Dr. Knishinsky is the lead developer in the proposed project. In the corporate world, he initiated an imports division at Armour Food Co. that he grew to $150 million in sales, and with Mr. Pollack, formed Damar International, a food importing company. Dr. Knishinsky has been a real estate developer for over 35 years, and has significant experience in marketing and retail. Dr. Knishinsky has developed shopping centers, office buildings and apartment complexes, as well as the first for-profit aquarium in the United States in Newport, Kentucky, the OdySea Experience at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, and more recently, Butterfly Wonderland Laser+ Mirror Maze, and OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Knishinsky received his PhD from Arizona State University, and his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Calvin, an avid birder and conservationist, spent 20 years in the oil exploration and development business. In 1980, he formed JRC Oil which he later sold to Snyder Oil in 1985. Thirty-three wells from the sale of JRC became the foundation for Bataa Oil, Inc., Mr. Calvin’s solely-owned oil exploration company. Over 16 years, Bataa Oil grew to over 350 wells and became one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in Colorado. Mr. Calvin sold the majority of Bataa Oil assets to Merit Energy in 2001. Mr. Calvin’s other successful ventures include a home and garden retail store, restaurants, amusement park, office buildings, and most notably 1st Choice Bank, a privately-held bank in Greeley, Colorado. As the founding director and one of the controlling shareholders, Mr. Calvin was instrumental in the banks success having grown to seven branches with assets of $410 million. Wells Fargo & Co. purchased the bank in 2002.
Mr. Rubinstein has deep experience in the music and entertainment industry. Mr. Rubinstein was partner and founder of Segel, Rubinstein & Goldman, a business management firm that handled the financial affairs of prominent entertainers including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Eagles, David Geffen, Joni Mitchell and Billy Joel. Mr. Rubinstein served as Chairman and CEO of American Broadcasting Company’s music division and purchased United Artists Records establishing acts such as Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, and Crystal Gayle. A pioneer in the programming, marketing and distribution of digital music, he founded and sold DMX, Inc. and XTRA Music in Europe, which provides continuous, commercial-free programming. Mr. Rubinstein has been a board member of the Board of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and served as the director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CKE Restaurants, Non-Executive Chairman of US Global Investors Inc. (GROW), and Chairman of SpendSmart (SSPC) and also serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee of SpendSmart. Mr. Rubinstein also successfully served as co-founder and Chairman of Bel Air Savings & Loan Association. Additionally, Mr. Rubinstein served as financial advisor to The Dollywood Company and assisted in the development and formation of the theme park for Dolly Parton and Silver Dollar city.
Mr. Knishinsky comes from Bain & Co. where he worked alongside CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies addressing their highest priority strategic needs, with deep experience in growth, adjacency, performance improvement, and operations strategy. Mr. Knishinsky has a broad range of industry experience from media, high-tech, retail, telecom, energy, industrials, education, and healthcare. Mr. Knishinsky also has experience in high-tech and retail, as well as start-up operating experience. Mr. Knishinsky has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and earned a dual undergraduate degree in Finance and Management Information Systems with Honors from the University of Arizona.
Mr. Knishinsky is the Chief Marketing Officer at OdySea in the Desert. Prior to joining OdySea, he acted as the Executive Director, Aesthetics Marketing for Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation. Mr. Knishinsky was responsible for Worldwide Marketing activities for the $250 million franchise at the publicly traded company. During his tenure, the company sold to Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Knishinsky has also served as a Management Consultant in the areas of marketing, supply chain, and operations, in addition to deep advertising agency experience. Mr. Knishinsky is the author of 3 published books, which have been translated into 5 languages worldwide. Mr. Knishinsky earned his undergraduate in Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State Univesrity and his MBA degree from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business.
Mr. Charbeneau is Vice President/General Manager at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona. Charbeneau has dedicated his career to the zoological operations, hospitality, and entertainment industries, working at nationally acclaimed aquariums, theme parks, and resorts for over 30 years throughout his career. Mr. Charbeneau has managed large, complex operations along with participating and managing large start-up operations. Mr. Charbeneau is an active participant in conservation and education initiatives, a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), and sits on several AZA steering committees. Mr. Charbeneau has also held positions on several boards of directors throughout his storied career.
Mrs. Ponce is the Executive Director of Marketing for OdySea in the Desert. Before joining OdySea she worked at The Clorox Company leading Marketing for several iconic brands such as Glad and Hidden Valley. In her role, Mrs. Ponce was responsible for delivering revenue and profit goals, as well as all consumer facing elements of the brands including product positioning, advertising, consumer promotions, packaging, pricing, and new product launches. Prior to Clorox, Mrs. Ponce worked in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs on a portfolio management team, as well as advising private clients on their investment strategies. Mrs. Ponce earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard University.
Mr. Pollack is a developer in the proposed project. Mr. Pollack was a senior lending officer in the import/export department of a major financing company for a number of years. Mr. Pollack has been a financial officer for numerous companies in the food, finance and real estate industry for over 30 years. Mr. Pollack has co-developed shopping centers, office buildings and apartment complexes, as well as the Newport Aquarium. Mr. Pollack is a graduate of City College, New York.