John Malec, Chairman, CEO & Founder
A member of the Chicago-area Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame, John Malec is a life-time serial entrepreneur. He is also an accomplished artist. Samples of his work may be seen on his Linked In profile.
He is best known as founder of Information Resources, Inc. (“IRIC”), a NASDAQ Company that achieved $600 million in annual revenues during his tenure. As CEO he led IRIC from a concept through commercialization through its IPO. Within a few years, IRIC disrupted AC Nielsen’s 40 years of dominance as the largest source of market tracking data in the U.S. Malec was awarded the prestigious Parlin award, recognition as national “Marketer of the Year,” served on the Marketing Advisory Board of the Wharton School, was named Illinois Hi-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year, and won Wall Street Week’s Silver Medal as one of the top Information Industry CEO’s.
Immediately prior to Visible Spectrum, Inc. (VSI) and its predecessor TAP.tv, he served as CEO and majority shareholder of Malec Holdings, II (MHII), a private land development corporation. Concurrent with founding MHII, he also consulted for Peapod, Inc., the first Internet grocer, during their start-up and successful IPO. While still in his 20’s, John Malec also helped found and was one of the three original owners of the NPD Group, one of the world’s largest marketing research firms.
Mr. Malec received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin, with a dual major in marketing and finance. He studied for an MBA at Northwestern University. He has taught marketing at the University level, published in the area of new product marketing and forecasting, and consulted for a variety of the most sophisticated consumer packaged goods companies. He co-authored with Gerry Eskin, PhD a seminal work on new product forecasting: “A Model for Estimating Sales Potential Prior to Test Market” published by the American Marketing Association. He received U.S. and international patents in the field of information technology. Advertising Age called Mr. Malec the “father of scanner data”; his BehaviorScan concept was the first commercial application of targetable television advertising.
Terry Disz, PhD, Co-founder and Head Technologist
Terry Disz received his PhD from the University of Illinois, studying under Dr. Thomas DeFanti, where both were involved in the early pioneering computer animation work at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL). During Terry’s tenure at EVL he worked on several fascinating projects, including the first virtual reality “cave;” he also developed software tools and animations for the original Star Wars movie.
Mr. Disz is currently the senior member of the computing “Futures Laboratory” at Argonne National Laboratories, a think tank that develops state-of-the-art computing solutions for a variety of complex issues facing business and mankind overall.
As a senior manager at Argonne, he is exposed to virtually every new computing technology at a very early stage and has published scores of academic papers. His work runs the gamut from p.c.-based applications, through Linux and other operating systems, to super computing.
Mr. Disz remains an employee at Argonne; however, Argonne is much like a University environment, which encourages outside “real world” experience. He also has some flexibility in scheduling his personal time. He provides sufficient time both to mastermind technical development of the Company’s business and hire and supervise the Company’s senior technical resources. He will continue as the Company’s chief technical strategist indefinitely.
Michael Pritz, President, COO
Michael Pritz is a seasoned executive with over twenty years of entrepreneurial experience managing high technology; software, hardware and systems integration. He has extensive experience in the development and growth of new businesses, services and technologies in both emerging and established markets.
Pritz is founding partner of JRP Partners, a consulting firm working with communications service providers and established and start-up equipment vendors in the global telecommunications market. He has assisted in identification and penetration of new market segments; in developing new products, services and businesses; and in introducing those products and services to the marketplace. JRP’s clients include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Mediacom, Samsung, Cisco, Tellabs, Openet, SMC Networks and others.
In the recent past Mr. Pritz served as President and CEO of Jedai Systems where his efforts resulted in a market leadership position and Jedai becoming a key supplier to Cox Communications, AT&T Broadband and Time-Warner Cable.
Prior experience includes stints at Clarent, Arris and Tellabs. His technology expertise includes: cloud-based systems and technologies, new product development and delivery, video architectures and systems for the delivery of broadcast and IP video, development and deployment of application architectures, data architectures and systems, data integration and analytics using big data technologies.
Mr. Pritz has a Computer Science undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Sam Melton, CIO
Sam Melton is Chief Information Officer at Visible Spectrum Inc., guiding their software architecture and development.
Prior to VSI, he was Director of Application Development at Tap.tv, where he and his development team created innovative customer-facing applications and media technologies.
Uniting his interactive design and computer science experience, Mr. Melton brings a unique management style to VSI. He has a demonstrated ability to keep best-of-breed software engineers and developers on task, while allowing them to express their creativity in design and problem solving where appropriate.
Melton has a long history of being an entrepreneur, including launching the successful ToEleven Marketing, LTD., a web design and marketing firm in 2006. In 2003, he also brought to life the social media site oddlotsirregulars.com which later was acquired by DeviantArt.com.
Mr. Melton received his Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, with a dual major in Computer Science and Interactive Design. While a student at NIU, he initiated and architected the ResTech Helpdesk, an organization within Student Housing and Dining that assists Student Residents with computer needs.
ROB FAUROT, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
At Visible Spectrum, Mr. Faurot is responsible for contacting potential clients and creating a business model that works to maximize benefits of Visible Spectrum software for their business.
His early experience as a video editor for CBS News led to a career in cable television working in the sales and business development area for Time Inc. (ATC), Group W Westinghouse, and later AT&T Cable. At AT&T he closed a complex $22 million dollar sale for contracted cable services. After returning to graduate school, Mr. Faurot was a partner in a start-up video conference company and later Director of Business Development for FreeDrive.com, the first large on-line data storage company.
Following the sale of FreeDrive.com, Mr. Faurot established a consulting practice to help organizations grow. His first assignment successfully sold a privately held cable television company to a publically held cable firm. Subsequent assignments include starting the digital sign division for a billboard company, helping a non-profit organization grow its sponsorship revenue, helping an on-premise television network grow its ad revenues as well as other assignments.
In the course of his consulting assignments Mr. Faurot started and sold a Digital-Out-Of-Home media company and subsequently became CEO of a DVD kiosk rental company, which was subsequently sold.
Mr. Faurot also established Cecom, Inc., a private holding company that operates a 120 year-old family manufacturing business.
Mr. Faurot holds B.A. from the University of Denver and graduated with distinction with an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University.
Mike Berning, Director of Product Development and Creative
VSI’s Creative Department is responsible for public template creation, coordinating crowd-sourced assets, and the entire creative infrastructure that supports users’ ability to have an ad created automatically simply by providing a business name and address. This technology uses a combination of expert systems and web scraping. With just entry of their business name, users are instantly presented with a selection of video ads for their business complete with appropriate stock assets directly pertaining to their product line already added. Users are then able to tweak these auto-created ads.
Mr. Berning was most recently Media Operations Manager for Context Media, a company operating a place-based network in medical offices. A formally-trained motion graphics expert, Mike has also held senior creative positions at Adelstein Liston and FCB Chicago.
Suzy Suker, Director of Administration
Suzy Suker is Director of Administration for Visible Spectrum Inc. overseeing administrative services including accounting, human resources, office management, investor relations, marketing, web content and administrative support.
Before joining Tap.tv in 2006, (now VSI), Ms. Suker ran her own small graphic design company. She has over 20 years of marketing services experience. Formerly Manager of Interactive Marketing at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Suker helped to promote investment products and trading innovation solutions. Her department initiated CBOE’s online education center and resource library when their web site launched in early 2000.
Suker received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Journalism, with an advertising and business emphasis.