Chief Executive Officer & Executive Chair
Prior to being appointed as CEO and Director of the Company, Mr. Hug was Director of Operations from July 2018, where he was instrumental in architecting and executing the Company’s pivot from a traditional agency to an Enterprise Software Technology company, focused on commercializing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Digital Marketing and Advertising space.
Hug was previously Chief Executive Officer and Director of SITO Mobile from November 10, 2014 through February 2017, where he architected and executed the successful transformation of the company from a SMS aggregator to an industry leader in Location-Based Mobile Advertising while overseeing a successful NASDAQ National Market Listing. Mr. Hug also served as Director of Corporate Development, Executive Vice President of SITO Mobile Interim CEO, before his promotion to CEO in November 2014. Between 2007 and 2010, Mr. Hug was the co-founder and President of Waveyard Development LLC, a water-sports resort destination development company. From 2003 to June 2006, Mr. Hug served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Wireless Retail Inc., a $400 million wireless services company that was among the first U.S. businesses to use the store-in-store business model to sell mobile phones for wireless carriers through large nationwide retailers. Mr. Hug was interim CFO for Wireless Retail Inc. leading up to its sale to Radio Shack Corporation. From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Hug was Managing Partner of Redwood Partners, an early-stage merchant bank and advisory firm that focused on providing early-stage capital and executive management to technology, media and telecommunications businesses. Mr. Hug attended The Pennsylvania State University where he studied finance on a full athletic scholarship, and was a member of the 1986 National Championship football team under legendary coach Joe Paterno.
On October 7, 2021, the Board of Directors of AiAdvertising, Inc. (the “Company”) appointed Richard Berliner to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Berliner has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fifth Gen Media, Inc., a marketing and publishing company, owned by Mr. Berliner since 2016. Mr. Berliner’s prior experience was as Chief Executive Officer of a wireless construction company, Redwing Electric from 2012-2015, which was later sold to an investor group. Mr. Berliner did a one year consulting project for the Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer in 2011. Mr. Berliner was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Berliner Communications or BCI (BCI) which he started in 1995, which subsequently merged with another firm in 2010. Mr. Berliner handled the firm’s quarterly earnings calls and the annual meetings in his role as Chairman. Mr. Berliner graduated from Rutgers with a BA in Business in 1975. He is a Fellow in the Radio Club of America and was elected in 2004.
The Company’s Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Berliner is “independent” within the meaning of rules of The Nasdaq Stock Market and is qualified to serve on the Board of Directors because of his extensive senior management experience.
On November 4, 2021, the Board of Directors of the Company appointed Mark Fruehan to serve on the Company’s Board of Directors. Since September 30, 2021, Mr. Fruehan has served as Chief Executive Officer of First Screen of the Americas, which offers digital first brands and content creators alternative distribution and billing mechanisms to monetize content. From July 2020 to June 2021, Mr. Fruehan was Chief Revenue Officer of Tradeswell, the leading AI-driven eCommerce solution, which helps brokers and resellers sell on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Prior to serving as Chief Revenue Officer at Tradeswell from April 2018 to July 2020, Mr. Fruehan served as President and Chief Revenue Officer at Verve Group, a Media and Games Invest SE portfolio company (Berlin) and a privacy-first omnichannel ad platform offering programmatic solutions that connects advertisers and publishers to people in real time. In October 2016, Mark co-founded Amplify.ai, a global enterprise chatbot platform funded by Costanoa Ventures, which was recently acquired by Triller.net; leading the sales and partner development through their start-up phase until March of 2018. Mr. Fruehan’s roots in the mobile and wireless industry run deep, with leadership roles at Opera Mediaworks & AdMarvel as President, and Head of Business development and innovation at VeriSign and CellStar. Mr. Fruehan has over 30 years of experience in the digital and mobile industry across cost per engagement, mobile content data service, media, monetization, including payments, and messaging. Mr. Fruehan has worked closely with brands, mobile operators, and media companies; in addition to holding several advisory seats and board memberships at early-stage ventures and established tech companies alike. Mr. Fruehan attended Penn State, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics, and is a proud member of the 1982 NCAA Championship Football Team.
The Company’s Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Fruehan is “independent” within the meaning of the rules of The Nasdaq Stock Market and is qualified to serve on the Board of Directors because of his extensive industry experience within the ad-tech industry, his deep connections with advertisers and publishers, and his senior management experience.
Thomas O. Hicks, Jr.
Thomas O. Hicks, Jr is a founder, chairman and CEO of 90 Degree North Holdings LCC, an investment and advisory firm, and a co-founder of Sempre, Inc., a global provider of physical and cyber protection for critical infrastructure. He is a current board member of Drilling Tools International, Inc., a leading provider of downhole drilling tools to the international land and offshore markets, which recently announced a merger with a publicly traded ROC Energy Acquisition Corporation, LLC. From 2005 through 2019, Mr. Hicks was a partner of Hicks Holdings LLC, a family investment firm, focusing on equity investments in media, technology, consumer brands, manufacturing and energy. Prior to that, he was an analyst at Greenhill & Co, LLC, a New York-based advisory and investment firm. He previously served on the boards of Resolute Energy Corporation, Carol’s Daughter Holdings, Berkshire Resources LLC, Standard Industrial Manufacturing Partners LTD, and Sight Sciences, Inc. Mr. Hicks was on the national board of the American Enterprise Institute’s Enterprise Club and was a founding member for its Dallas chapter in 2014. He served as Chapter Chair of Young Presidents Organization’s Dallas Chapter in 2013-14. Mr. Hicks was Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters North Texas Campaign for Children in Crisis in 2006-2010, successfully raising over $35 million to support mentoring for children in Dallas Fort Worth. Mr. Hicks served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas from 2006 through 2011, and the board of the SM Wright Foundation, organized to engage with the citizens in the Fair Park area of Dallas from 2005-2008. Mr. Hicks, a former Golden Gloves boxer, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001.
Chief Product & Marketing Officer
As a trained Engineer and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Kevin is inspired by how technology can be integrated to drive efficiencies, increase transparency, and maximize results. He understands that CMOs are only as good as their last campaign and how difficult it is to prove advertising's true financial impact. This has been a challenge since the dawn of advertising, and he is driven to change that by innovating a product that connects the dots between marketing investments and sales revenue.
Kevin’s believes in the power of “Marketer + Machine”. The world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows us to do things that were previously incomprehensible or impossible and enables businesses to measure the performance of every marketing investment. It is time to use this technology to revolutionize the advertising industry and thus the Campaign Performance Platform was born.
Today, he proudly spends his time as a “Marketing Engineer” serving as a Board Member and Chief Product & Marketing Officer for AiAdvertising. It’s his insatiable curiosity and innovation that has driven Kevin’s successes, from notable positions at companies such as Cold Stone Creamery, Donatos Pizzeria, Sage Software (Act! & SalesLogix CRM), IBM Sterling Solutions, American Hospital Supply/Baxter Healthcare (Cardinal), and Frito-Lay.
James B. Renacci
James B. Renacci is the Founder and President of LTC Management Services, Inc., a management and financial services consulting services company since 1985. With more than 30 years of experience in leadership of multiple businesses, Mr. Renacci’s business experience includes manufacturing, healthcare, construction, entertainment, and CPA consulting services. He also has in-depth knowledge of mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Renacci represented the 16th District of the State of Ohio in the United States House of Representatives from 2011 until 2019 where he served on the Ways and Means, Budget, and Financial Services Committees. Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Renacci owned and operated more than 60 businesses, including multiple auto dealerships, nursing facilities, sports and entertainment businesses, and a CPA firm. From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Renacci served as a managing board member of the Arena Football League. From 2020 to 2022, Mr. Renacci served as a board member of publicly traded Hill International Inc. and as the Audit Committee Chairman. Mr. Renacci is a current board member at publicly traded Alithya Group, Inc., Custom Glass, Inc. and the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange. Mr. Renacci is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.