Epic Rights Team

Epic Rights has assembled a stellar group of branding, licensing, social media and merchandising professionals with diverse backgrounds and specialties, including: brand development, brand extension licensing, celebrity social media marketing, music merchandising, consumer products, sports and gaming, concert promotion, retail and global partnerships, legal, financial, operations and more. Each of our executives brings tremendous experience and expertise, plus a reputation for being “best in the business.”

Dell Furano

CEO

Dell has over 30 years of unparalleled experience in the music, entertainment and sports merchandising, branding and licensing business. He is best known as the pioneer and current leader in the worldwide music artist merchandising and licensing industry. Dell has worked closely with talent and their management in developing merchandising and licensing programs for premier bands and artists including:

The Beatles, John Lennon, KISS, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, The Who, Tim McGraw, Shakira, Barbra Streisand, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Grateful Dead and many others.

After graduating from Stanford University, Dell partnered with his brother, Dave Furano, and the legendary concert promoter Bill Graham to co-found Winterland Productions, the leading merchandising and licensing company in the early days of the concert industry. Winterland Productions was acquired by CBS Records in 1985 and subsequently sold to MCA/Universal in 1988.

In 1993, Dell became the founding CEO of Sony Signatures, Sony Corporation’s powerhouse entertainment, merchandising, licensing and consumer products division. Dell directed the licensing for Columbia and Tri-Star Pictures and Television, as well as the highly successful licensing program for the France-based World Cup Soccer Tournament.

In 1999 Furano founded Sony Signatures Network and expanded into the official artists’ websites, social media, VIP Ticketing/Fan Club and e-commerce business. Live Nation acquired Signatures Network in January 2008. Dell oversaw the Live Nation Merchandise division until the end of 2012.

Dell is a Board Member of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), the primary trade organization for the worldwide licensing industry.

Phil Cussen

President/COO

Phil is a highly accomplished senior Financial and Operations executive with 30+ years in the music industry. From 2005 to 2011, Phil served as President and COO of Live Nation Merchandise, formerly Signatures Network (SNI), the leading global music merchandising company. For SNI, Phil secured financing and invested in infrastructure to support the rapidly growing online businesses, while packaging the company for sale to Live Nation. At Live Nation, he successfully integrated six Live Nation subsidiaries into one cohesive business unit, while eliminating $10+ million in annual overhead. Prior to Live Nation, from 1999-2005, Phil served as CFO, CCE Music West, the $500+ million dollar concert promoter segment of Clear Channel. With a financial staff of 18 professionals, he managed the finances of 22 companies with 10,000 employees. Phil upgraded the financial systems and reorganized staff responsibilities, creating effective partnerships between business unit leaders and financial personnel.

Kym Furano

EVP Brand Development

Kym has over 20 years of experience in the music, entertainment law, branding and licensing industries. She started her career in NYC, working directly with renowned entertainment attorney Allen Grubman from 1990 to 2003. Upon moving to the West Coast, Kym joined Signatures Network as head of Creative Services and Brand Development from 2003 to 2008. She recruited and managed a staff of art designers and production artists, overseeing all areas of creative development for clients including: Madonna, Barbra Streisand, The Beatles, John Lennon, KISS, Coldplay, Ozzy Osbourne, Justin Timberlake, Kim Kardashian, Fergie, Maroon Five, Fleetwood Mac, Lenny Kravitz, Black Eyed Peas and Sex Pistols.

Kym instituted the digital archiving of designs and creative assets at Signatures Network which greatly streamlined and improved the creative design process. She was also responsible for directing Signatures Network’s highly successful Trunk Vintage program, as well as innovative apparel programs with Junkfood, Jem Sportswear and Jerry Leigh casual wear with major high-end specialty retailers including Fred Segal, Planet Blue and Kitson, along with Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s.

Lisa Streff

EVP Global Licensing

Lisa is a highly accomplished Consumer Products Senior Executive with unmatched experience in global partnerships and brand development across multiple mediums in entertainment licensing including Film, TV, Character and Music.

She was most recently with SMC Entertainment Group as Executive VP Consumer Products, where she launched a major consumer products company. Brands included The Jungle Book TV Series, Poppy Cat, H2O Just Add Water, Dance Academy, and Angry Little Girls!

Prior to SMC, Lisa was Senior VP Global Partnerships and Licensing for John Wayne Enterprises, where she built corporate/promotional partnerships, and expanded the global awareness of the John Wayne brand. She executed classic and lifestyle licensing programs, and secured international agents around the world. Her other significant entertainment industry experience includes a role as Senior VP Consumer Products at DIC/Cookie Jar Entertainment, where she oversaw such brands as Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Mommy & Me, Richard Scarry, Johnny Test, Lucha Libre and a library of others. Lisa started her entertainment career at Equity Toys, and then spent eight years as a Director for NBC Universal, working on such highly recognizable brands as Jurassic Park, The Fast and The Furious, Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, Curious George, The Land Before Time, Little Engine that Could and many others.

She is a graduate of San Diego State University-California State University.

Roger “Bucky” Brattin

SVP Tour/Event Sales

Bucky has spent three decades as a senior executive in the concert merchandising industry. He began his career with Bill Graham and Winterland Productions in 1980. Over the years, Bucky has directed and managed the worldwide concert merchandise sales for many top artists and bands including such notable names as: The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Madonna, KISS, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne, Tina Turner, The Who, Aerosmith, Sting, Supertramp, Elton John and Billy Joel.

Bucky has worked all over the world, first relocating to London In 1982, when he accepted the position of Managing Director and VP of Winterland Productions’ UK operation. For the next 10 years, he orchestrated the establishment of tour, retail and licensing operations in Western and Eastern Europe, the Far East, Japan, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa.

Bucky led the merchandising programs for a number of high profile events, including the 1986 Prince’s Trust Concert in London, working with Prince Charles and Lady Diana at the Royal Albert Hall, two NFL Wembley Stadium football matches, Michael Jackson History tour, 1999 World Cup France Soccer Tournament, and the 1985 “We Are The World” London Wembley event.

Bucky has also worked for Barbra Streisand for the past 15 years and recently completed Barbra’s 2012-2013 world tour.

Jesper Poulsen

VP of Artist and Brand Development

Jesper has over 10 years experience in artist brand development, licensing, product development and digital media.
In 2004, Jesper was recruited by Signatures Network for developing Signatures companywide technology platforms for artists brand licensing and social media. At Live Nation, Jesper was Director of Licensing Development and established their digital archiving infrastructure.

Jesper’s main focus will be launching Epic’s global online licensing platform and directing its implementation with international licensing agents and licensees. He has a broad knowledge of all genres of music and artists and is also part of the Epic A&R team.

Jesper has a degree in Business from Denmark.

Amanda Ayre

VP of VIP Ticketing and Fan Experiences

Amanda has over 10 years experience in the music industry.  Upon graduating from Northeastern University  with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications she immediately began working for Paid Inc in Boston, Massachusetts.  As Executive Director of Talent and  VIP Services, Amanda worked with artists and managers to develop and implement successful fan clubs and VIP programs. Clients included; Aerosmith, The Moody Blues, DOWN, Drowning Pool, Patti Labelle, The Cars, Motely Crue and Cheap Trick.   As a road veteran, she has toured and coordinated VIP experiences in over 15 countries, 4 continents and counting.

Amanda’s ability to work directly with Artists, Managers,  and Epic’s partners, has played a large role in her success in creating innovative and successful VIP experiences and fan communities.

Craig “Talent” Elias

Executive Director of Creative Services

Talent is a highly dynamic creative professional with a strong eye for style and high-concept. Transitioning from a renowned graffiti artist to a successful Art Director, Talent has over 15 years of creative experience. Talent’s art was initially noticed by UCLA, where he was commissioned to paint a mural. UCLA also invited him to be a guest speaker on the arts. Talent crossed over to become a professional artist and has worked on a wide range of projects including Von Dutch Originals, Harley-Davidson, AMC’s The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Fender Guitars and The Arena Football League. While launching his luxury fashion career at Trunk, LTD as a senior designer, Talent created trend-setting, chic designs and curated the Harley-Davidson line. He also handled exclusive specialty projects including a John Varvatos collaboration for VH1 Rock Honors. Talent most recently served as Art Director at Live Nation Entertainment where he created and directed projects for: KISS, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, The Beatles, Lenny Kravitz, Slash, Chris Rock, Black Eyed Peas, Mötley Crüe, Sex Pistols, The Who, Ringo Starr, AC/DC and celebrity Kim Kardashian.

Talent has worked on projects for over 100 artists in the last decade. His ability to work directly with entertainers is a key factor in his success. Talent’s creative experience spans multiple industries: Automotive/Motorcycle, Fashion/Apparel, Music/Entertainment, Food/Beverage and Action Sports.

Steve Gertsman

A&R Consultant

Steve is a longtime executive in the music merchandise industry, having started with Dell Furano at Winterland Productions and going on to Sony Signatures & Signatures Network. He subsequently ran his own company, representing such artists as Eric Clapton, Queen, Josh Groban, Cream, Stray Cats and Van Morrison. He has now rejoined Dell at Epic Rights in artist relations.

Hiro Fukunaga

Senior Executive of Business Development

Hiroyuki has over 25 years of experience in Western business development with Japanese and Asian companies. Hiro specializes in celebrity and entertainment branding, licensing and Digital media.

He is responsible for developing Japan and Asian business opportunities for Epic’s clients including Kiss, Celine Dion, Madonna, AC/DC, Aerosmith, One Direction, Woodstock, CBGB , Rock & Brews, Rock Paper Photo Fine Art Photography and others. Hiro is a graduate of University of California, Irvine.

Meghan Mernin

Director of Licensing

Meghan began working in Licensing in 2014, joining Epic Rights shortly after its launch. With a background of 10 years in hospitality management and service, Meghan’s leadership skills and work ethic led her to her current role as an integral part of the Licensing Department.

Meghan works to identify new and incremental business and develop licensing strategies across multiple product categories to maximize company revenue. She has been instrumental in the licensing development and brand expansion for brands such as AC/DC, KISS, John Lennon, Woodstock and Multi-Artist agreements in key categories such as Digital Media, Publishing/Coloring & Activity, Credit Cards and Bank Cards, Stationery and Collectibles.  She has facilitated in the global expansion of Epic Rights’s artists by aiding in the implementation and management of International Agents around the world.

Meghan holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Old Dominion University

Francesca Pascolini

Licensing Executive

Francesca has dedicated her career of over 15 years to serving entertainment and art-based brands and artists to help craft, protect and monetize their assets through impactful branded content.

Her experiences have ranged from working in brand marketing, licensing and retail development in a large entertainment organization, NBC Universal, to a premier international agency working with best-in-class corporate brands.

Most recently as Executive Director of Marketing and Retail Development at Global Icons, she worked with high profile corporate brands and was instrumental in guiding growth of the clients’ licensing programs through strategic manufacturing and retail partnerships for Ford Motor Company, BMW Group, Honda and Dannon, among others.

During her time as Senior Manager with NBC Universal Consumer Products Group, Francesca cultivated licensing relationships, generated brand awareness in the marketplace and increased retail sales performance through promotional overlays. She worked on major entertainment properties including Jurassic Park, The Fast & The Furious, King Kong, The Cat in the Hat and Curious George.

Epic Rights Partners

Dan Levin

Dan is a veteran talent and licensing executive with vast experience in the entertainment and retail industries. After practicing entertainment law for almost a decade, Dan created Levin Entertainment Co., which later became Associated Talent Management (ATM), a full service personal management company specializing in representing expert talent, developing programs for cable television networks and personality brand licensing. In 2009, ATM united with global licensing agency Beanstalk (a subsidiary of Omnicom) to launch its Los Angeles office. At Beanstalk, Dan managed the agency’s entertainment and celebrity business and was responsible for expanding its roster by signing several high profile clients, as well as creating new service offerings. In 2012 he joined Sandow Media and its affiliated entity, Culture+Commerce, to develop the global expansion of the iconic Fred Segal brand, and completed a master license for the territory of Japan, retail locations in Las Vegas and at the new LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Dan has a strong history of creating innovative relationships with prominent retailers and manufacturers that include Office Depot, Macy’s, Sears, QVC, Home Shopping Network, Mon Cheri, PK Lifestyle, Smith+Noble, Three Day Blinds, Antebi Footwear, Flexsteel, Catalina Lighting, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, ToysRUs and many others.

Dan holds a B.S. from the University of Miami and a J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

 Doug Furano

Custom Rights LLC-Consultant

Doug has over 10 years experience in the music industry specializing in artist’s online sales and marketing. Beginning in 2004 with Signatures Network, Doug spearheaded the development of important new revenue streams by striking partnerships with Hewlett Packard, Zazzle, CafePress, Art.com, Pictopia, Printroom, DesignByHumans and others. Doug also implemented the Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization program for Signatures industry leading roster of music clients.

In 2008, Custom Rights provided e-commerce, digital media and design crowdsourcing consultancy to Live Nation. Continuing today, Custom Rights assists rights holders to take advantage of emerging trends in community design, social media and on demand manufacturing. Custom Rights has worked with clients and artists in the merchandising, licensing and action sports industries.

Doug has a BA Degree in Communication Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 

Myles Silton

General Counsel

Myles serves as General Counsel to Epic Rights, bringing nearly 25 years of legal practice to the position. Prior to Epic Rights, Myles served as General Counsel of Signatures Network, Inc. and Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs at Live Nation Merchandise, where he focused on celebrity licensing, merchandising, fan experiences and e-commerce. Myles has been a partner at Bay Area-based Cooley Godward, LLP (Information Technology Dept.) and LA’s Wolf Rifkin (Entertainment Department).

Myles has worked with a wide array of entertainers, talent management, licensors and licensees, in connection with merchandising, e-commerce, licensing, co-branding, product and tour sponsorships and endorsements. He has extensive experience representing Internet-based new media, mobile and high technology companies and has been a speaker at SXSW and various ABA events. Myles is past head of the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries’ Division on Licensing & Merchandising. Myles is a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. English) and holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; he is a member of both the New York and California State Bars.