Member Profiles

18
Jan

ICA Member Profile: Mark Daniel

Back in 2007, Mark’s longtime childhood friend from Maryland, John Ferber, convinced him to trade in the four seasons and his suit for eternal summertime and sandals to help launch a new company. Mark, a former shopping center leasing agent, didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to relocate to Delray Beach, Florida. It was there that he learned about digital advertising for a service technology company called USO Networks, spearheaded by Ferber, along with Jason Boshoff and Erik Simons. After a short and successful time in the space, they realized their clients had multiple needs including domain asset divestment and acquisitions. The rest is history.

Profile Questions

Name: Mark Daniel
Company: Domain Holdings Group
Favorite Domain:  Phish.com
Favorite Industry Conference:  NamesCon
Favorite Industry Blog(s): DomainInvesting.com, The Domains…however, I think all of the blogs have their own strong attributes.

Tell us a little bit about your background and your personal story.
I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland and moved to South Florida in 2008.  I live here with my soul mate Jennifer—we’ve been together since 1995—and our 2-year-old American Bulldog, Kaya Moon.  Click here to read all about me and how I got started in the domain space: http://www.domainholdings.com/meet-mark-daniel/#.V7h3q_krJhH.

What is your current role?
Senior Broker & Director of Business Development at Domain Holdings Group

Why did you choose to support the ICA?
I think it is very important to support organizations that can help you learn, grow, and succeed within your industry.

Can you share a prediction about the future of the domain industry?
The future of domains is wide open as people and companies continue to learn about and better understand the importance of their online presence and branding.  I think the value of a .COM is not going anywhere, as there will always be a need and opportunities for companies and individuals looking to buy and sell premium domains.

What do you like most about the domain industry?
I love that every day is a new opportunity and there are so many great domain names out there!  I also love the close-knit community that makes up our “domain aftermarket” family.

If you could change one thing about the domain industry what would it be?
Broker qualifications…there are no set rules to brokering domains, no license required etc.  It seems as if anyone can call themselves a broker these days, but very few understand the details of the industry and the “right” way to do business.

What do you wish other people knew about the ICA?
That the organization is there to help us all be more successful in our industry.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the ICA?
Do it! If you want to be successfully involved in this industry in any capacity, the ICA is a key component.

What unexpected doors opened for you because of your involvement in the domain industry?
It is all about the relationship with a client. I always do right by my clients. I have gotten some amazing, unexpected referrals as a result of the rapport I have with my clients.

What’s the best advice ever received (domain related or otherwise)?
Never give up. Be persistent, but not annoying.
Don’t expect anything from people and you won’t be disappointed.

What are your main interests outside of the domain industry?
Playing acoustic guitar and other musical instruments, as well as seeing live music.

Favorite place to get away:
Melbourne Beach, Florida

The views expressed here are the personal views of the member and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICA.
4
Jan

ICA Member Profile: William Llewellyn

William Llewellyn is an entrepreneur with a development interest in domains. Through his company Vahlt, he works to acquire and manage key assets for build-out. William also holds business interests in other areas, including sports nutrition and compound testing. He is an accomplished scientist as well, credited with discovering that a particular dietary fatty acid plays a core role in human muscle growth. Though his interests and background are diverse, Internet investment and development have become his primary focus as of late. Several of William’s noteworthy assets include Answering.com, Thinkers.com, and AmsterdamCoffeeShops.com, as well as Inform.org, Anabolic.org, and ConcealedCarry.org.

Profile Questions

Name: William Llewellyn
Company: Vahlt, LLC
Favorite Domain: Thinkers.com
Favorite Industry Conference:  NamesCon
Favorite Industry Blog(s): DotWeekly.com and DSAD.com

Tell us a little bit about your background and your personal story.
My background isn’t traditional. I’ve worked as a scientist in the nutrition field, but am self-educated. I don’t hold any degrees. I have never done well with authority or structure, actually. I do tend to get deeply interested in one subject at a time though, often to the exclusion of other tasks. I can research obsessively on my own. My wife thinks I have a condition, but I haven’t really looked into it. Whatever it is, it seems to work O.K. for me. As a kid, I was really into computers. That led to a software piracy group and an arrest for phone service theft at the age of 16 (long story). Sounds odd, but it was the best thing I ever put on my resume. When I worked in technology, it actually landed me some nice gigs. I got into bodybuilding in my late teens though, and by 2000 had shifted careers. I was writing books, and together with my wife and business partner, launched my own supplement brand. We started the company to sell sports nutrition ingredients I had developed and patented. There are some accomplishments I’m very proud of here. Recent years I’ve been getting bored of the sports market though, and have started to shift interests again. I have some other business holdings now, but domain investing has become my latest obsession.

How did you get involved in the domain industry?
I started acquiring domains for my existing businesses. I always understood they were important for marketing, but somewhere along the way it clicked. The right domain name can literally make a business. Next time I was going to find the domain first, and build the business around it. That’s our strategy with Vahlt.

What is your current role?
I’d say my role is to spot opportunity. I seek out domain names that are prime for development, and match with our team’s interests and capabilities.

Why did you choose to support the ICA?
I think it is always a good idea to get involved in your industry. The ICA seems to me a great way to not only network and learn, but also support what we’re all doing here. The organization seems focused on looking out for investors like me, and protecting/growing the market for everyone.

Can you share a prediction about the future of the domain industry?
The market has a long way to go. The investment industry will mature, and the value of premium names (those with utility, anyway) will only increase as it does.

What do you like most about the domain industry?
The opportunity. This is still a new frontier. There are a ton of great names out there, sitting undeveloped. It is exciting to think of the countless new ideas and businesses that will spring fourth from them. I love being a part of this.

If you could change one thing about the domain industry what would it be?
Perhaps domain owners could be better protected. In particular, I’m concerned about the abusive use of UDRP to try and steal good generic names from owners. Domain theft and recovery are also areas of concern for me. I’d like to see some improvements here too.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges the domain industry is faced with?
Poor liquidity of domain names, and lack of sufficient institutional financing for investments.

What do you wish other people knew about the ICA?
Many of the ICA’s members are experienced successful investors, and highly influential in the industry. You can learn a lot here.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the ICA?
Do it. This is a good organization, and they are here to support you.

What unexpected doors opened for you because of your involvement in the domain industry?
From a business development perspective, it has opened many doors. Acquire the right name, and you can launch a business with authority. Domain investment has enabled us to confidently build in new areas that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

What’s the best advice ever received (domain related or otherwise)?
Be patient. Domain investing is a buyers market. Wait for exceptional opportunities to come along, and be ready to move when they do.

What are your main interests outside of the domain industry?
These days, being a dad to an awesome little girl gets most of my non-working attention. I still find time to ski here and there though, and enjoy travel when I have the opportunity.

Favorite place to get away:
It is a tie. In the Rockies during the winter, preferably slope side. In the summer, it would be Amsterdam, my favorite European city.

The views expressed here are the personal views of the member and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICA.
30
Nov

ICA Member Profile: Shane Cultra

Most people know Shane Cultra from his blog/website DomainShane.com or DSAD.com, which he’s been writing since 2009 and which now specializes in the domain aftermarket and brings out a daily list of best names for sale each day at all the major auction houses. Shane noticed the domain world back in 1995 but it wasn’t until 2007 when he was in a position to start building his domain portfolio and business. And while he’s been selling domains ever since, he calls his nursery/landscaping business his “regular” job where he’s the 5th generation owner of this family business. Shane puts in full time hours into both businesses and as if he didn’t have enough on his plate, he also competes in Ironman triathlons and marathons! Read more

12
Oct

ICA Member Profile: John Colascione

John Colascione is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Searchen Networks® Inc., a consultancy and business corporation in New York State. In addition, he is Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Media Inc., a privately owned digital media company. John’s qualifications in the domain space entail near fifteen years of marketing and advertising in the Internet industries involving development, website management, online advertising, search optimization, social marketing, consulting, server administration, brand development, content relevant advertising, and database administration. He is the author of “Mastering Your Website; The Insider’s Guide to Fully Understanding Your Website, Search Engine Optimization and Building Your Brand”. Read more

17
Aug

ICA Member Profile: Joe Uddeme

Joe Uddeme is a self-starter and entrepreneur who launched his first, brick-and-mortar retail business at the age of 17. He successfully started two additional retail businesses and operated all three for a total of 14 years before selling them off and exiting retail completely. He then built and launched a new age media company and helped clients with marketing, branding and web strategy. Eventually, his dear friend John Ferber, offered him a position as a high-end domain broker at Domain Holdings Group. After more than 5 years and 40mm in sales, Joe went on to become an entrepreneur again and launched NameExperts.com in May 2016. Read more

22
Jun

ICA Member Profile: Richard Lau

Richard Lau is well known throughout the domain name industry having started many registrars, brokered numerous domain sales and quarterbacked the return of multiple high-value stolen domains. With his co-founding of NamesCon he adds to his successes in the industry, having established NamesCon as the largest commercial domain name conference worldwide. Read more

7
Jun

ICA Member Profile: Ron Jackson

Ron Jackson is the Founder, Editor & Publisher of Domain Name Journal, the domain industry news magazine at DNJournal.com that has been covering industry news, people and events since launching on New Year’s Day 2003. Ron spent nearly 20 years as a television reporter for ABC and CBS TV stations in Florida before beginning an entrepreneurial career that eventually led him to the domain business. When he discovered that this dynamic industry had no trade magazine of its own he established DN Journal and the award-winning publication rapidly became an industry institution.

DN Journal is the source mainstream media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today have gone to when domain related stories are in the news. Ron has seen the domain business grow from its “Wild West”  infancy into responsible adulthood as millions of companies, organizations and individuals around the world have come to understand the critical role that domains play in navigating the world wide web and building unforgettable Internet brands. Read more

1
Jun

ICA Member Profile: Michael Castello

Michael Castello is CEO and President of Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc. CCIN owns, manages and develops some of the most recognized Geo and Generic domain name brands in the world including PalmSprings.com, Nashville.com and Traveler.com. He is also the owner of Daycare.com which he and his wife Sheri Castello founded in 1997.

Michael has spoken internationally at many conferences including TRAFFIC, Borrell Advertising Conference, GEO Domain Expo and the Internet Marketing & Domaining Conference in Punta del Este Uruguay among others. He was inducted into the Targeted TRAFFIC Hall of Fame in 2009 and Geo Domain Hall of Fame 2010. Michael was on the Board of Director for both Associated Cities and Geo Publishers and has been an active member of ICANN’s Business Users Constituency since 2008 and previously a member of the DNSO since 2000.

In prior years, Castello was a singer songwriter having learned his skills from legendary Tin Pan Alley songwriter Lou Stallman in New York City and produced the nationally syndicated gospel radio show Gospel Traxx for fifteen years which was nominated by Billboard Magazine, for top R&B Syndicated Radio. Read more

26
May

ICA Member Profile: Andee Hill

Since 1999, Andee has had a been involved with the Internet and domaining industries. Andee’s past positions include Director of Business Development with online escrow giant Escrow.com, where she managed critical business relationships and led the product development team. Later, in 2013, Andee established her own escrow company, EscrowHill.com, which provided escrow services to some of the industry’s largest and most sensitive transactions. She sold the business in 2015 and joined the largest registry of new gTLD, Donuts Inc. Long known for her keen eye for identifying and developing new and existing relationships, Andee is now Director of Business Development and is specifically charged with supporting Donuts’ domain investor and small to medium business communities. Read more

20
May

ICA Member Profile: Braden Pollock

Braden Pollock is a well-known domainer and serial entrepreneur who owns several companies, both online and off. Among his businesses is Legal Brand Marketing, LLC, (LegalBrandMarketing.com) which focuses primarily on lead generation for DUI attorneys as well as lawyers in other practice areas.

Braden also owns ScienceFiction.com and recently sold several franchises of Smart Start, an ignition interlock provider with service locations throughout the US (IgnitionInterlock.com, SmartStartofCalifornia.com, etc). He has an equity interest in several other businesses including The Grooming Network (Beard.com, StraightRazors.com, etc), FashionMetric.com and Epik.com.

His domain portfolio is well into the thousands of names with a current focus on premium one-word .com names. Braden’s newest venture is a data-driven ad network that will apply predictive behavioral analytics to lead generation products designed to better monetize domains through development, search, social. He also serves on the Board of the non-profit, Benevolent.net. Read more