Board of Directors
Craig Gooding - Chairman
Craig co-founded Vibrant in 2000, serving as Chief Commercial Officer until 2009, when he moved into the role of Chairman. He leads a team of 300 employees in the US and Europe and oversees the strategy and execution of business and product development, marketing and sales. In his tenure, Vibrant has grown its publishing partner base to more than 6,600 and has forged long-term relationships with top advertisers, including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, General Motors and IBM.
Under Craig's leadership, the company's rapid growth and development has propelled it to become the world leader in contextual, in-content advertising. Vibrant has been named one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK by Media Momentum for three consecutive years, one of the best places to work in the US by Advertising Age and the Highest Rated Media Brand by Advertiser Perceptions.
Prior to Vibrant, Craig was AOL Europe's E-commerce Manager and leading dealmaker. He has 20 years of publishing, media and Internet experience across AOL, CompuServe, ICQ and Netscape, where he played an integral role in the launch of Netscape Online. He has a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Lincoln.
Chris Ahearn - Board Director
Chris Ahearn is a venture partner at FirstMark Capital and chairman of Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. He is also on the board of NewsCred and is an advisor to both #waywire and WiserCare. Chris previously served as President of Reuters Media, a unit of Thomson Reuters, in addition to sitting on the company’s executive and operating committee for its Markets unit. While at Reuters he oversaw the launch of its consumer media operations.
Prior to joining Reuters, Chris was an investment banker with J.P. Morgan and was a partner in the e-finance unit called LabMorgan. He started his career at First Boston. Chris is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics.
Wim Obbens - Board Director
Wim Obbens is appointed managing director of Janivo Holding an international Investment company located in The Netherlands which manages the investments of a group of private individuals. He is founder of Bio Rights B.V. an eco-technology group in The Netherlands specialized in the production of biofuels from waste celluloses. Until 2007, Wim served as Managing Director of the Investment Bank of Fortis Bank, and as a member of the Management Team of the Corporate & Investment Banking business unit.
Previously, he was Member of the Board of MeesPierson. Wim also served as director of a number of companies (indirectly) owned by Fortis. Prior to joining MeesPierson, he worked for Swiss Bank Corporation/SBC Warburg which later merged with UBS, being responsible for Investment banking in the Netherlands. Wim started his career in the investment banking business line of ABN AMRO. He graduated in Business Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Ralph Terkowitz - Board Director
Ralph Terkowitz joined ABS Capital Partners in January 2004 as a General Partner and is responsible for investments in companies within the media & communication and technology sectors. He represents ABS Capital on the boards of American Public Education, Inc., eFashionSolutions, LLC, Vibrant, Inc. and WhenU.com, Inc. Ralph is also an observer on the board of Course Advisor, Inc. He brings more than 30 years of operating, financial and technical experience to ABS Capital.
Ralph previously served as CIO/CTO of the Washington Post Company, and was the founder and CEO of its electronic publishing subsidiary, Washington Post, Newsweek Interactive (formerly DigitalInk). Ralph was also the CEO of the company’s Brass Ring, one of the first business services providers, which has grown to be one of the two largest outsourced recruiting platforms. Ralph serves on the board of TRUSTe and eCornell.
In addition to his ABS Capital duties, he is a member of the board of advisors of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Indian CEO High Tech Council, the Cornell University Council and the Newspaper Association of America's Business Committee on Industry Development.
Mark S. Zagorski - Board Director
Mark brings more than 15 years of online marketing leadership to his role as CEO of eXelate, the digital data marketing engine. Since joining the company in 2008, he has led eXelate’s U.S. launch, expanded the company’s global footprint to over 400M unique visitors worldwide, and has been instrumental in closing $28M in Series B and C funding, while creating long-term relationships with media and data powerhouses including Nielsen, Google and MasterCard.
Previously, Mark was Chief Marketing Officer and Corporate EVP of MediaSpan where he led all marketing and business development activity, and built a local ad network with more than 1,400 affiliates. Prior to MediaSpan, he was President of WorldNow, the largest network and services provider for local TV station websites. Mark received his MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business and a BS in Finance from Gannon University.
Deric Emry - Board Observer
Deric Emry joined ABS Capital in 1999 and is a General Partner responsible for investments in the media and communications sectors. He serves on the boards of ABS portfolio companies Control Point Solutions, Inc., Course Advisor, Inc. and Vibrant, Inc. Deric was formerly a board member of Simplexity, Inc. (now InPhonic, Inc.) and Captivate Network, Inc. He was also an observer on the boards of NeuStar, Inc., SBA Communications Corp. and Dolan Media Company.
Prior to joining ABS Capital, Deric was part of Deutsche Banc Alex Brown's Media & Communications Investment Banking team from 1996 to 1999. During that time, this team was considered by Wall Street to be the premier investment banking team in the sector. Deric was instrumental in developing new sub-sectors of focus within media and communications. For example, his team raised Wall Street awareness of communications tower companies, eventually becoming the leading banker for the most significant companies in that industry.
In addition to his board duties, Deric is a member of the William T. Walters Committee of the Walters Museum of Art in Baltimore.
Lodewijk Sodderland - Board Observer
Lodewijk Sodderland is Managing Director in the Corporate Finance & Capital Markets department of ABN AMRO. He has focused on transactions in the telecom, media and technology sectors since 2010. Lodewijk began his career in investment banking in 1997 at MeesPierson. In his first seven years with MeesPierson, which was later merged into Fortis, Lodewijk was active in Equity Capital Markets transactions, including many telecom, internet and (new) media IPOs.
In 2004, Lodewijk’s focus moved to M&A origination and execution for private equity firms and media companies, to which telecom and technology companies were added after some time. He is experienced in public and private M&A, as well as capital raisings. Lodewijk holds a Master Degree in Civil Law from Leiden University and participated in a management program at Insead.