John T. Peters
Founder & CEO
John Peters has been a serial entrepreneur since 1990 when, just after college, he co-founded Zeus Tours & Yacht Cruises, an international tour and yacht cruise operator in Greece, eventually opening up offices in Athens, Rome, Salzburg and Buenos Aires. In 1999, he successfully sold Zeus. The second startup John grew and sold was Tripology, a travel technology company, which was acquired by Rand McNally. John has held senior executive positions including President – Travel Media Group at USA Today, VP – Business Development at RCI/Wyndham, and Managing Director – Retail & Partnerships for Brush Creek Ranch, the nation’s #1 resort. John has been working on a series of startups including Park West London, an ultra-luxury gifting site, CookingClassLive – a platform for chefs to teach online cooking classes, and a startup focused on frequent travelers to be announced shortly. John mentors dozens of startups for various accelerators and is a frequent speaker and moderator at domestic and international conferences.
John has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Internet Weekly, and many others. John also frequently lectures at universities on the subject of entrepreneurship and has taught Marketing Analytics classes. John accepted the GOLD Adrian award for Digital Marketing Promotion for the “Best of the Road®” program he created, which generated over a billion media impressions in six months. John was also recognized as “Innovator of the Year” by the US Travel Association.
For over twenty years, Ken Lane has been assisting organizations build, execute and achieve their Strategic Digital & Direct Marketing plans with a Marketing and Business planning process that has proven to be second-to-none in his industry areas of focus. With accomplishments in niche and enthusiast markets including Travel, Wine, Office Supplies, Food & Gift, and All Things Luxury, Ken has applied a unique analytics approach to solving business problems.
Prior to starting Hathaway & Lane Direct and joining Mind Mashery in a Senior Advisor capacity, Ken managed these processes for Staples, The Office Superstore, later transitioning from BTB to BTC with senior level stints at Jackson & Perkins/Harry and David, White Flower Farm, FAR&WIDE Travel Corporation and in the CMO capacity at Stark Bro’s Nurseries. Utilizing a “concentric circles” approach to business planning & development at each stage, Ken has applied Strategic Planning and heavy-duty analytical skills to drive improved sales, response and ROI rates, and most importantly, improved profitability.
The first recipient of Staples “In Search of Excellence” award and featured speaker at many Direct Marketing conferences, Ken’s established a proven track record in Database Segmentation/Analysis, E-commerce & Digital Marketing, Sales/Inventory Forecasting, Product Development, Operations/Call Center Management and Pricing/Gross Margin Planning. In the past year, he had proven to be “Covid-ready” helping companies maneuver profitably through uncharted waters.
Alana Kalin is an entrepreneur and advisor; she is currently the founder and CEO of gamification platform De Kabeza, which combines live stream video with games to entertain and educate audiences. While building the product, she brought on clients like Coca-Cola, Mercer, ABInBev, PapPal and others. Prior to founding De Kabeza, she established and became the General Manager for a VC backed AR platform, Blippar. She brought new products to market, established partnerships with large agencies and brands and ensured all executions were set up for success. She combines her love for new technology with a passion for spreading joy, which started when she served as a brand ambassador, driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile all over the US.
She is extremely passionate about travel, and spent years consulting throughout Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Though she prefers in-person experiences, she also sees and has leveraged new technology to build perspective and delight audiences, no matter where they are.
Her work earned grants, fellowships and awards from the Schusterman Foundation, On Deck, The Capital Factory, Latitud and Founders Live. She is passionate about supporting underrepresented founders and currently advises technology startups in a wide variety of verticals including enterprise, direct to consumer, fintech and media.
We’re pleased to have Alana as part of our team of Senior Advisors. As the founder and CEO of De Kabeza, she brings deep expertise in engaging audiences through virtual events and gamification. She is a passionate student of psychology and can help navigate a complex advertising and media ecosystem to deliver authentic experiences, generating attention and engagement that turns into sales.