CHAIRMAN & CEO
Yehuda Shmidman is a veteran of the brand management industry, having successfully deployed more than USD $3 billion of capital over nearly two decades into acquiring, growing and monetizing global consumer brands.
His experience expanded during his career to multiple consumer segments including fashion, hardgoods, toys, home, wellness, media, celebrity, sports and electronics, with direct leadership over dozens of world famous brands including TOYS“R”US, ANNE KLEIN, MARTHA STEWART and PEANUTS.
Yehuda currently serves as Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of WHP Global, a New York based brand management firm founded in 2019 together with Oaktree Capital and is also now backed by Ares and BlackRock. WHP Global’s brand portfolio generates over USD $6.5 billion in annual retail sales, and includes JOE’S JEANS, ANNE KLEIN, JOSEPH ABBOUD, EXPRESS, ISAAC MIZRAHI, LOTTO, TOYS“R”US and BABIES“R”US. WHP Global is also parent to WHP+, a turnkey e-commerce platform, and WHP SOLUTIONS, a sourcing agency based in Asia.
Yehuda has served on multiple public and private boards, both commercial and nonprofit, and he angel invests from time to time. He currently is a member of the board of directors of Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR), an active board member and executive committee member of the Fashion Scholarship Fund, and sits on the board of Wave Hill, a public garden & cultural center in New York.
Over the years, Fortune Magazine and Crain’s New York both included Yehuda in their prestigious “40 Under 40” lists, and multiple universities – including Columbia University, NYU Stern School of Business and Fordham Law School – have featured Yehuda as a guest lecturer to deliver insights into the future of consumer brands and the retail industry.
Yehuda holds a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Yeshiva University in New York.
Thomas Casarella is a Managing Director and Assistant Portfolio Manager at Oaktree Capital Management. Prior to joining Oaktree in 2012, he served as Deputy Chief Restructuring Officer at the United States Department of the Treasury. Before that, Mr. Casarella was a member of the Private Equity group at Brookfield Asset Management, following earlier career roles Lazard and Goldman Sachs.
He is a board member of Boardriders, Crossroads Building Supply and Kondaur Capital Management, Techstyle Fashion Group, and WHP Global. Mr. Casarella is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Bureau. Mr. Casarella holds an A.B. degree summa cum laude from Bowdoin College, an M.A. degree in economics from Oxford University, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He is also a CFA charterholder.
Hank Sneddon is a Vice President at Oaktree Capital Management and a board member of WHP Global. Prior to joining Oaktree, he was a member of the Restructuring & Special Situations group at PJT Partners. Mr. Sneddon holds an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard College.
Mr. Pucillo began his career at Bankers Trust where he was responsible for the structuring and negotiation of leveraged loans and helped establish the firm’s high yield loan trading business. He went on to serve as Head of High Yield Loan Trading at Morgan Stanley and was instrumental in launching its leveraged loan effort. Mr. Pucillo was one of the four founding members of the Loan Syndications and Trading Association and formerly served as an Executive Committee Member.
Mr. Pucillo is a board member of Bristow Group, Next Wave, and WHP Global. Mr. Pucillo received a BA in Economics from Lafayette College in 1989, and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Effy Zinkin has over 20 years of experience in various C-level positions in the apparel and accessory industries. Effy began his career at Marc Ecko Enterprises, most recently serving as its President, where he oversaw its expansion to over $1 billion in retail sales and successful exit in 2013.
After this, he was President of Concept One Accessories. Effy then formed Big Brand Builders, a brand and retail advisory business, which included clients such as Revlon and licensees to Under Armour and Major League Baseball. Mr. Zinkin most recently served as President of Icon Eyewear. Effy holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Sy Syms School of Business, Yeshiva University, and a J.D. degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
Stanley Silverstein is a 30+ year retail industry leader with expertise in licensing, global strategy and development. He joins WHP from Perry Ellis International, where he served as President of International Development and Global Licensing. Prior to Perry Ellis, Stanley was a longtime senior executive at Warnaco/PVH where he was responsible for the company’s highly successful global expansion of its brands including Calvin Klein.
He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The New School in New York City and the Fashion Scholarship Fund, and a member of NYU Stern Fashion & Luxury Council. Stanley is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the NYU Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
HEAD OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Jaime Cassavechia is the Co-Founder & Principal of NY boutique public relations firm EJ Media Group. Capitalizing on 20 years of PR and corporate communications experience, Jaime specializes in partnering with CEOs, entrepreneurs and talent to architect and execute brand strategies, lead media relations, steer corporate communications and handle crisis situations.
She is highly skilled at driving national media and consumer awareness through carefully crafted communication strategies. As a partner for executives of growth companies, startups, and established consumer brands, Jaime is often relied upon as a strategic advisor to develop macro brand strategies that resonate, engage, and capture a targeted audience. Jaime oversees all communications, public relations and media strategy for WHP Global, the parent company to ANNE KLEIN, JOSEPH ABBOUD and TOYS“R”US.
CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER & GENERAL COUNSEL
Gregg Donnenfeld is Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of WHP Global, responsible for handling and oversight of all legal matters concerning our brands and businesses.
Gregg has nearly 30 years of experience practicing law, both at top law firms and in-house for major global companies. Gregg began his career at Proskauer Rose, where he led the firm’s trademark registration and licensing practices, and later served as General Counsel of multiple global apparel, technology, consumer product, media and other businesses. He specializes in all aspects of corporate, intellectual property, licensing and business law.
Gregg received his undergraduate degree from University of Michigan (highest honors), law school degree from Cornell Law School (magna cum laude) and Executive MBA from NYU Stern School of Business (class valedictorian). He is admitted to practice law in New York, California, New Jersey and Florida.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TOYS“R”US
Jamie Uitdenhowen has more than 20 years of experience as a global business leader managing omnichannel retail businesses. At WHP, Jamie leads the Toys“R”Us brand team and network of global license partners. Having spent more than 18 years at Toys“R”Us, Inc., he has become a respected executive in the toy industry, with a proven track record of leading high-performing teams, identifying and leveraging market trends and building strong relationships. Jamie currently serves as a board observer of TOYS”R”US ANZ (ASX:TOY).
Jamie has a master’s degree in business administration from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University.
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, TOYS“R”US & PRESIDENT OF TOYS“R“US STUDIOS
Kim Miller Olko
Throughout her career, Kim has worked with a multitude of well-known brands, A-list celebrities and studios including Paramount, Warner Brothers, PBS and CBS. She is an active member of the woman’s leadership organization, Chief.
He is the Founder and CEO of the marketing agency Writeful Place. His agency scripts narratives for personalities, brands, and businesses looking to realize unexploited revenue potential.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, FASHION
Prior to WHP, Tony served as the Vice President of Sales at Buffalo Jeans. He began his career at Tommy Hilfiger and has held senior positions at Li & Fung, Global Brands Group, Centric Brands and Marc Ecko Enterprises.
Scott has over 20 years of experience in the retail and executive recruiting sectors. Prior to joining WHP Global, Scott was President of SBC Group, a leading executive search firm.
Before that, Scott was President of The Franklin Mint, the iconic collectibles retailer, where he managed all aspects of the business and ultimately oversaw the successful exit to Sequential Brands Group in 2013. Scott holds a B.A. degree from Albany University.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, LOTTO
He began his career at IBM where he most recently worked in the firm’s corporate acquisitions & divestitures group. Russ holds a B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College and M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business.
HEAD OF DIGITAL, WHP+
Prior to GODIVA, he spent 7 years as Vice President of eCommerce at FreshDirect, the leading online grocer with nearly $800 million in sales per annum during his tenure. He is a board member of BWG Strategy and eCom Advisory. Ron has both his undergraduate degree and MBA from The George Washington University.
Eva is a seasoned executive with 14+ years of experience in licensing, brand strategy, international marketing, and business development for leading brands such as ELLE, Coach and L’Oreal.
Prior to joining the company, Eva managed the ELLE and ELLE DÉCOR licensing business in the Americas for over 7 years. At WHP, Eva oversees Business Development across all verticals including fashion, hard goods and athletic.
From Paris to New York, her experience spans both domestic and international markets, with a deep knowledge of the North and Latin American markets. She has a proven leadership in building brands, implementing omni-channel strategies, and identifying strategic partnerships.
Eva holds a double master’s degree in business marketing from the University Lyon III (France) and Communications & Marketing from Universitat de Valencia (Spain).