Colleen Birdnow Brown
Colleen Brown is the former CEO of Seattle, WA based Fisher Communications, Inc (FSCI). Fisher was a multimedia and technology company with operations throughout the western United States. She has been recognized by National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) as Director of the Year for the Pacific Northwest. In addition, she was selected by the NACD as a Top 100 Corporate Director for the United States. In 2020, she was identified as “Most Influential Director” by Women’s Inc Magazine. She is also an NACD Leadership Fellow and holds a Cyber Oversight Certificate.
Her background in finance and technology, as well as her experience as a CEO and a board leader is valuable to Spark Networks.
Joseph E. Whitters
Joseph is currently a partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm, which he joined in 2005. Mr. Whitters represents Frazier on the boards of Orthotic Holdings, Inc, and Parata Systems. Furthermore, Joseph is a member of the Board of Directors of Accuray Incorporated and Cutera, Inc. He has previously served on the board of directors of other publicly traded public companies, including PRGX Global, Inc., InfuSystem Holdings, Inc., Analogic Corporation, Air Methods Corporation, Mentor Corp, and Omnicell, Inc. Joseph was a member of the Audit Committee of all of these respective organizations and in many cases, he chaired the Audit Committee. He also served on the board at various privately held companies, including Rural/Metro Corp., Northfield Medical and Revionics LLC. Mr. Whitters held various finance positions of increasing responsibility at First Health Group Corporation (“FHCC”), a public managed care organization where he served as Chief Financial Officer for many years. Prior to FHCC, Joseph held various financial positions with United Healthcare and Overland Express. He is a certified public accountant (inactive) and began his career in public accounting with Peat Marwick. Joseph holds a B.A. in Accounting from Luther College. He has been selected as a nominee to our Board of Directors because he has experience in accounting, finance, risk management, governance, plus has public company operating experience as a CFO, together with experience as a chair and member of numerous audit committees of public and private companies.
Chelsea A. Grayson was the CEO and a board member of both True Religion and American Apparel. She currently sits on the board of directors of Xponential Fitness (NYSE: XPOF) and serves as an Executive in Residence at Wunderkind, a leading performance marketing agency. She was previously a member of the board of directors at Morphe Cosmetics (Forma Brands), Goodness Growth Holdings (CSE: GNDSF), Sugarfina, Inc., Delta Dental, Lapmaster-Wolters and iHerb. Ms. Grayson is a Board Leadership Fellow and a Corporate Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining American Apparel, Ms. Grayson was a partner in the M&A/corporate governance practice group of Jones Day.
Brad founded Quartz Strategic LLC where he also serves as Chief Executive Officer in November 2019. Prior to that he has served as the President of PEAK6 Investments, L.P. since 2011. Brad focused on business strategy, business operations, and people development across PEAK6 and its operating companies. From 2009 until 2011, Mr. Goldberg was the CEO of PEAK6 Online, where he led a portfolio of early stage financial technology businesses, including OptionsHouse, which was subsequently sold to General Atlantic and then to E*TRADE. Prior to PEAK6, Brad served in multiple leadership positions at Microsoft across the Online, Enterprise, and Developer businesses. Brad was the General Manager for the Search Business Unit, where he was accountable for global product management, marketing, and revenue for Bing. Brad graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Amherst College and completed post graduate work in Japan, at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies. Brad earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was awarded second year honors.
Ulrike Handel is a board member and business leader with extensive experience in media and digital companies.
She most recently served as President News Media Europe and Marketing Media of Axel Springer SE. Prior to that role, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Dentsu International (Germany and DACH); before that, Dr. Handel served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ad pepper media International N.V.
Dr. Handel has received several awards for her work - including the “Helga-Stödter-Award für Mixed Leadership” in 2019, the Emotion Award "Women in Leadership" and "Ad Age: Women to Watch Europe " in 2018. In 2015, she received the "Manager of the Year” Award from the female leadership organization “Generation CEO”. She is a member of transatlantic organization Atlantik Brücke, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce (Member of the Innovation Committee), European Center for Digital Competitiveness (at ESCP Berlin), Club of European Female Entrepreneurs, 2hearts community (supporting great talents with immigration background in Europe's tech industry), Leaders for Climate Action and Generation CEO (Exclusive Club for female CEOs and Supervisory Board Members).
Dr. Handel studied media management and economics in Hanover and Madison, Wisconsin. In addition, she holds a PhD in media studies from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Bangaly is currently the Head of Platform Growth at Popshop Live, a live streaming mobile marketplace that combines commerce, entertainment, and social, which he joined in June 2020. Popshop is reimagining ecommerce as a people-centric, engaging experience for both sellers and buyers across the US. From January 2020 to March 2021, Bangaly was an Executive in Residence at Reforge, the leading career development company for tech professionals. Bangaly served as VP of Product Management at Instacart, a grocery delivery marketplace startup with a valuation of over $39B, from November 2018 to November 2019. At Instacart, Mr. Kaba led the Growth and Consumer organizations that built the core functionality for user onboarding, shopping, and product discovery. From February 2014 to November 2018, he worked at Facebook Inc. where his last role was the Head of Growth at Instagram. Bangaly joined Instagram when it had 450M monthly users and helped it to grow to over 1B monthly users in just 2.5 years, making Instagram one of the world’s fastest growing apps. Bangaly’s career prior to Facebook spanned multiple industries, including working in education as a Dean of a boarding school in Switzerland, working in finance as an Asset Manager at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, and founding an e-commerce startup. Bangaly holds a BA in History and Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from the University of Southern California. Bangaly has been selected as a nominee to our Board of Directors because he has specific knowledge and experience in consumer technology, building mobile digital products, and accelerating growth through social media.