more than 15 years of online marketing leadership to his role as CEO of eXelate, the digital data marketing engine. Since joining the company in 2008, he has led eXelate's U.S. launch, expanded the company's global footprint to over 400M unique visitors worldwide, and has been instrumental in closing $28M in Series B and C funding, while creating long-term relationships with media and data powerhouses including Nielsen, Google and MasterCard.
Previously, Mark was Chief Marketing Officer and Corporate EVP of MediaSpan where he led all marketing and business development activity, and built a local ad network with more than 1,400 affiliates. Prior to MediaSpan, he was President of WorldNow, the largest network and services provider for local TV station websites. Mark received his MBA from the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business and a BS in Finance from Gannon University.
Deric Emry - Board Observer
Deric Emry joined ABS Capital in 1999 and is a General Partner responsible for investments in the media and communications sectors. He serves on the boards of ABS portfolio companies Control Point Solutions, Inc., Course Advisor, Inc. and Vibrant, Inc. Deric was formerly a board member of Simplexity, Inc. (now InPhonic, Inc.) and Captivate Network, Inc. He was also an observer on the boards of NeuStar, Inc., SBA Communications Corp. and Dolan Media Company.
Prior to joining ABS Capital, Deric was part of Deutsche Banc Alex Brown's Media & Communications Investment Banking team from 1996 to 1999. During that time, this team was considered by Wall Street to be the premier investment banking team in the sector. Deric was instrumental in developing new sub-sectors of focus within media and communications. For example, his team raised Wall Street awareness of communications tower companies, eventually becoming the leading banker for the most significant companies in that industry.
In addition to his board duties, Deric is a member of the William T. Walters Committee of the Walters Museum of Art in Baltimore.
Okko Filius - Board Observer
Okko Filius joined ABN AMRO Bank in 1991 and is Managing Director and Deputy Head of its Corporate Finance & Capital Markets department. In his first nine years at ABN AMRO in Amsterdam and Hong Kong, Okko was primarily active in origination and execution of Debt Capital Markets and Equity Capital Markets transactions. During his time in Asia in the late 90s, he worked for ABN AMRO Rothschild and was COO of ABN AMRO Asia Corporate Finance.
In 2000, Okko moved to MeesPierson to focus on M&A origination and execution. He is one of the leading financial advisers for public offers in the Netherlands and has assisted clients like Arcelor, Canon, ERIKS, Rexam and voestalpine. Following the merger of ABN AMRO and Fortis Bank Nederland (including MeesPierson) in July 2010, Okko returned to ABN AMRO. He is also a Director of an ABN AMRO Bank group company that is a Vibrant Media shareholder. Okko has a Master's degree in Business Economics from the University of Groningen.