Directors and Management Team
David Sprogis, President, CEO, founding Member and Director. For 11 years prior to founding CineCast, Mr. Sprogis developed software and lead projects at Rational Software, Powersoft (Sybase), and TASC (Litton). He has led the design and development of significant computer-based systems including one of the world’s largest visual archive and retrieval systems for AT&T Universal Credit Card. Mr. Sprogis has also developed 4GL and web-based development tools including PowerBuilder and PowerSite. Mr. Sprogis received his BS in Computer Graphics from University of Massachusetts in 1989 and his MBA from Northeastern University in 1995.
Guilliaem Aertsen, CFO, founding Member and Director. Mr. Aertsen is CEO of Aertsen Ventures LLC, a private venture capital firm with investments in technology, real estate and distressed financial assets. He is currently Chairman of Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. which finances the development of affordable housing. He is Chairman of the Audit Committee of New England Realty Associates L.P. (AMEX), an owner and operator of residential and commercial properties. Formerly, Mr. Aertsen was an Executive Vice President of BankBoston and a member of its Senior Management Group. Mr. Aertsen serves on a number of corporate and non-profit boards. Mr. Aertsen received his BA from Harvard University in 1970.
Jack Leonard, Senior Vice President of Marketing, founding Member and Director. For 2 years prior to founding CineCast, Mr. Leonard was a consultant to the Entertainment Industry in the United States and in South America. Mr. Leonard was formerly Vice President of Marketing at General Cinema Theaters. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors and is past President of the National Association of Concessionaires. Mr. Leonard is a member of the Board of Trustees of Lasell College. Mr. Leonard is a retired Commander in the United States Naval Air Reserve. He received his BS from Boston College in 1956.
Dan Zehme, Chief Technology Officer, founding Member and Director. For 11 years prior to founding CineCast, Mr. Zehme served as a Development Manager and Senior Software Engineer at, Powersoft (Sybase), and Data General Corporation. For three major releases, Mr. Zehme was a development manager, architect, and developer of two integrated development tools, PowerJ and PowerBuilder, both used in the development of enterprise-wide systems. He has also developed network and automation software. Mr. Zehme received his BS in Computer Systems and Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1989.
CineCast was founded in 1999 with the specific mission of converting the movie pre-show to “digital”. In the conversion, CineCast set out to redefine the way advertisers reach moviegoers. To CineCast, this meant more than simply connecting a digital projector to a computer and remotely feeding it content. The CineCast management system was designed to deliver a targeted and structured, common interest pre-show program, which is both relevant to the particular audience and rich in fresh content.
CineCast débuted its first digital pre-show on March 17, 2000 to audiences at a General Cinemas theater in Framingham, Massachusetts. CineCast specified and installed the equipment which included the DPI Nighthawk projector of which NEC was the OEM. The system operated continuously and flawlessly for over four (4) years before theater operation was taken over by AMC and CineCast’s system was replaced by AMC’s NCM slide program. During this four year period, CineCast enhanced the system in preparation for nation-wide roll-out.
In 2002, CineCast worked with Screenvision to deploy to an additional eight (8) Loews theaters in NYC and surrounding communities for a total screen count of over 100 screens. CineCast worked with multiple equipment vendors, including NEC, and coordinated multiple installers including Bright Star Systems and several local projection union chapters. The system operated for over two years and in that time met or exceeded every established benchmark. This “100+ screen pilot” proved that the CineCast system was ready for national deployment.
CineCast installed and operated screens in other parts of the country, but realized that it must begin preparing for the conversion of movies to digital, “digital cinema”, and in 2004, partnered with NEC. NEC branded the CineCast solution “ADVASuite” which has been installed and has operated across multiple circuits. This partnership proved that the CineCast system was portable and could be operated by an independent network provider.
In 2005, CineCast began working with DTS to provide web-based, centralized content management and delivery services to their XD10. In addition to delivering pre-show content to the XD10, CineCast also delivers Film Packages which contain audio, video, and/or captioning. While the XD10 is not a DCI-compliant feature playback device, CineCast implemented DCI-compliant security measures. This cooperative effort proved that CineCast could deliver far more than pre-show content to non-CineCast playback equipment.
In early 2007, CineCast in its partnership with NEC, integrated its pre-show system to work in DCI-compliance with the Doremi feature playback system and the NEC line of digital cinema projectors. This integration proved that the CineCast pre-show system could operate in parallel and in DCI-compliance with digital cinema equipment.
Today, CineCast software used to operate networks in the U.S. and Europe for the delivery of pre-show and feature content. For its pioneering work in the fields of pre-show targeting and equipment monitoring, CineCast has eight patents issued in seven countries and patents pending in 26 other countries. CineCast is pushing two frontiers of development. First, CineCast is extending its network to accept advertising content from Internet advertising brokers such as Google, AOL/Time Warner, Yahoo! and Microsoft. Second, CineCast is continuing to extend itself into digital cinema through the management and delivery of feature content.