Billy Carmen, co-founder and company CEO, has been an entrepreneur and businessman for the past twenty five years. As owner of specialized retail stores in the Los Angeles, he learned first-hand the challenges faced by retail buyers and managers.
One of those stores was decimated in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, and Billy went on to start an earthquake preparedness company called Quake Secure, to help others avoid what he went through. Unsatisfied with the available tools and products at the time, he developed his own Quake Secure line of earthquake preparedness products, which can now be purchased through Ace Hardware Stores, and many other retailers nationally.
After several successful years with Quake Secure, he became excited by the internet, and founded EiNetCo Internet Services, a web development firm. EiNetCo managed web sites for clients large and small, including Ford, Sony, Hyundai, Cahners, and many others. EiNetCo produced several technology-intensive web sites including an auction web site, numerous online catalogs and storefronts, and even a game show site complete with a pilot TV program. His knowledge of the power and reach of the internet and his visions of its endless possibilities are the inspiration behind Product Exposure Services and the patent-pending SampleRewards system.
When Billy discovered a useful product in Europe that was not available in the U.S., he tracked down the manufacturer, and began importing it for the American Market. In partnership with that same manufacturer, that product was re-designed for the woodworking and DIY markets, and became the highly successful Little Wizard metal detector. He went on to lead Wizard Industries from a self-funded start-up to a respected and recognized brand in the hardware and woodworking world, with a product line of more than 60 SKU's, and international distribution.
One of the keys to the success of the Wizard line of products was the SampleRewards system he developed to promote Wizard's products. He now spearheads the further refinement and expansion of the SampleRewards system for the benefit of other companies. By applying the extensive knowledge he has garnered from his experience in the retail, manufacturing, importing and distribution sectors, he has already helped many SampleRewards and Product Exposure Services clients realize their goals.
Julie Mandell, co-founder and CFO, has been instrumental in the rapid development of Wizard Industries, Inc. After having earned a BA in Psychology & Sociology, as well as a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Administration, Julie went on to run a major corporate catering program for Toyota Corporation, USA.
Following her management success at Toyota, Julie entered the television production business as assistant to the Executive Producer, Creator, and Head Writer of a nationally broadcast television show. As a result of this experience, Julie went on to become a key member of NBC’s Production team for three years.
After taking a break from the business world to raise her two children, a new opportunity arose. Julie joined Billy Carmen to run EiNetCo as CFO and VP of Operations. She is now also serving in that same capacity for Wizard Industries, Inc., Product Exposure Services, Inc. and SampleRewards.com.
Grant has over 20 years of merchandise development experience encompassing retail buying and product development for both manufacturers and suppliers to major store chains. He has also managed major projects for a top London based international design business specializing in retail product innovation.
As a successful Buyer for the UK's leading 370-store home improvement chain, B&Q Plc (www.diy.com ), Grant transformed their consumer lighting offer in 2 years resulting in B&Q becoming the number one lighting retailer in the UK. Over his 10 years as a buyer he has also bought electrical accessories and home décor.
With experience "on both sides" of the retail fence (and the Atlantic), Grant understands the product development and buying process well and therefore brings a valuable insight and contribution to any companies introducing new products into the retail market.
Bruce is a native of Detroit, Michigan, who grew up in the retail hardware and lumber business. Three generations of the Katz Family served the Greater Detroit area through their three retail locations. During more than thirty years in the retail business, he gained invaluable experience in the small business environment, and learned much about human nature.
Responsible for all aspects of the business, from purchasing and sales, to human resources management, he subsequently became involved in the manufacturing world. Bruce took over a roofing products company and spent several years operating both businesses.
Now, after 33 years in the hardware and building industry, the Katz family has sold their retail locations, and Bruce is ready to explore new horizons. Drawing on his experience as both retailer and a manufacturer, he is well aware of the challenges faced by both. He brings this experience to SampleRewards and Product Exposure Services, where his knowledge and insight is proving invaluable.