Craig Brod, Ph.D
CEO and Director
Dr. Brod has more than 25 years of experience in retail development, strategic planning and innovation for businesses in the United States and Asia. He is the founder of Imaginarium Toy Centers Inc., a national chain of educational toy stores with peak sales of $650 million that was later purchased by Toys ”R” Us Inc. Dr. Brod was executive vice president for WPI-Koll real estate, where he was responsible for store mix, merchandising concepts and brand development. He has conducted consumer initiatives for companies as diverse as Sesame Street and Reebok. Dr. Brod is a founder of Just Cause Investors, Inc., a firm that specializes in strategic planning and raising money for social impact businesses, and holds a Ph.D. in clinical and organizational psychology.
Mr. Siffert previously served as Director of Product Operations at lululemon athletica where he devised and implemented protocols and business practices in the areas of sourcing and product development for an Internationally recognized company. His vision, dedication, and drive was an integral part of the success story that has become lululemon. Mr. Siffert also served for over 19 years at Nike Inc. where he developed global sourcing strategies for the Nike Outdoor and Global All Conditions Gear divisions. Under his guidance and by executing his strategies and innovations, he streamlined sources and processes helping Nike Outdoor product realizing some of the greatest results the brand had ever seen in terms of profit, growth, and branding. Mr. Siffert also managed the Nike European Liaison Office and was instrumental in helping open and expand sourcing throughout Europe with great success.
Mr. Nowodworski is a Certified Public Accountant [CPA] with 30 years’ experience in financial services and retail. Of particular value to RYU is Mr. Nowodworski’s experience as Chief Financial Officer of Lucy Activewear, Inc. (“Lucy”), a company that was acquired by VF Corporation, which is a $7 billion public company. Lucy designs, sources, and retails women’s active wear through approximately 65 retail locations with annual sales exceeding $75 million. Mr. Nowodworski supported Lucy’s growth from 28 locations to 75 locations with over 700 employees in approximately 20 states. In addition to his experience at Lucy, Mr. Nowodworski has completed over 85 operating leases for a diverse group of retailers and has significant experience in developing banking relationships, and placements of term loans. Mr. Nowodworski also has extensive experience in point of sale and retail information systems.
Kelly has more than 30 years of experience in specialty retailing. She has been involved with brands in growth strategy – Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, White House|Black Market and mature brands – Express, adidas, etc. Of particular value to RYU is Kelly’s experience as General Merchandise Manager at The White House|Black Market. There she led the team pre and post-acquisition with Chico’s FAS, Inc. She was part of the management team that grew the store base from 106 stores to over 350 stores in the five years she was with the company. From a total revenue of $100 M to over $350 M. This was in conjunction with growing the store footprint from 1,200 square feet to 2,500 square feet and achieving comps and operating margins in the double digits.
In addition, Kelly has a deep understanding of product development and an acute eye for trend and design. Her strong financial acumen drives profitability by understanding garment life cycle, presentation in store and managing all important Key Performance Indicators.
Munir has been President of Asia Asset Management Inc. since May 2003. Mr. Ali was a Director of Silverstone Resources Corp. from February 2, 2007 to May 21, 2009, which was sold for 190 million dollars to Silver Wheaton. He has been the Director of Zena Mining Corp. since May 2008.
Mr. Marcus is Senior Managing Director at Hedgeharber and President of Evolution Trading Partners, LLC, Bill joins the board with 28 years of experience in building and managing institutional trading firms in financial derivative markets. He shares his expertise in managing complex institutional relationships; client development; trading, sales and capital introductions; building teams, product lines and new businesses; and risk management.
Mr. Wallster is a businessman, geologist and a prospector with more than 30 years of experience. He was president and founder of Roughrider Uranium Corp., a company acquired by Hathor Exploration Limited in 2006. Mr. Wallster and his team are widely credited in the mineral exploration sector for the discovery of the Hathor’s Roughrider deposit. In January of 2012, Hathor became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc as part of a CAD$650 million acquisition. He is now a director of Kivalliq Energy Corporation, a uranium company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Mr. Wallster is a member of Kivalliq’s audit committee and chair of its compensation committee.