Board of Directors
Pete Ellis, Chairman & CEO
Pete Ellis has been a leading business innovator with every enterprise he has owned and operated since the mid-1970s. As one of the largest automobile dealers in the western U.S., Ellis pioneered one price selling, bringing consumer-oriented policies to the sale of new and used automobiles. His holding company, P.R. Ellis Company, also owned one of the largest after-market manufacturing companies for van conversions, and his advertising agency, EIIJ, developed campaigns for leading businesses and political figures, including California Governor Pete Wilson.
In 1994-95, using technology and innovative marketing strategies, Ellis launched the first automobile buying and research website, Autobytel. His approach revolutionized an entire industry, for both manufacturers and consumers, and his efficient marketing and transaction platform continues to be the basis for every commercially viable automobile website in existence.
After taking Autobytel public in 1999 (NASDAQ: ABTL), Ellis formed Jubilee Investments. In 1999, Jubilee funded an investment in Spafinder® Wellness, Inc., eventually becoming the majority shareholder, and in 2001 Ellis became chairman and CEO. Under his leadership Spafinder Wellness has become the world’s largest spa marketing and media company, growing from a U.S.-based marketing program to an international platform with joint venture partners in Europe and Asia.
Ellis has been honored by Advertising Age as one of the top marketers in the U.S., and his Internet technology innovations have been made part of the Permanent Research Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Beverly C. Chell, Board Member
Beverly C. Chell is the vice chairman and interim CFO for PRIMEDIA Inc., overseeing and supporting corporate finance, corporate communications, corporate development, government relations, insurance and real estate. Until October 2006, Ms. Chell served as general counsel of PRIMEDIA.
She has been a major presence in the reshaping of the publishing industry since joining Macmillan, Inc. in 1981. At both Macmillan and PRIMEDIA, her ability to structure transactions has been central to the rapid growth of both companies. She has been responsible for more than 250 transactions throughout her career. In 1989, Ms. Chell co-founded PRIMEDIA, then K-III Communications Corporation, with two other veterans of Macmillan, Charles G. McCurdy, president, and former PRIMEDIA Chairman & CEO William F. Reilly.
After entering the publishing industry in 1981 as associate general counsel of Macmillan, Chell played a key role in the takeover battle between Macmillan and the late publishing magnate Robert Maxwell. She was also an influential strategist in the company's many acquisitions and joint ventures, which contributed to Macmillan's status as one of the fastest-growing publishing companies during the 1980's. Before joining Macmillan, Ms. Chell worked for over 10 years at Athlone Industries as a vice president and member of the board of directors, where she first developed her expertise in transactions.
Ms. Chell received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from the New York Law School and an LLM degree from the New York University School of Law. She is very active in helping to solve the problems of public education and is the initiator of the New York City Public Schools Emergency Book Project, a program she spearheaded while on the board of directors of PENCIL, an organization whose aim is to bring business and public education together. The Emergency Book Project enabled one book to be donated to each of the one million city school children for use in classrooms. She also serves on the advisory board of the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Department.
Missy Godfrey, Board Member
Missy Godfrey is a senior operating executive and general manager with a distinguished track record in multiple diverse sectors, including technology, traditional and digital media, advertising, retail & luxury goods, private equity investing and wealth management. She is an expert in the planning and execution of turnarounds, product launches and start-up growth initiatives.
Most recently, Godfrey was the CEO of SocialFlow a software company for social media marketing. She was hired by the Board of Directors to stabilize the SaaS company and raise $10 million from leading Venture Capitalists and strategic investors. Godfrey set the strategy, re-organized the team and positioned the product for accelerated growth. She implemented process and procedures for platform security and operating efficiencies.
Previously, Godfrey was a managing Director for North Sea Partners where she was instrumental in building the Executive Alliance of operating partners in affiliation with New Mountain Capital, a top tier private equity firm in NYC. She also advised nascent media and technology companies on strategies and fundraising, and serves on the boards of several innovative firms in the social commerce, mobile gaming and video curation sectors. In addition, Godfrey serves as a mentor for the Entrepreneurs Roundtable ER Accelerator, an early stage investment fund in New York City.
She joined North Sea from Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Capital where she serves as an Operating Partner since 2004. There she leveraged her vast industry expertise to facilitate advisory and contractual business in mergers, acquisitions and private equity investments. Godfrey completed one of the largest consumer media transactions in 2006.
Godfrey's early start in retail, at Saks Fifth Avenue and Associated Merchandising Corporation, leveraged a successful career in publishing, highly focused on retail/ fashion and luxury goods. Godfrey embarked upon her publishing career at House
Beautiful, overseeing retail promotion. She subsequently held a number of senior publishing, advertising sales and marketing positions at Primedia, Capital Publishing’s Worth, Hearst’s Countryside and American Express’ Departures. During this time, Godfrey was also actively involved in the industry as a member of Cosmetic Executive Women, where she assisted in the development of the long- term philanthropic relationship with Women in Need, as well as The Fashion Group, Advertising Women of New York, The Luxury Marketing Council and Women’s Financial Association.
Prior to joining Morgan Joseph TriArtisan, Godfrey spent two years as a VP Financial Advisor at Sanford Bernstein utilizing her sales, marketing and client relationship skills to assist high net worth individuals with asset management.
Godfrey holds a B.S. from Skidmore College and sits on the Board of Directors for SocialFlow and Youth Service America (YSA). She previously spent seven years as a board member of A Better Chance of New Canaan.
Josh McCarter, Board Member
Josh McCarter is the CEO of Booker Software, Inc., the leading cloud based business management and marketing solution for the spa, beauty, wellness and other service based industries. In 2010, Josh led the spin out of the SpaBooker technology platform from SpaFinder to establish an independent company that ultimately became Booker. Subsequently, Josh steered the company through two successful rounds of funding totaling nearly $50M from investors including Bain Capital Ventures, Revolution, Grotech and TDF. Booker now counts 7000 properties in 73 countries among its clients, including brands such as Sofitel/Accor, Disney, Hilton and Six Senses.
Prior to Booker, Josh was President and COO of Arbitech, a leading independent distributor of computer hardware which achieved $1B of sales under his leadership. Arbitech was recognized as Entrepreneur magazine’s fastest growing company in the US (2003), in addition to being rated in the Orange County Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in the OC.” Josh previously served as Chief Operating Officer of SpaFinder, managing the company’s technology, operations, and strategic initiatives. Before joining SpaFinder, Josh served as Vice President of International Development and Vice President of Business Development for the online automotive marketing leader, Autobytel.com. At Autobytel, Josh led the company’s international expansion efforts, oversaw acquisitions, developed strategic partnerships, and assisted in the company’s IPO.
Josh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science-International Relations as a Cum Laude Graduate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his MBA at the University of Southern California (USC). Josh currently serves on the board of SpaFinder Wellness & Booker Software and previously held board positions with Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).