Advisory Board Member, Diesco, Woldenberg Group
Bernie, Managing Partner of Lodestone Global, has personally been a member or assembled nearly 50 Boards of Directors. His experience spans the public, private, and non-profit board environments. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Diesco, one of the largest Caribbean-based manufacturing companies, as well as an Advisory Board member for the Woldenberg Group, a Chicago based conglomerate specializing in learning aids, laboratory distribution, and real estate businesses. Additionally, Bernie serves as the President of Childrenâs Leisure Products Group (CLP). He led CLPâs acquisition of Vivid Imaginations, Ltd., the largest privately held toy company in the United Kingdom. Vividâs revenues at the time of the acquisition were in the $50 million range. Today, Vividâs revenues exceed $360 million after a number of follow-on acquisitions, and the company now exports to 32 countries. Bernie was previously Vice President of Corporate Development at Russ Berrie & Co. (NYSE:RUS), a maker of childrenâs toys and other gifts, where he served as a member of the Board of Directors from 1989-1997. He also was a member of the Board of Directors at SYMS Corporation (NYSE:SYMS), a family-owned chain of off-price retail clothing stores, chaired its Audit Committee, and as Presiding Director, led the Boardâs role in the acquisition of Fileneâs Basement. Bernie also was a member of the Vision Board of ToysRUs.com. Bernie has served on the Board of Directors for The Franklin Mint, a leader in the collectibles industry; Unger Global, an international manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment; and, Nexiq Technologies, a publicly traded (IND:NEXQ) technology company. He has been an Advisory Board member/shareholder in Kidlandia, a software platform for childrenâs personalization products; Yowie.com, a streaming video platform to connect performers, opinion makers and trendsetters directly with their fans; and FanStamp, a company that specializes in makeup-based press on designs and logos. Bernie has served as the Global Chair for Family Business Programs for the Young Presidentsâ Organization (YPO), and has taught the YPO âBuilding a Board of Directorsâ seminar from Barcelona to Vancouver. Today, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Northeast U.S. Region of the World Presidentsâ Organization (WPO) as Regional Membership Chair, as well as on the International Networks Committee. In 2009, Bernie was recognized by YPO as âBest of the Best,â an international award granted for executing the best cross-chapter event on âBuilding Effective Boards of Directors.â Bernie is a ârecovering academicâ, having served as the Associate Director of the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center for 10 years, where he founded the Wharton Small Business Development Center. He taught undergraduate and MBA classes in business strategy, venture capital, and business planning. Bernie is a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University. He received an MBA in Entrepreneurial Studies from The Wharton School in 1981.