WE ARE THE GAUD-HAMMER GAMING GROUP
The Gaud-Hammer Gaming Group® is a full-service agency, delivering entertaining products and services that resonate within the gaming community. We are a group of industry executives with decades of experience in entertainment, development, marketing, and gaming.
We understand the heart of gaming.
Chief Executive Officer | Co-Founder
Chair of the Esports Trade Association Regulated Video Game and Esports Committee
Chair of the American Heart Association Scholastic and Youth Esports
Anthony is an Emmy-Award winning entrepreneur and media executive with a 25-year career working with top level entertainment, gaming and technology companies. His professional history is highlighted with significant partnerships with The Walt Disney Company, Comcast, Microsoft Games, Viacom, Hasbro, and Nexon South Korea.
His accomplishments encompass $52M in exits and acquisitions for startups that include a F2P game development studio, an intellectual property development company and a children’s VOD and digital platform partnership with Comcast. His projects have won, and been nominated for, multiple Emmy, Hugo and Pulcinella awards.
His wide ranging executive experience spans interactive games, television programming, and media platform technology development and esports. He has held executive creative roles on AAA-level projects for Star Wars, Marvel, Batman, The Transformers and multiple Disney games including Epic Mickey and Kingdom Hearts.
In 2019, Anthony secured the first public-private esports partnership in the country with Atlantic City’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority with events that included the 2019 CSL Grand Finals, the Halo Classic and the Esports Travel Summit. He also founded Conference One, the nation’s first varsity-level collegiate esports league which launched its inaugural season featuring competitions with over 60 universities including Penn State, Rutgers, Texas A&M and UC Irvine.
Anthony has an expert-level talent for business development, team recruiting and for leading multinational creative and tech teams from the startup stage through to large-scale service operations.
Anthony is the founder and Chair of the American Heart Association REVIVE Gaming Initiative, is an executive board member of the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce and an expert witness for trial cases related to intellectual property and the video game industry.
JAMES D. HAMMERSTEDT, CPA
Chief Financial Officer | Co-Founder
Jim is currently the Managing Partner of Fabietti, Hale, Hammerstedt & Powers PA, an established Public Accounting Firm in Southern New Jersey. The Firm has offices in Egg Harbor Twp. and Vineland, NJ serving over 2,000 business and individual clients in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Jim has built a successful 30-year career in public accounting specializing in corporate financing, entity structure, business planning and implementation for clients in a variety of industries. He has the insight to analyze business opportunities from strategic and financial perspectives and communicate high-level concepts in an easily understandable way.
As a Co-Founder of G3 Esports LLC, Jim intends to bring a business perspective, organizational structure and professional standards to the burgeoning esports industry. In addition to his COO role, Jim is also the lead investor in G3.
Jim’s professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New Jersey Society of Public Accountants. As an advocate of the community and education, Jim has also held Board of Director positions with a variety of organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties and The Hendricks House Foundation.
Chief Operating Officer
Over the past two decades, very few individuals have done more to establish the casino online gaming industry than Lee. Since 2013, he has established and operated leading online casino sites and gaming divisions for no less than four of the industry’s leading online gaming portals:
MGM’s Borgata’s Borgataonline.com (2013),
Resorts Digital Gaming’s ResortsCasino.com (2014),
Mohegan Sun’s MoheganSunCasino.com (2016),
Hard Rock Casino’s HardRockOnline.com (2018).
Lee is an exceptionally well-rounded gaming executive with exemplary skills in casino product management, online portal management, card-room management, strategic planning and execution, loyalty program conception and service execution, live service operations, departmental budgeting as well as regulated product game design and CRM marketing.
Chief Technology Officer
Chris Khoo is an acclaimed technical lead, software engineer and veteran game developer with 20 years of industry experience. He has shipped over a dozen top selling titles for all major video game and mobile platforms. In 2010, Chris' startup gaming company, Kung Fu Games, was acquired by Microsoft Games establishing Chris as the technical lead for the launch of the Xbox 1.
Previous to Microsoft, Chris served as lead software engineer for leading game publishers Nexon and Electronic Arts. He serves as outside technical expert for Amazon AWS, helping game clients incorporate AWS stack technology into their software products. Chris' programming background includes HTML5, Unity, C++; cloud based server/backend development (Java, NodeJs, Django); agile development, as well as all aspects of IT.
Vice President, Creative
Nafeeza is a Technical Product Manager with experience working for marquee entertainment companies such as NBC Universal, CBS Interactive and Universal Music Group. Accomplished at creative development, product management and collaborating effectively with stakeholders, vendors, and clients.
Nafeeza delivers successful product roadmaps implementing agile software development and executes product vision, platform UX, and usability testing. Nafeeza has managed products through the entire lifecycle from concepting, design, development to testing and launch. She takes pride in building meaningful and engaging experiences utilizing customer research and feedback loops.
She had led teams that designed and published interactive games, online portals, and digital marketing campaigns. Notable projects include America’s Next Top Model, Chica’s Adventure, Sproutlet Stories, Stage Rush: Imagine Dragons, and Tree Story. Nafeeza’s work has received industry honors including the 2014 Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards for best website, best online game, and digital marketing campaign.
Vice President, Production
Kirby is a senior game producer who has worked at key exclusive positions at gaming companies Microsoft, Nexon and Electronic Arts and has been responsible for some of the largest titles in gaming including launching EA’s FIFA online and SSX.
Previously, Kirby sold his gaming studio - Kung Fu Factory - to Microsoft and was in charge of content for the launch of Xbox 1 in the US and China. Kirby was most recently the Senior Project Manager on Autonomous Vehicles and Computer Vision at Nvidia.
Kirby manages in-house and external software development teams including game development, analytics and machine learning. He will also be responsible for vertical P&Ls and oversight over all game publishing duties.
Senior Advisor | Business Development
Steve has had a fifty-year career in the insurance and international business consulting and development fields. Throughout his career, Steve held executive positions at Marsh as Senior VP in Charge of Global Client Development, advisor to the Bass family of Fort Worth, Texas on acquisitions in the insurance brokerage sector and was on the management committee of Bayly, Martin, and Fay when it was acquired by the Aon Corporation.
He constantly maintains relationships throughout his global network. Steve currently serves on the Board of The World Trade Center, The Global Independence Center at the University of Pennsylvania, The Hughes Center for Public Policy and served as chairman of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, the Southern New Jersey Development Council, Stockton University and the AtlantiCare foundation as well as many other institutions. New Jersey Governor, Thomas Keen, appointed Steve as Chairman of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Gaming. Steve has undergraduate and MBA degrees from The Wharton School– the University of Pennsylvania and holds profession designations of CPCU and CLU. Earlier in his career, Steve was commissioned in the United States Coast Guard attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
While at Penn, Steve was a member of the varsity swimming team, crew and ice hockey, Steve rowed competitively and won several Canadian and American National Championships. Steve is a qualified scuba instructor and licensed pilot. During his free time, Steve is "trying to keep up with his grandchildren."
Senior Advisor | Marketing
Shawn is a Brand President, CMO and Strategic Business Leader with more than 30 years of spearheading strategies, steering enterprise-wide initiatives, and directing innovations that position major global brands. Most recently the President of GoldieBlox, Shawn is a veteran serving executive roles with the NFL, DreamWorks, Mattel’s American Girl, Dell, MasterCard, and Universal Studios.
Shawn's stellar reputation is driven by her numerable high-profile successes driving profitable and sustainable growth. Her background includes successful experience defining business priorities, championing corporate missions, and creating synergies between brand assets to build customer relationships and loyalty. She has pioneered explosive retail growth, the launch of new business units and integration of content and storytelling that deliver high customer engagement.
Business Advisor | Seed Investor
Michael is the President and owner of D’Ottavio Produce founded in Vineland, New Jersey. Started in 1992, D’Ottavio Produce has expanded from a small two person company to over 400 employees in multiple states.
Over the past 30 years, Michael’s ability to build relationships with both customers and partners has established success in all of his endeavors. A successful entrepreneur, Michael’s business experience has led to the creation of multiple successful organizations:
E & A Trucking Co
B & E Harvesting
D’Ottavio Farms; Vineland, NJ
D’Ottavio Farms; Immokalee FL
Prestige World Wide Investments
Webb Fitness & MMA
Senior Advisor | iGaming and Compliance
Nick is Chair of Fox Rothschild’s Gaming Practice Group, having practiced all aspects of gaming law since 1980, including licensing, acquisitions, compliance plans and investigations, and financing. Nick has annually been named as one of the leading gaming attorneys in the world by Chambers Global since 2008. His clients include casinos, gaming equipment manufacturers and other technology providers, Internet gaming companies, private equity firms, and investment firms. Nick’s legal experience includes handling gaming matters in numerous domestic and international jurisdictions, including Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Australia, Great Britain, Jamaica and Singapore. Nick serves on the Board of Directors of International Masters of Gaming Law and on the editorial advisory board of Global Gaming Business.
Senior Advisor | Video Game Publishing and Intellectual Property
John Pleasants is an entrepreneur and business executive who has led a number of digital media and technology companies over the last two decades. Pleasants spent three years as the brand manager for PepsiCo/Frito-Lay from 1995–1998, and took Ticketmaster public in September 1998, and subsequently served as their CEO. John entered the gaming industry as COO of Electronic Arts in 2008 and left to be CEO of Playdom, a social gaming company that sold to Disney for $563 million in 2010. As Disney Interactive President, Pleasants had success in helping to bring the division from significant losses to material profits, most notably with the launch of the title Disney Infinity. After leaving Disney in 2015, Pleasants served as Executive Vice President (EVP) of Samsung of America and led their mobile content strategy. Pleasants was CEO of a smart kitchen startup, Brava Home, a company acquired in 2019 by The Middleby Corporation, a leading foodservice equipment company. Pleasants serves on numerous boards including Peloton and M&M Media.