So you want to know a little about me? Here’s the skinny. First off, the last name is pronounced with an “i” (like eye). Not “fee-man”, not “fine-man”, not “simon”.
I’ve been in the dotcom biz since 1996 (see below for the official list). I grew up in the San Fernando Valley during the height of the Valley Girl days. I was so valley that I wore parachute pants with Zodiac shoes, hung out at the Sherman Oaks Galleria and even played against Dweezil Zappa in little league (dude had a wicked fastball). I’ve been working at PoolDawg.com since 2004 and have grown the company from a virtual unknown to one of the most recognized brands in the billiards industry.
Anyway, back to the story. After getting my BA in English and teaching Special Ed for a couple of years, I decided to grab the wife, move out to Colorado and get my MBA. While I don’t miss LA all that much, I do miss going to Chavez Ravine and watching my Dodgers. I still make it back to LA a couple times a year to visit the family (as pretty much my entire family still lives out there), but it would take someone backing a dumptruck full of cash in my driveway to get me to move back there. Too much traffic and I really hate driving.
The things you’re going to read about here are: Jewish stuff, marketing stuff, advertising, SEO, ecommerce, Dodgers, CU Buffs football/basketball and some good ol’ fashioned sports entertainment. Yes, I watch men in tights do crazy stunts and bumps in the squared circle. Been a fan since the early 80s. Deal.
As for the people that put up with me, I’ve got a lovely shiksa wife, two wonderful kids and a sweet but completely insane St. Bernard named Oscar. Every now and again, I’ll talk about the JDRF and Type 1 as my oldest was diagnosed at the age of 11.
University of California Riverside: BA – English
University of Colorado Boulder: MBA – Marketing
PoolDawg.com (2004 to Present): President. I handle all of the marketing as well as manage the day to day stuff, take care of my staff and sweat the P&L.
Westwood College (2003 to Present): I’m also an adjunct instructor for Westwood College’s school of marketing (undergrad classes). I’ve taught Internet Marketing, Customer Serivce, Consumer Behavior, Intergrated Marketing Communications, Principles of Marketing, Line Supervision and a handful of other classes.
Billiards Congress of America (2007-2008): Consultant. Did some consulting work, helping the BCA build out their GenerationPool.com website.
HC Muscle, Inc (2003-2004): Director of Marketing. Took care off the company’s online marketing, online strategic relationships, affiliate marketing. Also wrote tons of spiffy copy to help people understand what exactly our bodybuilding supplements did.
eUniverse/Fox Interactive (2003): Marketing Consultant. Built out affiliate, marketing and strategic relationships for the company’s online skill gaming properties. Company was bought by Fox Interactive then bought and sold a couple more times.
Sports & Gear, LLC (2002-2003): Director of Marketing. Online marketing, direct mail, print marketing, outdoor marketing all for the purpose of selling racquetball equipment.
The Toy Lodge (2000-2003): Owner. Took a stab at running my own online toy store. Shortly after launch, the dotcom bubble burst, followed by the 9/11 event which made everyone fearful of ordering anything through the mail. Had some fun, but in the end couldn’t get enough cash flow going to make it a full time operation.
Achieve Communications (2000-2001): Director of eCommerce. Worked with a local company named Spire Media to build and roll out a fully functional eCommerce website with all the bells and whistles. The primary focus of the company though was to provide online tools for students, teachers and parents to communicate with each other (along the lines of companies like Infinite Campus). The idea was ahead of its time and the business shut down.
Kazoo Toys (1999-2000): eCommerce Consultant. Helped local toy store Kazoo & Company get online and grow from an local establishment to a well known and trusted online store that serves the world.
KBToys.com (1997-1999): Product Marketing Manager. Was employee #4 at Brainplay.com (the company that eventually became KBToys.com). Helped the company get into the educational toy, video game and DVD markets along with greatly expanding their existing educational software offering. The company was eventually bought by KB Toys which was then bought by Toys R Us.
Mattel Interactive (1996-1997): eCommerce Manager. Prior to acquisition, the company was known as The Edutainment Catalog. Built out the Edutainment Catalog website, was on the forefront of affiliate and pay per click marketing and grew the web property substantially. Company was bought by The Learning Company which was then bought by Mattel Interactive).
Before all that, I taught At Risk/Special Ed kids at Hathaway Sycamores in Los Angeles. You want a challenge? Try teaching Special Ed. I did it for two years and have tons of respect for anyone who’s made a career out of it.
I’ve also been asked to speak at some events, although it doesn’t happen very often. Here’s where you might have seen me stumble through some seriously awful Powerpoint presentations:
- Direct Marketing Assoc (DMA) ACCM 2008: Marketing Online with a Shoestring Budget
- MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer 2008: The Magic of Keywords – How They Can Increase Traffic
- Direct Marketing Assoc (DMA) ACCM 2009: Beyond the Buy Button – Why Price and Product Are No Longer Enough
- Mobile Shopping 2013: Creating A Personalized and Seamless Experience Across Touchpoints to Lead Customers Down the Path to Purchase
- Mobile Shopping 2014: Increasing Customer Loyalty and Lifetime Value