Pulse Conference 2018

UCLA Anderson Pulse Entertainment, Sports & Technology Conference

Friday, February 2, 2018

8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
UCLA Luskin Conference Center

The 9th annual UCLA Anderson Pulse Entertainment, Sports & Technology Conference will bring together leading executives to share insights and perspective on the current trends, opportunities and challenges impacting the entertainment, sports and technology industries.

Who Should Attend:

The UCLA Anderson Pulse Conference is for executives who are working in media, entertainment, sports and technology. This one-day event will give you everything you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the biggest opportunities and trends impacting the current business landscape.

Keynote Presenters

Featured Speakers


Himesh Bhise

CEO, Synacor

Himesh Bhise is a leading broadband, multiscreen and mobile executive. Prior to Synacor, Bhise led New Services and Platforms for Comcast, where his portfolio included content platforms like XFINITY Streampix, advanced advertising, cloud products, prepaid services and X1 apps—all transforming the consumer experience. He also led the Internet business for Charter and the mobile business for AOL, and he was a leader in the telecom practice of McKinsey & Company. Bhise received his MBA from The Wharton School.

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Seth Greenfield

CEO & Co-Founder, imperson

Seth Greenfield is co-founder and CEO of imperson, which develops, hosts and manages premium enterprise chatbots for sales and marketing. It offers proprietary conversational AI technology, state-of-the-art bot development solutions and a full-service studio already trusted by leading brands including Amazon, Microsoft, Disney, Universal, Lionsgate, Paramount and National Geographic, creating successful bots such as Miss Piggy, Doc Brown, Power Rangers, Genius (Albert Einstein), Steve Aoki and more.

Greenfield has led the development of numerous conversational chatbots, enabling brands and entertainment companies to leverage one-on-one conversations at scale to grow their businesses and strengthen customer engagement and loyalty. He grew up in New York City and worked on Wall Street during the computer revolution, where he regularly scoured reports for new inventions and trends. After decades of success with his own business, Greenfield left the financial industry to lead imperson and continue his passion for discovery.

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Ann Hand

CEO and Chairman, Super League Gaming

For the past 25 years, Ann Hand has served as a market-facing executive across several industries, including live-event gaming, sustainability and consumer retail. In her current role as CEO and Chairman of Super League Gaming, Hand drives the vision of giving competitive gamers entirely new ways to enjoy the games they love through the formation of the leading platform for amateur eSports. Super League’s 16-city North America league, along with compelling online experiences, rich content and membership programs, is a unifying lifestyle destination for local, competitive gaming. Hand was named one of Fortune’s “Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” and at her core is a passion for brand creation and building enduring strategic partnerships. Hand earned a B.A. in economics from DePauw University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and she received executive education at Cambridge, Harvard and Stanford universities. Having spent a significant part of her career abroad in China and the U.K., she holds U.S./U.K. dual citizenship but is a proud Midwesterner at heart.

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Monica Bouldin

Vice President, R&R California

As vice president in R&R’s Los Angeles office, Monica brings more than years of experience to her focus of winning for new and existing clients on the West Coast. Clients and colleagues alike recognize Monica’s talents as an elegant combination of creative strategy and results-based execution. A natural leader, she has developed a profound expertise in consumer and entertainment marketing, brand and digital strategy, and corporate, internal and multi-cultural communications.

Spanning her agency career, Monica has worked with a variety of companies and brands, including Absolute, Virgin America, Nestlé, Wolfgang Puck Catering, Hilton Prestige Portfolio, Oakwood Worldwide, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Microsoft Xbox, Square Enix, Rolls-Royce of North America and Gallo Wines. Prior to Monica’s 18 years of agency experience, she worked in-house for both Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Fox Broadcasting Company.

A multi-award-winning marketing communications leader, Monica is the recipient of the 2016 Pat Tobin Award from the Black Public Relations Society in Los Angeles. She is active in the Southern California community, currently serving of the board of UNITE-LA, after previous service as the chairperson of the advisory council for Dress for Success West. She has a degree in communications from California State University Fullerton. While she embodies a true California girl, Monica also traveled to six of the seven continents, with the exception of Antarctica which she will visit in 2019. Oahu, Melbourne and Barcelona are her favorite spots − she loves people, culture, architecture and food.

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Tiffany Kumar

Songwriter & Producer

Tiffany Kumar has worn several hats in the music industry but has always stayed close to the song. While living in New York City, Kumar met Diddy and appeared on his hit MTV show "Making the Band" as a songwriter. This led her to signing with Universal Music Publishing. Shortly after, she discovered her passion for developing the careers of songwriters and producers. She joined Primary Wave Music Publishing to build its roster as VP of Creative A&R. After that, she moved to Lady Gaga's producer RedOne's publishing company. In 2016, Kumar joined Spotify as the Global Head of Songwriter Relations, where she has launched a brand called Secret Genius, which is designed to highlight the creators behind the songs we all know and love.

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Liz Jenkins

Head of Strategic Ventures, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Liz Jenkins is the Head of Strategic Ventures for Sony PlayStation. Prior to joining Sony Interactive Entertainment, Liz was SVP of Corporate Development at MRC Studios. Liz’s previous experience includes Credit Suisse and McKinsey & Company where she served a variety of media and financial services clients. She began her career in finance at General Electric. Liz earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University and received her MBA from The Wharton School.

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Kristin Rolla Mirek (B.A. '91, '04)

SVP Nickelodeon Social & Digital Video Strategy

Kristin Rolla Mirek is a digital media business executive with extensive experience in all facets of the entertainment industry. Currently overseeing Nickelodeon’s social media marketing and short-form video strategy, she has had a hand in sustaining its run as the number-one television network with kids. Having spent the majority of her career working in movies, music and television, she recently added Broadway to her resume, as part of the launch team behind the hit show “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical.” Prior to joining Nickelodeon, she managed the digital and social marketing teams for TV Land, where she helped “Younger” and “Teachers” attain cult status and launched the channel’s programming in the TV Everywhere space with the release of the TV Land app. Before making the leap to cable television, Mirek worked at MySpace Music and AOL, holding several editorial and programming positions with each company.

Mirek’s core business philosophy is to build exceptional content experiences that foster deep engagement and loyalty with audiences. Areas of expertise include digital marketing, social media, entertainment, film, television, music, popular culture, video/short form content production, trend analysis, sales and business development, product development, monetization strategy, business operations and general management. When not trying to engage and delight kids through her work at Nickelodeon, she attempts to keep up her social media cred with her food Tumblr Street Meat and travelogue A Rude American In Paris. You can follow her on Twitter @krisrolla. Mirek currently resides in New York City with her husband and 3-year- old SpongeBob-superfan daughter.

Mirek holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management as well as a B.A. in history from UCLA.

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Marie-Louise Mortensen ('11)

Senior Vice President, Distribution Strategy & Operations, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group

In her role, Marie–Louise Mortensen supports the chief distribution officer on all strategic and operationally focused initiatives that pertain to domestic theatrical distribution and global home entertainment (physical and digital), as well as global TV distribution of Universal Pictures’ film and kids TV content, with a particular focus on windowing, new distribution models, deal analysis and cross-divisional business growth initiatives. Mortensen has been with Universal for six years, having joined the Strategy & Business Development team as a manager in 2011. Since then, she has been a key member of the group, having supported the senior management team on numerous initiatives, including early windows, DreamWorks Animation’s kids TV strategy and Universal’s Paramount Home Entertainment international distribution deal, as well as spearheading the establishment of the Beijing office for the film group. Prior to joining Universal, Mortensen spent four years working at Morgan Stanley in the investment banking division in London. She has a B.A. in economics and philosophy from University College London, an M.Sc. in political science from the University of Oxford and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.

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Sutton Fannon

Director - Sports & Entertainment Group, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

Sutton Fannon is a director in the Sports and Entertainment Group of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and focuses on the film, TV and digital media sectors. Fannon has covered the sports and entertainment sector for SunTrust for over seven years and has been with the firm for over 10 years. SunTrust has $3 billion of capital committed to over 60 corporate relationships within the sports and entertainment space. SunTrust’s Sports and Entertainment Group utilizes a vertical go-to-market strategy that leverages the team’s corporate/investment and private banking capabilities to serve its clients’ needs and unlock opportunities through capital raising, advisory services and capital markets. He earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Brendan Meyer

Vice President of Digital Marketing, Wasserman Media Group

Brendan Meyer joined Wasserman in 2007 and currently serves as vice president, digital marketing. In this role, Meyer oversees the strategy, measurement and valuation of Wasserman athletes’ social and digital channels, while also focusing on partnership activation, content marketing and business development for Wasserman clients.

Meyer also works across the broader digital group advising on and managing influencer marketing programs, content creation, business development and digital strategy for Wasserman clients.

Meyer grew up in Northern California before moving to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California (USC), where he received a B.A. from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism with a minor in business administration. He stays active within the USC community, working with the Sports Business Association and sports marketing classes on campus.

Meyer currently resides in Costa Mesa with his wife, Abby, and daughters, Ava and Gabrielle.

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8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Check-in/Coffee
8:30am – 8:35am Welcome by Jay Tucker (’09)
8:35am – 8:45am Paramount Case Competition – Results and Awards
8:45am – 9:30am Keynote Conversation with Kevin Lin
9:30am – 9:50am NETWORKING BREAK
9:50 – 10:45am

All-Star Panel (women in entertainment leadership)
Moderator - Monica Bouldin, Vice President/Managing Director
Liz Jenkins, Head of Strategic Ventures, PlayStation
Shana Waterman, Head of Television, One Race TV
Kristin Mirek (B.A. ’91,’04), SVP Nickelodeon Social & Digital Video Strategy, Viacom
Marie-Louise Mortensen, SVP Digital Strategy & Operations, Universal Pictures

10:45 – 10:50am


10:50 - 10:55am

Introduction of Game Changer Award recipient Jerry Bruckheimer

10:55am - 11:45am

Fireside Chat w/ Jerry Bruckheimer & Harry Sloan

11:45am – 11:55am


11:55am – 12:30pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS*
Session 1: Audience of One (main room)
Moderator – Susan Cheng, EVP Technical Operations, Content Management & Production Technologies, Warner Bros.
Brendan Meyer, Vice President of Digital Marketing, Wasserman Media Group
Seth Greenfield, CEO & Co-Founder, Imperson
Himesh Bhise, CEO, Synacor
Tiffany Kumar, Global Head of Songwriter Relations, Spotify

Session 2: Billion Dollar Business(breakout room)
Moderator – Melva Benoit, Founder & President, The Marian Dupree Group
Ann Hand, CEO & Chairman, Super League Gaming
Sutton Fannon, Director - Sports & Entertainment Group, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

12:30pm - 1:00pm LUNCH
1:15pm - 2:00pm Keynote Conversation with Debra Lee

2017 Highlights




About Last Year's Event

Dan Beckerman, UCLA Anderson, Pulse 2016
February 5, 2016

AEG’s Dan Beckerman Sheds Light on International Strategy

Dean Judy Olian kicked off the sixth installment of the Pulse Conference, UCLA Anderson’s signature event highlighting trends in digital media, entertainment and sports, with a conversation with CEO and president of AEG Dan Beckerman (’96), who was recognized as this year’s Game Changer Award recipient.

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Future of TV, UCLA Anderson, Pulse 2016
February 5, 2016

The Future of Television: The Battle for Your Attention Takes Center Stage

UCLA Anderson’s 2016 Pulse Conference, presented by the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports, featured an in-depth conversation on the future of television. Distinguished Visiting Professor Brian Frons sat down with Jim Lanzone (B.A. ’93), president and CEO of CBS interactive...

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UCLA Anderson Pulse 2016
January 29, 2016

UCLA Anderson to Host Pulse 2016

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 28, 2016) The annual PULSE Conference hosted by UCLA Anderson’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment, and Sports (MEMES) is bringing together leaders in film, sports, music and media industries to share insights and perspective on the current trends, opportunities and challenges impacting the entertainment, sports and technology industries.

Read more
Future of TV, UCLA Anderson, Pulse 2016
February 2, 2016

UCLA Anderon’s Pulse Conference: Return of the Mid-Budget Film

UCLA Anderson’s 2016 Pulse Entertainment, Sports and Technology Conference brought together leading industry executives to share insights and perspectives on current trends, opportunities and challenges. As part of the event, organized by the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports...

Read more