Throughout my academic and professional career I’ve always focused on solving problems through software and technology. Early on I was fascinated with the application of computers to biology and medicine, which led me to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Pre-Med at New York University. Following a summer internship at the NASA biology labs at JFK Space Center, I enrolled into NYU Medical School. Distracted by the Internet boom of the late 90’s, I couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon and working for an Internet start up. And so I left Medical school and became a lead developer at NYC based Convey.com- one of the first blogging systems for publishers before the word “blog” even existed.
Hooked on the excitement and immense potential of the start up culture, I joined with close high school and college buddies to start our own Internet venture called Offyx. Offyx was a web portal designed to deliver any application through the cloud using Citrix technology. It was our attempt to “utilitize” computing and eliminate the need for IT staff for SMBs. Besides furthering my expertise in cutting edge technology, I also learned essential business skills ranging from sweeping the floors, hiring/firing employees, negotiating office space, raising venture capital, and signing our first client. Although Offyx was unsuccessful because our technology was too early to market, the great experiences taught me what I needed to know to move forward with confidence and an edge for success.
Immediately after, I launched my next venture Joonbug.com. In a pre-Facebook, MySpace, EventBrite time, JoonBug.com was yet another one of my software solutions that married all aspects of the offline events world with the online digital world. I spent the next eight years building the company to 25M+/yr in revenue and over 75 employees. We were first to market with technologies such as online photo purchasing and social sharing, exhaustive event databases, location specific email newsletters, and e-ticketing systems. Naturally, we also delved into large-scale event production, executing over 300 events yearly with over 100K attendees.
In 2006 as the efficacy of email marketing newsletters was significantly diminishing, I had the idea of reaching consumers through SMS on their mobile devices as a more potent alternative. This marked the birth of EzTexting.com, a web based platform that I designed and built, to allow businesses (including my own) to affordably and easily market to their customers through SMS text messaging.
For the next two years I simultaneously headed Joonbug.com and EzTexting.com until I sold JoonBug.com to a long-standing competitor and focused all my attention on EzTexting.com.
EzTexting.com was an instant success. For six years, I tirelessly and tenaciously focused on building our huge customer base, our exceptional team, and our unparalleled platform. By 2012, EzTexting had amassed over 50K customers, 20+ employees (in both the US and Kiev) and over $8M/yr in revenues. Starting in 2013, EzTexting.com merged with CallFire.com, a cloud communications company with the help of Morgan Stanley, Investor Growth Capital, and Multiplier Capital. I transitioned my role from CEO to Chief Product Officer overseeing both the EzTexting and CallFire platforms. And later I transitioned again to Director of Corporate Development for CallFire where I spearhead the companies M&A initiatives. I initiated, sourced and closed the successful acquisition of Fire Text UK by CallFire in November of 2014.
Throughout my years as a technologist, I’ve also spent a substantial amount of time in the real estate world. I am an investor, developer, and manager of various types of properties ranging from commercial shopping centers, large residential buildings, and hotels. Currently, I run a portfolio of over 20 large properties located throughout major metropolitan areas in the US.
1999 – Present (17 years) Miami/Fort Lauderdale
Neman Ventures is an investment firm that specializes in Real Estate and Technology companies.
In 1999 I purchased my first property in NYC, an apartment on Central Park South that I renovated and resold within a few months. Since then, I have consistently increased my portfolio of real estate holdings with over 15 years of real estate management and investment experience focusing on a wide range of property types in major markets across the Unites States. Holdings include over 20 large commercial shopping centers, distressed properties, luxury vacation homes, large residential buildings and hotels.
Some technology holdings in our portfolio include: CallFire.com, EzTexting.com, VinePair.com, MeetMindful.com, StayInMontauk.com, YoDerm.com and NewRelic.com
September 2014 – September 2015 (1 year 1 month) New York City, Santa Monica, Kiev
In September of 2014 I transitioned my role at CallFire / Ez Texting from Chief Product officer to Director of Corporate Development. I currently spearhead all of the companies M&A activity and acquisitions strategy. I initiated, sourced and closed the successful acquisition of Fire Text UK by CallFire in November of 2014.
December 2012 – August 2014 (1 year 9 months) New York City, Santa Monica, Kiev
Since late 2012, I have helped drive product revenues up by 20%+ YOY. While overseeing East Coast operations and leading a team of 15+, I spearhead full cycle product development including user experience design. In addition to corporate development initiatives, I have also led telecom litigation issues and FCC matters. Some product features I have introduced and deployed include MMS functionality, native IOS & Android Apps, and third party Application & API integrations.
April 2006 – August 2014 (8 years 5 months) New York City
I founded and bootstrapped EzTexting.com after recognizing a need for mobile SMS marketing software while at JoonBug.com, enabling offline data collection and distribution. I built a team of developers, system admins, customer service reps and operations managers into a full-time employee base of 25+, handpicking and recruiting each one for our offices in NYC, Hoboken and Kiev.
Although first used for internal JoonBug.com purposes, the demand for the software grew tremendously, driving revenues from 0 to over 8M annually within 5 years. In response, I developed a white label reseller program servicing over 20 large resellers. Additionally, I created an affiliate marketing program, increasing online affiliates to over 100.
I oversaw all marketing efforts, including both SEO and SEM strategies, which resulted in multiple first page rankings for core industry terms. Simultaneously, I designed complex and efficient SEM CPC campaigns with budgets exceeding $100k per month.
Over the course of seven years, I grew our customer base from 0 to over 50,000+ SMBs throughout the US and Canada including such brands as The Home Depot, Public Storage, Pepsi, The Container Store, The VA and Uber. EzTexting.com now helps tens of thousands of businesses around the world build affordable and effective SMS Text Message Marketing campaigns using our SaaS platform.
2001 – 2008 (7 years) New York City
In 2001 I created JoonBug.com – the only events and media company of its kind at the time. Joonbug.com married online media (event, music and lifestyle content and photos) with actual events targeted for young urban professionals and tastemakers throughout major metropolitan markets such as NYC, LA, Miami, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Within 7 years we increased revenues from 0 to 25M+, built a user database to over 1M email subscribers, and a company of over 75 employees that included event staff, content staff, developers, marketing and sales people in our NYC based office in Chelsea. During this time we negotiated, planned, produced and executed over 300 yearly events at different venues with 100,000+ attendees. Additionally we marketed and launched proprietary and client facing events for over 100 brands including Esquire Magazine, Pepsi, Johnny Walker and Playboy. Our online media sales of email newsletters, banner ads, custom sitelets, and online videos grew to over 12M in revenue per year.
In 2008, the company was sold to long time competitor, Skynet Media Group.
1999 – 2001 (2 years) New York City
At Offyx Corporation, I was the Lead Developer for a full-service provider (FSP & ASP) startup, providing software and consulting services to over 700 clients ranging from network administration and software development/hosting to user support. I grew and lead a team of 17, including developers and network administrators. I conceptualized, created, and provided hands-on leadership of operations and implementation, bringing projects to term. In addition to conceptualizing and designing program specifications for the entire Offyx Manager web application, I managed product development and planning phases.
Aside from tactical hands on leadership in every technical aspect of product development, I spearheaded a VC capital raise of 2M+.
1998 – 1999 (1 year)Greater New York City Area
At Convey, I co-managed, designed, and developed high-load, web-based ASP for content management implementing Cold Fusion and MS SQL 7.0. Additionally, I designed JAVA client-server applications and developed a custom implementation of verity search, DTS Packages, real-time multi-homing modules using IIS, and accounting system modules including credit card processing. Convey was one of the first blogging systems to come to market before the word "blog" was coined.
BA, COMPUTER SCIENCE
1995 – 1999
Pre-Med, Major in Computer Science, Graduated Summa Cum Laude
Activities and Societies: AIDS Awareness Club (Founder)
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
1991 – 1995
Activities and Societies: Track Team
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by the United States Congress in 1986 in honor of former United States Senator and 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, a Republican from Arizona. Its goal is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields.
The Scholarship--considered the premier undergraduate award of its type--is awarded to about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide. A maximum of $7500 per academic year is granted. The scholarship is awarded based on merit, and the actual amount given is based on financial need.
In addition, since at least 2006, about 150 exceptional applicants not awarded the Scholarship have been recognized with official Honorable Mentions.
Competition for the Scholarship is exceptionally intense. Universities are allowed to nominate only four undergraduate students per year to receive the final Scholarship. As a result, the Scholarship is the most prestigious award in the U.S. conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences. Through March 2006, Princeton University has had the most Goldwater Scholars with 64, followed by Harvard University with (60), Duke University (58), Kansas State University (57), and the University of Chicago (53).
In awarding scholarships, the Foundation Board of Trustees considers the nominee's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field.
New York University
Presented to a sophomore student for excellence in chemistry.
New York University
Phi Beta Kappa celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
The Phi Beta Kappa Society invites for induction the most outstanding arts and science students in America's leading colleges and universities. NYU's College of Arts and Science chapter, the Beta of New York, was established in 1858. In terms of seniority, it ranks as the 15th oldest chapter of the Society.
Each April, the faculty members of the Beta chapter automatically review the academic performance of all students in the College for eligibility for election to Phi Beta Kappa.
New York University
Eligibility for the Founders' Day Award is determined by the Office of the University Registrar and awarded to baccalaureate September and January degree recipients and May degree candidates who have maintained a grade point average of 3.5 or higher based on a minimum of 30 credits in courses taken at NYU.