Mike Reisman, Principal
Mike Reisman is a principal and founding partner of Team Epic. Since 1981, he has been involved with the sponsorship marketing business except for a two-year stint with IBM’s personal computer division in the mid-80′s.
From 1992 to 1995, Mike was a partner in International Sports & Entertainment Strategies where he oversaw that agency’s primary business – Corporate Consulting. ISES enjoyed revenue growth of over 150% over that time period before it was acquired by Clarion Marketing (1996-1999). Over that time period, Mike provided advice and counsel to such clients as FedEx, IBM, Shell Oil, MCI, Coca Cola, Kodak, Nabisco Brands, Reliant Energy, et al. He has also steered the direction of the corporate consulting businesses at ISES predecessor agencies Ohlmeyer Communications (1986-1990) and Sports Partners International (1990-1992). He landed the IBM business in 1986 and the FedEx account in 1992 – relationships the agency still enjoys today.
Mike began his career with the Ladies Professional Golf Association after graduating from St. Lawrence University (BA, Government). He lives in Easton, CT with his wife, Liz, and their children, Samantha and Charlie.
David Grant, Principal
David Grant is a principal and founding partner of Team Epic. Dave is part of the team responsible for overall agency operations, and oversees the agency’s work for clients such as FedEx, Toyota, Mars, and Avis. Dave also manages SRi, the company’s research and measurement arm, as well as the operations based in Charlotte and Cincinnati. He has spent the past 30 years helping corporations identify and leverage opportunities with major rightsholders such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA TOUR, NASCAR and US Olympic Committee.
Prior to the formation of Velocity and Team Epic, Dave served as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Clarion Sports and Entertainment. In six years with Clarion, Dave managed sponsorship activities for clients including Sprint, Chase Manhattan Bank, and Pontiac.
Preceding Clarion, Dave was Director of Sponsorship Programs for the National Basketball Association. At the NBA, he negotiated sponsor agreements and created promotional programs for sponsors including Miller Brewing, Nike, Gatorade, Jeep, Schick and Nestlé. Dave began his career with Grey Advertising in New York City.
Dave holds a B.A. in Managerial Economics from Union College in Schenectady, NY and lives with his wife and two children in Mt. Kisco, NY.
Bob Wilhelmy, Principal
Bob Wilhelmy is a principal and founding partner of Team Epic. Formerly the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of Clarion Marketing and Communications, Bob is a Certified Public Accountant in both Connecticut and New York, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.
He began his professional life at Ernst & Young and has been employed by Dixico, Salomon/Smith Barney and Cardinal Resources, prior to joining Clarion in 1984.
Bob received his BS, BA from Babson College, where he majored in Accounting, Finance and Quantitative Methods.
Michelle Berg, Executive VP
Michelle Berg is an Executive Vice President with Team Epic, where she oversees several agency client accounts, as well as manages the company’s marketing and communications, and oversees personnel management.
Berg started her marketing career after graduating from Florida State University, by working for major advertising agencies in Media Planning roles. Media Planning led Berg to sponsorship marketing, where she worked for International Sports & Entertainment strategies. After the company was sold, Berg left to join Labatt USA, where she was able to direct the company’s promotional efforts for 31 brands of beer. Through her success in this role, Labatt USA moved her into a brand management role on both the Lowenbrau and Dos Equis brands. But it was her passion for sponsorship marketing that reunited her with many of her past managers from ISES, as they formed Velocity Sports & Entertainment (which is now Team Epic today).
Berg joined Team Epic as the first VP, Account Director on the Cingular Wireless business. Over time, she was tapped to play a role in new business development, and was asked to join the agency’s Office Management Group in a leadership position. Through her dedication to the company, she has been able to add other responsibilities, such as marketing and communications, and personnel management.
In 2014, Berg was accepted into the Dentsu Aegis Network (Team Epic’s parent company) Route 500 program, which recognizes high potential employees and offers accelerated management and skills training. Berg was also named in 2011 into the Sports Business Journal’s inaugural class of Game Changers – Women in Sports Business, and was a two-time nominee for the WISE Women of the Year honor.
Michelle lives in Fairfield, CT, with her husband Greg, two children (Alex 15 and Ashley 11), and dog Murphy.
Chris Caldwell, Senior VP Group Director
Chris Caldwell serves as Senior Vice President, Group Director at Team Epic. Chris joined the agency in 2000 and is responsible for the management of accounts including FedEx, Mars Snackfoods and Bose. In his time at Team Epic Chris has also been part of the senior executive team charged with managing the day-to-day operations of the agency, the lead conduit within the Dentsu/Aegis network, and for agency marketing, communication and PR activities.
Other accounts Chris has led include Visa, Citizens Bank and EverBank. Chris came to Team Epic from the ATP Tour, where he served as Global Director of Sponsorship & Sales. With the Tour since 1992, he was responsible for the development and management of its global sponsorship, licensing and promotional programs. Prior to the ATP Tour, he was an Account Executive with the advertising agency Lintas: New York.
He holds a BA in History from Principia College and attended the Karl Eller Graduate School of Management at the University of Arizona. He lives in Westport, Connecticut with his wife and children.
Dede Patterson-DiSabato, VP Group Director
Dede leads Team Epic’s customer entertainment and hospitality group, where our talented team plans the personalized experiences of our clients’ customers at national events across lifestyle, sports and business platforms. Our expertise in creating unique event experiences that actively engage audiences in branded environments is second-to-none. Our team manages all types and sizes of events for both Fortune 500 and smaller companies 24/7, with unparalleled dedication and commitment to delivering high-value memories.
Dede joined the agency in 2000. She started her career in the sports marketing division of Golf Digest and Tennis magazine, managing grassroots golf and tennis programs for the magazines' advertisers. Subsequently, she was Sports Marketing Director for The New York Times Women's Magazines, where she served as Tournament Director for the Family Circle Cup, managed key components of McCall's LPGA Classic and planned multiple advertiser events. Subsequently, Dede was Tournament Director for the Buick Classic PGA TOUR tournament at Westchester Country Club and VP at The Event Company. Since joining Team Epic, she’s been actively involved in a variety of accounts including The New York Times, Golf Digest, Otis and Charles Schwab.
Dede received her BA from DePauw University in English Composition/Education. She is an avid Yankees fan, and lives on four wooded acres in Northern Fairfield County.
Gavin Blawie, VP Group Director
Gavin Blawie is VP Group Director who leads our growing digital practice at Team Epic, from insights to digital strategy, execution and optimization across all clients. A 20+ year veteran of the agency world, Gavin has a motto that sums up his career: “I used to make ads, now I feed feeds”, for marketing in the digital age means conversation = relevance, and as social is the #1 activity sponsors must now strive to earn and feed personal, mobile feeds by being remarkable, participatory and generate rich social proof to help fuel ongoing conversations.
Gavin has been with Epic since January 2014, and has developed a robust suite of digital and social offerings to maximize sponsorship value for our clients, from social listening and strategy development to content, community management and influencer marketing. Understanding the unique role life sport and entertainment play in the sponsorship space, Gavin’s developed our proprietary, pioneering tactic of social intercept, which identifies and targets fans when they are at the peak of emotional engagement, fostering direct conversations between sponsor brands and their fans, creating prospects and advocates.
Prior to joining Epic. Gavin led the brand strategy group at our sister agency 360i, securing their first AOR relationships with Coke, Oreo and Guinness among others. Earlier in his career he had two stints with BBDO New York where he developed integrated Super Bowl campaigns for Pepsi, FedEx and Monster.com.
Gavin received his MBA from UConn and lives in Easton with his wife and children.
Craig Bloomquist, VP Group Director
Craig Bloomquist is charged with continuing the steady growth of SRi as well as fueling the innovative product development the agency is known for. The 25 year market research veteran is also responsible for focusing on all agency operations and client relations. As a partner of Team Epic, Craig leads the agency’s integrated services with the firm.
Throughout his diverse and intense research career with the likes of Ipsos, Synovate, TNS and Yankelovich Partners, Craig has developed expertise with a full-range of research practices and methodologies including: brand equity and positioning, tracking, segmentation, market structure, brand and line extension, conjoint/discrete choice, advertising and concept testing, among others. He has provided business intelligence to such clients as Coca-Cola, AB InBev, Campbell Soup, Citibank, New Balance, Scott’s Miracle Gro, GSK, Mars, McDonald’s and L’Oreal.
Craig holds a BA from the University of Connecticut and is certified to teach high school mathematics if the need should arise. He lives in Newtown, CT with his wife Ginny and son Max.
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