Marie J. Toulantis
Chief Executive Officer, Barnes & Noble.com
From Feb 2002 to August 2008, Marie J. Toulantis was the chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble.com, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Inc. She was president and chief operating officer of Barnes & Noble.com from May 2001 to February 2002. She first joined Barnes & Noble, Inc. in 1997 as executive vice president-finance and was appointed chief financial officer of Barnes & Noble.com in 1999. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Toulantis oversaw Barnes & Noble.com's $500 million initial public offering, one of the largest internet IPOs to be completed. Under her leadership, Barnes & Noble.com became one of the top e-commerce sites in terms of traffic as new products, additional content, media & networking features, and sales of digital media were added to the site. Barnes & Noble.com grew to nearly $500 million in annual direct-to-consumer sales; in addition, bn.com systems "powered" the in-store special ordering of Barnes & Noble stores, generating additional sales of over $100 million. Under Ms. Toulantis' leadership, Barnes & Noble.com was consistently ranked as one of the top e-commerce sites for customer service, as measured by the annual University of Michigan's customer satisfaction survey.
In addition to her role as the chief executive of Barnes & Noble.com, Ms. Toulantis was also responsible for Barnes & Noble's company-wide distribution, overseeing the successful consolidation of the company's many smaller facilities into two new state of the art distribution centers in central New Jersey, and Reno, Nevada. Leveraging the same vast inventory, both facilities fulfill store replenishment, store special orders and direct to customer internet orders. Company-wide marketing also reported to Ms Toulantis, including the establishment and growth of the Barnes & Noble Member Program, a multi-million member loyalty program, which became the center of the company's multi-channel marketing strategy. Ms. Toulantis developed a number of other multi-channel marketing programs, among them the Barnes & Noble credit card, which generated annual income of seven-figures, and multi-channel gift cards, enabling Barnes & Noble to become one of the first major retailers to offer gift cards sold and redeemed in either store or internet channels.
Ms. Toulantis served as a director of the Hershey Corporation from April 2003 to November 2007.
Prior to working for Barnes & Noble Inc., Ms. Toulantis served as a senior vice president at the Chase Manhattan Bank where she was responsible for the bank's relationships with mid-sized companies headquartered in Manhattan. She was vice president of Chase Manhattan from 1987 to 1996 and completed Chase's Credit Training Program in 1983.
In 2009, Ms. Toulantis became a Trustee of Pace University, her alma mater. She has served on the Advisory Board of Pace's Lubin School of Business for the past six years. In 2006, Ms Toulantis received the Lubin Alumni Achievement Award. She received her BBA in marketing/finance from Pace University in 1981.
Ms. Toulantis is currently on the board of Francesca's Collections (NYSE: FRAN) and chairs their audit committee.
Independent Film Producer & Co-Founder of Loveless
Carly Hugo (CC'06) is an independent film producer and the co-founder of Loveless, a New York City-based film production company. She has produced fifteen features since 2005 and has a proven track record of consistently creating prestigious, high-quality films, including eight Sundance Film Festival premieres.
After graduating from Columbia University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in Film Studies, Carly co-founded The Group Entertainment, a talent management and film production company, with three other partners. The company represents 25 leading film, television and theatre actors, and produces 3-5 films per year. After six years with The Group Entertainment, Carly left the company with her producing partner Matt Parker to focus solely on film production.
With their new company, Loveless, Carly and Matt aim to actively use the experience gained on each of their films to reflect on technological innovations and film industry trends in order to maintain a sustainable business model, while providing full creative support for their writers and directors. They are developing eight films for 2013-2014 that are specifically aimed to be profitable for the production team and the distributors. These genre-diverse projects range from a drama adapted from a recent New York Times-bestselling novel to an effects-based psychological film noir, along with two high-concept/low-budget comedies and a tropical thriller.
Carly produced Andrew Dosunmu's Mother of George, which premiered in the US Dramatic Competition of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Best Cinematography Award and was acquired by Oscilloscope Laboratories for a fall 2013 release. The Village Voice said Mother of George "suggests a new renaissance moment for American black cinema." Carly also produced Academy Award-nominee Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, Higher Ground (Sundance '11), which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and was nominated for a Gotham Award for the Breakthrough Director Award. She also produced the documentary Hot Coffee (Sundance '11), which premiered on HBO and won the Grand Jury Prize of the Seattle Film Festival and The Documentary Everyone in America Should See Award from Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival.
Carly was a co-producer on Bachelorette (Sundance '12), which starred Kirsten Dunst and Isla Fisher and was produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. She also co-produced Peter and Vandy (Sundance '09), Beware the Gonzo (Tribeca '10), and the documentary Beautiful Darling (Berlin '10). She was the line producer of Restless City (Sundance '11) and an associate producer of Loggerheads (Sundance '05) and Bass Ackwards (Sundance '10).