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Execs of 2018: Online Business Leaders Discuss Taking Fresh Approach to Business

Execs of 2018: Online Business Leaders Discuss Taking Fresh Approach to Business

XBIZ World’s “Execs of 2018: The Year in Review” highlights the contributions of senior-level executives in managing and motivating their team and colleagues.

Managing a pool of talent requires a sharp mind. The XBIZ Exec Senior Leadership Award recognizes those individuals with the outstanding ability to motivate, inspire and build solidarity among all levels of personnel.

Each of the executives we spoke to below is among the finalist nominees for the Senior Leadership Award in the digital edition of the 2019 XBIZ Exec Awards.

What leadership achievements are you most proud of this year?

Harmik Gharapetian
Epoch

“I am very proud to be part of the same company that I started with and to stay with them for 20 years. I believe in what Epoch has been doing and it continues to do. I am proud to be leading the same team of sales guys who have also been with me for more than 15 years. I think it brings us consistency and my team make it easy for me to lead — we are like a family — not just at work but outside of work.”

Sam Rakowski
Mr. Skin

“This year I put a lot of focus on company culture. Specifically revisiting what we envision as our company culture and if we are living up to what we perceive and want it to be. As our company has evolved over the years in terms of our focus, goals and even average employee age, I realized that we hadn’t really adjusted ourselves as managers accordingly. We needed to take a step back and reevaluate the type of company and workplace we want to be and then take concrete steps to make it a reality. It’s still a work in progress but I’ve become a lot more engaged with all of our staff over the past few months and I see the morale in the office responding positively to the changes we’ve been making.”

Bree Mills
Gamma

“I am extremely proud to see the continued success and growth of our Pure Taboo studio, which far exceeded my commercial and critical expectations for the year and allowed me to work creatively with so many talented actors in the industry. Our model collaborations, including “The Weight of Infidelity,” are among my proudest moments. I am also very pleased with the ramp-up in content production for Gamma Films as we prepare for the launch of our new master brand, Adult Time, in January 2019.”

Salima S.
Paper Street Media

“In a word: MYLF. During the last year, I have had the distinct pleasure of leading a team of creatives, developers, and marketers through the processes of launching MYLF, our new network. This is the biggest project we have released since Team Skeet in 2007. Our vision for MYLF was enormous and in order to do this well we started the blueprints in 2016 and began shooting and banking content in 2017. We launched this year with over 300 scenes ready to release. Following the radical success we’ve had with the teen market, we wanted to reach a new audience in a niche we hadn’t touched before, which was awesome but also presented new challenges.”

“They say it takes a village and it truly does; MYLF’s immediate success is a testament to each person in the Paper Street Media family who has contributed their creativity, time, and passion. We are team players, we’re always learning, and we’re tenacious. Creating a viable network requires attention to detail in both aesthetics and function, and building a team of persons who were equally passionate about this was exciting. The relationships I built along the way are invaluable. I love my colleagues in this industry and take great care to nurture those who support us. Fueled by motivation and desire to create abundance and pleasure, there is little separation for me between work and personal life. I take our business very personally and am very proud of our results.”

Gary Jackson
CCBill

“2018 was a year of disruption for both CCBill and I. We had positive disruption, as CCBill developed into the exploding broadcast segments and we tagged the new personal fan world with our Lifestyle solo platform. As well, there were the astonishing new subscription designs built into our platform, which have literally saved our merchants hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost subscriptions. And with thousands of merchants directly connected to our Integration Partners program this year, my team have all made huge waves that are making changes in our merchant’s businesses.”

“But we also had negative disruption. That disruption came about as a result of my personal impediment this year, with an accident and surgery literally knocking me off my feet for nearly four months. It was a setback, but with the overwhelming backing of my team and the support of my amazing friends in the industry, it also set me up for a comeback later in the year. I was overwhelmed at how my team stepped up in my absence and continued the development of our CCBill focus, helping and driving the business forward to make the most for CCBill’s customers. As a leader, I attempt to foster an environment of support and dedication to our common goals.”

“I am not always successful, but this year, with the level of disruption, I am undeniably proud of the commitment of my team at CCBill. I am honored by their pledge to do the best for our CCBill family, and for the business of our merchants.”

Axel Vézina
CrakRevenue

“We’ve been able to successfully implement big data analysis in the daily work routines of all our business units. The direct consequence of it has led to a huge surge in more efficient campaigns all across the board. At the same time, we’ve worked a lot on our internal communication strategies which has led to a heck of a lot more collaboration between team members from within just about all departments at Crak. CrakRevenue would be nothing without its 100-plus staff members — and this is where I like to invest my energy: building the CrakRevenue family.”