Despite the Viking sounding name, I was actually born in England and moved to Canada when I was three years old. There I developed a lifelong passion for hockey and saying "Sorry" when someone bumped in to me. I attended the University of Toronto, one of five Canadian universities that calls itself "the Harvard of the North" where I studied Physiology. I loved science & technology but realized I also had a passion for art & design. A desire to indulge that passion soon presented itself. I entered the retail world and a short time later was offered a job in Marvel Comics' Sales Department.
With the job came a move to New York City, my on and off again home for most of my adult life. I started in Sales at Marvel but quickly moved on to found the company's first Marketing department. I also headed up their Creative Services department and was a major part of Marvel's publishing management team at the time. Heady stuff for a guy in his twenties. It was an amazing time and I probably learned more in six years there than many people learn in their careers. I treasured my time at the "House of Ideas" but knew there were other things I wanted to try and a big world I wanted to explore.
For me that meant a move in to "real book publishing" and shortly thereafter a move to London, England. It wasn't long before I found myself working for Time-Warner books, heading up their international sales operations across numerous territories around the world. It was a great job for a single guy in his thirties, being paid to see exotic climes like India, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as well as closer markets like France and Spain. After two years, I was recruited to do a similar job at Penguin UK. The Penguin job also had me spending a lot more time in Canada and the US and it fueled a desire to return to North America. Luckily, Penguin offered me a role in New York and I got to return to my "adopted hometown" of NYC.
I worked with Penguin for a couple more years before leaving to join my old friend (and former Marvel Editorr-in-Chief) Tom DeFalco on a revival of CRACKED magazine. The main investor in CRACKED was a gentleman by the name of Naif Al-Mutawa who wanted to make superheroes for the Muslim world. So before I knew it I was headed to Kuwait to help him realize his dream. The company we built, Teshkeel, and our characters, THE 99 would prove to be an international media sensation. I spent 14 months 'in country" before returning to New York to open up a US office for Teshkeel.
After two more years of working on THE 99, my old friend DJ Edgerton offered me a unique opportunity to come and help his digital agency grow to the next level. I joined Zemoga as Chief Marketing Officer in 2008 and worked on almost every aspect of the business. . I spent four and a half years at Zemoga, heading up marketing but also getting my fingers in a lot of different pies. By the end of my time there I'd spent numerous hours on digital strategy, UX & UI design, project management and social media. Working at a "boutique" shop that serviced FORTUNE 500 companies like SEARS, A & E, HBO, PFIZER & TOYOTA let me be involved in all aspects of the development cycle and it was a tremendous learning experience for me.
In October 2012, I left Zemoga and started Infinite Monkey Studios, a unique network of digital professionals that aims to "democratize digital" by focusing on startups and small to medium sized businesses. In addition, to serving as Head Ape for IMS, I also consult for Toronto-based agency Normal and New York based transmedia pioneers, Starlight Runner. I even manage to fit in a little ice hockey coaching during the winter.
It's a busy and fulfilling life that meets my three requirements for personal fulfillment:
1) Always be learning 2) Always try to have fun 3) Help people out whenever you can
It's been a great ride so far. I can't wait to see what comes next!