Eric Ellenbogen, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chair of WildBrain, has spent more than 30 years running entertainment businesses, including holding senior management roles as President of Broadway Video Entertainment (the TV and film production and distribution company founded by Lorne Michaels); President of Golden Books Family Entertainment; and President and CEO of Marvel Enterprises before its acquisition by Disney. With the backing of private equity, he co-founded Classic Media in 2000, which became one of the largest private owners of branded kids’ and family entertainment and was acquired by DreamWorks Animation (DWA) in 2012. At DWA, Mr. Ellenbogen became Co-Head of DreamWorks Classics and DreamWorks International Television, and was largely responsible for the company’s entry into the television business. Following DWA’s sale to NBCUniversal, Ellenbogen became Co-President of Classic Media, which was restarted as a business unit of NBCUniversal. Mr. Ellenbogen was a board director of Golden Books and Marvel, then both public companies, and is a Trustee of the Public Theater in New York City among other civic involvements. He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds an MBA from UCLA.
Aaron Ames, Chief Financial Officer of WildBrain, has had a long career in management roles for public and private companies. He was Chief Operating Officer of WildBrain’s predecessor company, DHX Media, from April 2018 to September 2019, during which time he oversaw a program to improve operational efficiencies and streamline the business. Previously, he was Chief Integration Officer for DHX Media following the Company’s acquisition of Cookie Jar Entertainment, where he was Chief Financial Officer. A Certified Professional Accountant (Ontario & Ohio) and specialist in business improvement, M&A integration and synergies, Aaron has held senior roles with Atlas Cold Storage (TSX: FZR), Centenario Copper (TSX: CCT), Coretec (TSX: CYY) and TSC Stores LP. Aaron graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1993 with a Master’s of Accountancy and worked for Ernst & Young in Cleveland and Toronto until 2001.
Josh Scherba, President, oversees WildBrain’s talented teams responsible for creating award-winning kids’ and family content and delivering it to audiences worldwide. Mr. Scherba has been with the company since its founding in 2006, and since that time, his passion for kids’ and family content has been central to driving WildBrain’s growth into a leading supplier to streaming platforms and broadcasters worldwide. As a key member of WildBrain’s executive team, Mr. Scherba plays an integral role in setting and driving WildBrain’s strategic priorities, with oversight on the Company’s 360-degree approach to unlocking the value of brands in WildBrain’s deep library of content. He has spearheaded numerous major partnerships for WildBrain with companies such as Apple TV+, Netflix, SEGA, the BBC, Mattel and others. His portfolio includes the company’s leading animation and live-action production business, WildBrain Studios; its global content distribution business; its suite of Family-branded broadcast channels in Canada; its leading YouTube-based AVOD network, WildBrain Spark; and its fast-growing content and licensing operations in China.
As Chief Content Officer at WildBrain, Stephanie Betts is responsible for overseeing WildBrain’s content slate, cultivating an artist-led culture of creative excellence at WildBrain Studios. Ms. Betts’ expertise lies in building and leading strong, creatively driven teams, and in producing series that kids around the world will love. Ms. Betts fosters an integrated approach across development, production and studio operations, drawing on her considerable experience and expertise in launching such notable WildBrain series as Snoopy in Space; The Snoopy Show; Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry in the Big City; Go, Dog. Go!; Chip & Potato; Degrassi and many more. Prior to joining WildBrain, Ms. Betts worked as a Producer and Development Executive at Breakthrough Films and Television, and previously at Atomic Cartoons.
James Bishop, General Counsel, leads WildBrain’s legal and business affairs team and serves as the Corporate Secretary for the board of directors. He joined WildBrain in 2014 and has held a series of progressively senior roles in the Company’s legal and business affairs department since then. Prior to joining WildBrain, Mr. Bishop was an associate at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP where his practice covered a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. Mr. Bishop was part-time faculty with Dalhousie Schulich School of Law where he taught the Entertainment Law course from 2015-2019. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Atlantic International Film Festival. Mr. Bishop holds a B.Sc. (Hon.) from Queen’s University and a J.D. and MBA from Dalhousie University.
Deirdre Brennan, Chief Operating Officer, plays a key role in driving WildBrain’s holistic content strategy, overseeing integrated operations across the Company’s global Distribution and AVOD business, as well as its suite of Family-branded broadcast channels in Canada. Ms. Brennan previously worked for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment as General Manager, Universal Kids, where she worked across NBCU to optimize their kids’ and family business. Production under her leadership expanded significantly at NBCU, earning 13 daytime Emmy nominations for the originals. Prior to NBCU, Ms. Brennan was Vice President, Content at Corus Entertainment, where she oversaw all aspects of the kids’ portfolio in Canada. At the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, prior to Corus, Ms. Brennan was ABC TV’s Head of Children’s, leading programming, acquisition and commissioning for Australia’s most successful children’s services. Prior to that, as Director of Content/General Manager for BBC Worldwide Australia, she managed BBC’s branded services and content development across drama, entertainment and factual, as well as regional IP management and audience strategy, including the launch of BBC First. Ms. Brennan also previously worked as Director of Programming, Nickelodeon Australia. Ms. Brennan is a Member of the International Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences and BAFTA North America.
Tim Erickson, Executive Vice President, Brand, at Peanuts Worldwide is responsible for overseeing and growing the global licensing business for the Peanuts brand. Working together with the family of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, WildBrain’s content and management teams and brand co-owners Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), Mr. Erickson sets and sustains a strategy true to the great heritage of Peanuts. Mr. Erickson brings over 20 years of experience in consumer products and brand building with notable media and IP companies. He was Chief Operating Officer at GoldieBlox, an innovative media company creating STEM-focused brand experiences for girls. At Twentieth Century Fox, Mr. Erickson led the global merchandise licensing business, driving double-digit growth across the company’s film and television brands. Before that, Mr. Erickson held the position of Global Head of Licensing & Operations at DreamWorks, expanding the company’s global merchandise licensing business to realize triple-digit growth. At DreamWorks, Mr. Erickson was part of the team that launched and accelerated the highly acclaimed film and TV franchises Trolls, Spirit and How to Train Your Dragon. Prior to DreamWorks, Mr. Erickson spent several years driving consumer products and sales strategies at Disney and LEGO.
Anne Loi, EVP M&A and Chief Commercial Officer, works closely with senior management and the Company’s talented content teams to help drive WildBrain’s leading slate of kids’ and family shows. She oversees content and IP investments, key external partnerships, and research & insights in addition to her responsibilities in mergers and acquisition activities. Ms. Loi has been a core member of WildBrain’s leadership team since the Company’s founding in 2006, coming over with DECODE Entertainment when it merged with Halifax Film to form WildBrain’s predecessor, DHX Media. Prior to joining WildBrain, Ms. Loi was Vice President of Financial Strategy at Extend Media and before that, she held various management positions at IMG Group (now Lavalife), Proctor & Gamble and Deloitte. Ms. Loi is a Chartered Professional Account (Ontario), holds a BA from Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.
Danielle Neath, EVP Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, oversees WildBrain’s finance team, which is responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, treasury, tax, rights management and royalties. She joined the Company as VP, Finance in 2012, coming over with the acquisition of Cookie Jar Entertainment, where she was VP Corporate Controller from 2009 to 2012. Since that time, she has held a series of progressively senior roles in the Company’s finance department and now manages a team of over 30 finance professionals. From 2005 to 2009, Ms. Neath held senior finance positions at Softchoice Corporation and Harris Corporation. Prior to that, she worked for Ernst & Young LLP in London, Ontario. Ms. Neath is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Ontario) and graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2003 with a Master’s of Accounting.
Michael Riley, Chief Brands Officer of WildBrain, draws on over 25 years of experience in company building, brand and IP development and global marketing to identify and develop key franchise opportunities for WildBrain’s portfolio of renowned kids and family brands. Mr. Riley has previously worked for some of the biggest firms in entertainment, consumer products and media, focusing on top children’s IP, including Strawberry Shortcake, Polly Pocket, Power Rangers, Ben 10 and My Little Pony. As VP of Franchise Development and Content Strategy & Distribution at Mattel, he was charged with starting a division which identified, launched and expanded Mattel’s billion-dollar franchises. Prior to Mattel, Mr. Riley led the start-up of Hasbro’s Franchise and Entertainment Division, driving consumer engagement to transform brands into kids and family entertainment franchises. He has also held senior roles in strategic marketing and brand development at Bandai America and at Sony Pictures Entertainments’ consumer products division. In his early career, he built a foundation in agency work (Saatchi & Saatchi), research (Information Resources), and classic consumer products (Nestle). Since 2014, Mr. Riley was a principal with IP 360 Group, a consultancy firm specializing in creating and executing strategic plans to launch, build and grow kids and family IP across all platforms. Mr. Riley holds a B.S., Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.
Tara Talbot, EVP, Global Talent, leads WildBrain’s Talent team with a focus on human resources, development, leadership and culture. Ms. Talbot joined WildBrain in 2016 bringing more than 20 years of progressively senior experience in Human Resources and Communications across numerous industries such as technology, healthcare and entertainment. Previously, Ms. Talbot held the role of Vice President, Human Resources & Communications at Workopolis, where she was responsible for establishing and driving employee acquisition and retention strategies, as well as establishing the employee engagement “best-practices” for Canada’s leading online career management resource. She was also the public-relations spokesperson for Workopolis with the media. Prior to that role, Ms. Talbot was the Vice President, Human Resources at TeraGo Networks. Concurrently, Ms. Talbot was a Professor in the School of Business at Georgian College. Ms. Talbot holds an MBA, a post graduate certificate in Human Resources Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Maarten Weck, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of WildBrain CPLG, oversees all global operations of the Company’s third-party licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG, which is one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies with more than 40 years of experience in the industry. Working with such clients as, Nickelodeon, BBC Worldwide, Peanuts, MGM, emoji, Paramount, MGA, Spin Master, Sesame Workshop, Mattel, Line Friends, Ubisoft, Real Madrid and more, WildBrain CPLG provides licensing solutions for brand owners and retail partners looking to maximize consumer products opportunities around the globe. Formerly WildBrain CPLG’s Managing Director for Northern Europe, the UK, NORDIC, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Benelux territories, Mr. Weck has been with the agency for over 13 years. Prior to working for WildBrain CPLG, Mr. Weck held management positions with Memphis Belle, the Cookie Company and Keesing. In these positions, he worked with clients in the book, game, fashion and television industries. Mr. Weck holds a degree in Business Economics from Hogeschool van Amsterdam.
Jianbo Wei, Managing Director, China, oversees WildBrain’s content and licensing business in China. A veteran entertainment executive, Mr. Wei has deep ties and experience in China’s media industry and regulatory environment. He has managed business and growth strategies in China for many of the world’s leading entertainment multinationals, forging partnerships and successfully navigating the country’s regulatory landscape. Prior to joining WildBrain, Mr. Wei worked for NBCUniversal, where he built and led a China team that drove significant growth in content licensing. Before that, Mr. Wei worked for The Walt Disney Company, as Director, Government Relations for the Shanghai Disney Resort, managing relations and engagement with third-party stakeholders including government agencies, industry partners, business associations, and schools. Prior to Disney, Mr. Wei worked for Warner Bros., where he was responsible for the international TV and new media distribution business in China. He also worked for a period with AGB Nielsen Media Research, focusing on strategic planning, government relations, PR and marketing. Mr. Wei holds an MBA from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, as well as a Master in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Business and English from Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.