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Mark Shekter

Partner, First Star International

Mark is an internationally credited TV and Film producer/writer responsible for over 2000 hours of programming, seen on major networks and cable channels in over 80 countries.

His shows have garnered major awards including Emmys, Parent's Choice Awards, New York Critics Circle, and the Rose D'or, Europe's top television honor.

His successes include documentaries for A&E's Biography series, and Investigative Reports, the animated Bedtime Primetime Classics (carried by Disney and Turner), The Elephant Show (family series, Nickelodeon), St. Michael's Lifeline (a medical series for TLC and Discovery Channels); Zoo Diaries (a natural science series for CBC and BBC Kids), the teen series Vampire High and Daring and Grace, and the two-part mini-series Red River.

As a writer and composer, Mark has created special material for Ray Charles, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, and Martin Short, and collaborated with Leonard Cohen on the multi-award winning TV special I Am A Hotel.

As a former Director of Program Development for Canada's two major networks (CBC and CanWest Global), Mark's combined production and management experience has made him a highly sought after media consultant for major corporations, broadcasters and studios worldwide.

Nancy Trites Botkin

Partner, First Star International

Nancy is a multi-award winning producer, writer and director, with over sixty national and international recognitions for her film and television work.

Her 450 hours of television and 7 films include Age Old Friends, an Emmy-winning HBO production with actor Hume Cronyn; Heaven on Earth, winner of the Houston and Columbus Gold Awards; For Angela a powerful film on racism that garnered Canada's top honor; Tramp At The Door, released by Disney and a Gold Medal winner in New York, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and Columbus Film Festivals; and Red Shoes, winner of Columbus Gold, Chicago Gold and short-listed for the Oscars.

In the family entertainment genre, her award-winning credits include Fred Penner's Place, Wimzie's House, Tipi Tales and Toy Castle currently airing on over 60 PBS stations, and winner of two Gold Parent's Choice Awards over Harry Potter as one of the most powerful educational tools for children.

As a Media Consultant, Ms. Botkin has advised major corporations including Endemol in South Africa (a multi-billion dollar enterprise), major Universities, The National Film Board, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). Her skills in staff training, creative development, and strategic planning are widely in demand in the US, Canada and abroad.

Arnaud Lepinois

Partner, First Star International

Arnaud is a technical architect and solution designer with extensive experience in IT management for various companies including IBM Manufacturing in France.

Starting as an industrial designer (INSA Lyon, France), he later worked for Lotus Software Corporation, responsible for the successful launch of Lotus Domino Release 5. At IBM, he was instrumental in developing the IBM e-business strategy, leading up to the merger of the two companies.

In 2000 he joined Inexware, an integrator of software solutions and application development, as a partner and technical director. He subsequently became its vice-president, and remained to lead its technical integration when the company was purchased in 2003 by the IT giant Groupe Neurones.

During this time he actively lent his expertise to various studies and initiatives aimed at developing the next generation of online services.

With a move to Canada in 2005, Arnaud founded Neoxo with a goal to establish an international centre of expertise and innovation in the areas of WEB communication, collaboration and online community services.