Board of Directors

 

Neil Court Executive Chairman

Neil Court is a seasoned international media entrepreneur who started his career in entertainment in 1981. He has lived in the UK since 1991 and carries out his Executive Chairman duties from there. Mr Court is also Chairman and co-founder of Peacock Alley Entertainment, the Toronto-based producer of the Netflix/Showcase worldwide sci fi hit, TRAVELERS.

In 1997, Mr Court co-founded Toronto’s Decode Entertainment, which became one of the largest international suppliers of children’s TV series. When Decode became DHX Media in 2006 and went public, he became president of the international distribution subsidiary and was appointed to DHX’s board of directors. He resigned from DHX in 2009 but remained as a non-executive board member until 2011.

Prior to Decode, Mr. Court had his own UK-based international media consultancy business where his main clients included Film Roman (THE SIMPSONS), The Jim Henson Company as well as major European and American media companies such as MCA, BMG and PolyGram. Mr. Court started working in children’s media in 1987, when he was a founder of the international distribution and coproduction subsidiary of Nelvana (now part of Corus Entertainment). He left his position of Managing Director in 1993, having set up the Paris and London operations for the company.

Mr Court holds a MBA from the Schulich School of Business as well as undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Political Science from Ottawa’s Carleton University.

 

Michel Bendayan

Owner of Go Play Global, an international sales and strategic consulting agency, Michel Bendayan represents and directs a myriad of toy companies wanting to establish and grow their footprints worldwide.  Mr. Bendayan is a respected veteran in toys, with over 20 years experience devoted to developing and growing international markets.  Prior to founding Go Play Global, Mr. Bendayan spent 15 years at Mega Brands, most recently as Vice President of International Sales.  Mr. Bendayan turned Mega Brands into a leading toy player in multiple international territories, including North and South America,  Australia / New Zealand, Asia Pacific and Middle East / Africa. 

Mr. Bendayan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and is trilingual in English, French, and Spanish.

 

Vince Commisso

Vince Commisso is the Co-founding Partner, President & CEO of 9 Story Media Group, one of the industry’s leading creators, producers and distributors of award-winning content for young audiences around the world. With responsibilities for leading the production, creative, technical and sales aspects of the company's activities, Mr. Commisso has contributed to 9 Story’s production of over 900 animated and live action episodes, seen on some of the world’s most respected children’s channels and platforms. 

Mr. Commisso began his career in 1992 at Nelvana, where he worked with major networks, studios, producers and distributors, both domestically and internationally. He rose through the ranks to become Supervising Producer, garnering one Emmy® and two Gemini® nominations. In 1999 he left Nelvana to become President & CEO of Blab Media Inc., a Flash based new media company, where he gained valuable experience in the management of start-ups and factors impacting market positioning. In 2002, he co-founded 9 Story Entertainment, with a vision to launch an animation company that would utilize leading edge technologies to develop, produce and deliver compelling animated children’s content with international appeal. 

In 2005, Mr. Commisso earned an Emmy® Award for Best Animated Television Program, as well as a Gemini® Award and ACT Award as Senior Producer on Peep and the Big Wide World Season I.

Mr. Commisso holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and is a Certified General Accountant. He also holds a Bachelor of Administrative Arts from Atkinson College at York University and a BA in Mathematics and Political Science.

 

Geraldine Laybourne

Geraldine Laybourne is a serial entrepreneur in media and technology. Currently she is the Chairman and co-Founder of Kandu, a kid’s technology company. She founded Oxygen Media in 1999 and served as Chairman and CEO of Oxygen Media until she sold it to NBC Universal in 2007.

Ms. Laybourne was a cable programming pioneer in the 80’s and 90’s: she led the team that created Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite. She also served as president of Disney/ABC Cable Networks (from 1996-1998) where she ran cable programming for the Walt Disney Company and its ABC subsidiary.


Ms. Laybourne has been singled out for her many contributions to the industry. She was ranked No. 1 among the 50 most influential women in the entertainment industry by The Hollywood Reporter in 1996 and named one of the 25 most influential people in America by Time magazine that same year.


She serves on the Board of Directors of Symantec Corporation, and on the Board of Betaworks. She previously served on the boards of Electronic Arts, J.C. Penney, Insight Communications, move.com, and Alloy Inc. She is on the Board of Trustees of Vassar College, is a corporate ambassador for Vital Voices and advises many women lead startup companies. She and her husband Kit, a teacher, producer and author, have two children and four grandchildren.

 

Bradley Sherman

Presently, Bradley Sherman is the Senior Managing Director of Media Lending at Bank of Montreal.  Prior, Mr. Sherman was the co-founder and CEO of Aver Media LP, a private media financier founded in 2006, which Bank of Montreal acquired in 2013. Prior to founding Aver, Mr. Sherman was a partner in both Grosvenor Park Partnership and Sentinel Hill Alliance Atlantis Ventures Corporation, Canadian industry leaders in providing structured financing to the Canadian and international filmed entertainment community.

 

Mr. Sherman graduated from University of Southern California with a BA and Osgoode Hall Law School with an LLB, and practiced commercial law in Toronto with Blake, Cassels and Graydon. Mr. Sherman was born in Canada and remains a Canadian citizen and resident, presently living in Toronto, Ontario.

 

Jordan Turkewitz

Jordan Turkewitz joined ZelnickMedia in 2002. Mr. Turkewitz is responsible for originating, structuring and monitoring investments with a focus on media, internet and media/marketing services. Mr. Turkewitz currently represents ZelnickMedia on the boards of 9 Story Media Group, Alloy, L.L.C. and is the Chairman of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, L.L.C.

Prior to joining ZelnickMedia, Mr. Turkewitz served as Senior Director of Acquisitions and Investments at JupiterMedia Corporation, ultimately leading the corporate development team and the investments group that managed three venture capital funds focused on investments in digital publishing, software and business services company. Before joining JupiterMedia, Mr. Turkewitz was an Associate with Merrill Lynch & Co in the Media Investment Banking Group and Goldman Sachs’ Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Prior to his positions in investment banking, Mr. Turkewitz Co-Founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of the Student Advantage Program, a leading integrated media and commerce company focused on the higher education market.

Mr. Turkewitz earned a BA degree in U.S. Government from Cornell University and received a MBA from Columbia Business School.

 

Andrew Vogel

Andrew Vogel joined ZelnickMedia in 2003. Mr. Vogel is responsible for originating, structuring and monitoring investment across several verticals including telecommunications infrastructure, business services, entertainment content and distribution, advertising and direct marketing. Mr. Vogel currently represents ZelnickMedia on the boards of 9 Story Media Group, Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, L.L.C., Alloy, L.L.C., Airvana LP and Cannella Response Television.

Prior to joining ZelnickMedia, Mr. Vogel worked at Ripplewood Holdings, a private equity firm where he focused on investments in the media, consumer and industrial sectors. Mr. Vogel also worked at McCown De Leeuw and Co., a private equity firm where he was responsible for investments in the consumer, building  materials and health and leisure industries, including the firm’s investment in 24 Hour Fitness. Previously, Mr. Vogel was an investment banker in Lehman Brother’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group and interned as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company.


Mr. Vogel earned a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University. He also received an MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated as a Baker Scholar.