Pete Ellis, Chairman
Pete Ellis, chairman of Spafinder® Wellness, Inc., has devoted his career to creating better experiences for consumers. As one of the largest auto dealers in the western U.S., he pioneered consumer-friendly policies in the sale of new and used automobiles. In 1994–95, he launched the first automotive buying and research website, Autobytel.com, effectively revolutionizing an entire industry. Using technology to make pricing and inventory transparent, his visionary marketing platform became the basis for every commercially viable automotive website in existence.
After taking Autobytel public in 1999, he formed Jubilee Investments, which became the majority shareholder of Spafinder Wellness. Under his leadership, the company has been transformed from a niche spa information company to the world’s largest spa and wellness marketing and media channel. In 2007, Pete also founded SpaBooker (which became GramercyOne), a leading provider of cloud-based management and marketing solutions.
Pete is a founder and chairman emeritus of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit. His Internet technology innovations are part of the Permanent Research Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Missy Godfrey, CEO
Missy Godfrey, CEO and longtime board member, leads strategic planning and global operations for Spafinder Wellness, Inc., the world’s largest media and marketing company for the spa and wellness industry. With over two decades of experience as a senior executive, she has a distinguished track record in diverse sectors, including technology, traditional and digital media, advertising and retail and luxury products.
Before joining Spafinder, Missy was CEO of SocialFlow, a software company for social media marketing, where she spearheaded the expansion of product offerings for brand marketers and drove accelerated revenue growth. She has a successful history of innovation, launches and transitions in the media industry and held senior executive positions at Hearst, Primedia, Worth and American Express Publishing. She leveraged this experience as a managing director at North Sea Partners, a boutique merchant bank, and was instrumental in building its Executive Alliance.
Missy has long prioritized wellness in her life as an advocate for holistic treatments and as a supporter of a number of not-for-profit organizations. She was part of the founding committee to build the Stifel American Paralysis Foundation, which is now the Christopher Reeve Foundation, and a former member of the board of directors of A Better Chance of New Canaan and Youth Service America.
Missy holds a B.S. from Skidmore College and lives in New Canaan, CT. Her favorite workout is Pilates, and she is an aspiring golfer.
Susie Ellis, President
As president of Spafinder® Wellness, Inc., Susie Ellis is recognized as the leading global authority on spa and wellness. Director of Spafinder Wellness' annual Global Spa and Wellness Trends Forecast and author of the popular Susie’s Industry Blog, she is a prominent writer and speaker and a respected industry analyst. Susie is also chairman and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit; a member of the board of the Center for Medical Tourism Research; and a member of the Spa Advisory Board for the University of California, Irvine, Spa and Hospitality Management Program.
She holds a M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and is the recipient of the prestigious International Spa Association's 2012 Visionary Award.
Susie began her career in wellness at the famous Golden Door in California and keeps fit with daily workouts and eating healthy (but admits to a secret passion for chocolate).
Mia Kyricos, Chief Brand Officer
Mia Kyricos is a globally respected business leader with over 20 years of experience in the spa, wellness and hospitality industries. As chief brand officer of Spafinder Wellness, Inc.®, she leads the company’s worldwide branding initiatives such as Spafinder Wellness 365™ and oversees marketing, network sales, advertising and media relations, digital strategy, research and communications.
Prior to joining the organization, Mia was president of Kyricos & Associates, global advisors for the spa, wellness and hospitality industries, and vice president of Core Performance, overseeing operations of corporate wellness centers at Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Mia was the director of global spa brands & programming at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where she created six international spa brands for Westin, Sheraton, Le Meridien, W, St. Regis and Luxury Collection hotels. She sits on the boards of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit and the University of California Irvine, and she holds a Masters of Management in Hospitality Administration from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Wheaton College.
Steve Kane, Group President, Gift Sales & Business Development
As group president, gift sales and business development, Steve Kane leads the company’s revenue strategy and execution. He is responsible for sales initiatives, including the company’s leading gift card program, management of gift card sales in Canada, shared responsibility for gift card sales in Europe and new business initiatives. Since he joined Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® in 2007, gift card sales alone have increased by over 150 percent, and the program has expanded to 70 countries around the globe.
Steve’s professional experience includes 30-plus years of senior executive sales leadership, with a focus on account management and client relationships. Prior to Spafinder, he was responsible for the launch and sales of three high-profile fashion accessories brands at Schifter + Partners. Previous positions also comprise vice president, North America, for LeSportsac, Inc., and national sales manager for Liz Claiborne Handbags and Small Leather Goods.
Steve is a member of the board of directors of the RGCA and the advisory board of SVS Ceridian, as well as a past board member of the IGCC. He attended Bowling Green University, majoring in Business Administration, and is an avid golfer and sports, music and art fan.
Neil Kurlander, Esq., Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel
Neil is responsible for all internal and external legal matters, corporate administration and human resource management at Spafinder® Wellness, Inc. He is also corporate secretary and oversees all corporate governance matters.
Prior to joining Spafinder Wellness in 2002, Neil was vice president, corporate legal affairs at Horsehead Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, where he played a major role in the consummation of approximately $1 billion in corporate financings, mergers and acquisitions and other commercial transactions. He has also practiced corporate law at some of the largest law firms in New York City.
Neil received his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College and his J.D. from The Hofstra University School of Law, where he was a member of the Hofstra Law Review. His favorite workout is on a bike, both in the gym and on the road.
Dave Walters, Chief Technology Officer
Dave Walters joins Spafinder® Wellness, Inc., from the XO Group, Inc., an international publicly traded company, where he was most recently vice president of technology solutions, overseeing technology development and execution at The Knot, The Bump, The Nest and other brands in the XO network.
Dave brings 15 years of management experience to Spafinder Wellness and has a diverse background across development, application architecture, project management, systems support, quality assurance and release management. He also plays a key role in the company’s technology vision and strategic planning and is responsible for the management of the company’s information technology infrastructure, including content systems and ecommerce initiatives. He will direct and execute large-scale projects, assuring alignment between technology, business groups and consumers.
Dave hails from Long Island, where he is a volunteer firefighter, played college baseball and is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He enjoys participating in obstacle runs and other vigorous exercise programs that test his limits.
Claudia Kraut Rimerman, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Group Wellness
As senior vice president, Claudia Rimerman leads the company’s Corporate Wellness 365™ division and develops incentive products and partnerships that support employee wellness programs.
Prior to her appointment, she was principal of Merritt Advisors LLC, a boutique advisory practice focused on wellness, healthcare and benefits. She has 25 years’ experience launching new healthcare and insurance businesses, managing client relationships and expanding product and distribution lines. Claudia previously held management roles in AIG’s Accident & Health division and its marketing organization and also held positions at UnitedHealth Group, Humana Inc. and Corporate Health Systems.
Claudia holds an MBA in HealthCare Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Columbia University. She graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover.
She sits on the board of the Gendler Grapevine for the Environment and Jewish Student Connection. Additionally, she founded the Alliance for Research of Eosinophilic Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is a member of Women Business Leaders in Health Care. In her spare time, she performs in community theater, sings in a classic rock cover band and enjoys kayaking, rock climbing and obstacle races.
Mike Muller, Senior Vice President, Finance
Mike Muller, senior vice president, finance, leads Spafinder Wellness, Inc.®’s financial operations and is responsible for the company’s financial and accounting policy management, budget planning and forecasting, along with financial reporting and compliance.
He has more than 20 years of experience in accounting, finance and managing financial operations for traditional publishing and business media companies, most recently as CFO of Vendome Group, LLC. There, he directed the company’s financial goals, managed relations with investors and lenders and implemented new financial reporting systems. Previously he held positions at Wolters Kluwer (WK), a leading global information services and publishing company, serving as group controller for the WK legal division and business manager for the WK/Aspen Publishers division. Earlier in his career, Mike held senior management positions at Simon & Schuster with the Prentice Hall Professional Information Group.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York and an MBA at Montclair State University.