Sarina Simon: Influences and Influencers | sarinasimon.com
Insights from digital media insiders about the past, present, and future of digital media. Learn from their experiences and share your ideas, too.
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Influences and Influencers Insights from Digital Media Insiders

  Meet Mary Catherine Desrosiers (who everyone knows as MC).   MC has had an amazing 23+ year career in children’s and educational technology. She has started up and managed all aspects of companies’ core capabilities and has years of experience building teams, processes, and controls to facilitate rapid growth. Having said all that, her true love is innovating with a purpose. That is–customer centered design, development, and delivery of products, technology and instructional services that yield proven results. 1. You came to the Interactive industry with an MBA and started your career as a consultant at Booz Allen.  From there, you…

Ken Locker is the COO of the Living English Company, which has created an integrated cloud based software platform for companies that employ Hispanic blue-collar workers who do not speak English well. It offers a complete mobile app for administrators, supervisors and workers, incorporating language learning, vocational training and workforce managementHe has more than twenty years of senior management experience in the media industry, with expertise in digital content production, game and app development, distribution, online video operations and monetization, social media and marketing. Previously, Ken was the Chief Operating Officer of Film Domain Media Group, which offers multi-platform digital VOD…

Laura Foti Cohen started her career in book publishing, but found it moved too slowly for her. She then spent several years as a journalist for Audio Times and Billboard, covering audio technology at the dawn of the digital age, music video at the dawn of MTV and home video at the demise of the Betamax before leaving for a job in RCA Records’ video division. In 1987, she made the move from New York to Los Angeles and linear to interactive, joining Philips Media as Marketing Director, rising to Senior VP. Since 1996 she has run Sound Input, a…

Max Dichter describes himself as a “40 something Vice President of Product at a home services startup with over 18 years of experience in the industry. “  He has two kids and, in describing his work, says, “each day at work feels like my first day on the job.”  Anyone who knows Max knows he’s very modest.  So let me fill you in. Max currently works at SERVIZ  as VP of Product Marketing.  Prior to SERVIZ, he was Director of Production for Mattel Digital Network where he lead a large team responsible for the production and brand engagement of Mattel’s…

Julie Hogenboom is a content and marketing expert who transitioned from print to digital, with an interlude at Harvard on the way.   Julie and I met through friends at Disney (one of my former employers) and I knew immediately that she would have valuable insights to share.  Julie is currently an editorial director at Yahoo, focused on content marketing programs for global brand advertisers, such as Procter & Gamble.  Previously Julie had product and editorial oversight for the Disney Family portfolio of sites where she launched food, travel & parenting sites.  She has also worked as a content strategy consultant,…

Jeancarlo Ascorra is the Art Director at, NorthSouth Studios (yes—my company), and has been for the last ten years.  We were very lucky to find Jeancarlo, an artist who knows how to straddle two cultures and bring the both of best to his work. His very first job for us called for Disney-style illustration and we (and our client) were blown away by his talent. Before joining NorthSouth, Jeancarlo had eight years of Art Direction experience, with expertise in graphic design, creativity, illustration and advertising. Previously he worked at BBDO in Peru and freelanced at many other advertising and production…

Meet Alyssa Padia Walles.  In her long and impressive  business strategy and development career, Alyssa has influenced brands such as Fisher-Price, Toys ‘R’ Us, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Backyard Sports, where she served as co-president of Humongous, Inc. Highlights of Alyssa’s career include negotiating national sports league agreements (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), re-launching the Atari brand, and developing international distribution markets for Sony PlayStation.  At Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, she was a member of the senior management team that launched PlayStation across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. As Senior Vice President, Corporate Evolution at Infogrames/Atari, Alyssa played…

Meet, Tom Mott, the Chief Creative Officer at Mott Studios, a full service production studio that designs, writes and produces top-shelf kids’ interactive entertainment. He has been creating amazing products since 1990—mostly for kids—working with properties such as Disney Fairies, Scooby Doo, The Cat in the Hat, Ben 10, Jonny Quest, Dora the Explorer, LEGO, Barbie, Sesame Street, and more.  I have known Tom since his early days at Philips Media and have always admired his sense of humor, his artistic touch and his genuine concern for kids.  In this interview, Tom explains how he got into interactive media and…