MEF Global Headquarters
London, referred to as the ‘mobile media capital of the world', is home to MEF’s Global Headquarters.
MEF Global supports a range of initiatives and works with local chapters in Asia, America and Europe to build awareness, create trade development opportunities and facilitate the development of commercial guidelines and best practices to promote a healthy and profitable industry.
To date, MEF Global has:
- Advanced effective industry guidelines, standards and best practices eg subscription services and ringtone definitions
- Progressed new business models around mobile video shortcodes harmonization and ad-funded mobile entertainment
- Delivered white papers on issues such as DRM, Communities and future mobile entertainment scenarios
- Established the industry’s flagship event – Mobile Entertainment Market (MeM) now in its 7th year
- Raised awareness amongst the entertainment community through extensive participation at events such as MIDEM, MILIA, IBC and GDC.
- Launched UK and German ringtone charts to highlight the consumption of mobile music
- Created the industry’s official awards recognizing the most influential players from around the world via the Meffys awards.
Today, MEF Global handles world-wide strategy, acts as the brand guardian, oversees financial matters and is responsible for the annual Meffys awards.
MEF Global Team
Since joining MEF in 2001, Rimma has been instrumental in executing MEF's rapid growth and extended global reach, forging relationships with industry leaders and key stakeholders, and positioning MEF as the mobile media industry’s global trade body. As Executive Director, Rimma leads MEF in its mission to facilitate the industry’s growth, protect revenues and create competitive advantage for members in collaboration with the Global Board and MEF’s regional chapters in Asia, EMEA, LaTam and North America. Prior to MEF, Rimma worked for an internet start-up and several global trade associations based in Washington DC. A bi-lingual English-Russian speaker, Rimma holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors degree from Cornell University.
Hailing from the TV and film industry, Kim joined MEF in early 2006 as a consultant. Soon after joining, she took on the newly created role of Member Relations & Operations Manager and then was promoted to Member Relations Director, the position she currently fills. In this role, Kim acts as MEF’s liaison to all member companies around the globe as well as producing and managing the annual prestigious Meffys awards and MEF Connects event in Barcelona.
Prior to joining MEF, Kim worked for four years as Head of Development for the Youth & Family division of television production company, IWC Media, where she created successful television series for young audiences for channels such as BBC, ITV and Nickelodeon. Kim started her television career in the UK at the BBC, where she worked as a Development Researcher in their Drama Series department.
Before moving to London, Kim held the positions of Marketing Manager at a global fashion house based in Tel Aviv and Research Executive at a Media Research company in New York.
Originally from Canada, Kim holds a BSc in Commerce from University of British Columbia, an MSc in Communications from Boston University, and speaks Hebrew, French and Spanish.
Suhail joined MEF in September 2006 and is responsible for driving policy on issues affecting the global mobile entertainment industry and managing all MEF global initiatives to advance member interests and ensure continued industry growth.
Prior to MEF, Suhail worked at ICSTIS from 1998, the independent regulator for premium rate services, now known as PhonepayPlus. While at ICSTIS, Suhail ran industry-wide consultations and lead on the development of the highly influential ICSTIS Code of Practice which governs all mobile direct to consumer transactions in the UK and the Help notes. He was also responsible for working with key external stakeholders and regulatory bodies to advance policy initiatives in mobile content.
Stephen joined MEF in December 2008 as Marketing Director, with a background in content ownership. He has spent the past 12 years working for a variety of music companies, most recently the [PIAS] Entertainment Group as Head of International Marketing, overseeing campaigns for labels such as Wall Of Sound, Independiente, Full Time Hobby and Fabric and working closely with artists such as Grace Jones and Mogwai.
Prior to this Stephen spent 7 years working for the EMI Group, initially within Trade Marketing where he launched their B2B CMS website and subsequently as part of the International Marketing team at Virgin Music where he worked with, amongst others, Placebo, Kelis, Jamie T and The Kooks. During the latter project Stephen contributed to what, at the time, was an innovative strategy of ensuring the primary marketing focus was the consumer, rather than traditional gatekeeper media. This manifested itself in a heavy digital campaign involving significant bespoke content, localisation of websites in key international territories and segmented fan database MarComms. Stephen is a strong believer in technology facilitating communication between common interest groups, to improve user experience and drive higher volumes of targeted content. He is excited to be working at MEF and furthering member benefits through the shared knowledge and initiatives the organisation promotes.
Stephen has a degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from Liverpool University, has been certified by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has previously taught percussion and tap dancing! He is a passionate music fan with an enviable and eclectic record collection (11,000 records plus) and DJ’s in his spare time.
Policy & Initiatives Manager
Miranda is MEF’s Policy and Initiatives Manager, joining the company in 2009 and bringing with her extensive experience of regulatory affairs and project management, gained while working for PhonepayPlus, the UK premium rate regulator, between 1999 and 2007.
In addition to her position with PhonepayPlus, Miranda was the Executive Officer at IMCB Ltd, the Independent Mobile Classification Body. A subsidiary of PhonepayPlus, IMCB Ltd is responsible for setting a framework for classifying commercial picture-based content available on mobile phones. Her work helped to ensure the successful launch of the organisation in January 2005, setting out the governance and establishing mechanisms for working with the industry, as well as providing support, advice and guidance.
Miranda’s experience and insight into the world of regulation, mobile content and commerce, policy development and building close working relationships with key stakeholders offers an invaluable addition to MEF and its global membership in supporting MEF’s policy and initiatives work and the continuing development of the mobile media industry.
MEF Global Board of Directors
Andrew has been the Chairman of the Global Board of the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) since 2008. He helped found MEF in 2001 and was re-elected to its Board in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. From 2005-2008 he was a non-executive director of PhonePayPlus, the agency of UK regulator Ofcom responsible for premium-rate telecoms services.
Andrew is the Executive Chairman of mBlox Inc, the world’s largest mobile transaction network which handles enterprise SMS and mobile premium transactions for companies worldwide. Prior to becoming Executive Chairman, Andrew was the CEO of mBlox, which he co-founded in 1999 and led to profitability. From 1988 to 1996, Andrew was head of mobile technology for Olivetti in Italy, where he developed and launched Europe’s first wireless networks for PCs. In 1994, while at Olivetti, he became the founding technical head of Omnitel (now Vodafone Italia). Between 1996 and 1999 he was a Director at Connect Communications Group and at Azlan PLC, pan-European companies in the telecommunications products and services sector. His earlier background was in mobile technology R&D.
Andrew is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET, with a degree from the University of Cambridge. He delivered the 2009 Appleton Lecture for the IET on “New Approaches to Digital Distribution”, and in August 2009 was named by Telecoms.com as one of the top fifty mobile industry executives worldwide.
VP International Mobile Business Development
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Pete has worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment for over 3 years. Previously, he was Major Account Development Manager at Just Rams Plc, a mobile memory specialist. Whilst there he was responsible for building & developing advanced digital ecosystems for content with leading OEMs, Operators & content owners. He also launched the World’s first digital Music Album with Car Phone Warehouse and EMI.
Since moving to SPE, Pete has continued to push the boundaries of the industry by pioneering the first Worldwide mobile movie embedding program with Nokia and Spider-Man 3. Furthermore, he has successfully bridged the gap between innovative digital solutions and the mass market by educating and engaging the consumer.
Founder & CEO
As founder, chief executive officer and board member, Ron Czerny (pronounced “Cher-nee”) serves as the visionary and driving force behind PlayPhone’s corporate strategy. His more than 14 years of experience in the digital entertainment industry has allowed Czerny to help establish PlayPhone’s dominance in the mobile media industry and has positioned the company to compete and thrive on a global scale.
In 2000, Czerny founded Atrativa, a mobile and Internet consumer entertainment company with operations based mainly in Latin America as chief executive officer, Czerny led Atrativa to its current status as the premier Web game provider in South America, powering several major ISPs including UOL (South America’s largest ISP), Yahoo! Brazil, AOL Brazil, MSN Brazil, Ibest (Telecom Brazil), Terra Networks (North and South America) and many others. RealNetworks, Inc. acquired Atrativa in 2006.
Czerny also played an important role in Latin America’s video game industry between 1992 and 1999 as the co-founder of the Brazilian Entertainment and Video Game Association. He also served as the president of Romstar and Sports Arcade, companies with strategic and exclusive partnerships with Capcom for video game distribution in Latin America.
Czerny holds a degree in business administration with an emphasis in international business from San Jose State University in California.
Media and Digital Content Director
Mark leads a series of digital content reviews on behalf of the music majors and other content owners. These reviews involve gaining a deep understanding of the evolving digital content value chain. The team Mark leads is currently engaged in more that 30 digital content reviews (mobile and online) which includes all of the major European mobile network operators.
Acting on behalf of the music majors but at the same time helping the digital distributors with their existing controls and reporting provides a unique insight on the industry.
Mark is close to the ‘on the ground’ issues faced by both the content owners and the digital distributors as both look to improve control whilst at the same time innovate with new products and revenue streams.
Biography is coming soon...
Vice President Publishing
EA Mobile, EMEA
As the Vice President of Publishing, Luca is responsible for driving EA Mobile’s publishing business throughout Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa, deepening carrier relationships and exploring new partnerships and strategic avenues for growth.
Luca joined EA Mobile in June 2009 from Buongiorno, where over a period of eight years he held a variety of management roles, most recently serving as Region Managing Director, UK & International. Prior to Buongiorno, Luca held positions at ZedGravity, the Oxford Centre for Innovation and Value Partners Management Consulting.
Patrick has over 20 years of experience in the wireless and interactive media industries in over 20 markets worldwide. He has held management roles at Amobee, Alcatel-Luncent, Packetvideo, Diveo Broadband Networks, Skytel, Teleworx and TVAnswer (Eon Corporation) and has recently been appointed the VP of Ecosystem Development at LightSquared. A staunch activist in the world of mobile entertainment, Patrick was first elected Chairman of the MEF in 2004, and was re-elected as Chairman in May 2006. A Non-Executive Director for the company since 2006, Patrick now represents Shazam Entertainment on the Global Board of the MEF. He holds a Masters Degree in Business and International Management from Thunderbird and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and History from The College of William and Mary. Patrick is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish.
Head of Developer Marketing
A Chartered Marketer with 15 years experience of working in content and product development. James has an award winning track record of product delivery, successfully launching over 20 major products and services, featuring the BT Connect to Business ISP, BT Photoplanet, and for O2; O2 Litmus, Multimedia Messaging, Mobile Video, Mobile Music, the UK DVB-H Broadcast TV trial, and the ticketing and interactive services supporting The O2 Arena in London.
Through this activity James has built a broad network within the content sector, and has a demonstrable track record of championing content and innovation across both the fixed and mobile internet.
Recognised by Revolution Magazine as one of the “Future 50”, James is a regular industry speaker, panellist, judge, blogger, and has lectured in Marketing and New Product Development at The University of Oxford Faculty of Continuing Education and Reading University.
A key element of the marketing role James has at Telefónica role is the evangelisation of Smart Enablers, and James is an active contributor to the MEF Smart Enablers initiative.
MED & CEO
Since completing his business studies in 1990, Neeraj has had extensive experience in Services Marketing. In 1999 he founded Virtual Marketing, owners of popular portals such as Hungama.com, IndiaFM.com (the number 1 Bollywood portal in the world) and Hungama Mobile. Hungama has been associated with over 500 Bollywood and Hollywood movies and has undertaken more than 1,000 digital and mobile marketing campaigns for hundreds of leading brands including Coca-Cola, Unilever, McDonalds and Nike. Neeraj’s company is the largest aggregator, developer and publisher of Bollywood & South Asian entertainment content in the world, having worldwide exclusive rights to over 35,000 music and video titles, distributing the same across 20 countries. Hungama Mobile works directly with 85% of the studios and music companies producing Bollywood content.
Neeraj is actively associated with the Film & TV Producers Guild of India and CII’s Entertainment Committee. Neeraj loves movies, listening to music and enjoys playing golf.
As CEO of Impact Mobile, a leading Canada-based mobile marketing solution provider, Gary has long recognized the value of deepening the footprint of MEF Americas into the Canadian mobile industry. His positions as chair and founder of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association's Mobile Content Committee and the Interactive Advertising Board's mobile committee in Canada and the US afford him a unique opportunity to move between each country with ease.
Recently, Gary has been developing policy and educational strategy and presented at the Federal Trade Commission town hall in Washington, DC.
Head of Sponsorship
Billy is a veteran of the telecoms and media industry who brings deep international experience from across the Carrier, Studio and OEM sectors. Currently, he is globally responsible for Business Development and Partnering for Nokia’s Media and Games Services: a role that brings him into daily contact with the world’s leading studios, broadcasters, music labels, games publishers, large scale aggregators and innovative application developers. Prior to joining Nokia, Billy held roles including:
- VP and GM Global Wireless, Warner Bros Entertainment. Based Burbank, California - Global Director Content and Sponsorship, Orange Group. Based UK
Billy holds a First Class Honours Degree in Electronic Engineering from Bristol University and is a Graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He is married with three children.
Global Head of Media
Marco Argenti is a consumer technology industry veteran with over 20 years experience and currently serves as Vice President, Head of Media and Games for Nokia. Argenti is globally responsible for Nokia’s Media Services including Ovi Store, Nokia’s content service, and Ovi Share, Nokia’s free media sharing service.
Argenti joined Nokia in 2008, and was previously the Managing Director for DADA, a RCS Group company, one of Europe’s largest media companies. While there, he operated Dada.net, an integrated community and mobile entertainment service in more than 15 countries with over 7 million active mobile subscribers and over 12 million community members.
Prior to Dada, Argenti founded and served as the CEO of iFront Inc., a pioneering Internet company that became one of Canada's leading internet solution providers.
After his tenure as Vice Chairman, Argenti currently serves as Strategic Advisor of the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), Mobile Entertainment’s leading trade body which consists of more than 150 member companies including mobile operators, value added service providers, and media studios. MEF provides valuable insights, along with best practice recommendations and industry guidelines for their members and the broader mobile entertainment constituency. Previously, Argenti served as a member of Microsoft’s global Commerce Advisory Council from 1999 to 2003.
He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences in Europe and North America, and in 2007 and 2008 was named by Mobile Entertainment Magazine as one of the 50 Mobile Entertainment industry leaders worldwide.
Argenti earned a Masters of Science in Informatics Engineering from the University of Pisa. He has also received a Professional Qualification (P.Eng.) in Management Engineering from Politecnico di Milano University, Italy and is a Microsoft Certified Professional in Network Management.
He has been a guest professor at the School of Accounting, University of Waterloo, Canada and guest lecturer at Politecnico di Milano and Universita’ la Sapienza in Rome.
Gerrit Jan (GJ) Konijnenberg
VP International Roaming
GJ has been involved from the outset in activities to extend MEF’s reach in continental Europe, as well as more recently in the Middle East and Africa. As head of MEF's Mobile TV initiative, he was responsible for driving a consultation with members on the controversial EU Television Without Frontiers Directive. GJ has also represented MEF at numerous international conferences and MEF Connects events throughout EMEA. He was voted onto the founding board of MEF’s European chapter in 2007 and appointed Vice-Chairman. Subsequently GJ served as Chairman of the expanded EMEA board from 2009-2011 where he oversaw the co-founding of MEF’s Middle East office by the Qtel Group.
Prior to joining Vodafone Group as VP International Roaming, GJ worked for Comfone, a worldwide roaming/hubbing specialist. Previously he was CEO of Comsys where he was responsible for their operations in the UK and throughout Europe. GJ was founding Director of 3G Media Consult (winner of a Euroward for best start-up) which was acquired by Comsys in 2006. In 2002 GJ published a book on i-mode via Academic Services.
Born in The Netherlands in 1963, GJ lives with his wife Barbara and their 5 kids in Luxembourg and manages to balance family and work life and still have time to indulge his passion for sports. He speaks fluent Dutch, English, French and German.
Ingrid Silver is a partner of SNR Denton who has been involved in the communications sector for more than12 years. She has special expertise in the provision of commercial, regulatory and corporate advice to the media sector, with a particular emphasis on new media services such as interactive and mobile content services, convergence, interactive television, IPTV and strategies involving triple- and quadruple-play.
Ingrid has acted for a wide variety of clients ranging from large corporates to cutting-edge new entrants.
Ingrid trained as a lawyer in Geneva. Prior to becoming a lawyer she worked at the European Parliament and at the European Commission where she was involved in drafting the Convergence Green Paper. Ingrid is recognised as a leading figure in the new media sector by the legal directories. She regularly speaks at conferences and writes about her areas of specialisation.
MEF EMEA Chairman Emeritus & Founder
Head of Content, Media and Games, Nokia
Gerard is Head of Content, Media & Games at Nokia. Prior to taking up this role he worked at Next.com, the Orange Group business unit specializing in defining and launching new cross-platform digital media services. Previously Gerard was director of Strategy and Business Development at Orange’s Content Division in Paris and Group Head of Music & Video, launching several multi-media services across multiple territories and negotiating over 25 strategic partnerships with companies including Facebook, Universal, Sony Pictures and Bebo. Prior to that, Gerard, who holds an MBA, was new media correspondent for United Business Media, a founding member of Centric Records (signings included Craig David) and a new media consultant.
With the backing of the MEF global board, he founded MEF EMEA with great energy and commitment, believing it will add even more value to MEF’s membership. In two years, he has delivered the following:
- strong strategic and operational foundations for the chapter
- further localization by piloting a MEF Italy chapter and expanding activities into new territories including the Middle East
- fast-tracking important initiatives including a guide on the Audio Visual Media Services directive, reports on ad-funded content and content sales reporting.
- attracting several important partners and companies to the organisation
MEF Asia Founder & Chairman Emeritus
Stefan is MD and Founder of Catalist Group, an early stage technology investment business focused on mobile and web related services and software. Prior to Catalist Group, Stefan played a number of key roles during his 6 years at Sun Microsystems, including running investments in Asia, Venture investments, Corporate Development in Mobile and finally Marketing and Strategic Planning for Web 2.0 and Communication Industries.
He has worked with Lucent in the wireless division before which he joined Siemens in China to set up Xin De Telecom, working closely with China Unicom to build 3 GSM networks across China. He has also worked with more entrepreneurial organizations, such as the European Business Channel at Limelight Studios, as well as number of start-ups around the world.
Stefan holds a postgraduate degree in econometrics and speaks Mandarin, German and French. He was recently elected as one of the top 50 Global Mobile Entertainment Executives by “Mobile Entertainment”.
MEF Americas Founder & Chairman Emeritus
Ralph Simon predicted in 1997 that mobile phones would become the indispensable voice/social networking companion for consumers and their increasingly mobile lifestyles. A founder of the global mobile entertainment industry, he introduced ring tones into the Americas, Europe, UK, Australasia and Africa and became known as 'the Father of the Ring Tone'. Originally co-founded Zomba Music and Jive Records. Today, he advises companies and individuals worldwide seeking to innovate using mobile as a platform for live entertainment, entertainment content/games, health, education and mobile payments. He has received international recognition for his expertise and far-sighted contributions to the mobile entertainment industry since 2005. Chairman Emeritus and Founder of the MEF Americas. Based in London he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK and member of NARAS in the USA.
Professor Rann Smorodinsky
In 2001, along with industry colleagues from the EU and USA, Rann founded the Mobile Entertainment Forum, leading it as chairperson through its inception and growth from 8 members in its first year of activity to an influential organization with a variety of initiatives a global footprint and over 50 members
Rann is also the founder of two high tech companies. In 2000 he co-founded Cash-U Mobile Technologies (now Unipier Ltd). Cash-U became a leading player is the supply of technology for mobile value added services, with an initial focus of multi player mobile games.Among Cash-U's customers are Telefonica, Wind and Vodafone Italy. In 2005 Rann started YaData (www.yadata.com), the leading provider of segmentation tools (segments discovery and management) and marketing automation software. Among YaData's customers are telecom operators as well as other service industries.
In addition to his industrial career, Rann has also developed an academic career. He is currently a faculty member of the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and leads research projects in the field of Game Theory. Prior to his Technion appointment, Rann was a Professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Rann holds B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics and an MBA from Tel Aviv University