Member Profiles

25
Sep

ICA Member Profile: Brian Harbin

Brian Harbin has been an independent domain broker with GritBrokerage for over 4 years. He is also the Director of Sales for NamePros for the past 3 1/2 years. Brian has been in sales since he was 18 (about 20 years now) when he started selling educational books door to door as a freshman at the University of Georgia. He then transitioned to building an insurance agency which he ran for 14 years. About 4.5 years ago a friend introduced him to brokerage in the domain name industry, which turned out to be a perfect fit based on his background in sales and it allowed him to work from home, which was important at that time.

Brian has been married to his wife Jen for almost 13 years. They have 3 boys Stone (10), Max (6), and Charles (2). They have lived in Jacksonville, Florida now for 12 years.

Profile Questions

Name: Brian Harbin
Company: GritBrokerage
Favorite Industry Blog(s): NamePros

Tell us a little bit about your background and your personal story.
I’ve been married to my wife Jen for almost 13 years. We have 3 boys Stone (10), Max (6), and Charles (2). We have lived in Jacksonville, Florida now for 12 years. I have been in sales since I was 18 (about 20 years now) when I started selling educational books door to door as a freshman at the University of Georga, and then I transitioned to building an insurance agency which I ran for 14 years

How did you get involved in the domain industry?
About 4.5 years ago a friend introduced me to the industry and it was a perfect fit based on my background in sales and needing to work from home more at that time in my life

What is your current role?
Domain Broker/Owner (GritBrokerage) and NamePros (Director of Sales)

Why did you choose to support the ICA?
I believe in what the organization stands for.

Can you share a prediction about the future of the domain industry?
The best is yet to come.

What do you like most about the domain industry?
It’s exciting to be a part of an industry where the best is yet to come. I think there is more and more awareness of the value of domain/internet assets, and I think we are all positioned well for when the demand becomes even greater.

If you could change one thing about the domain industry what would it be?
That people relied less on email and utilized more phone and face to face interaction.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges the domain industry is faced with?
Credibility and integrity. I think groups like the ICA will help put a face to the internet/domain industry which is needed. Certain people are drawn to our industry by being able to work behind a computer, and even though they sometimes can/do add value to our industry, others exploit that ability and there remains the issue of maintaining a level of ethics that this industry will need in order to garner a wider respect for exponential growth.

What do you wish other people knew about the ICA?
The need for organizations like this one and the greater initiative they are serving.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the ICA?
For me, it just made sense to support the overall industry.

What unexpected doors opened for you because of your involvement in the domain industry?
The sale of ICE.com earlier this year.

What’s the best advice ever received (domain related or otherwise)?
Don’t heavily invest in domains when you first jump into the industry. Use the time to study and learn from those that are successful before you spend your hard earned money.

What are your main interests outside of the domain industry?
I buy, renovate, rent, sell homes and properties locally. I also have coached both of my sons’ flag football teams the past few years

Favorite place to get away:
Hotel at the beach with my wife.

The views expressed here are the personal views of the member and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICA.
6
Sep

ICA Member Profile: Kate Buckley

Kate is CEO and Founder of Buckley Media. She has 23 years of experience in integrated marketing and business development, with deep experience in global domains, brand development, naming, creative strategy, storytelling, and social media. Kate’s background includes big agencies (Gray and Landor) as well as 20 years experience with premium domains (CCIN/The Castello Brothers). She is an expert at premium domain consulting and representation, specializing in ultra-premium .COMs. Kate has three publicly recorded domain sales in the Top 15 Global Sales for 2018 (DNJournal.com)—the only individual or company to do so.

She graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Advertising/PR/Communications. Kate also holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Spalding University), and is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Corporate Trainer (LCIOC), Public Speaker (AMA), and accomplished artist, award-winning poet and author. She is Poet Laureate Emerita of Laguna Beach, California. Kate’s a strong believer in supporting communities; apart from her involvement in a personal capacity—volunteering and providing pro bono branding services, she also ensures that Buckley Media donates a considerable portion of the proceeds of each domain sale to worthy charities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, WaterSchool, and With My Own Two Hands Foundation.

Profile Questions

Name: Kate Buckley
Company: Buckley Media
Favorite Domain: Translate.com (currently under exclusive brokerage)
Favorite Industry Conference: NamesCon
Favorite Industry Blog(s): DN Journal, DomainSherpa, Elliot’s blog, DNW.com

Tell us a little bit about your background and your personal story.
I’m a peripatetic Kentuckian who somehow ended up in Southern California. I’ve been in branding and marketing since 1995 and premium domains since 1998. I’m also a poet, writer and visual artist (KateBuckley.com), and an avid supporter of a variety of causes including Big Brothers Big Sisters. I live with my boyfriend, Todd Henderson (CEO of InkAgency.com) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Murphy, in Laguna Beach.

How did you get involved in the domain industry?
David and Michael Castello recruited me in 1998 to help them launch, monetize, and run PalmSprings.com. David and I had PalmSprings.com grossing $1M annually just between the two of us. It was a tremendous learning experience! I went on to work with them on LagunaBeach.com (which I later sold for them for $600,000) and Nashville.com, as well as a variety of other CCIN brands. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the world of ultra-premium domains.

What is your current role?
I founded Buckley Media in 2013 as a branding and domains agency. I’d just sold LagunaBeach.com for the Castello Brothers, along with a marketing plan and site redevelopment blueprint I’d created. The new owners hired me on to implement my plans, thus the formation of Buckley Media. Since that time, I’ve had the pleasure of branding a number of exciting companies (both startups and established companies) and brokering (on both the buy and sell side) some amazing domains including my recent sale of Sleeping.com and Snoring.com for over $1M. I work on an ongoing basis with both the Castello Brothers and Roy Messer on their amazing portfolios, as well as a select number of other domain investors on their valuable ultra-premium domains: https://www.buckleymedia.com/featured-premium-domains.html

Why did you choose to support the ICA?
I believe in the ICA’s mission and tactics, and want to be part of helping move things forward in a coordinated, elegant, intelligent and transparent fashion. I also very much appreciate the ICA’s advocacy and aims.

What do you like most about the domain industry?
It’s entrepreneurial and ever-changing. In order to succeed, one must have a high risk-tolerance, good people skills, and be both a creative and strategic thinker. It’s never boring.

If you could change one thing about the domain industry what would it be?
Greater alignment on best practices. Greater transparency and an established code of ethics.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges the domain industry is faced with?
We’re not regulated and are ever-changing, so we need to self-regulate and co-create best practices that serve to move the domain industry forward. We also need to better educate the public on the value and highest and best use of domains in a coordinated and cohesive manner.

What unexpected doors opened for you because of your involvement in the domain industry?
I’ve met some of the most fascinating people I know through the domain industry. It’s also allowed me to make a good living on my own terms, doing something I greatly enjoy.

What’s the best advice ever received (domain related or otherwise)?
Listen far more than you talk.

What are your main interests outside of the domain industry?
Writing, painting, reading, hiking, Stand Up Paddleboarding, cooking, wine tasting, travel.

Favorite place to get away:
Anywhere that my boyfriend and I can unplug from work for a bit and enjoy exploring the world together. Next up, Croatia!

The views expressed here are the personal views of the member and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICA.
20
Jul

ICA Member Profile: Slade Michalec

Slade got his start in internet marketing, working on the affiliate marketing side of things where focus was on website optimization and user retention/recovery. After hearing Hobi speak of the domain industry for several years, Slade became more fascinated with domains. He eventually made the career jump and began brokering premium domain names at Domain Holdings. Since the beginning to where he is today as Co-Founder of Lumis, Slade has not looked back! Read more

20
Jul

ICA Member Profile: Hobi Michalec

Hobi Michalec graduated college at FAU with a Bachelor’s in Business Management and a focus on entrepreneurship. He discovered domaining by chance after meeting John Ferber and joining Domain Holdings for a number of years. He left the company after its acquisition to help Co-found Lumis.

Read more

26
Apr

ICA Member Profile: Mike Robertson

Mike Robertson is a domain name professional with over 15 years of experience specializing in buying, selling, managing and monetizing domain names, with total domain sales in excess of 8-figures. His work has been featured and quoted in various trade and industry publications as well as mainstream media such as The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and News.com.au. He is currently the Director of Business for Fabulous.com and Directnic.com. In his spare time he enjoys attending concerts and playing sports. Read more

19
Apr

ICA Member Profile: Edward Zeiden

Edward Zeiden is a business strategist and entrepreneur specializing in brick and mortar companies, start-ups, and the domain industry. After co-founding the startup, NameLayer (subsequently acquired by Techstars), he pursued a career in management consulting and web design.

He currently coordinates daily operations and fosters strategic partnerships at NamePros as Managing Director. He’s an avid investor in domains and the stock market. In his spare time, he still likes to help startups and local business as well as write about business strategy. Some of his most recent articles geared towards startups can be found on Morgan Linton’s blog. Read more

1
Feb

ICA Member Profile: Howard Neu

Howard Neu is well known within the domain industry as the co-founder of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference and a lifelong public servant who has also dabbled in motion pictures and media.

Howard has been an long-term political and legal force, working on many presidential and congressional campaigns. He also produced and hosted a Miami television talk show, “South Florida Speaks” for ten years, a Radio Talk show for three years and was an actor in numerous movies and stage musicals.

He has been a potent civil litigator, one who jumped into the online arena at the outset, defending notable and sometimes notorious clients. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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