Marc EckoMarc Ecko is an American entrepreneur and founder of the highly successful Marc Ecko clothing line and its parent company Marc Ecko Enterprises. His businesses range from magazines, to fashion lines such as Avirex, G-Unit, Marc Ecko Cut & Sew, and an interactive entertainment and other diverse interests. Ecko was raised in a Jewish middle-class family of Polish descent in Lakewood, New Jersey. His mother was a real estate broker and his father was a pharmacist. Armed only with an airbrush and his custom graphic designs, Marc quickly built a loyal fan base and in 1993, at the age of 20, founded ecko unltd. Since then, the company has grown to included *ecko unltd. apparel and accessories lines, the contemporary Marc Ecko Cut & Sew collection, ecko red girls line, Zoo York, Avirex Sportswear, Complex Magazine and Complex Media, as well as a videogame and multimedia division, Marc Ecko Entertainment. Last year alone, Marc's full-scale global fashion and lifestyle company reported worldwide retail sales of over $1.5 billion. Simultaneously, Marc has dedicated himself to a number of social consciousness initiatives, including significant work with youth domestically and internationally and a dedicated role in reversing the plight of the world's rhino populations. Sweat Equity Enterprises, a four-year after school design education and mentoring program is his most personal initiative to date.
Leonard BrodyLeonard Brody is a technology entrepreneur, business advisor and author. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date. Leonard also acts as an advisor to venture capital funds in the US, Europe and Asia. Throughout his career, has also advised several companies including, the Associated Press, Alliance Atlantis, Derby County Football Club and MTV Enterprises. In addition, he was the Senior Technology Advisor to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade. Currently, Leonard is a Senior Advisor to the Canadian Ministry of International Trade and a Director of Canada's largest technology association, CATA. A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at universities such as Stanford, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and the Gordon Business School in Johannesburg. His insight has been requested by companies such as Forbes, Warner Music, as well as, the governments of countries such as India, Israel, Ireland and South Africa. He has spoken at conferences throughout the world and his work has been featured in such publications as Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and the New York Times. Recently he was given the award as one of Vancouver's Top 40 Under 40. He is co-author of the best selling books, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java and Everything I Needed to Know About Business...I Learned from a Canadian both published by John Wiley and Sons.
Don MoodyWhen "WordWorld" creator Don Moody discovered his wife was pregnant, he decided to pursue life differently, most importantly, living by example and practicing citizenship. Aligning his life with the progression of his child's life, Moody set out to develop an innovative television show that addressed children's literacy and taught valuable life lessons. Based on more than two years of personal research, Moody realized literacy television shows would be much more effective if words were brought to life. He remembers thinking "Wouldn't it be cool if the word 'shark' swam off the screen, or if the word 'ice' actually froze in front of you?" From there, "WordWorld" was born and under Moody's direction, evolved into an innovative children's show that has received praise from children, parents and educators alike. Moody's personal history is woven into the "WordWorld" fabric. Moody grew up with two other siblings raised by his mother in a single parent home. Based on his own childhood experience, Moody understands the importance of introducing effective literacy techniques early to a broad audience of kids. After his mother moved her family to a better neighborhood, a creative community helped raise and positively influence Moody. In fact, many of his childhood friends helped shape "WordWorld's" ensemble cast of WordFriends. Prior to creating "WordWorld," Moody founded Moody Communications, a Manhattan-based advertising agency that serviced a variety of accounts in entertainment, internet technology, telecommunications, fashion and investor relations. Moody handled the branding, advertising, merchandising and licensing business for Jones New York, Verizon and US Banker, as well as for licensees of Disney, Warner Brothers, Lucas Films, "Barbie," "South Park," and "Bananas in Pajamas." At the same time, he independently created, developed and produced "Bobby Blu," an animated children's property for Wal-Mart, to air as a television series on the Fox Family Channel.
Ira SokowitzCo-Project Director & Executive Vice President Public Affairs, The Ready to Learn Partnership; CEO, The Phoenix Consulting Group: Ira Sockowitz has combined a career in law, politics, communications, and logistical planning to obtain a unique blend of strategic planning and management know-how. By integrating skills in initiative management, public policy research, strategic communications, and project administration, Ira has earned a reputation as an effective leader who achieves his employers' and clients' mission-critical goals. The Phoenix Consulting Group is a full service public affairs, communications and event planning firm, based in Washington, D.C. and operating throughout the world. As the chief executive of Phoenix, Ira provides strategic counsel to clients on legislative and regulatory issues as well as communications and public relations issues. In addition, he provides protocol and dignitary management services to senior officials of governments, corporations, and associations. Prior to starting the Phoenix Consulting Group, Ira was Managing Director of Strategic Planning Group (SPG), which provided public affairs and business advocacy services to corporations and associations. As well, Ira planned and managed several special events ranging in size and scope from the Presidents of the eight industrial world powers (the 1997 Denver Summit of the Eight) to a three-day festival for 150,000 people (as the Black College Reunion) while with SPG. Having joined the Federal government as a Presidential appointee, Ira served as Special Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce under the late-Secretary Ron Brown. Prior to joining the federal government, Ira presided over both trial and appellate proceedings as an Administrative Law Judge for three years.
Ira began his career, and gained eight years of experience, in the legislative process. Starting as a Legislative Assistant, Ira served as counsel to one Member and the manager of a legislative staff for another Member of the New York State Legislature over the course of five sessions before going on to spend one year lobbying before the Legislature. Ira subsequently served as a Legislative Counsel for New York City's Office of Management and Budget for two years.