We are a strong and connected tribe of executives, and each of us benefits from the experience and insight of the others. We often gather around a table (except we call it a campfire) to discuss our client engagements and seek one another’s perspective to ensure we are looking at a problem or an opportunity from all angles.
Mortimer Singer is a Managing Partner of TRAUB Capital and also serves as Chief Executive Officer of TRAUB. Both TRAUB companies have a shared mission to advance consumer products services and retail businesses to reach their full potential.
TRAUB Consulting does so through its consulting services and TRAUB Capital through its investment activities. Mortimer is currently a Board Director of Signature Brands and Chairman of OrchardMile.com.
Mortimer serves as Vice Chairman on the Board of Trustees of Parsons School of Design; is a board member of the French Institute Alliance Française (fi:af) in New York; and was Co-founder and Chairman of Pin Down Bladder Cancer, a charity whose mission was to create awareness and raise funds for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Bladder Cancer Research Fund and the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
In 2009 Mortimer co-authored To India With Love: From New York To Mumbai, Assouline Publishing, in support of the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust, a charity benefiting the victims and families of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Mortimer started his career at JPMorgan in their TMT investment banking division, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in New York City with his wife and two daughters.
Geoffrey D. Lurie is President & COO of TRAUB and serves as a Managing Partner of TRAUB Capital. He joined Traub in May 2011. At Traub, Geoff focuses on operational optimization and in some cases providing interim management to companies experiencing significant growth as well as companies that are underperforming. Geoff’s expertise includes a variety of services ranging from developing and implementing growth strategies, organizational and operating effectiveness and in some cases turnaround services. Geoff was also the founding partner of a consulting company which was acquired by a mid-market financial services firm.
Previously Geoff served as CEO of The North Face, a leading industry company in the outdoor apparel market, and CEO/COO of numerous companies in the retailing, apparel manufacturing and distribution, toy distribution and publishing industries.
In addition to these executive management positions, Geoff was a national partner in the Management Consulting Group of Touche Ross & Co. As founder and managing partner of GDL Management Services, he was engaged by Boards, Senior Executives, and Investors in approximately 300 companies over 35 years. Geoff currently services as a Board Director of Signature Brands.
Geoff received a Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa and is a Chartered Accountant.
Kelsey Groome is Senior Managing Director at TRAUB where she oversees TRAUB’s consulting practice with clients domestically and internationally.
Kelsey focuses on implementing strategic growth opportunities for retailers and digitally native brands. She also leads TRAUB’s real estate activities which involves bringing innovative merchandising strategies to iconic developments around the world.
Kelsey currently serves as a Director on the Board of Streetsense, an experience-focused strategy and design collective that has a JV partnership with CBRE.
Prior to joining TRAUB in 2008, Kelsey started her career at Thomas Weisel Partners in their consumer retail investment banking division.
Kelsey has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BBA with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
With 20 years of brand strategy and operational leadership experience, James has been building brands and resolving challenges for growth companies in the luxury and retail space.
As CEO of L’Objet, James helped the team elevate brand awareness by introducing new categories, expanding marketing reach and accelerating geographic footprint to over 60 countries. Throughout his career James advised reputable brands including Giorgio Armani, Lalique, Lela Rose and Narcisco Rodriguez.
James started at Citigroup in 3 countries and serves on several boards, both corporate and non-profit. He also volunteers for industry and leadership events for professionals and youth.
While James thinks he's Canadian, he has no accent and can’t handle the cold, so he settled in the Texas heat with his wife and three kids.
Amy Hafkin joined TRAUB in 1994. Amy is the VP Operations and is responsible for the business administration of the company as well as works with the TRAUB team to provide brand growth and innovative marketing strategies for TRAUB’s clients.
Amy has more than 20 years of experience handling business administrative requirements of senior executives at leading retail/consumer companies in a variety of industries and has a broad range of general management and operational skills.
Amy’s formal title is VP Operations, but other roles include CCO, CMO, CTO, CAO, CIO, CRO… she really does do it all.
Daniella Fischel joined TRAUB in 2018 as a Senior Associate. Daniella’s role consists of supporting the business development and project execution effort across all TRAUB partners as well as TRAUB Capital, Celebrity and Consumer business groups.
Prior to joining TRAUB, Daniella worked as an Investment Associate at Maverick Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Tel Aviv, where she was responsible for investment sourcing and due diligence, portfolio company support and financial management of the fund. Prior to this, Daniella was an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan where she worked on a range of financings, acquisitions, and equity offerings for companies in the Consumer & Retail space.
Daniella graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California where she studied both Business and Cinematic Arts on a merit scholarship.
Out of the office Daniella can be found training for her next marathon, swimming or skiing. When she’s not adventuring outdoors she enjoys trying new foods, especially anything with chocolate.
Michal Tepper joined the firm in 2018 and is a Senior Associate at TRAUB. Michal’s role consists of supporting the business development and project execution effort across all TRAUB partners as well as TRAUB Capital, Celebrity and Consumer business groups.
Prior to joining TRAUB, Michal worked as an Analyst in the Consumer Retail investment banking group at Barclays where she advised consumer and retail clients and financial sponsors on a variety of transactions including mergers and acquisitions, as well as debt and equity financings.
Michal graduated Cum Laude from Barnard College of Columbia University where she studied Economics and Social History.
Out of the office Michal enjoys making extravagant pizzas in her NYC sized kitchen and discovering the next big thing in artisanal ice cream.
Our Operating Partners / Executives
Burton Tansky currently serves as Vice Chairman of TRAUB. Mr. Tansky joined the firm in 2011 bringing his expertise in luxury retailing. Previously, Mr. Tansky was Chairman, President and CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group. Prior to this role, Mr. Tansky held various positions within the company including CEO of Bergdorf Goodman and CEO of Neiman Marcus stores. Prior to this, Mr. Tansky was President and COO of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Mr. Tansky graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961, and currently serves as a Trustee. He was the recipient of the Superstar Award from Fashion Group International in 2006, the 2004 Gold Medal Award from the National Retail Federation, and in 2002 appointed as a “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” by the French government for his promotion of French-made merchandise in America. Mr. Tansky has also been honored for his work with the National Alliance for Autism Research.
Mr. Tansky serves as a Board Member of Eliot Pliner Shoes, Phoenix House, National Jewish Health and Children’s Hearing. He currently serves as non-executive chairman of Neiman Marcus Group.
As Burt is such a big celebrity at Bergdorf Goodman, we had to move the TRAUB office four avenues over.
Joe Ahearn serves as an Operating Partner for TRAUB focused on business optimization. Joe has extensive experience in the toy industry, including roles as Chief Operating Officer of Coleco Industries (Cabbage Patch Kids, Trivial Pursuit, Sylvanian Families, etc.), Chief Executive Officer of Toy Biz, Inc. (Marvel Action Figures, DC Comic Action figures, Promotional dolls) and Chief Executive Officer of YES! Entertainment (Teddy Ruxpin). Previously, Joe has also held CEO and COO positions at companies conducting business in over 30 countries throughout Europe, the Mid-East and Asia. Most recently Joe was a Senior Executive Vice President and Operating Partner at MacAndrews & Forbes, Mr. Ronald Perelman’s holding company, where he had operating responsibility for various holdings.
Joe claims he’s Irish, but his long history in the toy industry leads us to believe he is secretly from the North Pole.
Samantha Freeman is an Entrepreneurial CEO, Consumer Product Executive and Harvard Business School graduate with over 25 years of experience developing and growing successful children’s brands and businesses from creative concept through production, retail placement and marketing execution for leading consumer product and entertainment companies.
Most recently, she was Co-Founder and CEO of Out of the Blue Enterprises, an award winning educational media company, known for creating, producing, licensing and merchandising preschool properties, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Super Why (PBS Kids), Creative Galaxy and Wishenpof (Amazon Studios), Blue’s Clues (Nickelodeon), and Charlie in Colorforms City (Netflix Originals), acquired by 9 Story Media Group in 2018.
Prior to Out of the Blue, Samantha was Vice President of Consumer Products at Nickelodeon, where she managed the licensing and merchandising business for the company’s portfolio of hit properties, including Spongebob, Blue’s Clues, Rugrats, and Dora the Explorer. She negotiated and executed licensing agreements, developed product strategies, and executed retail exclusives and marketing initiatives across a broad range of Hard and Soft Goods categories, including toys, electronics, gifts, stationery, party goods, food and beverage, health and beauty, apparel and accessories, and home goods.
Earlier in her career, Samantha worked in the toy industry, as Director of Spiderman and X-Men Action Figures for Marvel/Toy Biz, and Product Manager for Barbie Dolls, Fashions and Accessories at Mattel.
Sam’s broad-based consumer expertise includes business strategy, financial planning, product development, media production, website development, mobile apps, licensing and merchandising, retail marketing, partnerships and promotion. She is dedicated to building effective relationships and providing support to investors, executive teams and boards of directors.
Barry Cohen serves as an Operating Partner of TRAUB. Barry joined the company in 2012, bringing expertise in retail, retail economics, brand acquisition, brand management and merchandising strategy.
Prior to joining TRAUB, Barry served as the President of Merchandising for the Editors Closet Group, a division of Swiss Watch International (“SWI”), which include “private-sale” flash-sites like Editors Closet, Ivory Trunk, and Smart Bargains.
In addition, Barry was Vice President of Brand Development for Ideeli.com, another private sale e-Commerce site. Prior to Ideeli, Barry spent over 25 years in the department store, off-price, and manufacturing industries, with 17 years at Lord & Taylor, reaching the position of GMM/SVP of Merchandising for ladies and intimate apparel, home furnishings, and subsequent to that, over 8 years as SVP Merchandising at Saks Off 5th, the off-price chain of stores, a division of Saks 5th Avenue.
Barry currently serves as an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, where he teaches in the Continuing Education Department, in Strategic Development for Retail. Additionally, Barry is an on-air contributor for Bloomberg TV, as an analyst for the retail industry.
Barry received a Management Science degree from the University of Maryland business school.
Eric Matrullo joins TRAUB with over 20 years of business development, international and licensing senior leadership experience in Europe, Asia and the US.
His experience includes working with some of the largest global fashion brands such as Michael Kors and Juicy Couture as well as branded licensee groups including Global Brands Group and CAA-CBG.
At TRAUB, Eric works closely with the leading Asian, European and Middle Eastern Cross-Border E-commerce Platforms and assists brands and retailers with international expansion.
Over the years, he has enjoyed volunteering as den leader for Cub Scouts, coach for youth soccer teams as well as middle schoolers to the World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind. Eric has dual citizenship in both the United States and France and lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife and three boys.
J. Patrick Kenny has more than 30 years of experience in the consumer products industry. Patrick has led the creation and formation of the TRAUB Consumer practice which leads business development projects in the food, beverage and consumer industries.
Prior to joining TRAUB, Patrick was the CEO of BevEquity Advisors LLC, a consulting and advisory firm that works with consumer product companies in the area of business development, strategic planning, M&A, product development, and licensing.
Prior to BevEquity Advisors, Patrick served as the Chairman and CEO of Drinks Americas where he developed Drinks Americas’ global brands, a portfolio of premium spirits, wine, beer and non-alcoholic brands. He has since been a speaker at industry forums and a key advisor to a variety of consumer product companies at both the global brand and start up level.
Previously, Patrick was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons (“Seagram”), where he held a variety of senior management positions in Seagram’s wine, wine cooler, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage divisions. Patrick played a key role in Seagram’s integration of its Universal Entertainment and Tropicana division as well as other acquisitions.
Patrick has advised several Fortune 500 beverage companies and participated in numerous beverage and consumer product industry transactions. Patrick’s projects include the creation of Newman’s Own Sparkling Fruit Juices, an all-natural single serve beverage that became a core brand in the Newman’s Own product portfolio. Patrick has also led the creation and establishment of numerous national and global brands to include Seagram’s Mixers sold through the Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola bottling network. His past experience also includes the development and expansion of numerous Seagram and Seagram Chateau and Estates brands as well as marketing a variety of premium vodka, beer and tequila products both nationally and internationally. Patrick is a recognized expert in celebrity and icon product branding. He serves on the advisory board of a number of consumer product companies.
Patrick has been active in the Ridgefield Basketball Association, Newman’s Own Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, The Unit Scholarship Fund that supports the education of families of wounded and lost Special Forces Operators and the West Point Football Club that supports Army athletics. Patrick attended USMA West Point the Class of 78, earned a B.A. at Georgetown University, an M.A. at St. Johns University in New York, and attended the INSEAD Executive Program.
Brian Kenny serves as Operating Partner for TRAUB's consumer practice, advising clients in the media and food & beverage sectors.
Previously, Brian was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Drinks Americas, a leading beverage company, where he worked to establish some of the most iconic brands in the beverage field. Brian orchestrated deals with several large names in entertainment, including Donald Trump, Kid Rock and Dr. Dre. Brian has also played a leading role in ventures involving media platforms, including Interscope, Geffen, A&M, CTT Touring, & Crush Management, amongst others. Brian has executed groundbreaking deals in the field of 360 marketing ventures and has worked successfully with CAA, William Morris and Platinum Rye.
Brian was a founder and principal at the boutique marketing firm Dorcia Group, whose clients have included Coca Cola, Sobieski Vodka, Horizon Media, and Picture Shack. Dorcia has also managed launch campaigns for some of the beverage industry's most successful product launches, managing all aspects of promotion and distribution to include brand activation, social media and key account follow up. Dorcia is known for cost-effective, celebrity-studded product launch parties, concerts and special events. These parties have become legendary within the nightlife industry but are equally known in the consumer products industry to drive consumer awareness and business results. Under Brian’s leadership, Dorcia has managed large scale product launch events, including Trump Vodka and Sobieski Vodka.
Brian currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife and son. He is a graduate of Arizona State University. He is both a practitioner and collector of modern art and has sold numerous works on a private basis. He is also principal in Montauk Ventures LLC, a Hamptons business holding company.
Charles Davidson serves as Operating Partner for TRAUB's consumer practice. Charles has a deep understanding of logistical and operational aspects of brand development as well as a broad range of brand licensing and regulatory experience.
Charles has a long track record of entrepreneurial success and innovation playing a key role in managing the critical operational aspects of consumer goods ventures. Charles has been a driving force behind the licensed iconic branded consumer goods category for over 15 years with strong ties to food and beverage industry executives, distribution operations, retailers and entertainment insiders worldwide.
Previously, Charles was Vice President of Operations at Drinks Americas Holdings Ltd. for one of the world’s most dynamic beverage company whose licensed products included Trump Super Premium Vodka® (which sold a record 100,000 cases domestically in its first 12 months), Willie Nelson’s Old Whiskey River Bourbon®, and Kid Rock’s American Badass Beer™. Other initiatives with the company included the relaunch and successful domestic expansion of Rheingold Beer®. Charles led and was involved in every facet of licensing, design, formulation, regulatory approval, product launch, consumer awareness, marketing and brand growth.
Prior to Drinks America, Charles held positions at Sweet16 Intermedia, Inc., a multi-media marketing platform whose resources included high profile entertainment personalities, teen targeted magazine and website, concert promotions and sponsorships, as well as clothing lines. Charles also served as the National Accounts Customer Service Representative and Operations Manager at Joseph E. Seagram’s Beverage Company where he developed and implemented highly successful customer service and cost saving initiatives.
Charles was born and raised in Indiana, is a graduate of Indiana University and now resides in Madison, New Jersey with his wife and 2 children.