Executive Officers and Directors
Douglas M. Polinsky is our Chief Executive Officer. He co-founded the Company in January 2006 and since that time has been the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company. Since 1994, Mr. Polinsky has been the Chief Executive Officer of Great North Capital Consultants, Inc., a financial advisory company he founded. Great North Capital Consultants advises corporate clients on matters regarding corporate and governance structures, public company acquisitions of private companies and other transaction-related matters, and also makes direct investments into public and private companies. Since 2007, Mr. Polinsky has been an independent director of Wizzard Software Corporation, a Pennsylvania-based company specializing in speech recognition technology. Mr. Polinsky earned a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel administration at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Joseph A. Geraci is our Chief Financial Officer. He co-founded the Company in January 2006 and has been a director and the Chief Financial Officer of the Company since that time. Since February 2002 through the present time, Mr. Geraci has been managing member of Isles Capital, LLC, an advisory and consulting firm that assists small businesses, both public and private, in business development. In March 2005, Mr. Geraci also became the managing member of Mill City Advisors, LLC, the general partner of Mill City Ventures, LP, and Mill City Ventures II. LP, each a Minnesota limited partnership that invested directly into both private and public companies. From January 2005 until August 2005, Mr. Geraci served as the Director of Finance for Gelstat Corporation, a purveyor of homeopathic remedies, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Mr. Geraci provided investment advice to clients as a stockbroker and Vice President of Oak Ridge Financial Services, Inc., from June 2000 to December 2004. While at Oak Ridge Financial Services, Mr. Geraci’s business focused on structuring and negotiating debt and equity private placements with both private and publicly held companies. Currently, Mr. Geraci is a managing principal and active investor in and through a number of private and special equities vehicles. In this regard, Mr. Geraci actively participates in the evaluation, negotiation and structuring of all investments made by these funds, as well as coordinating and executing exit strategies for such investments.
Laurence S. Zipkin is one of our independent outside directors. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in the gaming industry, restaurants, and emerging small growth companies. From 1996 to 2006, Mr. Zipkin owned Oakridge Securities, Inc. where, as an investment banker, he successfully raised capital for various early growth-stage companies and advising clients with regard to private placements, initial public offerings, mergers, debt offerings, bridge and bank financings, developing business plans and evaluating cash needs and resources. He has extensive experience in the merger and acquisition field and has represented companies on both the buy and sell side. Since 2006, Mr. Zipkin has been self-employed, engaging in various consulting activities, owning and operating two restaurant properties, and purchasing distressed real estate. Mr. Zipkin is a licensed insurance agent for both life and health insurance. Mr. Zipkin attended the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Finance. In June 2011, Mr. Zipkin joined the Board of Directors of GWG Holdings, Inc., a public reporting company engaged in the life settlement business.
Lyle Berman. Since August 2015 Mr. Berman has served on the Board of Directors of Golden Entertainment, Inc. He also provides consulting services to the Chief Executive Officer of Golden. Previously, he was the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (“Lakes”, the predecessor of Golden) since June 1998 and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grand Casinos, Inc. (the predecessor to Lakes) from October 1991 through December 1998.
Mr. Berman has also served as the Executive Chairman of the Board of WPT Enterprises, Inc. (now known as Emerald Oil, Inc.) from its inception in February 2002 until July 2013. Mr. Berman was also Chairman of the Board of PokerTek, Inc. from January 2005 until October 2011. Mr. Berman also served as Chief Executive Officer of Rainforest Café, Inc. from February 1993 until December 2000.
We believe Mr. Berman’s qualifications to sit on our Board of Directors include: his over 30 years in retail, gaming and many other industries; his extensive executive experience running large national companies, and his particular strengths in strategic operations; and his extensive public company experience.
Howard Liszt served as Chief Executive Officer of Campbell Mithun, a national marketing communications agency he joined in 1976, until 2001. He currently serves on the board of the following companies: Eggland’s Best, a branded egg company; Land O’ Lakes, the second largest cooperative in the United States; OCO Holdings, an independent marketing communications company; and Wireless Ronin, a marketing technology company. Mr. Liszt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Marketing and a Masters of Science in Marketing from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.