Pete Ellis has been a leading business innovator with every enterprise he has owned and operated since the mid-1970s. As one of the largest automobile dealers in the western United States, Ellis pioneered one price selling, bringing consumer-oriented policies to the sale of new and used automobiles. His holding company, P.R. Ellis Company, also owned one of the largest after market manufacturing companies for van conversions, and his advertising agency, EIIJ, developed campaigns for leading businesses and political figures, including California Governor Pete Wilson.
In 1994-95, using technology and innovative marketing strategies, Ellis launched the first automobile buying and research website, Autobytel. His approach revolutionized an entire industry, for both manufacturers and consumers, and his efficient marketing and transaction platform continues to be the basis for every commercially viable automobile website in existence.
After taking Autobytel public in 1999 (NASDAQ: ABTL), Ellis formed Jubilee Investments. In 1999, Jubilee funded an investment in SpaFinder, eventually becoming the majority shareholder, and in 2001 Ellis became chairman and CEO. Under his leadership SpaFinder has become the world’s largest spa marketing and media company, growing from a U.S.-based marketing program to an international platform with joint venture partners in Europe and Asia.
Ellis has been honored by Advertising Age as one of the top marketers in the U.S., and his Internet technology innovations have been made part of the Permanent Research Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Beverly C. Chell is the Vice Chairman and Interim CFO for PRIMEDIA Inc., overseeing and supporting Corporate Finance, Corporate Communications, Corporate Development, Government Relations, Insurance and Real Estate. Until October 2006, Ms. Chell served as General Counsel of PRIMEDIA.
She has been a major presence in the reshaping of the publishing industry since joining Macmillan, Inc. in 1981. At both Macmillan and PRIMEDIA, her ability to structure transactions has been central to the rapid growth of both companies. She has been responsible for more than 250 transactions throughout her career. In 1989, Ms. Chell co-founded PRIMEDIA, then K-III Communications Corporation, with two other veterans of Macmillan, Charles G. McCurdy, President, and former PRIMEDIA Chairman & CEO William F. Reilly.
After entering the publishing industry in 1981 as Associate General Counsel of Macmillan, Chell played a key role in the takeover battle between Macmillan and the late publishing magnate Robert Maxwell. She was also an influential strategist in the company's many acquisitions and joint ventures, which contributed to Macmillan's status as one of the fastest-growing publishing companies during the 1980's. Before joining Macmillan, Ms. Chell worked for over ten years at Athlone Industries as a Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors, where she first developed her expertise in transactions.
Ms. Chell received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from the New York Law School and an LLM degree from the New York University School of Law. She is very active in helping to solve the problems of public education and is the initiator of the New York City Public Schools Emergency Book Project, a program she spearheaded while on the Board of Directors of PENCIL, an organization whose aim is to bring business and public education together. The Emergency Book Project enabled one book to be donated to each of the 1 million city school children for use in classrooms. She also serves on the
Missy Godfrey, an operating partner with the merchant bank Tri-Artisan LLP, has vast senior executive-level experience in traditional, non-traditional and new media, specializing in product launches, business development and turnaround. Most recently, Godfrey was VP financial advisor for Bernstein Investment Research & Management, developing investment strategies and implementing asset allocation for high net worth individuals, families, foundations, endowments, trusts and estates.
Prior to Bernstein, Godfrey was VP group publisher for two of Primedia's youth ventures: Cover Concepts, an in-school communications company with four business units, and The Youth Entertainment Group , which publishes a range of popular "tween" magazines. At Cover Concepts, Godfrey ran all business operations, managing a team of 35 and driving significant revenue increases. For The Youth Entertainment Group, she helped steer the successful re-launches of Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and BOP - creating a marketing package to position the brands, initiating strategic alliances with Disney and Miramax, and enlisting 20 "blue-chip" accounts.
Godfrey enjoyed similar success as publisher of Worth, where she increased ad revenues four-fold; as Advertising/Marketing Director for Countryside Magazine, where she increased ad pages 185%; and as a category manager for American Express' Departures, where she launched the initial sales and marketing efforts for the highly successful publication.
Godfrey currently serves on the board of directors for two charitable, youth-focused organizations: Youth Service America and A Better Chance. She was also a member of the group that launched The Stifel Paralysis Foundation (which has since evolved into the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation). Godfrey received her B.S. degree in Business at Skidmore College.
Josh McCarter is President & COO of Arbitech, a leading independent distributor of computer hardware which has earned several awards for its innovative business model and rapid growth, including recognition in the INC500, as a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Company in Orange County, and as Entrepreneur magazine's fastest growing company in the US (2003).
McCarter previously served as Chief Operating Officer of SpaFinder, managing the company's technology, operations and strategic initiatives, which included new on and offline partnerships, product development and corporate development.
Before joining SpaFinder, Mr. McCarter served as Vice President of International Development for the online automotive marketing leader, Autobytel.com, formulating and implementing the company's pan-European and Asian-Pacific expansion efforts. McCarter also was Vice President of Business Development at Autobytel, where he oversaw acquisitions, strategic partnerships and assisted in the company's IPO. Prior to Autobytel, he was International Sales Manager at Lewis Hyman, Inc., where he expanded the multi-million dollar import company's international penetration in Latin America from Mexico to Central and South America.
McCarter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science-International Relations as a Cum Laude Graduate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his MBA at the University of Southern California (USC).