ZEALOT

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ZEALOT /noun/

A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their ideals.

Danny Zappin
CEO

Danny Zappin is a digital entertainment pioneer revolutionizing the future of media. As Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Zealot Networks, Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, Zappin is again paving the way for creative entrepreneurs to achieve success through multi-platform revenue...


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Danny Zappin
CEO

Danny Zappin is a digital entertainment pioneer revolutionizing the future of media. As Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Zealot Networks, Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, Zappin is again paving the way for creative entrepreneurs to achieve success through multi-platform revenue, distribution and development opportunities.

Zappin established his illustrious career when he was CEO and Co-Founder of Maker Studios, the #1 multi-channel network, producing and distributing online videos.

It’s here that he created one of the most exciting and noteworthy businesses in the digital content creation industry.

With a strong background in entertainment working as a struggling actor, director, producer and filmmaker, Zappin took his career into his own hands in 2001, creating online videos for a burgeoning medium, the Internet. He wanted to be a part of this technological revolution in a big way, so during this time he worked at an early online video streaming web site called Craptv.com, directing and producing short form web content. Four years later, Zappin discovered YouTube and he was instantly sold on the platform’s potential. He immediately began posting content and started several distribution channels, cementing his status as a true innovator in the space.

In 2009, Zappin, along with several other YouTube stars and production staff, formed Maker Studios, a first-of-its-kind digital studio whose goal was to service the needs of YouTube content creators. The multi-channel network was modeled after the legendary “United Artists” – a studio where content creators could develop original content and participate in its financial viability as owners. In a little over three years, Maker Studios had over 60,000 channels signed under the network, generating approximately 5 billion views monthly. In addition, Zappin became one of the leading experts on the platform and played an integral part in the direction of YouTube. This huge success led to Maker Studio’s acquisition by Disney in March 2014 for up to $950 million.

While leading Maker Studios, Zappin gained extensive leadership skills and knowledge in digital media including mergers and acquisitions, vertical strategy and building an internal team of 350 staff members. Last year, he led a team of investors to purchase NewMediaRockStars.com, a top Internet news web site covering the online video and new media industries.

Most recently, Zappin formed Zealot to realize his greater vision of creating a company with an innovative business model that democratizes and advances the development, distribution and monetization of content, production and services. The combination of Zappin’s passion for digital media coupled with his vision set an unparalleled foundation for Zealot to lead the next movement in this evolving space.

Zappin currently resides in Venice, Calif.
Conn Fishburn
CSO

Conn Fishburn is the Chief Strategy Officer of Zealot Networks, Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, to which he brings his innate understanding of the intersection between human behavior, technology and culture to realize Zealot’s mission to empower creative entrepreneurs...


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Conn Fishburn
CSO

Conn Fishburn is the Chief Strategy Officer of Zealot Networks, Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, to which he brings his innate understanding of the intersection between human behavior, technology and culture to realize Zealot’s mission to empower creative entrepreneurs. With this mandate, Fishburn is charged with driving the growth of Zealot and Zealot companies via acquisitions, partnerships, audience expansion and media packaging.

With more than 18 years of experience, Fishburn is an expert in emerging media, marketing and consumer behavior and a highly sought after advisor who speaks frequently on these subjects. He has built a career and reputation by providing insight and business-building strategy to some of the world’s most powerful brands, including American Express, Barclayʼs Capital, Cablevision, Coca-Cola, Disney, Guggenheim Digital Partners, National Football League, NBCUniversal, Motorola, News Corp., Unilever, Verizon, Viacom and the Women’s Tennis Association.

As Founder and CEO of F3, a strategy and innovation firm, Fishburn focused his energy on Fortune 500 companies, agencies and early stage start-ups. He worked closely with senior executives to educate them on the impact of the changes in consumer behavior around the creation, distribution and consumption of media. Fishburn created innovative business models and growth strategies to help companies adapt and thrive in the evolving landscape.

Before establishing F3, Fishburn served as Head of Partner Innovation at Yahoo! where he defined, delivered, monetized and scaled the next generation of marketing relationships, user interfaces and brand experiences for key clients and their consumers. Fishburn also acted as Yahoo!ʼs Director of Social Media Strategy.

Prior to his tenure at Yahoo!, Fishburn was senior partner and general manager of the Brand Integration Group (BIG), the award-winning design and brand experience division of Ogilvy. He also co-founded dig, a creative research company. In addition, Fishburn served as director of brand experience at Internet Appliance Network, an emerging technology company, and a senior brand planner at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners.

Fishburn graduated from Emory University with a dual degree in Social Theory and Creative Writing. Originally from Tennessee, Fishburn now lives in Venice, Calif.

Chad Seymour
CMO

As Chief Marketing Officer of Zealot Networks Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, Chad Seymour brings a passion for new audience platforms, content creation and branding strategy and development, along with more than 20 years of experience leading the development and execution of iconic brand...


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Chad Seymour
CMO

As Chief Marketing Officer of Zealot Networks Inc., a digital-first media company and growth accelerator, Chad Seymour brings a passion for new audience platforms, content creation and branding strategy and development, along with more than 20 years of experience leading the development and execution of iconic brand marketing initiatives. In his role as CMO, Seymour leads Zealot’s marketing and brand development efforts in working closely with the entrepreneurs, companies, brands and talent in the Zealot portfolio.

Seymour has worked with multi-billion dollar global brands to entrepreneurial startups, developing innovative ideas and programs with a proven track record of breakthrough results. Prior to joining Zealot, Seymour was the CEO and Co-Owner of Neighbor, a mid-sized creative agency with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco specializing in integrated marketing campaigns, branding and creative content development for companies in the food & beverage and retail categories. Client partners included such leading brands as California Pizza Kitchen, PETCO, Jamba Juice, Safeway, Clif Bar, Tillamook, among many others. Under his leadership, the agency enjoyed growth rates which more than doubled revenue and headcount.

During this time, Seymour became fascinated with the exploding emerging media space having engaged many of his clients in these exciting, new platforms. Within this space, Seymour worked closely with YouTube and Multi-Channel Network visionary, Danny Zappin on the formation of Maker Studios and was responsible for the naming of the company.

Prior to his leadership of Neighbor Agency, Seymour gained invaluable experience working at some of today’s leading advertising agencies and Fortune 500 companies. At TBWA/Chiat Day Los Angeles, Seymour served as the Group Account Director for the US Visa business. He led the development, launch and extension of the “Life Takes Visa” campaign which was fueled by more than $350MM in annual US media spend. This highly successful brand initiative was executed across TV, digital, print, OOH and social media and with marquee partnership properties such as the NFL, Winter and Summer Olympics, Disney and NASCAR.

While at NYC agency Merkley + Partners, Seymour headed up the marketing communication efforts for BMW Motorcycles, Fila Footwear and Apparel, Tic Tacs and the New York Post.

Prior to his agency leadership roles, Seymour built a deep foundational understanding of brand development in client-side roles over seven years at Procter & Gamble and beverage giant Diageo in management positions in both marketing and sales functions.

Originally from Kansas where he graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Kansas, Seymour now resides in Venice, CA with his wife Linda.

Bob Vanech
CFO

Bob Vanech is a seasoned 20 year investment and dealmaker veteran who as Zealot’s CFO is charged with heading up finance, corporate development, capital raising and venture investments. With savvy business acumen, he has driven complex transactions for early and growth-stage venture capital-backed companies...


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Bob Vanech
CFO

Bob Vanech is a seasoned 20 year investment and dealmaker veteran who as Zealot’s CFO is charged with heading up finance, corporate development, capital raising and venture investments. With savvy business acumen, he has driven complex transactions for early and growth-stage venture capital-backed companies known for disrupting the status quo. Vanech has led funding and investment strategies for a variety of companies across the technology, media, greentech, international outsourcing, education, SaaS, mobile and
social media sectors.

As a respected leader and venture capitalist in the explosive Silicon Beach community, Vanech has extensive M&A experience including roll-ups for more than a dozen ventures. And in his role as board member or consultant, Vanech has advised startups and growth companies with an emphasis on digital technologies, tech services and media.

Before joining Zealot, Vanech served as a venture advisor with Accelerate-IT, a leading growth accelerator for tech and media companies. While at Accelerate, Vanech met Zappin and helped him navigate through the governance issues and exit from Maker.

Previously, as an operator, Vanech seed funded, co-founded and served as chairman and CEO of CADFORCE, Inc. and was responsible for leading three venture rounds, growing the business globally, resulting in a merger with Neilsoft Pvt. Ltd., a global engineering and technology firm.

Vanech’s expertise in investment stems from his work as partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at ETF Group, a $250 million mid-stage technology fund based in Lugano, Switzerland. He assisted ETF’s international portfolio company CEOs with execution and growth strategies, M&A and capital raising.

Early in his career, Vanech founded and served as president and director of Eureka Broadband Corporation, a telecommunications infrastructure and services company. While at Eureka, he spearheaded debt and equity capital rounds in excess of $50 million, and grew the company to more than 400 employees with offices throughout the US. Eureka sold for over $100 million to Broadview Networks.

Philanthropy and public service is an important part of Vanech’s life. He is a founding benefactor, director and treasurer of railLA, a 501c3 non-profit formed to promote high-speed rail in California. Vanech was the founding treasurer and board member at Ocean Charter School, a leading Los Angeles charter school. He also chairs and serves as treasurer of The Los Angeles World's Fair, a hybrid corporation leading the charge to bring a World's Fair to Los Angeles in 2022.

Vanech earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. He’s also an active alumnus of Choate Rosemary Hall. Vanech lives in Venice, Calif., with his wife, Sara Welch from KTLA, and his two teenage children. He’s an avid basketball player, enjoys coaching youth sports and was once a nationally ranked professional Scrabble player.