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Multi-industry disciplines as company operators
Affinity is a small group of talented and successful entrepreneurs and senior executives who get excited about helping small businesses grow. Our partners have been instrumental in the founding, development and operation of over 100 companies in a variety of industries including:
 

  • Telecommunications
  • Manufacturing
  • Entertainment
  • Consumer products
  • Construction
  • Aviation
  • Internet
  • Food
  • Retail
  • Real estate
  • Sports marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Publishing
  • Distribution
  • Transportation

Affinity Partners are company operators and can identify with a business owners issues. As founders or executives of successful companies, we have worked through most situations small companies encounter.
 

Biographies
Paul Butcher
Ian Davison
Carlos Gendron
Brian M. Gilhuly
John T. Ragland Jr.

Advisors
Bradford C. Brown
Stephen Diorio
Dave Gwozdz
Robert H. Hallam  


 
Managing Directors
 
 
Paul Butcher
Managing Director

 
Mr. Butcher recently joined Affinity Partners and is working with early stage media and technology companies. He spent the past 12 years with the world's largest sports marketing firm International Management Group (IMG). At IMG he lead several of their Internet initiatives and was active in business development. He was instrumental in the growth of several new businesses including the David Leadbetter Golf Academy and Stewart Racing and more recently Mysportsguru.com. He also managed several high profile professional sports clients providing financial and wealth management as well as sponsorship and contract negotiations.
Mr. Butcher was qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in London and has a degree in Economics and Finance from Southampton University, England.
 
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Ian Davison
Managing Director

 
Mr. Davison joined Affinity to lead the firm's technology advisory practice. He is a seasoned high-technology entrepreneur responsible for several successful startups. He founded Xedia, which designs, manufactures and distributes a high-performance network switch product focused on bandwidth-intensive applications for the computer internetworking market. Xedia was recently sold to Lucent for $250+ million. Prior to Xedia, Davison founded Octocom, which became a world leader in remote network access and communications management technology, merged with Telebit, and was ultimately sold to Cisco Systems for $200 million. Mr. Davison has a First Class Honors Degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Nottingham, England.
 
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Carlos Gendron
Senior Associate

 
Twenty+ years experience as an entrepreneur, sales and business development executive, on management team of several successful start-ups. Experienced in consumer products, marketing and advertising, Internet & Interactive technologies, partnerships and business development...Prior to Affinity Partners, Carlos was Senior Manager of Business Development at LeadMasters, a professional services company in Stamford, CT. LeadMasters that develops new business opportunities for its B2B clients in the Insurance, Technology and Business Services & Consulting sectors. Carlos was also Senior Sales Manager for advertising and sponsorship for M-Business Magazine for the Northeast, Eastern Canada and Europe (M-Business is a high technology business magazine focused on the mobile and wireless economy, and is published by CMP Media), Vice President of Sales of Greenfield Healthy Foods, a food start-up (sold in 1994 to Campbell Soup Company), and President/owner of Carlos Gendron & Associates, LLC, a business consultancy specializing in the importation, sales and distribution of consumer goods...Carlos is a graduate of New York's City College School of Architecture's Masters Program, with an Associate's degree in Engineering.
 
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Brian M. Gilhuly
Managing Director

 
Mr. Gilhuly is a founder of Affinity and leads the firm's finance and investment banking areas. He has led many successful financings, acquisitions and divestitures for Affinity clients. A financial background coupled with operational experience from entrepreneurial ventures provides valuable insight to Affinity’s clients. Previously, he founded Fairfield Development Associates, an investment company facilitating real estate development and new venture funding. Mr. Gilhuly is also a founder of Uproar Home, a home furnishings and design company with retail and wholesale manufacturing operations. Formerly, Mr. Gilhuly practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with both public and private practice experience. His private experience focused on working with closely held businesses consulting on a variety of issues including strategic business forecasting, financing and equity placement, new business development, tax planning, and operations management. He began his career in the public practice of Coopers and Lybrand.

Mr. Gilhuly is an honors graduate of Providence College (B.S.) with a major in Accounting and a minor in History of Western Civilization.
 
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John T. Ragland Jr.
Managing Director

 
Mr. Ragland is a founder of Affinity Partners and is focused on early stage company financing and business development. He is the founder of mysportsguru.com, the leading online sports instruction web site. He raised $15 million in capital for the venture and the Forbes Best of the Web Company was recently merged into myteam.com. Prior to mysportsguru, Mr. Ragland was Executive Vice President, Greenfield Healthy Foods, a Division of Campbell Soup. Mr. Ragland was a Co-founder of Greenfield and was responsible for the general management activities since the Company's inception in 1992. In 1994, The Campbell Soup Company acquired Greenfield under a $50 million dollar contract. Prior to Greenfield, Mr. Ragland was Vice President of Communications Corporation of America (CCA) responsible for all sales and marketing. CCA was a start-up Company that contracted with one of the largest telecommunications companies to market their new telephone calling card through the industry's first affinity revenue sharing program. MCI Communications acquired CCA in 1990. Prior to CCA, Mr. Ragland was EVP for Sports Video Network, one of the largest point of sales interactive video networks ever installed at the time. The Company was sold to Herman's World of Sports. From 1985 to 1988, Mr. Ragland worked for ABC Sports and Trans World International, coordinating remote television facility operations for major sporting events.
Mr. Ragland holds a BS degree in Business Administration and Finance from Pepperdine University.
 
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Advisors
Bradford C. Brown
Bradford C. Brown is the Chairman of the National Center for Technology and Law at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. The "Tech Center is a national research center and think tank that examines cutting edge issues relating to the information-based economy. Brad is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Informationweek magazine and writes a monthly column with David Post called "On the Horizon." In 2001 he served as a corporate strategy consultant to Friedman Billings Ramsey, a financial holding company offering investment banking, venture capital, and institutional brokerage services based in the Washington area. During the 2000 Presidential campaign, Brad served on George W. Bush's Information Technology National Steering Committee. Previously, Brad was the Executive Vice President of Technology Affairs and Deputy Managing Director of Shandwick in Washington, D.C. part of the $4 billion Interpublic Group in New York City. Prior to joining Shandwick, he started Western Strategies, a division of Nelson Communications Group (NCG), and managed offices in Washington and Sacramento. He also chaired the company's Technology Practice Group and served on the NCG Executive Committee. During the first Bush Administration, Brad served as the former President's Chief Counsel for Technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce and as the primary legal counsel for the 3,600-person Technology Administration, which includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has written a number of articles for publications including The Washington Post, the Austin American Statesman, the Washington Business Journal, the San Diego Business Journal, and the Pepperdine Law Review. He is widely quoted on issues relating to technology policy. Brad has also co-authored a desk book for the Attorney Desk Library series published nationally by Clark Boardman Callaghan. He recently joined the Board of Advisors of The Metrics Group, LLC, a start-up that automates the analysis of U.S. patent citations to assess a company's technology position.
 
A graduate of Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts, Brad also holds a Masters Degree from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from The Catholic University of America.
 
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Stephen Diorio
Stephen Diorio (Westport, CT) helps leading organizations find ways to use technology to grow.
He is an established authority in sales and marketing strategy with over 15 years of experience helping top organizations develop high growth strategies.
He has helped over 100 of the world's leading marketers and their agencies to develop growth strategies that take advantage of technology, including; IBM, American Express, Gillette, GE and the Interpublic agencies.
He is the author of Beyond e: The 12 Ways Technology Will Transform Sales & Marketing Strategy (McGraw-Hill) which provides a blueprint for using technology to grow and was selected as one of the top business books of 2002 by Business Book Review.
He is the founder of IMT Strategies - a research and consulting firm that helped marketing leaders use technology to grow their businesses and produced leading edge best practices research.
Mr. Diorio has held marketing management positions at Citicorp Direct Marketing and GE Sales and Marketing and was a principle with Oxford Associates (Now Market Bridge Consulting)
He had has published a number of research studies on CRM, permission marketing, e-business and interactive direct marketing strategies and is widely quoted in the media including Business Week, CBS Radio, and Sales & Marketing Magazine.
Mr. Diorio has performed extensive speaking and training on technology-enabled selling strategies for leading associations and organizations including; 3M, GE, American Express, Yahoo!, The Direct Marketing Association, DCI, the Syracuse University Graduate School Of Sales & Marketing.
He holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Engineering from Bucknell University.
 
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Dave Gwozdz
As a founding member of DoubleClick, in January of 1996, Dave helped launch what has become one of the Internet's biggest corporate success stories. From a basement in Atlanta, he help to build the original sales organization for what is now a $1.7 Billion, NYC based, Internet advertising solutions corporation with offices in 16 Countries.
In the race to capture share of the growing online advertising market, Dave worked with the founding partners and devised and implemented DoubleClick's original media sales products and strategies. On both U.S coasts he built, trained and managed multiple industry leading sales teams in all areas of online advertising, sponsorships, promotions and e-mail. Holding the positions of Advertising Sales Director, Regional Vice President, and National Sales Director. He also evaluated technology companies and web-based media companies helping to identify potential strategic alliances and business development partnerships.
During his 5 and a half years building DoubleClick's media group, Dave initiated and managed high level relationships with virtually all of the country's top marketers and their Advertising Agencies including IBM, Disney, Intel, The GAP, Microsoft, COKE, DELL, American Airlines, etc… Along the way, he helped advise hundreds of fledgling Internet startups on sales and marketing strategies.
He has represented DoubleClick as speaker and panelist at numerous Internet events, conferences, and trade shows. And has appeared on CNNfn, CNET, and The Wall Street Journal.
In total Dave has spent 15 years in the media business, holding various sales and sales management positions with CMP Media, McGraw-Hill and Ziff Davis.He also Founded and sold Hot Link Media, one of the first online advertising companies in existence. He is currently a partner at Seacliff Ventures, a Connecticut based strategic consulting and investment company helping Internet startups which he founded in 2001.
Dave holds a BA in Business Management from Providence College.
 
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Robert H. Hallam
Bob Hallam’s broad experience in research, communications, marketing and management reflects the skills and scope of his business career. Mr. Hallam has managed a research division of a Fortune 500 Company, created his own research company, was one of the senior partners of the largest marketing consultancy firm in the US. and has managed a region of the world s largest image management firm.
Consultancy projects supervised by Mr. Hallam have included work with AT&T, American Can, Corning Class Works, Citicorp, Gillette, Gulf Western, Eastern Airlines, Haines, IBM, Lever, 3M, and Sun Oil among others.
Mr Hallam began his career with Scott Paper Company, progressing from its quality control training program through various marketing positions leading to the Director of Marketing Research. He subsequently started his own marketing research firm, merged it two years later and became President of the merged company. Moving on to Marketing Corporation of America, he held various positions over the fourteen years as partner, leaving MCA in 1986 as Vice Chairman.
Mr. Hallam went on to become Managing Director at Landor Associates, running the East Coast operation of the worlds largest strategic design and image management firm.
Mr. Hallam has been recognized as one of the more pragmatic marketing consultants, combining analytical and conceptual skills with how to skills. Strategic Planning, Marketing Planning, Distribution Strategies, Market Research, and Image Management are focused areas of Mr. Hallam’s career.
Mr Hallam served on the Executive Committee of The Wharton School and was on the Advisory Committee to the Chairman of the Marketing Department. A graduate of Wharton’s Undergraduate and Graduate schools, Mr. Hallam has also attended the Survey Research Institute at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
 
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