Gordon Whitener is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Whitener Company, a Tennessee- based consulting and investment firm. He also serves as the Chairman and co-founder of Mandt Media, an immersive entertainment and media studio. His 30+ years of sports media marketing experience coupled with his extensive network of resources have yielded a proven track record in constructing highly successful teams and inspiring results-driven leadership.
Prior to his positions at The Whitener Company and Mandt Media, Gordon served as the chairman and CEO of SportsMyx Holdings, LLC, which owned Action Sports Media until late 2009. Before that, he was president and CEO of Host Communications, one of the nation’s leading providers of affinity, multimedia, promotional, and event management services to universities, athletic conferences, associations, and corporations.
Previously, Gordon was Chairman and Director of Winnercomm, Inc., a leading television production and media sales company. He also served as president and CEO of Interface Americas, the global leader in commercial carpet manufacturing.
Brett Thomason is the principal and chief operating officer for The Whitener Company, co- founder and principal for Whitener Entertainment Group, the chief operating officer for Mandt Media, and the President of Brands2Fans. Brett began his career at Cydcor, where he established and managed one of the nation’s leading business and residential sales and marketing teams for Fortune 500 companies. He has also founded multiple ventures including First Step Advertising, which spearheaded online menu, ordering, and delivery services, and Pioneer Social, which leveraged social media development to increase companies’ profitability. In 2012, Brett founded Thomason Consulting and Thomason Acquisition & Investment. He also co-founded Tennessee Innovative, a consulting venture firm specializing in identifying proprietary IP from Oak Ridge National Labs and other national labs in the United States.
While managing these entities, Brett served on an elite sales team at Lakewood Capital Group, where he was a repeat member of the Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club from 2011- 2015. In 2016, Brett was an executive producer on the feature film “The Last Movie Star,” starring Burt Reynolds, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and was released worldwide in March 2018.
Clay has more than 15 years of executive experience in companies within various industries. He has led multiple businesses through periods of rapid growth, while being sure to maintain a boutique level of service within a wholesale marketplace. He currently serves as the president of Chronicle Collectibles, one of the industry leaders in the design and production of museum- level collectibles from the film and video game entertainment industry.
Paul Francis has been working in the film and collectibles industries for over twenty years, creating his own original and commercial art. Paul’s own artworks are mechanical and technological in nature. His true loves, model building and sculpture, became his primary career focus. He worked for six years as a modelmaker in the film industry for Steve Johnson’s XFX creating effects for Bicentennial man, Blade 2 and many others. As Creative Director for “Chronicle Collectibles” he has worked with Universal, MGM, Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and CBS. As a licensee for these accounts, he is responsible for designing and sourcing manufacturers for licensed props, collectibles, and toys. His studio team can design and fabricate anything from the size of a dime to full-sized dinosaurs.
A certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers since 1996, Ryan began his career in wine and spirits after graduating from Florida State University. Working for a wholesaler in Florida, Ryan managed an extensive domestic and import portfolio. In that same time he assisted in staff education and acquisitions for the prestigious wine program at Walt Disney World, as well as sitting on the advisory board of the inaugural EPCOT International Wine and Food Festival. After his stint at Disney Ryan served as Field Marketing president and owner of Corks Wine and Spirits Inc. and regularly consults suppliers on brand development and market positioning.
Director of Licensing
Leslie has worked for over 20 years in entertainment licensing. Her experience as a Licensor, Licensee, and Agent, has provided her with a unique perspective in understanding the needs of each partner in the licensing process. She has represented companies including Starz Entertainment, NBC/Universal, Skydance Entertainment, Paradox Entertainment, Lionsgate, NuImage, Studio Canal and Chronicle Collectibles. She was a Vice President West Coast for The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA). Leslie has been the owner of boutique licensing agency, Imprint Licensing Company since 2014. Imprint works with Licensors and Licensees to assist them in finding the right partnerships and properties to help grow their business.
As the lead graphic designer for Star Trek, Michael Okuda has earned screen credit on more Star Trek productions than anyone except Gene Roddenberry. Michael was responsible for the control panels, computer readouts, alien written languages, and other cool stuff in Star Trek: The Next Generation through Enterprise, and on Star Trek movies 4-10. He provided graphics for The West Wing, as well as computer screen animation for Clint Eastwood’s Sully and The Bourne Legacy. Michael’s fascination with the real space program led him to design the mission patch for the STS-125 space shuttle flight, worn by the astronauts on Space Shuttle Atlantis on the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. His NASA work includes the team emblem for Mission Control (Flight Operations Division), the project logo for the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle, and the Spaceflight Memorial Patch (with Bill Foster), which hangs on the wall of Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.