We are experienced, hard-working professionals—paid to think and act like kids. Not a bad gig.
Chris M. Williams
Chief Executive Officer
“Seeing your children sit in front of big screen televisions watching their iPhones really changes your perspective on kids media.”
This all too familiar scenario is one of the many reasons that Chris decided to start pocket.watch. As the company’s CEO, Chris is responsible for setting pocket.watch’s vision as well as helping to cultivate a strong working environment where his world class management team is driven to perform at the top of their abilities. Chris is a true pioneer of online video, with 20 years of proven success in both predicting and capitalizing upon marketplace holes that have dictated the future of media and entertainment. Most recently, he served as the Chief Audience Officer of Maker Studios and prior to that, he was the founder and CEO of venture backed startup, Take180. Both companies were acquired by The Walt Disney Company where Chris also launched Disney Online Originals, a division dedicated to the creation of Disney branded short form content. The earlier part of Chris’s career was spent at Yahoo, where he was one of the first 100 employees.
Chris is married with two children and spends most weekends at his kids’ sporting events kicking it with other parents.
Chief Content Officer
“I believe you don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.”
It’s this philosophy that will dictate everything Albie Hecht does at pocket.watch. As Chief Content Officer, Albie will be responsible for overseeing content and character development of the brand’s slate of content and franchised properties. Prior to joining pocket.watch, Albie was President of Nickelodeon Entertainment, where he oversaw the development of hit shows like SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, and All That. He is also responsible for fan favorites like the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, which he co-created and produced and Academy Award and Emmy winning films including, War/Dance and Inocente under his nonprofit organization Shine Global.
Albie is excited to create a new world of characters that will make his grandkids proud of their pop pop.
Chief Strategy Officer
“If today’s kids are our future, then the future of their entertainment is definitely pocket.watch.”
Jon is proud to be serving as pocket.watch’s Chief Strategy Officer, where he will be in charge of supporting the launch and growth of pocket.watch by securing strategic partnerships and initiatives. Over the past two decades, Jon has built a reputation as a leading entertainment dealmaker, representing top Hollywood talent, including Ray Romano, Michelle & Robert King, Marc Cherry and Nia Vardalos. Additionally, Jon has also been heavily involved in the digital world, representing top creators like Bethany Mota and Lele Pons, as well as Apple and the NFL through some of their content initiatives. Prior to his experience in this arena, Jon also served as the President/CEO Zenimax Studios (a division of Zenimax Media) one of the original digital content studios.
Jon is the father of two great young women and pop to two amazing grandkids/target audience members.
Chief Financial Officer
“I love being on the transformational edge of compelling and wholesome kid’s entertainment. Today, there is no doubt that IS pocket.watch.”
Bruce is the Chief Financial Officer of pocket.watch where he is in charge of all financial, accounting, and related activities. Bruce was a Cast Member at The Walt Disney Company for 30 years where he accumulated a proven track record of success capitalizing on disruptive business models in the interactive media, broadcast media, and entertainment space. For the last 10 years, he was the Worldwide Senior Vice President and CFO Disney Interactive which included responsibility over all interactive media: social, gaming and entertainment content, as well as M&A and technology initiatives. Bruce spent his first 20 years with The Walt Disney Company in the roles of either President or CFO with three different Disney/ABC owned television stations. During his tenure, he effectively managed industry disruptions while consistently increasing revenues, profits, and market share.
Bruce is married with three great children and can scratch his non-stop itch to talk about pocket.watch with his kids, who are all in media or creative endeavors in one form or another.
Chief Revenue Officer
“We are living today in a world where the idea of ‘it’s not on’ no longer exists. If you’re not making great stuff that kids want, then they will shut you off and never come back.”
It is this idea that drove Stone Newman to join pocket.watch and be at the forefront of creating the ultimate destination for kids. As Chief Revenue Officer, Stone is responsible for bringing home the bacon and harvesting the crops through content sales, licensing and merchandising deals, and sponsorship sales. Prior to pocket.watch, Stone was President – Global Consumer Products Licensing, Worldwide Content Sales and Marketing for Genius Brands International. Stone is also an accomplished entrepreneur who previously founded the boutique licensing agency, Art + Science International, Inc., and Sababa Toys, which he built from a start-up into a $30MM toy and game manufacturer with product presence in more than 50,000 retail stores. Stone began his career as a Yo-Yo demonstrator at the flagship location of FAO Schwarz on 5th Avenue in Manhattan during college.
An active father of toddler twin girls and a 7 1/2 year old son, Newman loves the redeye. It means he can help put his kids to bed, read them a story (or two or three), all before heading out for the night flight to the next day’s meetings.
“I have worked in the kids’ entertainment business for two decades and pocket.watch is one of the most dynamic and innovative companies I have ever encountered.”
Ed is excited to be the General Counsel of pocket.watch, where he is responsible for all of the company’s business and legal affairs, human resources and risk management. During his 30 plus year career, Ed has held positions with a variety of entertainment and technology companies. After stints at a law firm and in the financial services industry, Ed held senior roles with NBC and Hanna-Barbera. He then became the first General Counsel of World Wrestling Entertainment, where, among other things, he oversaw the company’s IPO, Secondary Offering, and joint venture with NBC for the XFL football league. Thereafter Ed served as the GC of THQ, then the leading videogame publisher of licensed kids’ content. Ed has also been GC of SONIFI Solutions, a provider of interactive entertainment to hotels, and most recently, the GC of World Oil Corp., the largest recycler of waste oil in the Western United States. Ed graduated from Stanford Law School and with Honors from the University of Virginia.
Ed is married to an amazing woman, and is the proud father of three boys, one girl, and one adorable shepherd-lab.
David B. Williams
SVP & GM, Channels
“While I mostly settled for Saturday morning cartoon crumbs, my kids feast on an entertainment banquet that’s literally endless. It’s a lot to come to terms with.”
As GM/SVP of Channels, David is charged with winning fans and growing pocket.watch franchises on short-form platforms. With twenty-five years at the frontiers of digital media, he comes to the role lavishly prepared. As part of Maker Studios’ senior leadership, David led the esteemed talent team and engineered marquee content initiatives. Prior highlights include serving as Chief Content and Technology Strategist for Endemol Beyond USA, co-founding venture-backed Take180 with Chris, leading digital teams at Disney, and developing a patented technology that powered fan-driven initiatives for franchises such as Star Trek and Toy Story and earned the honor of Interactive Emmy Award finalist for The L Word. An early digital entrepreneur, in 1996 David founded a digital-first entertainment studio where he went on to develop the world’s first major animated web series and licensed it to Showtime Networks.
David and his wife have twin boys with infinite energy they refuse to share.
Audience Development Expert
“As a first time new father I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the awesome team at pocket.watch. Their mission and values resonate strongly with me both as a father and media professional.”
Matt Gielen is the CEO and a founder of Little Monster Media Co., the first consulting agency to focus solely on audience development for video. His company is exclusively consulting with pocket.watch in the kids and family space. They are excited to work with pocket.watch and the media brands under their banner to help build their audiences.
Matt was formerly VP of Programming at Frederator where his focus was building audiences on YouTube. In less than two years, he and his team built Channel Frederator from a property with 60,000 subscribers and 50,000 views a month into the pre-eminent destination for animation content on YouTube, with 1.1 million subscribers and 15 million monthly views. The team were also responsible for building Cartoon Hangover (2 million subscribers, 5 million monthly views), Cinematica (100,000 subscribers, 4 million monthly views), and The Leaderboard (300,000 subscribers, 3 million monthly views), among others. In addition, Matt oversaw the team that build the Channel Frederator Network into the world’s largest animation network with 3,000 channels and half a billion monthly views. Durring his time at Frederator and currently he writes research papers on audience development strategies, like Reverse Engineering the YouTube Algorithm, which are published on Tubefilter.
Matt and his wife Brittany have one toddler, Huxley “Huck” Gielen, a puppy and two cats. They spend most of their time taking photos of their little monsters.
Director, Corporate Strategy
“There’s a greater variety of games, cartoons and kids content now than at any time in history… which is good for me because my tastes haven’t changed since I was 11.”
Beau is the Director of Corporate Strategy at pocket.watch. He has a hodgepodge of responsibilities from doing things on Excel that people don’t understand to telling people to spend less money. We’re not sure what he does, but his contribution seems vital!
Before joining pocket.watch as the Company’s first employee, Beau worked in corporate finance at Disney’s Maker Studios. While at Maker he built models for creator partnerships, including the Disney joint venture Revelmode. Before that he worked as a financial advisor and freelance music composer. He’s getting his MBA at UCLA Anderson, and studied vocal performance at Northwestern University.
Beau and his wife have adopted a dog named Clancy. They love him like a son.
“As a new mom, I’m incredibly excited to be part of the pocket.watch team, where Kids content is the sole focus. My son’s going to thank me when he’s a little older.”
As head of Partnerships, Chase is responsible for identifying and engaging top YouTube creators who align with pocket.watch’s vision. Prior to joining pocket.watch, Chase was Director of Partnerships at Disney’s Maker Studios, helping build their Kids and Family vertical. She was personally responsible for signing a number of the most influential Kids and Family creators today.
Prior to Maker, Chase honed her keen eye for talent as a Casting Director for almost a decade. Her resume boasts hit shows including Hell’s Kitchen, Deal or No Deal, The Bachelor, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and Kitchen Nightmares, to name a few.
A UCLA grad, Chase and her husband reside in Hermosa Beach with their rad son, Stone.
VP, Sales & Business Development
“Kids are always first to figure out new technology, spot the latest trends, and find the best content. It’s exciting to spend my days at pocket.watch with the adults who are smart enough to shut up and listen to them.”
Julia heads up Sales and Business Development for pocket.watch. She is passionate about the power of authentic creators with a dedicated fan base, and an interest in business built from audience led her to the world of online content creators. An entire market now exists comprised of DIY makers who never expect fans to pay for their content, yet who can create viable revenue streams based around a deeply engaged following. From licensing and merchandise to endorsements and sponsorships, the opportunities for creativity around the business match the creativity found in these creators. Julia is excited to bring that passion and creativity to pocket.watch and its partners.
Julia graduated with honors from the University of Virginia with a dual concentration in Media Studies and Philosophy. Most recently, she had her own digital media start-up in New York. Prior to that, she was Director of Audience Strategy at Maker Studios through its acquisition by Disney.
Julia enjoys the fun (and lack of responsibility) that comes with being “the cool aunt” to her niece and nephew.
VP, Audience Development
“Like. Comment. Subscribe.”
As VP of Audience Development, Ryan works to blend the art of creating engaging content with the science of data analytics to build audiences for pocket.watch’s digital video and social media platforms.
Previously, Ryan was Director of Audience Strategy for the kids and family content vertical at Disney’s Maker Studios, leading the team that managed a network of YouTube content creators responsible for over 1.8 billion monthly views. He also co-developed the format for Stampylonghead’s award-winning educational Minecraft series, “Wonder Quest,” on YouTube Red. With a unique understanding of the unboxing universe, Ryan led the YouTube launch of several major consumer products events including the world’s first live 24 hour around-the-world unboxing for Star Wars Force Friday.
When he’s not watching YouTube or playing with Star Wars toys, you can often find Ryan catching an old movie in Hollywood, hiking the San Gabriels with his pup Major or tailgating at his alma mater, USC (fight on!).
Brian C. Janes
Director, Product & Operations
“Kids now have easier access to more content than ever before. I’m excited to help inspire and entertain kids through pocket.watch content.”
As Director of Product & Operations at pocket.watch, Brian is the guy people go to when things aren’t working. He runs post-production and implements systems & technical solutions that help people work more efficiently. A jack of all trades and master of some, he’s a certified YouTube expert, a published photographer, and innovative problem solver. He is passionate about helping people tell their stories by producing, distributing, and growing audiences for digital entertainment content.
Previously, at Endemol Beyond, Brian guided the implementation of Beyond’s distribution strategy across multiple OTT platforms, including mobile apps, connected TV, and the sourcing, development, implementation, and launch of Endemol Beyond’s first video platform.
Brian aims to be the last person to post “First” on all YouTube videos.
Jonathan M. Levine
Director of Content, Channels
“Smart, thoughtful, and creative content is ageless.”
As Director of Content, Channels, Jonathan hopes to elevate and grow the potential for kids digital content across all short-form platforms. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Jonathan has directed and developed projects for Hulu, Studio71, Scout Media, Ora Media, Odd Lot Entertainment and Red Wagon. His award-winning feature “The Daughter” was released around the world on DVD and VOD. Jonathan served as lead editor and director of “Larry King Now”, which has been nominated for multiple Emmys including Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis.
Jonathan and his wife Marian have a rescue puppy named Penny Lane, who constantly teaches them the importance of play and how hard work can be rewarded with treats.
As Director of Programming, Sophia is custodian of the company’s creative voice on short-form platforms, collaborating across the company to embody the pocket.watch dream in new videos. In her previous four years at Maker Studios, she managed the talent team’s branded entertainment group, executing high-profile campaigns with leading brands including Disney, Nintendo and Hasbro. She also worked closely with the some of the top creators in the kids and family space, providing innovative content strategies and optimization programs. After attending Boston University for two years, Sophia continued her education in London, cutting her teeth in the digital world interning at PR agencies. Nothing slowed Sophia down on the other side of the pond. While in London she managed to visit twenty other cities, exploring many museums and eating lots of gelato.
Director, Sales Operations & Development
“Kids are hungry for a new brand to call their own, and that brand is pocket.watch.”
As Director of Sales Operations & Business Development, Ben analyzes and manages pocket.watch’s revenue strategy across sponsorships, branded integrations, and licensing & merchandising. Ben worked at The Walt Disney Company for four years, using data and partnering with product teams to optimize their digital products and drive increased Guest revenue and engagement. He left Disney to run business operations and analytics for GoPro’s Media group. Most recently, Ben was Director, New Media Finance at STX Entertainment, where he ran finance for their digital media, virtual reality, and unscripted television business units.
Ben is passionate about planning and numbers, and unlocking and telling their story.
Office Manager, Executive Assistant
“Some days are easy. Other days less so. But either way, it’s all for the kids, so what are you griping about? Have some tea.”
The role of Office Manager, Executive Assistant demands top-notch organization skills and attention to detail. And nothing could have prepared Cindy better than her years spent raising kids and running a household. Since entering the workforce back in 2002, she’s worked for a diverse set of companies, including R&R Partners, the Las Vegas-based independent ad agency responsible for the award-winning “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” campaign.
Cindy proves every day that no matter the size of a challenge, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish with persistence and some cookies.
Cindy and her husband have raised three children who have grown to be her best friends.